Is There a Link Between Hyperparathyroidism and Polyuria (Frequent Urination)?
You probably know that hyperparathyroidism happens when one or more parathyroid glands malfunction, producing too much parathyroid hormone (PTH). But you might be wondering, “What is polyuria?” Polyuria is the medical term for excessive urination. The average person produces around 2 to 3 liters of urine per day. In people with polyuria, the body produces more than 3 liters of urine — sometimes up to 15 liters!
Several conditions can cause polyuria. One of them is hyperparathyroidism. If you think you might have hyperparathyroidism and polyuria, contact our team at the CENTER for Advanced Parathyroid Surgery in Los Angeles. Our board-certified head and neck surgeon, Dr. Babak Larian, has extensive experience treating hyperparathyroidism and polyuria.
What Causes Polyuria?
Polyuria has many causes, including kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, and hyperparathyroidism. However, drinking a lot of water can also lead to polyuria, as can taking diuretic medications or consuming a lot of caffeine. Interestingly enough, these conditions cause polyuria for different reasons. In diabetes, for example, too much sugar builds up in the bloodstream and travels through the kidneys. When this happens, diabetes patients feel thirsty more often. This can lead them to drink water more frequently to stay hydrated, leading to polyuria.
With kidney disease, a malfunctioning kidney might be unable to process and concentrate urine effectively. Polyuria can be an early warning sign of kidney issues. Liver disease, on the other hand, affects the liver’s ability to process waste as it should. It specifically struggles to process, preventing ammonia from being transformed into urea. Ureal helps the kidney concentrate urine. So in this instance, the kidneys produce too much unconcentrated urine, resulting in polyuria. If you’re wondering, “Can thyroid issues cause frequent urination, too?” The answer is yes, they can. Thyroid issues can affect kidney function and lead to polyuria.
So if you frequently need to get up to pee during the night (nocturia), have difficulty controlling your bladder, or seem to pee a lot more than the people around you, it’s a good idea to see your medical provider. They can help rule out the more severe causes of polyuria or send you to a specialist for an accurate diagnosis.
Let’s take a look at the relationship between hyperparathyroidism and polyuria.
Why Does Hyperparathyroidism Cause Polyuria?
Hyperparathyroidism leads to an elevated blood calcium level (hypercalcemia), which affects how the kidneys process urine. Now you might be thinking, “Why does hypercalcemia cause polyuria?” Too much calcium can affect how the kidneys process urine and their ability to reabsorb sodium. This means more calcium and sodium get into the urine. More water follows, causing increased urination.
Hyperparathyroidism also changes the kidney’s response to another hormone called vasopressin. This hormone would usually concentrate and decrease the amount of urine being produced.
Symptoms of Calcium in the Urine
If you think you have polyuria, schedule an appointment with your doctor and watch for other symptoms of calcium in urine. In addition to polyuria, patients can experience sharp pains in the lower abdomen, pain while urinating, bloody urine, and foul-smelling pee. Hypercalcemia often leads to kidney stones as the body attempts to process excessive amounts of calcium.
Sometimes, the hypercalcemia causes an inability to urinate even when patients feel the urge. This might be a sign of a kidney stone blocking the urinary tract. Patients with this symptom should seek medical care immediately.
Patients who have polyuria due to hyperparathyroidism may also experience parathyroid symptoms. Hyperparathyroidism and polyuria can cause fatigue, excessive thirst, muscle weakness, belly pain, difficulty concentrating, and constipation. At the CENTER for Advanced Parathyroid Surgery, Dr. Larian provides diagnostic tests to determine the cause of a patient’s polyuria. If the cause is hyperparathyroidism, Dr. Larian can provide specialized treatment that targets hyperparathyroidism and the symptoms that come with it, including polyuria.
How Are Hyperparathyroidism and Polyuria Treated?
The first step in treating hyperparathyroidism and polyuria is in-depth testing to pinpoint what’s happening with the parathyroid glands. Dr. Larian commits time and energy to evaluate patients and learning about their symptoms. If a patient experiences polyuria and other signs of HPT, Dr. Larian performs localization studies to determine if one or more defective parathyroid glands are causing these symptoms. The three most common scans he uses are ultrasounds, 4D parathyroid CT scans, and sestamibi/single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans.
An ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of the parathyroid glands, muscles, blood vessels, and other structures under the skin. With a 4D parathyroid CT scan, Dr. Larian can see detailed images of the parathyroid glands and the surrounding tissue. A sestamibi SPECT scan provides 3D images that can pinpoint the precise location of any defective parathyroid glands.
If Dr. Larian identifies parathyroid gland deformities and diagnoses a patient with HPT, his next step is to create a personalized treatment plan. He may recommend a minimally invasive parathyroidectomy to treat hyperparathyroidism. In a parathyroidectomy, Dr. Larian removes the gland producing too much parathyroid hormone (PTH). Sometimes, more than one gland must be removed.
The benefits of a parathyroidectomy to correct HPT and polyuria can be substantial. In one study of 152 primary HPT (PHPT) patients, researchers found that 97% of patients experienced polyuria and other physical and psychological symptoms. After these patients underwent parathyroid surgery, 95% reported a noticeable improvement in symptoms, including polyuria.
During parathyroid surgery, Dr. Larian uses a four-gland assessment technique to treat all abnormal parathyroid glands. He uses intra-operative PTH testing to make sure the procedure is effective before he completes the surgery. Dr. Larian also provides post-surgery instructions to help his patient fully recover from the treatment for hyperparathyroidism and the associated polyuria.
Schedule a Consultation With Dr. Larian
Polyuria and other HPT symptoms may seem minor initially, but they can quickly get out of control. If you experience any of these symptoms, prompt treatment can lessen the amount of time your body has to struggle with the excess parathyroid hormone.
At the CENTER for Advanced Parathyroid Surgery, Dr. Babak Larian is an empathetic and highly experienced parathyroid gland surgeon with years of industry experience. He always aims to help patients cope with parathyroid gland issues and feel more like themselves. He offers free consultations to those who experience polyuria and other symptoms of hyperparathyroidism. To learn more or schedule a consultation with Dr. Larian, please contact us online or call us today at 310-461-0300.
Hyperparathyroidism (HPT) and polyuria can occur in conjunction with each other. Yet, with help from parathyroid gland surgeon Dr. Babak Larian of the CENTER for Advanced Parathyroid Surgery in Los Angeles, a patient can simultaneously receive treatment for both conditions.
Dr. Larian is a board-certified head and neck surgeon with comprehensive HPT and polyuria expertise. He wants to educate his patients about these conditions to ensure they can safely and effectively treat any parathyroid gland abnormalities.