Hypoparathyroidism is caused by underactive parathyroid glands. Underactive parathyroid glands do not produce enough parathyroid hormones. This causes low levels of calcium in the bloodstream. The low levels of calcium lead to tetany, an increased excitability of the nerves.
Causes of hypoparathyroidism include accidental removal of a parathyroid gland when the thyroid is removed, or when part of the parathyroid tissue is removed. Other causes include absent parathyroid glands from birth or the sudden stop of functioning due to unknown reasons.
The following are the most common symptoms of hypoparathyroidism. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- uncontrollable, painful spasms of the face, hands, arms, and feet
The symptoms of hypoparathyroidism may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnostic procedures for hypoparathyroidism may include blood tests to measure the parathyroid hormone levels.
Specific treatment for hypoparathyroidism 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 an injection of calcium to provide immediate relief and/or taking calcium and vitamin D tablets for the rest of the patient's life.