Medical Definition of Calcitonin

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Calcitonin: A hormone produced by the thyroid gland that lowers the levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood and promotes the formation of bone. Bone is in a constant state of remodeling. Old bone is removed by cells called osteoclasts, and new bone is added by cells called osteoblasts. Calcitonin inhibits bone removal by the osteoclasts and at the same time promotes bone formation by the osteoblasts. Calcitonin is given in hypercalcemia (high blood calcium) to lower the calcium level; in osteoporosis to increase bone density and decrease the risk of a fracture; and in Paget disease to decrease bone turnover and bone pain. Also known as thyrocalcitonin.

CONTINUE SCROLLING OR CLICK HERE FOR RELATED ARTICLE
Reviewed on 12/11/2018

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors