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Symptoms of hyperparathyroidism

Humans have four parathyroid glands that sit behind the main thyroid located in the throat. As with the primary thyroid gland, the parathyroid glands can become overactive or underactive. Both hyperparathyroidism (overactivity) and hypoparathyroidism (underactivity) come with symptoms that compromise the patient's quality of life.

Approximately 1 percent of women over age 50 develop symptoms of hyperparathyroidism, some of whom go on to develop parathyroid cancer.

Hyperparathyroidism leads to an increase in the level of blood calcium, which is the primary cause of the following:

  • Atrial fibrillation: Also known as A-fib, this occurs when the two chambers of the upper and lower heart muscles don’t work together, which causes an irregular heartbeat.
  • Body aches: This condition can manifest regardless of exercise level or other lifestyle factors.
  • Fatigue: This lack of energy to complete everyday tasks persists regardless of how many hours of sleep a patient gets each night.
  • Low levels of Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps to absorb calcium, maintain strong bones, reduce inflammation, improve immune function, and regulate healthy cells, so a lack of this important vitamin can have myriad negative effects.
  • Memory loss: This can affect both short-term and long-term memory.
  • Kidney stones: These occur when the urine contains uric acid, calcium, and other crystal-forming substances that cannot be diluted. The tiny stones cause significant pain and may require surgical removal.
  • Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis involves the progressive loss of bone strength and is especially common in older women. Untreated osteoporosis can cause bones to break easily from a minor fall.
  • Poor sleep quality: Although hyperparathyroidism causes fatigue, it’s still difficult for sufferers to get a good night’s sleep due to the pain and discomfort of other symptoms.

The above list represents only some of the symptoms of hyperparathyroidism. When the body’s temperature regulator defaults to high, this causes calcium to be pulled from the bones, which explains why many of the symptoms of this condition relate to bone loss and all-over body pain. As a result, many sufferers describe "just not feeling like themselves" for a period of time before they can articulate exactly what is wrong.

Treating the symptoms of parathyroid disease 

Parathyroid of Texas understands that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work in the management of this disease. Some patients may respond well to medication, while others will require hormone replacement therapy or surgery. If you or a loved one recognize these hyperparathyroidism symptoms, contact Parathyroid of Texas to learn more about your treatment options.