Hyperparathyroidism and Calcium Disorders
Hyperparathyroidism and calcium disorders can be tricky to diagnose and even more challenging to manage. These conditions are caused by an imbalance in the levels of calcium and parathyroid hormone in the body, often leading to a range of symptoms, some of which can be quite serious.
What are Hyperparathyroidism and Calcium Disorders?
Hyperparathyroidism is a condition in which the parathyroid glands produce too much parathyroid hormone (PTH). The parathyroid glands are four tiny glands located behind the thyroid gland, and they play a crucial role in regulating the levels of calcium and phosphate in the body. When they produce too much PTH, it can lead to hypercalcemia, which causes too much calcium in the blood.
Calcium disorders may result from an imbalance in the body’s calcium levels. The two main types of calcium disorders are hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood) and hypocalcemia (too little calcium in the blood).
What are the Symptoms of Hyperparathyroidism and Calcium Disorders?
The signs and symptoms of hyperparathyroidism and calcium disorders can vary widely from person to person, and some people may not experience any symptoms at all. However, some common symptoms of hyperparathyroidism and calcium disorders include:
- Muscle weakness
- Bone pain or tenderness
- Kidney stones
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Excessive thirst and urination
- Mental confusion or forgetfulness
- Depression or anxiety
How Are These Conditions Diagnosed?
Hyperparathyroidism and calcium disorders can be diagnosed with blood tests, which measure the levels of calcium, PTH, and other substances in the blood. In some cases, imaging tests, such as a neck ultrasound or a sestamibi scan, may also be used to locate abnormal growths or tumors in the parathyroid glands.
In some cases, calcium disorders will be diagnosed with imaging tests. Bone density scans or CT scans may be used to assess the health of the bones and detect any abnormalities.
What are the Treatment Options for Hyperparathyroidism and Calcium Disorders?
The treatment options for hyperparathyroidism and calcium disorders depend on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Here are some common treatment options:
- Surgery: Surgery is the most effective treatment for primary hyperparathyroidism, which is caused by a benign tumor on one or more of the parathyroid glands. The surgery involves removing the affected gland(s). In most cases, this results in a cure.
- Medications: For secondary hyperparathyroidism, caused by another underlying medical condition such as chronic kidney disease or vitamin D deficiency, medications may be used to lower the levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH) and calcium. These medications may include vitamin D supplements, calcium channel blockers, and phosphate binders.
- Lifestyle changes: Making lifestyle changes such as increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol intake can also help manage hyperparathyroidism and calcium disorders.
- Monitoring: Regular monitoring of calcium and PTH levels is essential for people with hyperparathyroidism or calcium disorders. This may involve regular blood tests and imaging studies to check for any changes in the parathyroid glands.
If you have been diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism or calcium disorders, work closely with your healthcare professional to determine the best treatment options for your specific situation.
Schedule an appointment with our Endocrinology team to receive expert diagnosis and personalized treatment options for hyperparathyroidism and calcium disorders. Our comprehensive approach includes advanced testing, imaging, surgical options, medication management, and lifestyle recommendations to effectively manage these conditions and improve your overall health. Take the next step towards better well-being by booking an appointment today.