Fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, joint pain and depression are possible symptoms of hyperparathyroidism, states Cleveland Clinic. Individuals may have trouble concentrating or experience episodes of confusion. Severe cases can trigger nausea, vomiting, increased urination, kidney stones and bone loss, known as osteoporosis.
Other possible symptoms include memory impairment, constipation or frequent urination, and if osteoporosis develops, individuals become more susceptible to bone fractures, according to MedicineNet. Hyperparathyroidism does not always cause symptoms, and the severity of symptoms varies widely from person to person. Since many patients are symptom-free and none of the symptoms are specific to hyperparathyroidism, doctors often detect the disorder during routine blood tests.
Primary hyperparathyroidism develops when one or more parathyroid glands in the neck become enlarged, causing excessive secretion of the parathyroid hormones, or PTH, explains MedicineNet. Secondary hyperparathyroidism originates outside the glands when irregular parathyroid activity is triggered by health conditions such as kidney disease. In both cases, a surge in PTH production upsets the balance of the bodyﾒs phosphorus and calcium stores.
When blood tests reveal calcium and PTH spikes, doctors may recommend other tests, such as a kidney ultrasound or bone density test, to screen for related hyperparathyroidism symptoms, notes Cleveland Clinic. In mild cases, doctors may forgo treatment and periodically monitor blood chemistry, kidneys and bones. In serious cases, doctors may surgically remove overactive parathyroid glands.