Your parathyroid glands produce parathyroid hormone (PTH). Primary hyperparathyroidism is a condition in which one or more of the parathyroid glands makes too much PTH. This can lead to the loss of bone tissue. This condition is more common in women than in men.
A job of PTH is to keep blood calcium levels from going too low. It does this by releasing calcium from bones. The hormone also conserves calcium that would be given off by the kidneys. It also increases how much calcium is absorbed from food. When the hormone overacts, there is a rise in the blood calcium level. Too much PTH causes too much calcium to be released from bone.
When there is a benign tumor in a parathyroid gland, it is called a parathyroid adenoma. When more than one gland becomes enlarged, it is called parathyroid hyperplasia. Both of these conditions are noncancerous (benign).
In some cases, no cause can be found. Some known causes include noncancerous (benign) tumors on the parathyroid glands, or enlargement of the glands.
These are the most common symptoms of primary hyperparathyroidism. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms of too much calcium in the blood may include:
Other serious symptoms may include:
The symptoms of primary hyperparathyroidism may look like other medical problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
The condition may not have any symptoms or complications. Sometimes this problem is found during a routine blood test as part of a physical exam.
To diagnose primary hyperparathyroidism, you may have a dual X-ray absorptiometry. This test is also called bone densitometry. It is done to determine bone density and to reveal loss of bone tissue. It is also used to help your healthcare provider to keep an eye on the condition.
Specific treatment for primary hyperparathyroidism will be decided by your healthcare provider based on:
Surgery to remove the affected gland may be needed. Treatment may include regular bone densitometry testing to reveal loss of bone tissue. Testing can also help decide if surgery may be needed.
Primary hyperparathyroidism is a condition in which one or more of the parathyroid glands makes too much hormone. This can lead to the loss of bone tissue.
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