Hyperparathyroidism Treatment in Newton, MA
Located in your neck, the parathyroid glands produce parathyroid hormone (PTH), a hormone which helps stabilize the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the bloodstream. This is accomplished by the parathyroid glands turning the secretion of parathyroid hormone on and off as needed, much like a thermostat controlling a heating system to maintain a constant temperature.
When there is too much parathyroid hormone in the bloodstream, due to one of the four parathyroid glands being overactive, a condition known as hyperparathyroidism is at play. There are two hyperparathyroidism types:
- Primary hyperparathyroidism, in which an enlargement of one or more of the parathyroid glands causes an overproduction of the hormone, leading to high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia) and a wide range of associated health problems.
- Secondary hyperparathyroidism, in which an underlying disease initially causes the low levels of calcium in the body, and increased parathyroid levels occur gradually over time.
Whichever type of hyperparathyroidism ails you, it is important to meet with a healthcare provider in Newton that specializes in hyperparathyroidism treatment and can return optimal function to your parathyroid. Call (617) 934-8437 or contact Ms. Nada Milosavljevic online.
Functional parathyroid glands balance the levels of calcium in your blood as circumstances present themselves: When calcium levels drop, the parathyroid glands secrete more parathyroid hormone to offset the drop and restore balance; when blood-calcium levels are too high, the parathyroid glands secrete less parathyroid hormone as needed. Through this process, parathyroid hormones stimulate calcium to be released from your bones in order to increase the calcium absorbed from your small intestine. In some cases, though, the parathyroid glands cause too much calcium to be released from your bones. This may be caused by different reasons depending on what type of hyperparathyroidism you suffer:
When primary hyperparathyroidism is to blame, it’s caused due to a problem with one or more of the four parathyroid glands:
- Most commonly, a noncancerous growth (adenoma) on a gland
- Enlargement (hyperplasia) of two or more of the parathyroid glands
- Rarely, a cancerous (malignant) tumor
When secondary hyperparathyroidism is to blame, it's due to an underlying condition, which lowers calcium levels, being at play:
- Severe calcium deficiency, when your body does not get enough calcium from your diet (often because your digestive system doesn't absorb calcium from it)
- Severe vitamin D deficiency, when your body's lack of vitamin D (a crucial vitamin involved in maintaining appropriate levels of calcium in the blood as well as helping your digestive system absorb calcium from your food), contributes to your body’s drop in calcium levels
- Chronic kidney failure, when your body's inability to properly convert vitamin D (a primary function of your kidneys upon your body depends) leads to a decline in calcium levels
Because your body depends on appropriate levels of calcium to function properly, complications of too little calcium in your bones and too much calcium circulating your bloodstream may arise, including:
- Kidney stones
- Cardiovascular disease
- Neonatal hyperparathyroidism
Hyperparathyroidism is often diagnosed before symptoms present, but when they do appear, symptoms include:
- Fragile bones that break easily (osteoporosis), as well as bone and joint pain
- Kidney stones
- Excessive urination
- Abdominal pain
- Tiring easily or weakness
- Unexplained feeling of illness
- Nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite
To make a hyperparathyroidism diagnosis, your healthcare provider will likely recommend a blood test to view elevations of calcium in your blood. Your healthcare provider will note elevated levels of parathyroid hormone, which would indicate that hyperparathyroidism is the cause. Additional tests may be recommended to rule out secondary causes, identify possible complications and judge the severity of the condition. These could include:
- A bone mineral density test (bone densitometry) to measure how many grams of calcium and bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone
- Urine tests to determine how well your kidneys function and how much calcium is excreted in your urine
- Imaging tests of your kidneys to determine if kidney stones or other kidney abnormalities are present
Depending on the severity of your hyperparathyroidism, treatment will vary. If you suffer from mild hyperparathyroidism, your healthcare provider may not recommend any treatment and, instead, your blood calcium levels, kidney function and bone density will be monitored and tested routinely.
If you suffer from hyperparathyroidism which is interfering with your overall health, surgery will likely be recommended to remove the parathyroid gland(s) which has an enlargement or tumor (adenoma). Surgery may be performed as an outpatient procedure, allowing you to return home the same day, in which your healthcare provider makes small incisions in the neck and you receive only local anesthetic.
There are also medications to treat hyperparathyroidism, or to address the calcium loss, including:
- Hormone replacement therapy
Hyperparathyroidism can lead to a number of complications if left untreated. Seek hyperparathyroidism treatment to ensure your parathyroid function is preserved. Call (617) 934-8437 or contact Ms. Nada Milosavljevic online.
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