Overview of Parathyroid Disease (Causes, Symptoms and Treatment for Hyperparathyroidism)

hyperparathyroidism is an excess of

parathyroid hormone in the bloodstream

due to over activity of one or more of

the four parathyroid glands

it affects twice as many women as men

with one in every 250 women over the age

of 50 having the disease and roughly

100,000 people are diagnosed with

hyperparathyroidism every year in the

United States a great majority are not

treated part of the hormonal system the

parathyroid glands are almost

exclusively responsible for the

regulation of calcium levels in the

bloodstream calcium is a vital nutrient

in the body used by every single cell

for normal daily function it's

responsible for transferring messages

between nerves building bones and so

much more if calcium levels are not

exactly right a variety of problems

occur including bone loss intestinal

symptoms kidney disease and mental

disturbances long-standing elevation in

calcium places a heavy burden on the


humans have four parathyroid glands

because of their extremely important

function to regulate calcium they're the

only organ in the body that we have four

copies of to regulate calcium the

parathyroid gland can release

parathyroid hormone or PTH into the

blood to detect calcium levels in the

blood each individual parathyroid cell

has a calcium sensor which acts like a

thermostat when calcium levels are high

the gland shuts down and the PTH level

decreases when calcium levels are low

the gland produces PTH which pours into

the bloodstream the PTH or parathyroid

hormone eventually enters the bones and

activates cells that reabsorb and

remodel the bone thereby releasing

calcium into the blood in addition the

hormone instructs the kidneys to absorb

calcium back from urine and finally it

changes vitamin D to its active form

which helps the intestines absorb

calcium from food thereby increasing the

calcium in the blood the majority of the


parathyroid tumors are located in one of

the four glands a parathyroid tumor is

in most

cases a benign tumor that grows to an

abnormal size as it grows it releases

more parathyroid hormone thus causing

hyperparathyroidism the tumor develops

when there's a disturbance in the sensor

on a single parathyroid cell the

thermostat level for the calcium changes

to a higher number for that cell while

the remaining cells and glands stay at a

lower normal setting as the calcium

level rises the normal parathyroid cells

and glands shut down while the abnormal

cell continues to produce PTH just like

muscles cells that work multiply and get


while cells and glands that don't get

smaller gradually in time the calcium

level increases until it reaches the set

point of the abnormal parathyroids

thermostat setting because

hyperparathyroidism is caused by the

abnormality in the sensor the high

calcium level will continue as long as

the abnormal parathyroid tissue is

present this can lead to weakening of

the bones due to continuous bone

reabsorption and remodeling causing

osteoporosis and fracturing of the bone

high concentrations of calcium in the

kidney leads to development of stones

which can affect the function of the

kidney high calcium levels can also

cause the nervous system to become

sluggish leading to fatigue memory loss

poor concentration anxiety and even

depression high calcium can even cause

stiffening of blood vessels and high

blood pressure as with the nerves

it can cause sluggish conduction

irregularities in the heart that can

cause rhythm abnormalities and

palpitations high calcium in the

intestines leads to acid reflux and

constipation overall high calcium levels

are associated with a decreased life

expectancy and increased chances of

certain cancers including colon kidney

breast and prostate there is no

effective long-term medical therapy

available to treat hyperparathyroidism

medications don't gear the problem

parathyroid disease only gets worse with

time it will continually change

and will not get better on its own they

only cure is surgery

for more information contact the center

for advanced parathyroid surgery at

three one zero four six one zero three

hundred or parathyroid md calm