Primary hyperparathyroidism is a medical condition in which too much parathyroid hormone is produced and circulated throughout the body (National Library of Medicine). The primary form of this medical condition is caused by an enlargment of the parathyroid glands. This glandular enlargement causes these glands to release too much parathyroid hormone into the bloodstream (National Library of Medicine).
Symptoms of Primary Hyperparathyroidism
Because the parathyroid glands and parathyroid hormone are linked to several body systems, primary hyperparathyroidism may manifest itself in the form of several signs and symptoms. Depression, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, and personality changes are some of the major symptoms of primary hyperparathyroidism. Because parathyroid hormone affects the levels of calcum and vitamin D in the blood, this condition can also cause decreased height, increased urination, kidney stones, and upper abdominal pain due to effects of these vitamins and minerals on the urinary and digestive systems (New York Times Health Guide).
Causes of Primary Hyperparathyroidism
Primary hyperparathyroidism can be caused by benign or malignant tumors on the parathyroid glands, but doctors often do not know the cause of hyperparathyroidism once it is diagnosed (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases).
Diagnosing Primary Hyperparathyroidism
Diagnosing primary hyperparathyroidism involves using a number of laboratory and diagnostic tests to determine if the levels of parathyroid hormone and calcium are normal or abnormal. With primary hyperparathyroidism, the level of calcium in the blood may be increased due to an increased amount of parathyroid hormone circulating throughout the body. The amount of phosphorus in the blood may decrease due to the inverse relationship between parathyroid hormone and phosphorus. An electrocardiogram (ECG) may be abnormal due to the effects of increased parathyroid hormone on the body, and the kidneys or ureters may contain calcifications or blockages due to the increased serum calcium and parathyroid hormone levels (National Library of Medicine).
Treatment for Primary Hyperparathyroidism
There are relatively few options for people who are affected by primary hyperparathyroidism. One option is to wait and see how the condition progresses before taking any action. Because all surgery has risks, doctors may be reluctant to schedule surgery for a mild case of primary hyperparathyroidism. If the condition is advanced, the only other option may be removal of the affected parathyroid gland (Mayo Clinic). In the interim, doctors may advise patients to get more exercise, drink more water, or take specific drugs in order to reduce the effects of an elevated parathyroid hormone level on the body (National Library of Medicine).
“Primary Hyperparathyroidism.” National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health.
“Primary Hyperparathyroidism.” The New York Times Health Guide.
“Hyperparathyroidism.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service.
“Hyperparaythyroidism Treatments and Drugs.” Mayo Clinic.