What Is Parathyroid Disease?


Quick Answer

Parathyroid disease, or hyperparathyroidism, is a disease characterized by an overactive parathyroid gland produces too much of the hormone PHT and pulls too much calcium from the bones, according to Cedars-Sinai. This deficiency in calcium can lead to symptoms of parathyroid disease.

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What Is Parathyroid Disease?
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Full Answer

While hyperparathyroidism sometimes causes no symptoms at all, various symptoms can manifest as a result of the disease. These include foggy thinking, confusion, loss of energy, cramping in the muscles and insomnia. Personality changes, loss of interest in ordinary activities, generalized fatigue and pain in the bones, particularly in the legs, are also common symptoms, notes Cedars-Sinai.

Heartburn, frequent headache, lowered sex drive, irritability, crankiness and thinning hair are also possible. Depression, hypertension and heart palpitations are sometimes noted.

Elevated blood levels of calcium are indicative of hyperparathyroidism. The only treatment for the disease is surgical removal of the diseased part of the parathyroid gland, according to Cedars-Sinai. It is possible to function normally with only half the parathyroid gland. Minimally invasive surgical procedures can be used during this type of surgery and require only an inch-long incision to remove the gland. Traditional surgery on the parathyroid gland requires a much larger incision of 6 to 8 inches, in the lower section of the neck.

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