Types of Hypoparathyroidism

There are several types of hypoparathyroidism including surgery to the neck, congenital, autoimmune, pseudohypoparathyroidism, and familial.


Surgery to the neck


About 75% of hypoparathyroidism cases are caused by neck surgery (such as having the thyroid gland removed), during which the parathyroid glands get damaged or are inadvertently removed. 

Because the incidence of temporary post-surgical hypocalcemia is fairly common, the diagnosis of chronic hypoparathyroidism is not made until a patient has had low to no parathyroid hormone detected on lab tests after six months following neck surgery.

The remaining 25% of cases of hypoparathyroidism fall into a few different categories.

The following is a brief overview of a few examples of non-surgical types of hypoparathyroidism.

Other types of chronic hypoparathyroidism



Autoimmune hypoparathyroidism is the second most common cause of chronic hypoparathyroidism, in which the immune system attacks and destroys the parathyroid gland.

There are many forms of autoimmune disorders. With autoimmune disorders, rather than attacking foreign invaders, the immune system suddenly begins to attack its own healthy tissue. Graves’ Disease, another rare autoimmune disorder that involves the thyroid gland, is another example.


In pseudohypoparathyroidism, the parathyroid glands are able to produce parathyroid hormone, but the body is unable to detect or respond to it, this is commonly described as PTH resistance. Pseudohypoparathyroidism can occur sporadically or can be inherited and there are several subtypes to describe in greater detail the reason for the PTH resistance.


Congenital conditions are conditions that a person is born with. With congenital hypoparathyroidism, a person is born without parathyroid glands or with parathyroid glands that do not function properly. In some cases, congenital hypoparathyroidism occurs as part of another congenital disorder, such as DiGeorge syndrome or Wilson’s Disease. In these cases, the condition is complex and involves multiple organs.


In some cases, hypoparathyroidism may be hereditary, and caused by genetic variations such as in the cases of familial isolated hypoparathyroidism.