Definition of Hyperparathyroidism
Hyperparathyroidism is excessive production of parathyroid hormone (PTH) by the parathyroid glands.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The parathyroid glands are located in the neck, near or attached to the back side of the thyroid gland. They produce parathyroid hormone, which controls calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D levels within the blood and bone.
Signs and tests
Blood tests will be done to check for increased levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcium, and alkaline phosphatase, and lower levels of phosphorus. A 24-hour urine collection test can help determine how much calcium is being removed from the body.
Treatment depends upon the severity and cause of the condition. If you have mildly increased calcium levels due to primary hyperparathyroidism and no symptoms, you may just need regular check ups with your doctor.
The outlook depends on the specific type of hyperparathyroidism.
Ari S. Eckman, MD, Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Elizabeth, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/31/2010