Parathyroid Disorders: Understanding Symptoms and Treatment Options

Parathyroid Disorders: Understanding Symptoms and Treatment Options

Parathyroid gland disorders can cause an imbalance in calcium levels in your blood. This may lead to several types of ailments ranging from fatigue and osteoporosis to kidney stones, cardiac issues, and strokes. Hyperthyroidism, a condition caused by parathyroid disorder, is one of the most common hormonal disorders, with nearly 100,000 people in the U.S. developing the primary hyperthyroidism condition each year.

What Are Parathyroid Glands?

The human body has four pea-sized glands named parathyroid glands located in the neck region near the thyroid gland. Though both thyroid and parathyroid glands are part of your endocrine system, they do not perform similar functions. While the thyroid gland controls your body’s metabolism rate, the parathyroid glands regulate the calcium levels in the bloodstream through the release of parathyroid hormones (PTH).

Types of Parathyroid Diseases

Parathyroid disorders occur when the parathyroid glands malfunction due to an injury, illness, or other causes and produce too much or too little PTH, which results in imbalanced calcium levels in the bloodstream. This leads to three types of parathyroid disorders:

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The parathyroid glands secrete excess PTH leading to an abnormal increase in the calcium levels in the blood, far beyond the normal range. When the gland is overactive, calcium from the bones is released into the blood in higher quantities. Excessively high calcium content in the blood may lead to bone and organ damage.


The parathyroid glands produce an insufficient quantity of PTH, resulting in decreased calcium levels and increased phosphorus levels in the blood which may adversely impact the functioning of the muscles and the nerves.

Parathyroid Cancer

In rare instances, the disorder is caused due to a tumor that develops on a parathyroid gland. The tumor enlarges the gland and makes it overactive.

Symptoms of Parathyroid Diseases

The symptoms you experience may depend on the type of parathyroid disease you suffer from. Hyperparathyroidism is the most common condition among parathyroid disorders, and the symptoms you may have include:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Memory issues
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Headaches
  • Body aches and pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Acidity
  • Constipation
  • Frequent urination
  • Hair loss

However, due to lack of treatment, the above-mentioned symptoms can result in more serious health issues such as:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Ulcer
  • Kidney stone
  • Kidney failure
  • Pancreatitis

Causes and Risk Factors of Parathyroid Diseases

The causes of parathyroid diseases consist of several factors:

  • Injury to glands
  • Infections
  • Certain medications
  • Dietary habits
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Genetic condition
  • Kidney disorders
  • Enlarged parathyroid glands
  • Benign tumor
  • Malignant tumor

Hyperthyroidism is usually seen among patients between 40-75 years of age. However, you may be at a higher risk of developing this disorder due to the following factors:


Someone in the family suffers from hyperthyroidism or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes.

Exposure to Radiation

You are a thyroid cancer survivor with a history of radioactive iodine therapy or have suffered radiation exposure from nuclear plant accidents.

See Also: A Comprehensive Guide to Papillary Thyroid Cancer

Parathyroid Disease Treatments

Based on the severity of your condition, your doctor may advise the kind of treatment you need. Treatments for parathyroid diseases range from periodic monitoring, medication, and dietary supplements for mild conditions to surgery for more advanced conditions.

If you have a mild primary parathyroid disease, you may only require regular and proper monitoring of the condition, which may include undergoing bone density tests, physical examinations, blood tests to measure calcium levels, and kidney function tests, along with medications and supplements.

However, when the malfunctioning gland needs to be removed, surgery is the only treatment option. The physician, after evaluating the disease, performs the surgery by:

  • Minimally invasive procedure
  • Standard neck surgery

Post-surgery, you may be prescribed calcium and Vitamin D supplements to maintain normal calcium levels in the blood.

Diagnosis and Evaluation of Parathyroid Diseases

If you are looking for the best parathyroid treatment in Anchorage, AK, the team at Far North Surgery is equipped with the most advanced diagnostic and evaluation tools and techniques to offer you an accurate diagnosis of the type of parathyroid disease you suffer from and the best treatment plan for your specific condition.

At first, our doctors will enquire about your medical history, ask about the symptoms, and then perform a comprehensive physical examination. To confirm their diagnosis, they may ask for blood tests to check the calcium and PTH hormone levels. To evaluate the severity of your condition, they may advise some additional tests such as bone densitometry, an ultrasound scan of the kidneys, and a 25-hydroxy-Vitamin D blood test.

Consult Far North Surgery to Receive Best Treatment Solutions for Parathyroid Disorders

Far North Surgery is a fully licensed and certified general surgery center in Anchorage, AK that offers world-class patient-centric healthcare for a wide range of ailments with special emphasis on surgical oncology and endocrine surgery.

We offer the best-in-class treatments using the most advanced state-of-the-art technology with compassion and dignity. Our expert specialists often collaborate with other specialists to provide you with the best available patient care. The team is led by Dr. Madhu Prasad, one of the finest general surgeons and surgical oncologists with over thirty years of experience. For his immense contribution, he has been conferred with several accolades, including the prestigious Best of Anchorage Awards for Cancer Treatment.

To schedule an appointment with one of the expert specialists at our surgery center, contact us today

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