Primary Hyperparathyroidism

      One in 100 women will develop primary hyperparathyroidism in their lifetime. 

     One in 500 women will walk out of a doctor's office each month with an undiagnosed or misdiagnosed parathyroid tumor.  Men are affected as well. Gary Shandling died from it and Jamie Foxx was cured.

    This is a very destructive disease caused by too much calcium in the blood.  There are four tiny glands behind your thyroid that have nothing to do with your thyroid and their sole purpose is to regulate the amount of calcium in the blood.  If a tumor develops in one or more of the parathyroid glands, the amount of blood calcium increases causes one or more of the following symptoms. 

                   Needing naps during the day

  • Irritability / crankiness 
  • Memory loss / feeling like you might be developing dementia
  • Gastric acid reflux / heartburn / GERD 
  • Decrease in sex drive 
  • Thinning hair (predominately in middle aged females on the front part of the scalp)
  • Kidney stones (We have an entire page on kidney stones).
  • Chronic kidney disease / kidney failure 
  • High Blood Pressure / Hypertension / Erratic blood pressure
  • Frequent headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Atrial fibrillation / cardiac arrhythmias
  • High liver function tests (liver blood tests)
  • Development of MGUS and abnormal blood protein levels

        There is a site by Dr. Jim Norman completely devoted to all the aspects of this disease and is the best source of information on the web.

       On your lab work you will notice a marker that says SERUM CALCIUM.   THE RANGE IS 8.5-10.3.  This is where your doctor may miss the diagnosis because 1 out of 5 people will have NORMAL CALCLIUM.   Blood calcium is age dependent and women over 50 with a serum calcium of 10.0 are usually positive for the tumor. 

      This is a surgery that only a doctor who has done at least 50 of them should be doing as the parathyroid glands are very close to your laryngeal nerve and nicking or cutting could cause a permanent loss of speech.

      I recommend, without reservation, Dr. Pedro de Andrade at Loma Linda University Health.  Don't consider UCLA unless your calcium is very high because Michael Yeh of the endocrinology department is only concerned with a 100% success rate and does not consider symptoms.  UCLA's image is paramount.

     Another option is the Norman Parathyroid Clinic in Tampa, Florida where there is an entire floor of the hospital dedicated only to parathyroid surgery.  They are the best and are able to have you in and out of surgery in 20 minutes.  Dr. Norman's team does about 80 a week.  Never ever have a general surgeon perform this delicate surgery.  www. Phone 813-972-0000  

                                                      SURGERY IS THE ONLY CURE! high serum calcium osteoporosis


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