Hypoparathyroidism – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Saturday, April 28, 2018 by

Hypoparathyroidism is a condition where the body is unable to produce enough parathyroid hormone (PTH).

PTH helps control the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the bones and blood.

Low levels of PTH can result in low levels of calcium and high levels of phosphorus in the blood. This imbalance may eventually cause health problems in the bones, muscles, nerve endings, and skin.

Hypoparathyroidism is often caused by injury to the parathyroid glands, for example during head and neck surgery. The parathyroid glands are small endocrine glands that can be found in the neck behind the thyroid gland

Sometimes, individuals are born with hypoparathyroidism. In other cases, the condition may be linked to an autoimmune disease that affects the parathyroids and other glands in the body (e.g. the adrenal glands, ovaries, or the thyroid).

Hypoparathyroidism is a very rare condition. Take note that it is different from hyperparathyroidism, a more common condition where the body produces too much PTH.

Known side effects of hypoparathyroidism

The side effects of hypoparathyroidism usually include:

  • Brittle nails, dry hair, and dry, coarse skin
  • Cataracts on the eyes
  • Headaches
  • Malformations of the teeth (e.g. misshapen roots of the teeth or weakened tooth enamel)
  • Memory loss
  • Muscle cramps and pain in the face, feet, hands, and legs
  • Severe muscle spasms/tetany and convulsions
  • Tingling in the fingers, lips, and toes

Risk factors for hypoparathyroidism may include:

  • A family history of hypoparathyroidism
  • Having certain autoimmune or endocrine conditions (e.g. Addison’s disease that makes the adrenal glands produce too little of its hormones)
  • Recent neck surgery, especially involving the thyroid

Body systems harmed by hypoparathyroidism

Hypoparathyroidism may cause reversible and irreversible complications.

Reversible complications may include:

  • A heart arrhythmia/irregular heartbeat
  • Malformed teeth
  • Paresthesias — Tingling sensations in the fingers, feet, lips, and tongue.
  • Tetany — Prolonged spasms (similar to cramps) in the hands and fingers.

If hypoparathyroidism is not immediately diagnosed, it may cause irreversible complications like:

  • Calcium deposits in the brain
  • Cataracts — The clouding of the lens of the eye.
  • Slow mental development in children
  • Stunted growth in children

Food items or nutrients that may prevent hypoparathyroidism

The following foods or nutrients can help prevent hypoparathyroidism:

  • Calcium — Upping calcium levels in the blood is the main treatment for this condition. Consult a healthcare professional before taking a calcium supplement. Food sources of calcium include almonds, beans, dairy, dark leafy greens, fortified juices and cereals, oats, and sardines. Milk, one of the best sources of calcium, also contains a lot of phosphorus, so take note of your milk consumption.
  • Vitamin D — Vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption. Talk to a healthcare professional before you take vitamin D supplements. Sun exposure is a good source of vitamin D, and food sources include fortified dairy products, fatty fish, and fortified cereals.

Treatments, management plans for hypoparathyroidism

Treatment for hypoparathyroidism aims to relieve symptoms and normalize levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body.

Treatment may include:

  • Oral calcium carbonate tablets — These supplements can help increase calcium levels in the blood. Keep in mind that high doses of calcium supplements may cause gastrointestinal side effects (e.g. constipation) for some patients.
  • Parathyroid hormone (Natpara) — This is a once-daily injection for treatment of low blood calcium caused by hyperparathyroidism. However, because the injection is linked to a potential risk of bone cancer/osteosarcoma in animal studies, the drug is only accessible via a restricted program for people who understand the risks and have calcium levels that can’t be controlled with calcium and vitamin D supplements.
  • Vitamin D — Calcitriol, which contains high doses of vitamin D, is often prescribed to patients because it can help the body absorb calcium and get rid phosphorus.

Where to learn more

Summary

Hypoparathyroidism is a condition where the body is unable to produce enough parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH helps control the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the bones and blood. Low levels of PTH can result in low levels of calcium and high levels of phosphorus in the blood. This imbalance may eventually cause health problems in the bones, muscles, nerve endings, and skin.

The side effects of hypoparathyroidism usually include brittle nails, dry hair, and dry, coarse skin; cataracts on the eyes; headaches; malformations of the teeth; and memory loss.

Risk factors for hypoparathyroidism may include a family history of hypoparathyroidism, having certain autoimmune or endocrine conditions, and recent neck surgery (especially involving the thyroid).

Hypoparathyroidism may cause reversible and irreversible complications. Reversible complications may include a heart arrhythmia/irregular heartbeat, malformed teeth, paresthesias, and tetany. If hypoparathyroidism is not immediately diagnosed, it may cause irreversible complications like calcium deposits in the brain, cataracts, slow mental development in children, and stunted growth in children.

Calcium and vitamin D can help prevent hypoparathyroidism.

Treatment for hypoparathyroidism aims to relieve symptoms and normalize levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body.

Treatment may include oral calcium carbonate tablets, parathyroid hormone (Natpara), or vitamin D (Calcitriol).

Sources include

MedicineNet.com

Drugs.com

Healthline.com

Livestrong.com



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