Q:

What are the signs and symptoms of parathyroid disease?

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Quick Answer

Typical symptoms of parathyroid disease include burning in the fingertips, painful menstruation, muscle aches, excessive urination and joint pain, according to Mayo Clinic. This condition occurs either as hyperparathyroidism or hypoparathyroidism, and the specific symptoms depend on the particular disease.

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Full Answer

The parathyroid glands secrete parathyroid hormone, which is responsible for maintaining calcium levels in the bloodstream. The parathyroid glands may enlarge, leading to overproduction of parathyroid hormone, or hyperparathyroidism, causing abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood. A condition that can cause low levels of calcium in the body can also cause an increase in parathyroid hormone levels. Symptoms include kidney stones, depression, excessive urination, abdominal pain and fragile bones that easily fracture. Hyperparathyroidism is common in women who have gone through menopause, and risk factors include vitamin D deficiency and taking lithium, explains Mayo Clinic.

Hypoparathyroidism occurs when the parathyroid glands produce abnormally low levels of parathyroid hormone. This action causes a decrease in ionized calcium levels in the blood and bones. This condition occurs from an autoimmune disease, low levels of magnesium in the blood and the removal of the parathyroid glands during surgery. Symptoms include depression, fatigue, muscle aches, memory problems and painful menstruation. Patients should seek medical attention immediately if they experience difficulty breathing or a seizure, notes Mayo Clinic.

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