About Hyperparathyroidism

Parathyroid Hormone(PTH) is produced by the Parathyroid glands. PTH helps maintain an appropriate balance of calcium is responsible for bone metabolism.

There are 4 parathyroid glands located in the neck. One or more of the parathyroid glands could start producing too much parathyroid hormone resulting in hyperparathyroidism.

PTH raises the level of calcium in the body and can cause a variety of symptoms including:

  • Tiredness
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Fractures
  • Depression/Low mood

People with Hyperparathyroidism if not treated could go on to develop:

  • Kidney stones
  • Fractures and osteoporosis
  • Cardiac problems

Hyperparathyroidism often goes undiagnosed for many years. It is often mistaken for other conditions.

Hyperparathyroidism can be primary, secondary or tertiary.

Are you at risk of hyperparathyroidism?

You may be at an increased risk of primary hyperparathyroidism if you :

  • Are a woman who has attained menopause
  • Have prolonged, severe calcium and/or vitamin D deficiency
  • Have a rare conditions like multiple endocrine neoplasia(MEN), type 1.
  • Have had radiation treatment to the neck.
  • Have taken lithium

Diagnosis: This involves blood and urine tests along with ultrasound scans of the neck, Sestamibi scan and ultrasound of abdomen.  A DEXA scan will also be requested to assess bone mineral density, to rule out osteoporosis.

Management: Hyperparathyroidism can be cured by surgery. If surgery is not possible or contraindicated, symptoms can be relieved by some medications.

Useful Links for Hyperparathyroidism

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hyperparathyroidism/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14454-hyperparathyroidism/management-and-treatment

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperparathyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20356194

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng132/informationforpublic

 

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