Bones, Moans & Groans
Hyperparathyroidism (HPT) is a medical condition that can cause physical and emotional symptoms that closely resemble those associated with many other medical conditions. As such, it can be difficult to diagnose HPT.
HPT can be misdiagnosed, which can contribute to long-lasting physical and emotional health problems. If HPT is misdiagnosed, its symptoms can go unaddressed for an extended period of time. These symptoms can gradually escalate, to the point where they cause severe physical and emotional harm.
In this episode of the Smile podcast, globally recognized facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Babak Azizzadeh explores HPT and its symptoms with Dr. Babak Larian, one of the world’s leading head and neck surgeons. Dr. Larian shares his thoughts on HPT and the dangers associated with it and offers tips and recommendations to help people identify and treat the condition in its early stages.
What Is HPT? Here’s What You Need to Know
HPT occurs when the parathyroid glands produce an excess amount of parathyroid hormone (PTH), which regulates calcium in the body. When this happens, a calcium imbalance can affect various body functions. The result: this imbalance can result in a wide range of symptoms that affect a patient’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
Physical symptoms of HPT include bone and joint pain, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. Comparatively, the emotional symptoms include anxiety and depression. The physical and emotional symptoms of HPT can be tough to diagnose and evaluate. But, people who identify these symptoms as soon as they start to occur are well-equipped to identify and treat HPT before it causes long-lasting damage.
How Is HPT Diagnosed and Treated?
Lab tests are crucial to diagnose HPT. The tests help a doctor see if a patient is dealing with a calcium imbalance that indicates one or more parathyroid glands may be malfunctioning.
Along with lab tests, bone mineral density and urine assessments can be performed. A bone mineral density test lets a doctor evaluate the amount of calcium in a patient’s bone. Meanwhile, a urine assessment shows a doctor how much calcium is present in a patient’s secretions.
If a doctor conducts the aforementioned tests and believes a patient is dealing with HPT, localization tests are performed. These tests include an ultrasound and other scans, so a doctor can see if one or more of the parathyroid glands is defective.
Once a doctor verifies the parathyroid glands are malfunctioning, a personalized HPT treatment recommendation is provided to a patient. A doctor may initially recommend a patient take a wait-and-see approach if their calcium level is only slightly elevated. Or, the doctor may recommend surgery to remove any defective parathyroid glands.
When Should You See a Doctor for HPT Diagnosis and Treatment?
The longer HPT goes untreated, the worse its symptoms can become. Yet, those who understand HPT can receive proper diagnosis and treatment before its symptoms become too much to handle.
For those who experience any symptoms of HPT, meet with a doctor. This allows a patient to undergo blood tests and other assessments to determine if their calcium level is normal. If a patient’s calcium level is elevated, additional testing can be conducted to verify if the parathyroid glands are malfunctioning. Next, a doctor can develop and execute a treatment plan.
Learn More About HPT Symptoms from Dr. Larian
In this episode of the Smile podcast, Dr. Larian explains why HPT can be misdiagnosed and how people can determine if they or someone they know may be dealing with this medical condition. To hear more about what Dr. Larian has to say about HPT and its symptoms, listen to the podcast today.