Big difference #1 – they have totally different jobs
Thyroid glands takes iodine from the food you eat and create these special hormones that help you digest and mobilize your food into energy. These special hormones, called T3 and T4 hormones, are so crucial keeping your metabolism working at it’s best!
Parathyroid glands regulate the amount of calcium in the body. Calcium? What is that important for?
Well, actually, calcium is how nerves send messages to one another. It controls muscle contractions. I’m short, you need Calcium for your brain, bones, and muscles to stay active, flexible, and healthy.
Big Difference # 2 – the symptoms of thyroid and parathyroid problems are completely different
Thyroid problems usually come with symptoms. In hyperthyroidism, it can cause:
- Hunger or fatigue
- Unatural sweating
For hypothyroidism it can cause:
- painful feelings of cold
- Hair loss or dry hair
- sluggishness and fatigue
Parathyroid gland issues rarely have symptoms at the beginning. Having too much or too little calcium does not show up right away.
However, over time Hyperparathyroidism can cause:
- Bone or joint pain
- Loss of appetite
- Weak bone health
Hypoparathyroidism can cause:
- Muscle spasms and cramps
- General numbness and tingling sensations
In short Thyroid problem, symptoms come faster and affect the heart rate and energy levels, while parathyroid problem symptoms come slowly, through nerve and bone pain.
Big difference # 3 – they go wrong for different reasons
Thyroid gland problems come in two forms: structural and functional. Structural means the thyroid gland has developed odd growths. Functional means the thyroid gland is making too much or too little T3 or T4 hormone.
Too much = Hyperthyroid problems. Too little = hypothyroid problems.
Parathyroid problems usually occur when the Parathyroid gland is pumping too much calcium. Hyper parathyroidism is serious business and can increase someone’s chance of stroke, cancer, and heart attack and should be treated as soon as it is diagnosed.
One Big Similarity – Thyroid and Parathyroid surgeons need tons of knowledge about both
Thyroid gland surgery and Parathyroid surgical thyroid surgeries are completely different operations.
Thyroid surgeons must know how their surgery will affect the parathyroid gland. If a parathyroid adenoma ( benign tumor) is found during surgery and is left unremoved, it can cause serious bone health issues down the road.
Parathyroid must know the thyroid affects their surgery. An enlarged thyroid makes parathyroid surgery more difficult. If a parathyroid surgeon finds nodules or growths in the thyroid during surgery, they should biopsy the thyroid growth or remove it altogether.
It is crucial that your thyroid and the parathyroid surgeon has experience with surgeries that have complications and they can explain in detail how they were able to deal with it.
If you or a loved one has a thyroid or parathyroid condition, please speak to a medical professional today.