Primary hyperparathyroidism

Hyperparathyroidism means that the level of parathyroid hormone measured in the blood is high. Parathyroid hormone is largely responsible for keeping the calcium level balanced. The most common manifestation is high blood calcium levels, but sometimes, calcium levels are normal. Hyperparathyroidism is associated with a variety of symptoms, including osteoporosis, kidney stones, stomach pain, fatigue, weakness, concentration and mood problems, and more.

Primary hyperparathyroidism is usually caused by a single, hyperfunctioning, benign parathyroid tumor that secretes too much parathyroid hormone. About 5% of patients have four-gland diffuse parathyroid hyperplasia, which is an enlargement and overproduction of parathyroid hormone in all four glands. For each individual, the cause of the condition must be evaluated and determined to be separate from other causes, such as secondary hyperparathyroidism and benign hereditary conditions. Primary hyperparathyroidism runs in families as a part of multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes (type 1, 2A or familial hyperparathyroidism). Our physicians are experienced in the testing necessary to ensure a correct diagnosis and treatment plan.

What are the signs and symptoms of primary hyperparathyroidism?

Hyperparathyroidism can be asymptomatic, cause mild symptoms or, in rare cases, severe symptoms. They include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Anxiety
  • Bone fractures
  • Bone pain
  • Concentration problems
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Digestive issues
  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD (acid reflux)
  • Generalized weakness
  • Irritability
  • Joint pain
  • Kidney stones
  • Kidney/urinary issues
  • Mood swings
  • Musculoskeletal issues
  • Nocturia (excessive urination at night)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Stomach or duodenal ulcers
  • Worsening kidney function