How to Treat Hypoparathyroidism?

  • February 01, 2024
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How to Treat Hypoparathyroidism?

What is Hypoparathyroidism?

Hypoparathyroidism is a rare endocrine disorder marked by inadequate production or secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH). This crucial hormone is typically produced by the four small glands situated behind the thyroid gland in the neck, known as the parathyroid glands. These glands play a vital role in regulating the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body. When insufficient PTH is produced, it results in an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus, leading to diverse symptoms and potential complications.

Why Does Hypoparathyroidism Occur?

The primary cause of hypoparathyroidism is often related to surgical interventions, particularly thyroid surgery. During the removal of the thyroid gland or other neck surgeries, inadvertent damage or removal of the parathyroid glands can occur, resulting in decreased PTH production. Another significant cause is autoimmune disorders, where the immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the parathyroid glands. Conditions like autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome and DiGeorge syndrome, a genetic disorder, are associated with the development of hypoparathyroidism. Certain medications, such as antifungal drugs and immune-suppressants, may also contribute to this hormonal imbalance.

How Does Hypoparathyroidism Affect the Body?

  1. Parathyroid hormone plays a pivotal role in maintaining the delicate balance of calcium and phosphorus in the body. When there is an insufficient amount of PTH, calcium levels drop, leading to a condition known as hypocalcemia. This deficiency affects various systems in the body, resulting in a range of symptoms.
  2. Muscle-related symptoms are common, including cramps, spasms, and twitching. Neuromuscular irritability manifests as tingling or numbness, particularly in the extremities. Fatigue, weakness, and mental disturbances can also occur. Severe cases may lead to seizures, impaired cognitive function, and even psychiatric symptoms.
  3. Additionally, hypoparathyroidism has implications for bone health. Low calcium levels can lead to increased bone resorption, causing bone pain and an elevated risk of fractures. The skeletal system is further compromised by the dysregulation of phosphorus, potentially leading to complications like osteoporosis.