Hyperparathyroidism and osteoporosis
Known as parathyroidism as well as hyperparathyroidism, this is a disease that experts explain:
“…is a simple benign disease that will slowly destroy your body and take away the ‘joy of life’ …the good news is that hyperparathyroidism is typically very routine to cure!”
Unfortunately, one of the things it will often do until it is cured is to cause the individual to suffer from osteoporosis. Luckily, this is also something that can somewhat reversed. The key is to discover the hyperparathyroidism as soon as possible and to begin addressing the symptoms it has caused – especially the osteoporosis.
How Does it Happen?
A lot of people are curious how a parathyroid disease can somehow trigger the loss of calcium from the bones. The answer is actually very simple. The hyperparathyroid condition is usually due to a tumour in one of the parathyroid glands (you have four). This makes that gland overactive and since parathyroid hormone takes calcium from bones it is only natural that someone with an overactive parathyroid gland is going to soon suffer from thinning bones – or osteoporosis.
However, let’s look at all of this a bit more closely to understand the seriousness of it.
Calcium and the Body
In our bodies it is the parathyroid glands that rule the entire calcium absorption and management issue. It is these glands that regulate the level of calcium within a very small range. This ensures that our nervous system, muscular system and bones remain in optimal condition and function.
The regulation of calcium is really all that the glands do, and so any malfunction in one of them is going to upset the regulation throughout the entire body. Because the typical parathyroid pattern is to tap into the bones whenever calcium has decreased too much, it is easy to see how quickly parathyroidism can spin into true osteoporosis.
The glands withdraw enough calcium to rebalance the body levels but the tumour that is growing on one of the glands is triggering more of the hormone to be produced. This keeps the glands working to remove more and more calcium from the bones.
This is why some of the earliest symptoms of hyperparathyroidism include achy bones in the arms and legs. Things can be far worse if more than one of the glands has a tumour because it simply “amps up” the rate of calcium loss in the bones. Additionally, women will develop osteoporosis faster than men and postmenopausal women will usually develop it around two to five times faster than anyone else.
Luckily, doctors can find the tumours and remove them. This often triggers the calcium loss to come to an abrupt end and the body can then begin to recover. In fact, the experts say:
“Once the parathyroid tumour is removed, virtually 100% of patients will have a significant and often dramatic increase in bone density. Osteoporosis associated with hyperparathyroidism is the ONLY type of osteoporosis that is completely reversible!”
Though the science is still in development, it is not uncommon to see almost a dozen ways that patients with osteoporosis are being treated. From injections to oral medications and dietary regimens. Many people with non-hyperparathyroidism related osteoporosis are controlling the condition. For those with bone loss due to their parathyroid problems, the news is better since they can improve conditions dramatically after surgical removal of the tumour.
Because the parathyroid glands are in control of the body’s calcium levels it is understandable how any problems with them might trigger thinning of the bone. It is important to get tested, diagnosed, and treated as soon as possible in order to limit the damages of this disease.
If you have questions or concerns about thyroid problems or hyperthyroidism see your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a thyroid surgeon.