Hyperparathyroidism is a condition in which one or more of the four parathyroid glands secrete an excessive amount of parathyroid hormone (PTH). The parathyroid glands use PTH production to regulate and maintain calcium levels in the body. When the parathyroid glands produce too much PTH, calcium levels can become elevated, causing symptoms like bone and joint pain, excessive urination, depression, and fatigue. If left untreated, hyperparathyroidism can cause osteoporosis and kidney stones, as high PTH levels cause an excessive release of calcium from bones.
There are two types of hyperparathyroidism: primary and secondary.
Primary hyperparathyroidism occurs when one or more of the parathyroid glands become abnormal and cause an elevated production of PTH. As a result, blood calcium levels rise. In the order of most to least common, the following abnormalities of the parathyroid glands can cause PTH production to rise:
- Adenomas – Benign tumors that grow on one or more parathyroid glands
- Hyperplasia – All four parathyroid glands are enlarged or overactive
- Cancer – A malignant tumor that grows from a parathyroid gland
Secondary hyperparathyroidism occurs when low calcium levels cause the parathyroid glands to overwork and produce too much PTH. The following may cause low calcium levels:
- Insufficient calcium intake through diet
- A severe deficiency in Vitamin D, which helps regulate blood calcium levels and absorb calcium from diet
- Chronic kidney failure, which may cause a deficiency in usable Vitamin D and a subsequent calcium deficiency
Our TGH Parathyroid & Thyroid Institute surgeons have performed over 35,000 parathyroid gland examinations combined and perform minimally invasive procedures to treat parathyroid disorders. Tampa General Hospital is also recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation's best hospitals and highest ranked in Florida for Ear, Nose & Throat.
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