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by McCoy K

(Overactive Parathyroid)


Risk Factors

Hyperparathyroidism is more common in women, especially after menopause . Other factors that may increase your chance of developing hyperparathyroidism include:
  • Age: older than 50 years
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia
  • Having specific genetic factors that increase your risk
  • Radiation therapy to head or neck during childhood


The level of calcium in the blood will determine the symptoms. Symptoms commonly seen with primary hyperparathyroidism include:
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Thirst
  • Frequent and sometimes painful urination due to kidney stones
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Joint pain
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Heartburn
  • Back pain


Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
To measure calcium levels your doctor may ask for:
  • Blood tests—to measure calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, alkaline phosphatase, vitamin D, and PTH, kidney and liver function tests
  • Urine test—a 24-hour urine collection to measure calcium excretion and kidney function (very important test)
Images of the parathyroid gland may be taken with:
  • Neck ultrasound —a test that uses sound waves, not radiation, to detect a large parathyroid tumor (adenoma)
  • Technetium 99m sestamibi scan—a nuclear medicine test that uses safe nuclear molecules to make pictures of the parathyroid glands to help locate a single parathyroid adenoma in primary hyperparathyroidism
Other tests may be done to look for other problems hyperparathyroid may cause:


American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists

The Hormone Foundation

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders



Canada Health Portal

Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism



Hyperparathyroidism. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: . Updated November 2010. Accessed June 17, 2013.

Hyperparathyroidism. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated December 24, 2012. Accessed June 17, 2013.

Silverberg SJ, Bilezikian JP. The diagnosis and management of asymptomatic primary hyperparathyroidism. Nat Clin Pract Endocrinol Metab . 2006;2:494-503.

Taniegra E. Hyperparathyroidism. Am Fam Physician . 2004 Jan 15;69(2):333.

11/26/2012 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Paik J, Curhan G, Taylor E. Calcium intake and risk of primary hyperparathyroidism in women: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2012;345:e6390


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