Hypoparathyroidism is caused by underactive parathyroid glands. Parathyroid glands are small glands located next to the thyroid. Underactive parathyroid glands do not produce enough parathyroid hormone. This causes low levels of calcium in the bloodstream. The low levels of calcium lead to muscle spasms, or tetany, an increased excitability of the nerves, and disturbances in heart rhythm.
Causes of hypoparathyroidism include accidental removal of a parathyroid gland when the thyroid is removed, or when part of the parathyroid tissue is removed. Other causes include absent parathyroid glands from birth or a sudden decline in function due to unknown reasons.
The following are the most common symptoms of hypoparathyroidism. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of hypoparathyroidism may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnostic procedures for hypoparathyroidism may include blood tests to measure the parathyroid hormone levels.
Specific treatment for hypoparathyroidism will be determined by your doctor based on:
Treatment may include an injection of calcium to provide immediate relief and/or taking calcium and vitamin D tablets for the rest of the patient's life.
Click here to view the
Online Resources of Endocrinology