Parathyroid Specialist

Abington Endocrinology

Endocrinology, Diabetes and Thyroid Specialist located in Horsham, PA

Parathyroid disease refers to a number of conditions that affect the health and function of your parathyroid glands. Located in Horsham, Pennsylvania, Abington Endocrinology offers safe and effective treatment for people with parathyroid disease. The practice is led by board-certified endocrinologist Ned Weiss, MD, and specializes in a personalized approach to patient care. To schedule your appointment, call the office or book online today.

Parathyroid Q & A

What is the parathyroid?

The parathyroid glands are four small glands, each about the size of a grain of rice, located behind the thyroid glands in your neck. The function of the parathyroid glands is to produce parathyroid hormone (PTH), which regulates the balance of calcium and phosphorus in your body, which is essential to your muscular and nervous systems. 

Parathyroid disease prevents your parathyroid glands from functioning normally and causes an overproduction (hyperparathyroidism) or underproduction (hypoparathyroidism) of PTH. 

What is hyperparathyroidism?

Hyperparathyroidism refers to overactive parathyroid glands. This is the most common type of parathyroid disease, causing your body to produce excessive amounts of PTH. Too much PTH causes high levels of calcium in your blood, which is called hypercalcemia. 

Hypercalcemia can lead to a number of a number of issues including:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Kidney problems
  • Bone pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue

High levels of calcium can also affect your heart health. Severe hypercalcemia can cause heart palpitations, fainting, and cardiac arrhythmia. 

Hyperparathyroidism is frequently caused by a noncancerous growth or enlargement of the parathyroid glands. Underlying issues like severe calcium or vitamin D deficiency or chronic kidney failure can also cause hyperparathyroidism. 

What is hypoparathyroidism?

Hypoparathyroidism refers to underactive parathyroid glands. Hypoparathyroidism causes abnormally low levels of calcium and high levels of phosphorus. Although hypoparathyroidism is much less common, it can cause a number of serious problems with your health including:

  • Muscle aches and spasms
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Tingling or burning in lips, fingers, or toes
  • Seizures
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Brittle nails

Most cases of hypoparathyroidism are caused by damage to the thyroid glands during neck surgery. The condition can also be caused by autoimmune disease, low levels of magnesium, or radiation treatment to the face or neck. 

How is parathyroid disease diagnosed and treated?

An accurate diagnosis is key to successfully treating your parathyroid disease. Dr. Weiss performs a thorough evaluation including a physical exam, blood test, and discussion of your symptoms and medical history. Depending on your condition, he may perform additional tests like a urine test, ultrasound, or bone density mineral test. 

Dr. Weiss works with you to determine the most effective treatment. In most cases, parathyroid disease is treated with medication to balance your levels of calcium and phosphorus. Sometimes surgery is necessary to remove tumors or enlarged parathyroid glands. 

For expert treatment of parathyroid disease, book an appointment at Abington Endocrinology by phone or online today.