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What is hypoparathyroidism?
Hypoparathyroidism occurs when 1 or more of your parathyroid glands are underactive. You have 4 of these tiny glands. Each one is about the size of a grain of rice. They are found in your neck, next to the thyroid gland. They keep the amount of calcium in your blood in a normal range. They also keep the levels of magnesium and phosphorus normal. If these glands are underactive, they do not make enough parathyroid hormone (PTH). This lowers the level of calcium in your blood.
What causes hypoparathyroidism?
The most common cause is injury to or removal of all 4 parathyroid glands. That can accidentally happen during surgery to remove the thyroid. Some people are born without these glands. Or the glands do not work as well for unknown reasons.
What are symptoms of hypoparathyroidism?
Symptoms are different for each person. These are the most common ones:
- Uncontrollable, painful spasms of your face, hands, arms, and feet
- A burning or prickling feeling (pins and needles) in your hands and feet, and around your mouth
These symptoms may look like other health problems. Always see yourhealthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How is hypoparathyroidism diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will ask about your past health. You will also need a physical exam. Blood tests can also measure your calcium andparathyroid hormone levels. You may need other tests.
How is hypoparathyroidism treated?
Your health care provider will figure out the best treatment for you based on:
- How old you are
- Your overall health and past health
- How sick you are
- How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
- How long the condition is expected to last
- Your opinion or preference
An IV (intravenous) infusion of calcium may be able to ease your symptoms right away. You may also need to take calcium and vitamin D pills every day.
When should I call my healthcare provider?
Tell your healthcare provider if your symptoms get worse. Also call your provider if you have new symptoms.
Key points about hypoparathyroidism
- Hypoparathyroidism happens when 1 or more of your parathyroid glands are not active enough. They don’t make enough parathyroid hormone. This lowers the level of calcium in your blood.
- The most common cause is injury to or removal of all 4 parathyroid glands. That can accidentally happen during surgery to remove the thyroid.
- Symptoms may include painful spasms of your face, hands, arms, and feet. They may also include a burning or prickling feeling in your hands and feet, and around your mouth.
- Blood tests can spot low levels of calcium andparathyroid hormones.
- An IV (intravenous) infusion of calcium may be able to ease your symptoms right away. You may also need to take calcium and vitamin D pills every day.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
- Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
- Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
- Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
- At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
- Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
- Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
- Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
- Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
- If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
- Know how you can contact your provider if you have questions.
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What is hypoparathyroidism answers? ›
Hypoparathyroidism is a rare, complex condition caused by missing, damaged, or dysfunctional parathyroid glands. When parathyroid glands don't function properly, the body can't make enough parathyroid hormone (PTH) to help regulate the amounts of calcium and phosphorus in the body.What is the life expectancy of someone with hypoparathyroidism? ›
It is not a life-limiting condition (i.e. it won't affect your life expectancy) and in many cases people maintain a normal life and routine.Can you live a normal life with hypoparathyroidism? ›
People with hypoparathyroidism often experience hypocalcemia (low calcium levels), hyperphosphatemia (high phosphorus levels), and/or hypomagnesemia (low magnesium levels). Living with hypoparathyroidism can be challenging. It can affect your work life, personal life, confidence, and self-image.What are the 4 clinical manifestations of hypoparathyroidism? ›
- a tingling sensation (paraesthesia) in your fingertips, toes and lips.
- twitching facial muscles.
- muscle pains or cramps, particularly in your legs, feet or tummy.
- mood changes, such as feeling irritable, anxious or depressed.
- dry, rough skin.
- Oral calcium. Oral calcium supplements — as tablets, chews or liquid — can increase calcium levels in your blood. ...
- Vitamin D. ...
- Magnesium. ...
- Thiazide diuretics. ...
- Parathyroid hormone replacement.
The most common cause of hypoparathyroidism is injury to the parathyroid glands during thyroid or neck surgery. It may also be caused by any of the following: Autoimmune attack on the parathyroid glands (common) Very low magnesium level in the blood (reversible)How serious is hypoparathyroidism? ›
Hardening and changes in the shape of bones, and poor growth. Delayed mental development in children. Calcium deposits in the brain, which can cause balance problems, movement disorders and seizures. Clouded vision due to cataracts.
Do I have a disability? Hypoparathyroidism is a long term condition with both physical and mental effects. Some people have few symptoms and may not experience many difficulties. Others may have severe and unpredictable long term symptoms which may be considered a disability.Can hypoparathyroidism go away? ›
Congenital hypoparathyroidism that occurs during the first few months of life may be temporary (transient) or permanent. In some patients, the cause of hypoparathyroidism is unknown (idiopathic). In some of these cases, hypoparathyroidism may resolve (spontaneously), but most do not resolve and usually need treatment.How do you describe hypoparathyroidism? ›
Hypoparathyroidism is an uncommon condition in which the body produces abnormally low levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH is key to regulating and maintaining a balance of two minerals in the body — calcium and phosphorus.
What is hypo parathyroid disease? ›
Hypoparathyroidism happens when 1 or more of your parathyroid glands are not active enough. They don't make enough parathyroid hormone. This lowers the level of calcium in your blood. The most common cause is injury to or removal of all 4 parathyroid glands.What hyperparathyroidism means? ›
Listen to pronunciation. (HY-per-PAYR-uh-THY-roy-dih-zum) A condition in which the parathyroid gland (one of four pea-sized organs found on the thyroid) makes too much parathyroid hormone. This causes a loss of calcium from the bones and an increased level of calcium in the blood.What causes hyperparathyroidism? ›
Primary hyperparathyroidism occurs because of a problem with one or more of the four parathyroid glands: A noncancerous growth (adenoma) on a gland is the most common cause. Enlargement (hyperplasia) of two or more parathyroid glands accounts for most other cases.