Hyperparathyroidism occurs when 1 or more of your parathyroid glands are overactive. 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. If these glands are overactive, they make too much parathyroid hormone (PTH). That raises the level of calcium in your blood.
PTH causes calcium to be released from your bones. This loss of calcium from the bones can lead to osteoporosis, osteopenia, and bone fracture. When the blood with this high calcium goes through the kidneys, the calcium may be filtered into the urine. That can lead to kidney stones.
These things may make it more likely for you to have hyperparathyroidism:
Each person may have symptoms in a different way. But these are the most common symptoms and signs:
These symptoms may look like other health problems. Always see your health care provider for a diagnosis.
Your health care provider will figure out the best treatment for you based on:
You may not need treatment if you have a mild case. But your health care provider will watch your condition to make sure it doesn’t get worse. In worse cases, the parathyroid gland may need to be removed. Before surgery, you may have an imaging test to find out which gland is abnormal. You may have an ultrasound of the neck. Knowing which gland is abnormal will shorten the operation.