The parathyroid glands are structures about the size of rice grains located behind the thyroid gland. They secrete parathyroid hormone, which regulates calcium level in the blood stream. Rarely, children can have increased calcium levels related to an overactive parathyroid gland. Children with recurrent kidney stones, or those in whom elevated calcium levels are discovered, should be evaluated for hyperparathyroidism. Hyperparathyroidism is managed quite effectively by surgically removing the offending parathyroid gland.
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