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What is hyperparathyroidism?

Hyperparathyroidism is caused by overactive parathyroid glands. Overactive parathyroid glands produce too many parathyroid hormones, which in turn stimulate increased levels of calcium in the bloodstream.

The excess calcium released by the bones leads to osteoporosis and osteomalacia (both bone-weakening diseases). Other results of hyperparathyroidism are kidney stones, because of high levels of calcium excreted into the urine by the kidneys.

Causes of hyperparathyroidism include benign tumors on the parathyroid glands or enlargement of the parathyroid glands.

How is hyperparathyroidism diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnostic procedures for hyperparathyroidism may include:

  • bone x-rays
  • laboratory tests to measure calcium and parathyroid hormone levels
Treatment for hyperparathyroidism:

Specific treatment for hyperparathyroidism will be determined by your physician based on:

  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the disease
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the disease
  • your opinion or preference

Treatment may include removal of parathyroid tissue.