Hyperparathyroidism isn't a common disease. It is most prevalent in older people aged 50 and above. Women are more likely to have it than men. It's is characterized by a high concentration of calcium levels in the blood. It happens because of the over-secretion of parathyroid hormones. These hormones come from the parathyroid glands located in our necks. Parathyroid glands are part of the body's endocrine system. The hormones produced by the endocrine glands get released directly into the bloodstream. The functions of each hormone are specific. The parathyroid glands are in charge of building PTH. It is a hormone that helps sustain the correct calcium balance in the body. The hormone regulates the calcium levels in the blood and the calcium release from the bones. It also affects the calcium absorption in the small intestine and the excretion in urine.
There are two types of hyperparathyroidism namely, primary and secondary. In the first case, the parathyroid glands become enlarged. This causes the over-secretion of the PTH hormone. This will result in high calcium levels in the blood. This condition is hypercalcemia and can cause various health problems. The best treatment for this is removing the overactive parathyroid gland through surgery. Secondary hyperparathyroidism is a consequence of another disease. It will initially cause the lowering of calcium levels in the blood. As a result, the parathyroid glands will release more of the PTH hormone. Over time, there will be a substantial increase of the hormone in the blood.
The disease can be accurately diagnosed even before symptoms become apparent. Most often, the symptoms manifest as a result of dysfunction or damage to other tissues or organs. Intake of high levels of calcium in the blood or urine causes this. Bones will also start to show in calcium content. But the symptoms can also be so slight and unnoticeable. Because of this, diagnoses cannot relate them to parathyroid malfunctions. Doctors may only diagnose the condition when it's already severe.
Symptoms of the disease can vary for different people. Sometimes the disease can cause a year or two of misery, and this is because of the high levels of calcium in the blood. The sources of the high levels of calcium are the bones. With the depletion of calcium, the bones become brittle and can easily fracture. This condition is also known as osteoporosis. It is a painful condition. Usually, the target areas are the bones in the legs and arms but can affect all the bones in the body as well.
Hyperparathyroidism will cause you to feel weak, lethargic and sick. You tend to lose energy. You are in a state of chronic fatigue. Because of this, you get tired quickly. You don't want to do anything that requires effort. Often, you feel aged and lose interest in almost everything. Your body aches all over, and you have difficulty sleeping. Getting tired quickly is a common symptom of this disease. All these are symptoms associated with hyperparathyroidism.
What makes this disease difficult is that it hardly manifests symptoms. When it does, they're either mild ones or even none at all. You can have blood routine tests conducted on a range of possible conditions. That also includes high calcium levels in the blood. The abdominal pains could confirm that the person may be suffering from hyperparathyroidism. He may suffer from it even though he isn't displaying any symptoms. Feelings of weakness coupled with aches and pains can be symptoms. You'll notice them even when they're mild and nonspecific. The disease can cause abdominal pains and stomach ulcers to develop. Just to be sure they aren't related to hyperthyroidism, have yourself checked.
The formation of kidney stones is a sure symptom that you may have the disease. The presence of high levels calcium in the blood will show itself in urine. It may cause the formation of kidney stones. If left untreated, it may result in kidney failure. Urinating more frequently than usual will always make you feel thirsty. You can only remedy this by drinking fluids. This usually happens in cases of dehydration. This is also a symptom of hyperparathyroidism.
Those suffering from this disease will experience nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss. The first two are common for many underlying conditions. Nausea is that sensation where the stomach wants to empty itself. On the other hand, vomiting is the forcible emptying of the stomach's contents. Loss of appetite can be broader in scope when related to diseases. Often, the damage is temporary, and you can reverse it through medications. However, you can attribute severe cases to hyperparathyroidism.
Hyperparathyroidism can start as a single benign disease. But it can eventually evolve into something that can destroy your body and take away the joy in your life. As mentioned earlier, the symptoms are not so obvious. Forgetfulness, loss of memory, and poor concentration are also some symptoms. Add to that list frequent headaches, irritability, and depression. All these can happen to all of us, but we fail to connect it to this disease.
When the person experiences constant stress, hypertension, and cardiac problems may arise. Unfortunately, it is right with those who have the disease. They may also experience atrial fibrillation or a rapid heart rate. You will often need blood thinners and pacemakers. Your blood pressure can also become unpredictable. The numbers may go up and down too frequently. It is a severe condition that will need medical treatment.
High calcium levels in the blood don't correlate with the severity of symptoms. It's the duration of the calcium levels that causes the complications. If the calcium levels stay only for short times, it may not be the disease. But there will be a need for further observation. However, if the high calcium levels linger for long periods of time, then there is a problem. People with slightly elevated levels of calcium may say that it isn't hyperparathyroidism. This slight elevation may remain unchecked and lingers for years. Then such person will start manifesting symptoms of the disease. The longer you have the disease, the more symptoms you will develop.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.