Parathyroid symptoms were first described in 1925. Since then the symptoms resulting from parathyroid disease has been nicknamed “moans, groans, stones, and bones…with psychic overtones”.
Sometimes, benign growths called adenomas appear on one or more the parathyroid glands. Adenomas cause the parathyroid gland to make more parathyroid hormone than the body needs, a condition called primary hyperparathyroidism. Too much parathyroid hormone upsets the body’s normal calcium balance, which increases the amount of calcium in the blood stream. Too much calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia) may not cause any symptoms at all or can cause a number of symptoms and medical conditions.
Approximately 5% of patients who suffer from this disease state that they had experienced no symptoms, but since 100% of patients state they feel better after treatment of the disease, it is quite possible that these patients were unaware of the symptoms they suffered from.
About common parathyroid symptoms
The symptoms of parathyroid disease can vary widely. The number one symptom that people with hyperparathyroidism complain about is fatigue. Some of the most common parathyroid symptoms include depression, kidney stones, and frequently occurring headaches.
Patients with persistently elevated calcium levels due to inappropriately high production of parathyroid hormone can also have complaints of bone pain. Bone pain is due to the activity of the parathyroid hormone on the bones, causing the calcium to be absorbed out of the bones.
Other symptoms may not be as apparent, including an inability to concentrate and high blood pressure. Those who have suffered from these symptoms have remarked how much better they feel once the tumour has been removed.
A short, simple procedure is all that is needed to remove the tumour in most instances.
How to identify common parathyroid symptoms
Parathyroid disease can be difficult to diagnose sometimes, because it presents itself in different manners in different patients. For example, some patients, within a year or two of developing the disease, will begin to feel poorly because of high blood calcium levels. Other patients can have the disease for 5-10 years before it ever begins to manifest itself. Other common parathyroid symptoms include osteoporosis and poor memory and spatial abilities. While these symptoms may seem mild to some, parathyroid disease can, and does, kill a certain number of people each year. It just takes longer to do so than most other diseases.
This disease can cause tumours to grow in other parts of the body. In fact, it is not uncommon for those who have undiagnosed parathyroid disease to die from a stroke, heart failure or heart attack, breast cancer, or prostate cancer. Although the disease itself is benign, it does slowly begin to destroy the human body, and it can seriously reduce a patient’s quality of life.
If an individual believes that they might be experiencing parathyroid symptoms, then they are strongly encouraged to contact their primary care physician. He or she will be able to perform the correct diagnostic tests and devise the appropriate course of treatment. The good news is that this disease is fairly simple to treat, and a patient who has it is not doomed to a life of feeling miserable. Treatment and management of this disease can greatly improve one’s overall health.
If you have questions or concerns about common parathyroid symptoms contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see a thyroid surgeon.