Hyperparathyroidism is when the body makes too much parathyroid hormone (PTH). The parathyroid glands make PTH which help to keep calcium levels in balance.
Hyperparathyroidism may be:
Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands: Posterior (Back) View
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Primary hyperparathyroidism may be caused by:
Secondary hyperparathyroidism may be caused by:
Enlargement of the parathyroid gland is the main risk factor for tertiary hyperparathyroidism.
Hyperparathyroidism is more common in women, especially after menopause. Other factors that may increase your chance of developing hyperparathyroidism include:
The level of calcium in the blood will determine the symptoms. Symptoms commonly seen with primary hyperparathyroidism include:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
To measure calcium levels your doctor may ask for:
Images of the parathyroid gland may be taken with:
Other tests may be done to look for other problems hyperparathyroid may cause:
Treatment will be based on the type of hyperparathyroidism. Options may include the following:
Your doctor may simply choose to regularly check your blood calcium levels and monitor you for possible complications. This may include regular bone density tests every 1-2 years.
Adequate calcium intake may play a role in preventing hyperparathyroidism in women. Try to get recommended levels of calcium through dietary choices and supplements.
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
The Hormone Foundation
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders
Canada Health Portal
Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Hyperparathyroidism. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydocto... . Updated November 2010. Accessed June 17, 2013.
Hyperparathyroidism. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated December 24, 2012. Accessed June 17, 2013.
Silverberg SJ, Bilezikian JP. The diagnosis and management of asymptomatic primary hyperparathyroidism. Nat Clin Pract Endocrinol Metab . 2006;2:494-503.
Taniegra E. Hyperparathyroidism. Am Fam Physician . 2004 Jan 15;69(2):333.
11/26/2012 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ : Paik J, Curhan G, Taylor E. Calcium intake and risk of primary hyperparathyroidism in women: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2012;345:e6390
Last reviewed June 2013 by Kim Carmichael, MD
Last Updated: 6/3/2013