Hypoparathyroidism is disorder in which the parathyroid glands in the neck do not produce enough parathyroid hormone (PTH).
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The parathyroid glands help control calcium use and removal by the body. They do this by producing parathyroid hormone, or PTH. PTH helps control calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D levels in the blood and bone.
Hypoparathyroidism occurs when the glands produce too little PTH. Blood calcium levels fall, and phosphorus levels rise.
The most common cause of hypoparathyroidism is injury to the parathyroid glands during thyroid and neck surgery. Rarely, hypoparathyroidism is a side effect of radioactive iodine treatment for
Hypoparathyroidism may also be caused by
Low blood magnesium levels
DiGeorge syndrome is a childhood disease in which hypoparathyroidism occurs because all the parathyroid glands are missing at birth. Familial hypoparathyroidism occurs with other endocrine diseases, such as adrenal insufficiency, in a syndrome called type I polyglandular autoimmune syndrome (PGA I).
Risk factors for hypoparathyroidism include:
- A family history of parathyroid disorder
- Autoimmune diseases such as
- Recent thyroid or neck surgery
Abdominal pain Brittle nails Cataracts Dry hair Dry, scaly skin Muscle cramps
- Muscle spasms called tetany (can affect the larynx, causing breathing difficulties)
Pain in the face, legs, and feet
Tinglinglips, fingers, and toes
- Weakened tooth enamel (in children)
Other symptoms may include:
Decreased consciousness Delayed or absent teeth Hand or foot spasms Painful menstruation
Signs and tests
Blood tests will be done to check calcium,
A urine test may be done to determine how much calcium is being removed from the body.
The goal of treatment is to restore the calcium and mineral balance in the body.
Treatment involves calcium carbonate and
Persons who have life-threatening attacks of low calcium levels or prolonged muscle contractions are given calcium through a vein (IV). Precautions are taken to prevent seizures or larynx spasms. The heart is monitored for abnormal rhythms until the person is stable. When the life-threatening attack has been controlled, treatment continues with medicine taken by mouth.
The outcome is likely to be good if the diagnosis is made early. However, changes in the teeth, cataracts, and brain
Hypoparathyroidism in children may lead to poor growth, abnormal teeth, and slow mental development.
Too much treatment with vitamin D and calcium can cause
Hypoparathyroidism increases your risk of:
- Addison’s disease
Parkinson’s disease Pernicious anemia
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if you develop any symptoms of hypoparathyroidism.
Seizures or breathing problems are an emergency. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.