Primary HyperParaThyroidism

February 6, 2014 Leave your thoughts

Primary HyperParaThyroidism is the result of one of the 4 Parathyroid glands going completely out of control.  It grows in size and puts out increasing amounts of Parathyroid hormone.  This steals calcium from bone and raises calcium levels in the blood.  This tumor is called an Adenoma.  The good news is that it is NOT a cancer.  The bad news is that it can and will destroy your bones.

Primary Hyperparathyroidism and Tertiary Hyperparathyroidism both have high PTH and high Calcium levels.  The treatments are very different; so it is necessary to tell them apart.  This is done by Parathyroid Scan.

Parathyroid scan involves injection of a marker, immediate scan and a 3 hour delayed scan.  If a Parathyroid Adenoma is confirmed on the delayed scan, surgery should be considered to remove the tumor and save the bones.  The surgery is done through a very small incision in the neck, removing the adenoma just under the skin.  The surgery can be tricky, so we refer to the thyroid/parathyroid surgeons at University of Iowa.

Once the rogue parathyroid gland has been removed, the remaining 3 get back to work.  Sometimes this takes a few days and a person needs calcium by IV until the body regains proper control.  Regaining all the calcium that has been stolen from the bones  takes years and is rarely a complete recovery.

Primary Hyperparathyroidism and Tertiary Hyperparathyroidism both have high Calcium as well as high PTH.  Primary Hyperparathyroidism is treated by surgery and Tertiary Hyperparathyroidism is treated by careful calcium supplementation.  Neither should be treated by calcium restriction if you have any respect for your bones.

Get a Complete Bone Health Evaluation.  Know what you are dealing with.  Take Control of your bone health.

Jay Ginther, MD

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