Hyperparathyroidism

Hyperparathyroidism is a condition characterized by overproduction of PTH, which invariably leads to an elevation in blood calcium levels by releasing calcium from bone and increasing retention of calcium by the kidneys and intestines. The diagnosis is often made when routine blood testing demonstrates an elevated blood calcium level. In other cases, the patient may present with symptoms which leads the astute clinician to evaluate the patient for a parathyroid disorder. Twenty-four hour urine collections for calcium and bone density studies may also play a role in the diagnosis.

Primary Hyperparathyroidism

Primary hyperparathyroidism is characterized by overproduction of PTH, which invariably leads to an elevation in blood calcium levels by releasing calcium from bone and increasing retention of calcium by the kidneys and intestines. The diagnosis is often made when routine blood testing demonstrates an elevated blood calcium level. In other cases, the patient may present with symptoms which leads the astute clinician to evaluate the patient for a parathyroid disorder. Twenty-four hour urine collections for calcium and bone density studies may also play a role in the diagnosis.

Secondary Hyperparathyroidism

Secondary hyperparathyroidism is a condition where all the parathyroid glands becoming enlarged and overactive due to another (primary) disease or factor, such as kidney failure or vitamin D deficiency. Low calcium levels in the bloodstream and other factors, such as elevated phosphorus levels can, give rise to overactive parathyroid glands. Kidney failure is the most common cause of secondary hyperparathyroidism and most patients are on dialysis for some time before they are considered candidates parathyroid surgery. Other les common causes include aluminum poisoning, malnutrition, rickets and conditions that make it difficult for the body to break down vitamin D or phosphate.

Hyperparathyroidism Symptoms

Common hyperparathyroidism symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Joint pain
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Trouble with concentration and/or memory loss
  • Depression

Medical conditions that may be caused by overactive parathyroid glands include:

  • Kidney stones
  • Osteopenia and osteoporosis
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Pancreatitis or ulcers
  • Hypertension
  • Blood in the urine
  • Glucose intolerance and diabetes

Treatment options may include minimally invasive parathyroidectomy under local anesthesia.


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Tel: 212-824-2350
Fax: 212-202-4713

Metabolic Endocrine and
Minimally Invasive Surgery

1470 Madison Ave at 101st Street
3rd Floor (Mail Box 1259)
New York, NY 10029

17 East 102nd Street
(between Fifth Ave & Madison Ave)
5th Floor (Mail Box 1259)
New York, NY 10029