Who it affects
Hyperparathyroidism is an uncommon disorder affecting 1 in 500 people.
What gland is involved
There are usually 4 parathyroid gland that lie just behind the thyroid
gland (see above). There is a lower and upper gland on the left, and
similarly on the right. In this disorder, one gland may be affected in
isolation (parathyroid adenoma) or less commonly, all four glands
Hyperparathyroidism is now commonly discovered following routine blood
tests. Patients frequently do not complain of any specific symptoms.
Patients may have a history of kidney stones or osteoporosis.
Hyperparathyroidism is diagnosed with blood tests including a blood
calcium and parathyroid hormone level. Other investigations you may
undergo include 24hr urine collections, bone mineral density scans and
ultrasound and isotopes scans of the neck.
Treatment of this disorder is depend on the severity of complications of
hyperparathyroidism. The treatment is tailored to individual patients
and may include observation and medication alone or surgical removal of
any abnormal parathyroid gland(s). Surgical removal is more likely in
young patient, those with kidney stones or osteoporosis.
In older patients managed conservatively, hyperparathyroidism usually
has no adverse effect on a patient`s life. The outlook for patient`s
undergoing surgical removal of abnormal parathyroid glands is good.
Patients are usually observed to ensure that the calcium levels and
parathyroid hormone levels return to normal. Osteoporosis may also
improve following surgery.
Qureshi is a consultant endocrinologist and diabetologist who consults
at The Harley Street Clinic, London, UK. He specialises in disorders
such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism,
hypopituitarism, Addison’s disease, hypertension and diabetes.
To arrange an appointment, please call:
APPOINTMENTS : ++44 (0)7733
The information contained in this website is general and not specific
endocrine or diabetes advice.
Patients should always consultant their physician or an endocrinology
specialist. For further details please read the full disclaimer.