Hyperparathyroidism (HPT) and hypothyroidism may sound similar, but there are many differences between these medical conditions. Now, let’s examine HPT and hypothyroidism, their differences, and how both conditions are diagnosed and treated.
What Are Hyperparathyroidism and Hypothyroidism?
HPT affects any of the parathyroid glands, oval-shaped glands found in the lower portion of the neck. The parathyroid glands manage calcium in the body; to do so, they produce parathyroid hormone (PTH), which helps keep the body’s calcium level in a normal range.
For people coping with HPT, one or more of the parathyroid glands becomes enlarged and produces an excess amount of PTH. When this happens, the body’s calcium level is elevated, which can lead to a wide range of symptoms.
Common symptoms of HPT include:
● Muscle weakness
● Bone pain and/or fractures
● Osteoporosis and/or osteopenia
HPT is often difficult to diagnose, due to the fact that its symptoms are commonly associated with a variety of medical conditions. But, by meeting with an expert parathyroid gland surgeon, anyone who experiences symptoms of HPT can receive proper diagnosis and treatment. This surgeon can also determine if a patient is coping with hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism causes an underactive thyroid, a gland in the front of the neck that helps manage metabolism and other body functions. With hypothyroidism, the thyroid stops producing certain hormones that are critical to perform myriad body functions. The result: people dealing with hypothyroidism are increasingly susceptible to joint pain, heart disease, obesity, and other short- and long-term health problems.
What Is the Difference Between Hypothyroidism and Hyperparathyroidism?
Whereas hypothyroidism affects the thyroid gland, HPT impacts one or more parathyroid glands. Yet, despite this difference, there are similarities between the two medical conditions as well.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism can replicate those associated with HPT. In fact, common symptoms of hypothyroidism and HPT include:
● Muscle weakness
Hypothyroidism and HPT symptoms can worsen over time, too. Thus, if people experience any symptoms of hypothyroidism and HPT, they should explore medical treatment options. This allows people to identify the root cause of their symptoms, as well as determine if they are dealing with hypothyroidism, HPT, or both.
Can You Have Hyperparathyroidism and Hypothyroidism?
At least one study indicates that people can experience HPT and hypothyroidism at the same time.
In the study, researchers evaluated 54 patients who underwent parathyroid gland surgery between January 1990 and December 1995. They found that patients coping with HPT often experienced thyroid disease.
There is no telling if hypothyroidism, HPT, or both are present without in-depth testing. However, people who pursue medical diagnosis and treatment at the first sign of any symptoms of hypothyroidism or HPT are well-equipped to address their symptoms before they get out of hand.
How Are Hyperparathyroidism and Hypothyroidism Diagnosed?
Several tests may be used to diagnose HPT, such as:
● Blood Tests: Determine if a patient’s blood calcium and PTH levels are elevated. Multiple blood tests are usually performed to verify elevated blood calcium and PTH levels.
● Bone Mineral Density Test: Measures the amount of calcium and other minerals packed into a section of a patient’s bone.
● Urine Test: Involves a 24-hour urine collection and analysis to see if a patient’s kidneys are functioning properly.
● Imaging Tests: Show if kidney stones or other kidney abnormalities are contributing to a patient’s HPT symptoms.
To diagnose hypothyroidism, blood tests are used to measure a patient’s thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine levels. TSH is produced by the brain’s pituitary gland, and it helps the thyroid develop and release hormones into the body. Thyroxine is a thyroid hormone that supports the digestive function, metabolism, brain development, muscle control, bone health, and various body functions.
How Are Hyperparathyroidism and Hypothyroidism Treated?
A minimally invasive parathyroidectomy (MIP) is one of the top options to treat HPT. The procedure involves surgical removal of one or more defective parathyroid glands. It also has a high success rate and a low risk of scarring and complications.
Comparatively, the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine may be used to treat hypothyroidism. This oral medication can help a patient reverse their symptoms of hypothyroidism, but it may need to be taken for the duration of their lifetime.
The Bottom Line on Hyperparathyroidism and Hypothyroidism
HPT and hypothyroidism affect different glands, but the conditions are sometimes related to one another. Regardless of whether people experience symptoms of HPT, hypothyroidism, or both, it is crucial to seek medical diagnosis and treatment. That way, people dealing with parathyroid or thyroid gland issues can safely treat them.
Dr. Babak Larian of the CENTER for Advanced Parathyroid Surgery in Beverly Hills is a leading parathyroid gland surgery expert. He understands the challenges associated in diagnosing HPT and hypothyroidism. To address these challenges, Dr. Larian performs comprehensive testing to determine if his patients are dealing with HPT, hypothyroidism, or both.
In the event that a patient has one or more malfunctioning parathyroid glands, Dr. Larian may recommend an MIP. At this point, Dr. Larian explains how an MIP is performed and what a patient should expect throughout treatment.
Dr. Larian carefully performs an MIP, and the procedure takes about 20 minutes to complete. After treatment, Dr. Larian performs a 4 gland assessment to ensure his patient’s treatment was successful.
Schedule a Treatment Consultation with Dr. Larian
HPT and hypothyroidism symptoms can linger for many weeks or months. Over time, these symptoms will get worse, especially if people try to ignore them.
Dr. Larian is available to meet with people coping with symptoms of HPT and hypothyroidism. He can offer a personalized treatment recommendation to ensure a patient can address these symptoms going forward. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Larian, please contact us online or call us today at 310-461-0300.