The parathyroid glands can be found in the neck, right above where the thyroid gland is located. Producing parathyroid hormone (PTH) is the main job of these glands. The hormone regulates the calcium levels in the blood. The secretion of abnormal levels of parathyroid hormone results in parathyroid disease. Continue reading this blog to learn more about the disease. The blog answers important queries regarding the disease. Let’s explore what causes parathyroid disease and find out how the parathyroid disease is diagnosed.
Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is the hormone that is produced by the parathyroid glands. It is involved in regulating the movement of calcium from the blood into the bones. The parathyroid glands are susceptible to three distinct conditions. These conditions include hyperparathyroidism, hypoparathyroidism, and parathyroid cancer.
Hyperparathyroidism is the most prevalent parathyroid disease that affects the parathyroid glands. This disease occurs when the parathyroid glands produce excessive PTH, causing elevated blood calcium levels. Conversely, insufficient levels of parathyroid hormone secretion can result in hypoparathyroidism and low blood calcium levels. When the parathyroid gland is overactive, excessive calcium is extracted from the bones.
Calcium is essential for healthy bones. It is necessary for muscle contraction. When bones do not receive enough calcium, osteoporosis, a serious disease, can develop (brittle bone disease). Too much calcium in the blood increases the risk of stroke and can make people feel ill.
Parathyroid Disease Symptoms
An individual may experience different symptoms depending on their disease type. Most people with hyperparathyroidism exhibit the following symptoms:
- Bone pain
- Body aches
- Chronic fatigue
- Memory issues
- Poor concentration
If the parathyroid disease is left untreated, more severe symptoms occur. These parathyroid disease symptoms include:
- Kidney stones
- Kidney failure
- Cardiac arrhythmias
What Causes Parathyroid Disease
The most common cause of parathyroid disease is an adenoma, a benign gland growth. Most other cases are caused by hyperplasia, which is the enlargement of two or more parathyroid glands.
Hyperparathyroidism typically affects adults between the ages of 40 and 75; however, it can occur at any age. People are, on average, 59 years old when diagnosed.
Other factors that may increase the risk of disease include:
Heredity: If your family has a history of hyperparathyroidism, you are more likely to get the disease.
Multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes: MEN1, MEN2a, and MEN2b can cause pancreatic, parathyroid, and pituitary glands to develop tumors. This disorder is also known as Wermer’s syndrome. The condition is inherited, i.e., it runs in the family.
Iodine therapy: The history of radioactive iodine therapy used to treat thyroid cancer also increases the risk.
Radiation: Exposure to radiation by nuclear power plant accidents or other factors also increases the risk of the disease.
How is Parathyroid Disease Diagnosed?
Evaluating parathyroid disease begins by reviewing the patient’s medical history and current state of health. Blood testing and other laboratory tests help determine the type of hyperparathyroidism. If laboratory testing indicates a problem with the parathyroid glands, imaging scans may be performed.
Doctors typically measure the calcium and parathyroid hormone levels in a patient’s blood to diagnose parathyroid illness. After diagnosing, the physician recommends additional testing to rule out other potential causes. In addition, this will help determine the severity of the illness. The evaluation includes:
- Bone densitometry
- An ultrasound of the kidneys
- A blood test for 25-hydroxyvitamin D
Monitoring, medication, dietary supplements, or surgery could be used to treat the state of the parathyroid gland. The most likely treatment for the illness is surgery, which is also the most effective. It is treated by removing the parathyroid glands responsible for producing excessive amounts of parathyroid hormone. It can be accomplished in a less invasive manner or by performing a normal neck examination.
There is a possibility that some individuals will sustain nerve damage to the nerves that control their vocal cords, despite the minimal likelihood of complications following this surgery. The damage may make it difficult for them to communicate. Patients need vitamin D and calcium supplements after surgery to maintain normal blood calcium levels.
Calcium is administered intravenously to patients with critically low calcium levels or persistent muscle spasms.
Vitamin D pills are sometimes administered to those with primary hyperparathyroidism.
Too much vitamin D and calcium can lead to hypercalcemia, often known as excessive calcium in the urine. Moreover, this can sometimes result in impaired renal function or even kidney failure.
In contrast, you may not require therapy if you have a mild primary parathyroid disease. You require monitoring that typically includes bone density measurements, physical examinations, blood tests to determine calcium levels, and kidney function tests.
Medications are also helpful in less severe cases. Calcimimetics are medications that inhibit the parathyroid glands’ production of parathyroid hormone.
Parathyroid disease occurs when the parathyroid gland is overactive, resulting in excessive bone calcium extraction. It is a potentially lethal condition that worsens over time. It can cause damage to the kidneys, brain, and bones. The illness can develop into severe complications such as osteoporosis, kidney stones, and renal failure; however, early treatment can mitigate the severity of these complications.