Working with a great endocrinologist is the best way to find relief from parathyroid disorders like hyperparathyroidism and hypoparathyroidism. For people in Houston, Texas, the team at Endocrine & Diabetes Plus Clinic, Dr. Jongoh Kim and Dr. Libu Varughese offers excellent diagnostic and treatment care. Schedule an appointment today to learn more, and to begin a path toward relief. You can book in just moments online or by phone.
Hyperparathyroidism and Hypoparathyrodism Q & A
What are parathyroid glands?
You have four parathyroid glands that sit at the back of your thyroid gland or in your jaw or neck area. These glands are small, not much larger than a grain of rice. The work they do in the endocrine system, however, is substantial.
Parathyroid glands secrete a hormone called parathyroid hormone (PTH). This hormone helps your body regulate the volume of calcium in your bloodstream. Calcium is essential for nerve and muscle function, and too much or too little can cause health problems.
What is hyperparathyroidism?
Hyperparathyroidism occurs when your parathyroid glands create too much PTH. Left untreated, this condition can cause a range of problems, including:
- Kidney stones
- Concentration difficulties
- Muscle aches
- Stomach ulcers
Hyperparathyroidism can sometimes occur without provocation or can stem from another health problem.
What is hypoparathyroidism?
Hypoparathyroidism occurs when your parathyroid glands cannot produce sufficient PTH. This causes low blood calcium levels.
Without enough calcium in your blood, you might notice changes in your nerve or muscle function. Hypoparathyroidism also increases the volume of phosphorus in your blood.
Some symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Muscle aches or cramps
- Twitching or spasms in muscles
- Patchy hair loss
- Depression or anxiety
- Brittle nails
- Fatigue or weakness
Numerous things can cause hypoparathyroidism, including genetic factors, autoimmune disease, neck surgery, or even radiation used to treat cancer.
What is the treatment for hyperparathyroidism and hypoparathyroidism?
Treatment options for hypoparathyroidism include:
- Vitamin D therapy
- Oral calcium supplementation
Calcium can also be delivered intravenously.
For most people with hypoparathyroidism, treatment lasts a lifetime. You need routine screening to check your calcium levels, and your treatment plan needs adjusting depending on how well your body is functioning.
Surgery is the only way to treat hyperparathyroidism that is not caused by a separate condition, as medication cannot effectively reduce calcium levels in your blood.
Some hyperparathyroidism surgeries use minimally invasive techniques, while others will require a 6-8 inch incision near the base of your neck.
If you’re concerned about unusual symptoms and would like a hyperparathyroidism or hypoparathyroidism screening, call Endocrine & Diabetes Plus Clinic to set up a visit with the team, or spend a few moments on the online booking page.