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What is the typical symptom of hyperparathyroidism?

What is the typical symptom of hyperparathyroidism?

Hyperparathyroidism is a condition in which one or more of your four parathyroid glands are overactive. The parathyroid glands are located in your neck, just behind your thyroid gland.

The main function of the parathyroid glands is to regulate the level of calcium in your blood. When these glands are overactive, they release too much calcium into your bloodstream. This can lead to a variety of symptoms and health problems.

Hyperparathyroidism is relatively rare, but it can occur at any age. It's more common in women than men and is more likely to develop after age 50.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of hyperparathyroidism may include:

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle weakness

  • Depression

  • Memory problems

  • Abdominal pain

  • Loss of appetite

  • Weight loss

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Dehydration

  • Excessive thirst

  • Frequent urination

  • Kidney stones

  • Bone pain or tenderness

  • Osteoporosis

  • Fractures

  • Anemia

Hyperparathyroidism can also cause a condition called hypoparathyroidism, which is when the parathyroid glands are underactive.


Hyperparathyroidism is caused by a benign (noncancerous) tumor on one of your parathyroid glands. In most cases, only one gland is affected.

In some cases, hyperparathyroidism is caused by cancer of the parathyroid glands. This is a very rare form of cancer.

Risk factors

Risk factors for hyperparathyroidism include:

  • Family history. You're more likely to develop hyperparathyroidism if you have a family member with the condition.

  • Being female. Women are more likely to develop hyperparathyroidism than men.

  • Older age. The risk of hyperparathyroidism increases as you age.

  • Kidney disease. Kidney disease can increase your risk of hyperparathyroidism.


There is no known prevention for hyperparathyroidism.


If you have symptoms of hyperparathyroidism, your doctor will likely order blood tests to measure the level of calcium in your blood. They may also order tests to measure the level of parathyroid hormone in your blood.

Imaging tests, such as a computed tomography (CT) scan, may also be ordered to look for a tumor on the parathyroid gland.


Treatment for hyperparathyroidism may include:

  • Surgery to remove the affected parathyroid gland or glands. This is the most common treatment for hyperparathyroidism.

  • Medications to control the symptoms of hyperparathyroidism.

Radiation therapy.

If you have hyperparathyroidism, you'll need to have regular blood tests to monitor the level of calcium in your blood. You may also need to take calcium supplements and have regular bone density tests.

Coping and support

Hyperparathyroidism can be a serious condition. It can lead to bone loss, kidney stones, and other health problems. But with treatment, most people with hyperparathyroidism can lead a normal, healthy life.

Complications of hyperparathyroidism

Hyperparathyroidism can cause a host of complications, including kidney stones, osteoporosis, kidney failure, mental confusion, depression, and pancreatitis. Additionally, high levels of calcium in the blood can cause electrolyte imbalance, which may lead to a weakened heart muscle and irregular heart rhythms. It is important to seek medical treatment for hyperparathyroidism in order to prevent the development of these and other complications.

Living with Hyperparathyroidism

Living with hyperparathyroidism can be challenging, as the condition can cause a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms. It is important to work with a healthcare team to manage the condition and its symptoms, which may include fatigue, depression, anxiety, and muscle or joint pain. Dietary and lifestyle changes, such as avoiding caffeine, limiting alcohol intake, and eating a balanced diet, may help to reduce symptoms. Regular exercise, such as walking or swimming, can also help to manage symptoms and improve overall health. Additionally, medications may be prescribed to help regulate hormone levels and reduce symptoms. With proper management, individuals with hyperparathyroidism can live a healthy and active life.