by Krisha McCoy, MS
Hyperparathyroidism is when the body makes too much parathyroid hormone (PTH). The parathyroid glands make PTH which help to keep calcium levels in balance. When PTH levels are too high it causes too much calcium in the blood.
Hyperparathyroidism may be:
Primary hyperparathyroidism may be caused by:
Secondary hyperparathyroidism may be caused by:
Enlargement of the parathyroid gland is the main risk factor for tertiary hyperparathyroidism.
Risk Factors TOP
Hyperparathyroidism is more common in women, especially after menopause. It is also more common in people older than 50 years of age. Other factors that may increase your chance of hyperparathyroidism include:
The level of calcium in the blood will determine the symptoms. Symptoms occasionally seen with primary hyperparathyroidism include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with:
Other tests may be done to look for other problems hyperparathyroid may cause:
Treatment will be based on the type of hyperparathyroidism. Options may include the following:
Monitoring of Blood Calcium Levels
Your doctor may choose to regularly check your blood calcium levels and monitor you for possible complications. This may include regular bone density tests every 1-2 years.
Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake may play a role in preventing hyperparathyroidism in women. Try to get recommended levels of calcium through dietary choices and supplements.
American Association of Endocrine Surgeons
Hormone Health Network—Endocrine Society
Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Hyperparathyroidism: Treatment. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at:
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Updated March 2014. Accessed February 17, 2016.
Hyperparathyroidism. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113972/Hyperparathyroidism. Updated December 10, 2015. Accessed February 17, 2016.
Silverberg SJ, Bilezikian JP. The diagnosis and management of asymptomatic primary hyperparathyroidism. Nat Clin Pract Endocrinol Metab. 2006;2(9):494-503.
Taniegra E. Hyperparathyroidism. Am Fam Physician. 2004;69(2):333.
11/26/2012 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113972/Hyperparathyroidism: Paik J, Curhan G, Taylor EN. Calcium intake and risk of primary hyperparathyroidism in women: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2012;345:e6390.
Last reviewed April 2017 by Michael Woods, MD FAAP
Last Updated: 2/17/2016
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