Hyperparathyroidism is an unusual hormone disorder that occurs when the parathyroid glands which located in the neck generate too much parathyroid hormone. Total four parathyroid glands situated on the neck behind the third glands. Each of the glands size as small as a grain of rice and they all generate parathyroid hormone which helps in regulating the levels of phosphorus, Vitamin D and calcium in the blood and bones. This function is significant because it keeps the elements within a healthy level for proper body functioning. The symptoms of hyperparathyroidism do not always show and when they do, they are mild and general.
The only sure way to confirm if one is suffering from hyperparathyroidism is through a blood test. But among the range of symptoms experienced by people suffering from the disease include;
- Chronic fatigue, a situation in which you are always tired and do not feel like doing much. Any unexplained loss of energy could be an indication of hyperparathyroidism.
- Loss of concentration.
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of appetite and a general feeling that you are unwell.
- Passing out a lot of urine and increased feeling of thirst.
When left untreated the symptoms may extend to;
- Nausea, drowsiness and vomiting.
- Muscle spasms.
- High blood pressure. This could mild and quite severe at times. It keeps going up and down regularly.
- Recurrent headaches.
- Gastric acid reflux and heartburns.
- Heart Palpitations and Atrial fibrillation where you experience a rapid heart rate and may require blood thinners and pacemakers often.
- In extreme cases, hyperparathyroidism can cause unconsciousness and even coma.
In fact, hyperparathyroidism have two main types. One is the primary hyperparathyroidism that occurs when the parathyroid glands become inflamed or overactive. This is usually caused by a non-cancerous tumor know as an adenoma that may grow on any of the parathyroid glands making them to become overactive. When two or more glands are engorged (hyperplasia), primary hyperthyroidism could also occur. Secondary hyperparathyroidism is the second form of the condition. This occurs when the body is ailing from another condition like kidney failure which lowers calcium; and thus the body responds by secreting more parathyroid hormone to ensure calcium levels do not fall too low. The link between the condition and inherited genes is very insignificant. It has been observed that most 95% of people that suffer from the disease do not have it in their family history. Nonetheless, women have double chance to get hyperparathyroidism compared to men. The risk of the condition also grows with age.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Since the symptoms of hyperparathyroidism are quite tricky to observe, most patients are diagnosed with it while testing for other diseases. If blood test the results show the following, then you are suffering from hyperthyroidism:
- Blood calcium-High levels.
- Phosphorus- Low levels.
- Parathyroid hormone-High levels.
Treatment is through surgery for the primary hyperparathyroidism while for the secondary hyperthyroidism, the underlying condition determines the treatment administered. Bisphosphonate medicines can also be used to bring down extreme high levels of calcium.