Hyperparathyroidism (HPT) can present itself in many ways. Common symptoms of HPT include bone fractures, gastrointestinal issues, and brain fog. HPT patients can experience skin problems, too.
Hyperparathyroidism and Itchy Skin: Here’s What You Need to Know
HPT has been linked to vitamin D deficiency. The exact correlation between HPT and a vitamin D deficiency remains unclear. But vitamin D deficiencymay be considered a compensatory mechanism that the body uses to reduce the amount of calcium in the bloodstream.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that boosts intestinal absorption of calcium. It is found in foods and available in supplements. In addition, vitamin D can be produced endogenously when the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays reach the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis.
Fatigue, depression, muscle pain, and other symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency match symptoms of HPT. However, a vitamin D deficiency can also cause red, dry, and itchy skin.
In HPT patients, the blood calcium level can rise above a normal level. In advanced cases, there is calcification of skin tissue; this is referred to as “calcinosis cutis.”
Calcified skin tissue generally appears as firm, white bumps that form over large joints. These lesions are often associated with severe itching.
Does High Calcium Cause Itching or Hyperparathyroidism Skin Lesions?
Too much vitamin D (vitamin D toxicity) can cause hypercalcemia, a medical condition that causes calcium in the blood to surpass a normal level.
Hypercalcemia can occur due to HPT, kidney failure, vitamin D toxicity, sarcoidosis, bone disease or other causes. Whatever the reason hypercalcemia can cause people to experience bone weakness, kidney stones, and heart and brain disruptions. Hypercalcemia can also lead to calcinosis cutis, along with associated itching.
Can Hyperparathyroidism Cause Itching?
HPT can occur with or without itching. The symptoms of HPT vary; the condition can cause hair loss, osteoporosis, and a wide range of other health problems.
In addition, at least one study has linked HPT to chronic urticaria, aka hives. In the study, researchers examined a 59-year-old woman dealing with primary HPT and refractory chronic urticaria. Although researchers found no identifiable cause for her urticaria, they discovered her symptoms resolved completely after a parathyroidectomy. Since calcium level changes are used by all cells to perform a function, any organ including the skin can be effected by high calcium levels. However, skin changes or itching are rare occurrences in hyperparathyroidism.
What to Do If You Experience Symptoms of Hyperparathyroidism and Itchy Skin
By meeting with a parathyroid gland expert like Dr. Babak Larian, a patient can receive a full evaluation to determine if a defective parathyroid is causing their symptoms.
Blood testing can be performed to assess the parathyroid and itchy skin, along with any other issues that may be related to a defective parathyroid gland.
With blood tests, Dr. Larian can evaluate a patient’s calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels.
Along with blood tests, Dr. Larian can perform a bone mineral density test and other assessments to accurately diagnose HPT.
If Dr. Larian discovers a patient is dealing with HPT, he can recommend parathyroid gland surgery or other treatment options to address the issue.
Want to Treat Hyperparathyroidism and Itchy Skin? Book an Appointment with Dr. Larian
Those who experience itching or other symptoms of HPT can meet with Dr. Larian. At this time, Dr. Larian can conduct an assessment to verify if one or more defective parathyroid glands is present. If parathyroid gland surgery is required, Dr. Larian can complete a minimally invasive procedure. Plus, he can ensure that his patient can relieve their HPT symptoms going forward.
Dr. Larian offers free in-person and virtual HPT treatment consultations. To learn more or to book an appointment with Dr. Larian, please contact the CENTER for Advanced Parathyroid Surgery online or call us today at 310-461-0300.