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This hormone 'ate' his finger bones!

Posted on May 22 2014 | IANS

London, May 22 : You may have heard about a hormone called parathyroid but to your shock, excess of this hormone can even 'eat' your fingers!

High levels of parathyroid hormone in a 45-year-old patient in Japan led to an acceleration of the normal breakdown of his bones, resulting in a condition of shrinking finger bones, doctors found.

The man had a non-cancerous tumour on his parathyroid glands which are four tiny glands that sit adjacent to the thyroid gland in the throat.

The tumour was causing the glands to be overactive, and produce too much parathyroid hormone that controls calcium levels in the body.

When doctors removed his tumour, the man's hormone levels quickly returned to normal.

"This patient had a very high parathyroid hormone level, and a large tumour by today's standards, likely indicating long-standing and severe disease," Bart Clarke, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota said.

High levels of parathyroid hormone stimulate the bone resorbing cells to resorb bone more quickly, which leads to rapid transfer of more calcium into the blood.

The report was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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