Hyperparathyroidism is an extremely prevalent endocrine disorder. Recent studies reveal that about 80% of people in Western countries suffer from parathyroids. Additionally, about 1,00,000 people in the United States show symptoms yearly.
A person suffering from the disease tends to have an enlarged thyroid gland—such a state results in excessive production of parathyroid hormone. Parathyroid hormone is responsible for maintaining the calcium levels in a person’s body to regulate nerve and muscle function and bone health.
The disorder is prevalent among women three times more than that of men. Although the condition can develop in anyone, people over 50 are more prone to the disorder. The symptoms in the early stages often go unnoticed. However, hyperparathyroid treatments like observing one’s health, medications, or surgery at the right time can help treat the disorder.
Read more to know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of hyperparathyroidism.
The symptoms of hyperparathyroidism largely depend and vary based on the stage of the disorder. A person suffering from the primary stage may not experience or witness any symptoms. However, a person suffering from a mild stage may experience the following symptoms.
- Excessive Joint Pain (Arthritis)
- Fatigue or feeling of exhaustion throughout the day
- Weakness in muscles
- Mental disorders like depression, stress, anxiety, etc.
- Slight loss of appetite
- Having a difficult time focusing on certain things
In case of severe hyperparathyroidism, a person might experience the following symptoms.
- Feeling nausea
- A feeling of vomiting or puking
- Excessive thirst and urinating
- Gastrointestinal issues like constipation
- Feeling confusion or having a difficult time recalling or remembering things
For a body to continue functioning properly, nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D play a substantial role. In case of an imbalance of any of the nutrients, the body might fail to function properly.
Causes Of Primary Hyperthyroidism
Primary hyperparathyroidism can develop due to improper functioning of the following hormones or glands.
- Adenoma- This is a condition where a non-cancerous tissue or a benign starts to accumulate on a tissue. It starts to build on epithelial tissue and spreads over the organs. It is one of the common causes of primary hyperparathyroidism.
- Hyperplasia- This condition refers to the enlargement of a gland or an organ. It is caused due to overproduction of reproductive cells in a gland that leads to an accumulation of cells on the gland.
Causes Of Secondary Hyperthyroidism
Secondary hyperparathyroidism can develop due to improper functioning of the following hormones or glands.
- Extreme Levels Of Calcium Deficiency– People tend to have calcium deficiency due to insufficient nutrients in their diet. Additionally, one can develop such a condition if the body cannot absorb enough calcium from the food.
- Extreme Levels Of Vitamin D Deficiency– One must note that to absorb calcium, vitamin D plays an important role. If there’s a deficiency of vitamin D, one’s body may not be able to absorb calcium even if consumed in sufficient amounts.
- Case Of Kidney Failure– The kidneys transform vitamin D into a consumable and absorbable form. In case of kidney failure, the conversion of vitamin D drops. Hence the calcium levels also drop.
Although there is no permanent treatment for hyperparathyroidism, there are many ways one can monitor the disorder from transforming into a major issue. Hyperparathyroid treatments, including antithyroid drugs, radioactive iodine or surgery, and lifestyle modification, can significantly help control the disorder.
Here are a few things one can follow:
- In case one is experiencing severe life-threatening symptoms, one must opt for Parathyroidectomy. It is a non-invasive medical surgery to treat hyperparathyroidism. It is known to leave minimal scars and is a 20-minute-long surgery.
- Increasing one’s daily water intake. Drinking 3-4 liters of water daily is recommended to increase the transportation and absorption of nutrients from the ingested food.
- Start participating in physical activities like weightlifting, sports, or aerobic class. Such activities are known to help in improving bone health.
Hyperparathyroidism can be a hazardous endocrine disorder if taken lightly. One must seek appropriate measures to deal with the disorder. The first step to diagnosing hyperparathyroidism starts with testing your calcium and phosphorus levels in a lab. One must not hesitate to consult a professional if one experiences a slight chance of hyperparathyroidism.