Hyperparathyroidism (HPT) may be related to weight gain or loss. To understand why, let’s examine some of the key questions surrounding this topic.
What Is the Link Between Weight Gain and HPT?
Research published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism and Medical Hypotheses showed a potential link between being overweight or obese and HPT symptoms. HPT can also cause chronic fatigue, making patients more prone to inactivity, which leads to weight gain.
HPT is not directly caused by an increase in calcium. People who constantly feel tired and lack motivation may be less active than others, which can make them more likely to experience weight gain and HPT.
Does Being Overweight or Obese Contribute to HPT?
Being overweight or obese may make people more susceptible to medical conditions commonly found in HPT patients, including:
- Hypertension: Causes elevated blood pressure
- Insulin Resistance: Hampers the body’s ability to control glucose levels, its primary source of fuel, from the cells
- Dyslipidemia: Results in above-average lipid and cholesterol levels and can make it difficult for blood to flow in the body (atherosclerosis)
What Is the Link Between Weight Loss and HPT?
Weight loss is a symptom of HPT and other medical conditions. If sudden weight loss occurs, meet with a doctor to undergo a medical evaluation and determine the cause of this issue.
Does HPT Contribute to Weight Loss?
Weight loss may be a sign that HPT has reached an advanced stage. At this point, an HPT patient may be dealing with an upset stomach, constipation, and other gastrointestinal issues, along with elevated blood calcium and/or parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels.
In summary, in the early stages of HPT, limited physical activity can lead to weight gain. In the late stages of HPT, abdominal and digestive issues can lead to weight loss.
Can HPT and Weight Gain or Loss Be Treated at the Same Time?
European Journal of Nutrition and Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism studies showed that calcium supplementation may help HPT patients simultaneously manage their PTH levels and weight. However, this is a short-term remedy; surgery can ultimately cure HPT and help patients safely manage their weight.
Tips to Maintain a Healthy Weight
There are many things that people can do to manage their weight and lower their risk of HPT symptoms, including:
- Exercise Regularly: Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day
- Plan for Meals: Make a plan to prepare healthy meals at home and avoid the temptation to dine out frequently
- Eat Healthy Foods: Choose foods that contain high volumes of nutrients over fatty and sugary alternatives
- Stay Hydrated: Drink at least eight, 8-oz. glasses of water daily
Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle
Along with helping people avoid HPT and weight gain or loss, a healthy lifestyle offers many benefits, including:
- Reduced risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer, and other serious medical conditions
- Stronger teeth and bones
- More energy
- Improved mood, memory, and gut health
- Better sleep
How Is HPT Diagnosed and Treated?
Various tests are performed to determine if a patient is dealing with HPT and the appropriate treatment.