Hyperparathyroidism is excess parathyroid hormone circulating in the blood. The excess amounts increase blood levels of calcium (hypercalcemia) and decrease blood levels of phosphorous (hypophosphatemia). Body parts involved include the parathyroid glands in the neck, as well as the teeth and the blood, which affects all body tissues -- especially the heart, blood vessels, bones, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, central nervous system, and skin. Hyperparathyroidism is more common in adults than children.
Appropriate health care includes:
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
Surgery to remove parathyroid tumors, if they are present.
Self-care after treatment or surgery.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSSevere flank pain caused by kidney stones.
Chronic low-back pain caused by bone softening.
Easy bone fractures caused by decreased calcium in the bones.
Upper abdominal pain caused by a peptic ulcer or pancreatitis.
Benign tumors of the parathyroid glands, which are located next to the thyroid gland in the neck.
RISK FACTORSRecent illness, especially endocrine disorders.
Medical history of rickets or vitamin D deficiency.
Use of laxatives.
Use of digitalis.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCENo specific preventive measures.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory studies of blood and urine.
X-rays of bones.
Special studies that may include ultrasonography, CAT or CT scan, MRI, and radionuclide scan (See Glossary for all).
Hypoparathyroidism caused by removal of too much parathyroid tissue during surgery.
Hypothyroidism if the thyroid gland is injured inadvertently during surgery on the parathyroid glands.
Curable with surgery.
HOME CARETo prevent fractures:
Encourage your child to use a walker or cane until blood studies return to normal. This may take up to 6 months.
Install safety rails near the tub, shower, and toilet.
Tape rugs down around the edges.
Keep the house--especially stairs--brightly lit to avoid stumbling.
MEDICATIONYour doctor may prescribe:
-- Diuretics to force sodium and calcium excretion.
-- Vitamin D.
Don't give your child antacids that contain calcium.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
DIET & FLUIDSEncourage your child to limit calcium-containing foods, such as milk and cheese.
Urge your child to avoid highly seasoned or spicy foods, especially if there is an ulcer present.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When appetite has returned and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of hyperparathyroidism.
The following occurs during treatment:
-- Muscle cramps, numbness, or weakness.
-- Breathing difficulty.
-- Persistent heartburn or pain in the upper abdomen.
-- Drastic mood or behavior changes.