Causes of a high parathyroid level include certain medications and hyperparathyroidism, according to LabTestsOnline. If a patient has high parathyroid levels but low blood calcium levels, he is suffering from hypocalcemia. Hyperparathyroidism is usually caused by a benign parathyroid tumor and, in some cases, cancer.
Patients with hyperparathyroidism also have hypercalcemia, notes Cleveland Clinic. The condition can either be primary or secondary, with each type having different causes. Doctors do not know what causes primary hyperparathyroidism, but a benign tumor is responsible for most cases of the condition. Secondary hyperparathyroidism, on the other hand, is typically caused by another condition, such as kidney failure.
Some patients with hyperparathyroidism do not experience any symptoms, while others have joint pain, appetite loss, depression and muscle weakness, explains Cleveland Clinic. Patients who suffer from severe hyperparathyroidism experience vomiting, confusion and nausea, as well as kidney stones and thinning bones. Doctors often do not treat patients who have mild hyperparathyroidism, and instead monitor their calcium levels and blood pressure every six months, in addition to performing other tests. In severe cases, doctors recommend surgery and medications to alleviate symptoms and potentially cure the condition.
Hypocalcemia is a calcium-deficiency disease, which is often caused by malnutrition and malabsorption, according to Healthline. Patients with early-stage hypocalcemia often do not have any symptoms, but as the disease progresses, symptoms include muscle spasms, depression and memory loss. Doctors typically prescribe calcium supplements and give calcium injections to treat hypocalcemia.