- September 2013
- Posted By JohnnyG
- 0 Comments
First of all what is the parathyroid? While it is near the thyroid gland a produces hormones, it is not the same as the thyroid and produces different kinds of hormones. They thyroid gland controls how your body controls energy, as well as regulates other hormones in your body. Hyperthyroidism means that your body has a high metabolism, uses energy quickly, while hypothyroidism does exactly the opposite, your metabolism is slower, you gain more weight, etc. While the Parathyroid is located near the thyroid gland, it regulates the production of calcium in the body. It is called the parathyroid because there is not one, but four of these glands.
Calcium is an important part of the proper function of our cells, so it is important that the parathyroid performs properly. It has a narrow range, and all of our cells use calcium on a daily basis to function. If your calcium levels are too low, then this glands starts producing the hormone that will increase it’s level. When calcium levels return to normal the gland shuts back down. It doesn’t actually produce the calcium itself, what it does is send the PTH hormone to other parts of the body, the kidneys and bones, causing them to produce more calcium in the blood so that it can reach every cell in your body.
These four glands are usually the size of grain of rice. This is normal. Some people may have them the size of a pea and still be okay. Since they regulate calcium levels in the body on a constant basis, they have a high blood flow. If you have parathyroid disease, also known as hyperparathyroidism, then these glands are producing too much calcium in the body. Usually happens in that three of these glands are normal size, with one that can be the size of a grape or larger. Continuously high levels of calcium in the body can cause a dangerous imbalance in the cells.
Because calcium is used in some way in every organ and cell in your body, the problem is that symptoms of the disease can vary greatly. Neurological problems can include headaches, trouble sleeping, anxiety, even depression, just to name a few. You could also have muscle and skeletal symptoms like muscle pain and weakness, brittle bones and fractures. Gastrointestinal problems can include constipation, abdominal pain, pancreatitis, and even peptic ulcers. Other symptoms can include heart palpitations, frequent urination, and many others.
The problem is that this Hyperparathyroidism is a rare disease, and it can be hard to diagnose. It has to be done by specialists who have experience dealing with this disease. Because these glands are so close to the thyroid, the average doctor may think it is a thyroid problem instead of the parathyroid. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned earlier, then you really need to go see a specialist. These people are going to do a series of blood tests to determine if you have this disease or not.
Blood tests can include but are not limited to blood calcium and PTH levels, and these have to be done on two separate but consecutive occasions. If you have high levels of calcium in your blood, as well as PTH the first time, on the second test PTH levels should be lower because you have an abundance of calcium in your blood. If the PTH levels are the same or even higher, then you do have a serious problem. You have to have blood tests for vitamin D, phosphorus and magnesium levels, as well as others. While an MRI, or CT scan can help locate the exact tumor, only a ParathyroidMD can diagnose this problem.
If you are having any of these symptoms, but don’t know whether or not you live in an area where you can get diagnosed and helped, then you need to find a ParathyroidMD. There is a specialist center in Los Angeles, and you can go directly to their website at www.parathyroidmd.com or call them anytime.