Hyperparathyroidism Blog 

from the Experts at the Norman Parathyroid Center

Interesting stories of hyperparathyroidism we see every day.  Parathyroid blog published bi-weekly.

Parathyroid Surgery for Medicare Patients in the US

Parathyroid Surgery for Medicare Patients in the US

Hyperparathyroidism (parathyroid disease) occurs most commonly at age 61, thus Medicare pays for thousands of parathyroid operations per year. New data shows where Medicare patients go for parathyroid surgery. This graph shows where 100% of all parathyroid operations were performed on Medicare patients in 2012. The data was made public in April, 2014 (link toContinue Reading

Canadian Patients Traveling to Florida for Parathyroid Surgery Continues to Increase.

Canadian Patients Traveling to Florida for Parathyroid Surgery Continues to Increase.

Canadians with hyperparathyroidism claim expertise in parathyroid surgery and long wait times as the reasons for traveling to Tampa for surgery. On April 6, 2014, the Calgary Herald published an article about the dramatic increase in the number of Canadians traveling to Tampa, Florida for their parathyroid surgery. This is a great article and shouldContinue Reading

GERD Often Caused by High Blood Calcium and Hyperparathyroidism

GERD Often Caused by High Blood Calcium and Hyperparathyroidism

GERD (Gastro-Esophageal-Reflux Disease) occurs in 65% of patients with primary hyperparathyroidism and high calcium. Removing the parathyroid tumor cures the GERD in the majority of patients. A 51 year old male school teacher presented with fatigue, tiredness, memory loss, and GERD–typical signs and symptoms of primary hyperparathyroidism. His primary care provider was “monitoring” his bloodContinue Reading

Chronic Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, and High Blood Calcium: Warnings and Advice From a Psychiatrist.

Chronic Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, and High Blood Calcium: Warnings and Advice From a Psychiatrist.

Chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and even fibromyalgia are misdiagnosed in patients who have high blood calcium from hyperparathyroidism.  Mental health issues occur in over 90% of patients with primary hyperparathyroidism and even slightly high blood calcium. A guest Parathyroid Blog by a leading psychiatrist that regularly finds people sent to her office withContinue Reading

Intra-Operative PTH Assay: Exposing the Problems with Measuring PTH in the Operating Room.

Intra-Operative PTH Assay: Exposing the Problems with Measuring PTH in the Operating Room.

Measuring parathyroid hormone (PTH) in the operating room has some theoretical benefits, but in real life, the intra-operative PTH assay (io-PTH testing) doesn’t really help and may hurt. Measuring parathyroid hormone in the operating room cannot determine if a patient is cured of hyperparathyroidism. Intra-operative PTH Assay: The theory of measuring PTH in the operatingContinue Reading

Failed Parathyroid Surgery: Yesterday’s Three Unsuccessful Parathyroid Cases.

Failed Parathyroid Surgery: Yesterday’s Three Unsuccessful Parathyroid Cases.

Parathyroid surgery can be tricky which is why all your doctors will tell you “get the most experienced parathyroid surgeon you can” or you can have a failed parathyroid surgery or a bad complication. The fact that we have a business that is exclusively parathyroid surgery is evidence that this is not always a simpleContinue Reading

What is hyperparathyroidism? Look at how the word is spreading!

What is hyperparathyroidism? Look at how the word is spreading!

What is hyperparathyroidism? How are we getting the word out? Hyperparathyroidism is a disease that is dramatically under-diagnosed. We now have so many technological outlets to help spread the word about hyperparathyroidism that it is getting harder to escape the knowledge that high calcium is bad. I recently gave an interview to a radio stationContinue Reading

Vocal Cord Nerve Damage During Parathyroid Surgery is Increased with Nerve Monitoring

Vocal Cord Nerve Damage During Parathyroid Surgery is Increased with Nerve Monitoring

Thyroid and parathyroid surgeons have been told that monitoring vocal cord laryngeal nerves during surgery may decrease the incidence of vocal cord nerve injury, but the data shows vocal cord nerve monitoring dramatically increases nerve damage. Surgeons don’t like hurting their patients. We will do anything, it seems, to prevent injuring our patients while theyContinue Reading

A Doctor With Hyperparathyroidism: How Parathyroid Surgery Changed Me in One Month.

A Doctor With Hyperparathyroidism: How Parathyroid Surgery Changed Me in One Month.

Hyperparathyroidism sneaked up on me. I was feeling tired and old. I’m a family practice doctor so my job is to take care of other people–to make them feel better. Yet I was miserable myself. My name is  Ashok Goyal MD and this is my story. I found myself not enjoying my job like I usedContinue Reading

Diagnosing Hyperparathyroidism in Myself: A Parathyroid Nurse’s Experiences with a Disease She Treats.

Diagnosing Hyperparathyroidism in Myself: A Parathyroid Nurse’s Experiences with a Disease She Treats.

I’m a nurse; a parathyroid nurse.  I’ve taken care of thousands of patients with primary hyperparathyroidism over the years and am very familiar with the high blood calcium and all the symptoms of hyperparathyroidism. This can’t be happening to me!?  I have a parathyroid tumor!? Let me put parathyroid problems and hyperparathyroidism aside for aContinue Reading

Is Your Surgeon Cheating During Your Parathyroid Operation?

Is Your Surgeon Cheating During Your Parathyroid Operation?

The internet is full of surgeons who claim to be experts at parathyroid surgery. But are they really doing expert work, or are they cheating and doing a simple operation that any joe-blow surgeon could do? Parathyroid surgery can be very tricky for a number of reasons.  First, there are four parathyroid glands and aContinue Reading

Who’s Teaching Doctors About Hyperparathyroidism? An Endocrinologist’s Perspective of this Overlooked Disease.

Who’s Teaching Doctors About Hyperparathyroidism? An Endocrinologist’s Perspective of this Overlooked Disease.

As an endocrinologist, nearly 95% of my patients are referred from primary care physicians who know the patient feels bad, but hasn’t uncovered the true problem: primary hyperparathyroidism.  A Parathyroid Blog by guest writer: Lee Metchick, MD, an endocrinologist in Lake Mary, Florida.   Most of the time the patients sent to my office whoContinue Reading

Sexual Dysfunction and Loss of Sexual Desire due to Hyperparathyroidism

Sexual Dysfunction and Loss of Sexual Desire due to Hyperparathyroidism

Sexual dysfunction and loss of sexual desire and interest in sex is common in patients with high blood calcium and hyperparathyroidism.  Both women and men have a nice benefit to their sex lives from parathyroid surgery and cure of the high blood calcium / hyperparathyroidism. We have known for years that people with primary hyperparathyroidismContinue Reading

Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) Levels: Why are mine all over the map?

Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) Levels: Why are mine all over the map?

Parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels are typically steady and constant in the patient with normal parathyroid glands, but a parathyroid tumor can make PTH levels jump around in a chaotic, disorderly fashion.  This PTH variability routinely confuses doctors and patients. Problems with parathyroid hormone levels that jump up and down cause a delay in the diagnosisContinue Reading

Diagnosing Hyperparathyroidism: Top 10 Mistakes Doctors Make Diagnosing Parathyroid Problems.

Diagnosing Hyperparathyroidism: Top 10 Mistakes Doctors Make Diagnosing Parathyroid Problems.

Hyperparathyroidism should be easy to diagnose in about 95% of cases. Unfortunately many doctors and endocrinologists don’t have much experience diagnosing parathyroid problems and thus it takes too long and too many tests are performed.  How do we diagnose hyperparathyroidism when many doctors don’t know how? Parathyroid problems (hyperparathyroidism) affect about 1% of all womenContinue Reading

Don’t Break That Parathyroid Adenoma! The Parathyroid Tumor Will Grow Anywhere!

Don’t Break That Parathyroid Adenoma! The Parathyroid Tumor Will Grow Anywhere!

A broken parathyroid tumor can be a devastating complication of parathyroid surgery. Parathyroid tumor cells will grow almost anywhere, so they must not be broken during surgery! Parathyroid tumor implants are very hard to cure. Today’s story illustrates one of the most important rules of parathyroid surgery — “do not break the parathyroid adenoma; itContinue Reading

Parathyroid Adenomas Located in the Chest: No Worries, Chest Parathyroid Tumors can be Very Easy to Remove!

Parathyroid Adenomas Located in the Chest: No Worries, Chest Parathyroid Tumors can be Very Easy to Remove!

Parathyroid tumors located in the chest can almost always be removed via a small neck incision. Don’t split your sternum open to remove a parathyroid adenoma in your chest! Parathyroid glands are located in the chest in about 2% of all people. This is not a problem unless this parathyroid gland develops into a tumorContinue Reading

Parathyroid drugs?  There aren’t any parathyroid drugs!

Parathyroid drugs? There aren’t any parathyroid drugs!

Parathyroid disease has only one cure: Surgery. Parathyroid drugs don’t exist. There are just medicines directed at the symptoms. Take a drug for your hyperparathyroidism and be disappointed! June is 74 years old, and she recently discovered that she has a parathyroid tumor (hyperparathyroidism). The cure is surgery, but that has not been recommended toContinue Reading

Normal Blood Calcium Levels – Adjusted for Patient’s Age

Normal Blood Calcium Levels – Adjusted for Patient’s Age

Blood calcium levels vary as we age, but labs don’t give normal calcium ranges according to age. The highest blood calcium levels are seen between the ages of 15 and 25.  Adults over 40 should not have calcium levels above 10.1 mg/dl. High blood calcium is never normal. Unfortunately, very few doctors understand that theContinue Reading

Hungry Bone Syndrome: Bad Symptoms of Low Blood Calcium.

Hungry Bone Syndrome: Bad Symptoms of Low Blood Calcium.

Hungry Bone Syndrome should really be called “Bad Doctor Syndrome” because it should almost never happen in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. “Hungry Bone Syndrome” is almost always due to poor doctor management of calcium requirements after parathyroid surgery. Hungry Bone Syndrome is a term that refers to a patient who has such severe symptoms ofContinue Reading

Ectopic Parathyroid Adenoma High in the Neck (un-descended parathyroid adenoma)

Ectopic Parathyroid Adenoma High in the Neck (un-descended parathyroid adenoma)

Ectopic parathyroid glands occur in 5% of people, occasionally located high in the neck under the jaw (called an un-descended parathyroid gland). Inexperienced surgeons almost always overlook parathyroid adenomas when they are in uncommon or rare positions (ectopic parathyroids). Parathyroid glands are formed at the base of the brain while we are only 2 monthsContinue Reading

High Blood Calcium Risks: Far More Dangerous than High Cholesterol

High Blood Calcium Risks: Far More Dangerous than High Cholesterol

High cholesterol doubles your rate of heart disease and stroke, but did you know that high blood calcium is far more dangerous than high cholesterol? Hyperparathyroidism caries many significant health risks. High blood calcium levels are almost never normal and increases the chances of developing a number of other health problems and even early deathContinue Reading

Race Car Deaths: The Medical Causes of Racing Deaths with Examples and Resulting Race Car Improvements.

Race Car Deaths: The Medical Causes of Racing Deaths with Examples and Resulting Race Car Improvements.

Race car drivers die because of lethal injuries caused by 6 different mechanisms  which are examined here in detail. Much has been done, but much more must be done as most of racer deaths in the past few years are preventable with changes to track design. Today I update this article because of the deathContinue Reading

Parathyroid cancer? Parathyroid tumors aren’t cancer, but can act like it.

Parathyroid cancer? Parathyroid tumors aren’t cancer, but can act like it.

Parathyroid tumors may look benign (harmless) under a microscope, but they damage many organs in the body over time–making hyperparathyroidism act more like a cancer tumor. While parathyroid cancer is extremely rare, benign parathyroid tumors causing high blood calcium can mimic the effects of cancer. “It’s a benign parathyroid tumor. Why do we need toContinue Reading

Parathyroid Cysts: Lots of Hyperparathyroid Symptoms From Small Parathyroid Cysts.

Parathyroid Cysts: Lots of Hyperparathyroid Symptoms From Small Parathyroid Cysts.

Parathyroid cysts are uncommon, but can cause lots of symptoms of hyperparathyroidism sometimes, and no symptoms at all at other times. Cysts are fluid-filled sacks. Parathyroid cysts, therefore, are fluid-filled sacks that are growing out of one of the parathyroid glands. Parathyroid cysts are rare, occurring in about 1 out of 200 parathyroid operations forContinue Reading

Parathyroid Surgery: All Four Parathyroid Glands Should Be Examined!

Parathyroid Surgery: All Four Parathyroid Glands Should Be Examined!

Because 30% of people with hyperparathyroidism will have more than one parathyroid tumor, the most successful parathyroid surgery only happens when surgeons examine all four parathyroid glands. This week we performed 52 parathyroid operations. Seven of these 52 had a previous parathyroid surgery somewhere else that was not successful so they came to see us.Continue Reading

Parathyroid symptoms…your brain on too much calcium!

Parathyroid symptoms…your brain on too much calcium!

Parathyroid symptoms can vary, but almost everybody will have them. Fatigue is by far the most common of all symptoms. Let’s look at Crabby Abby! Crabby Abby will forever live in my mind, because she described parathyroid symptoms and the effects of high calcium on your brain better than any patient ever. If somebody saysContinue Reading

High Blood Calcium: How Long, not How High!

High Blood Calcium: How Long, not How High!

High blood calcium is almost never normal, and it makes people feel miserable! It is the duration of high calcium, not the actual number! Lisa is a 57-year-old lady from Ohio with primary hyperparathyroidism. She has seen her primary care doctor for several years and is always noted to have high blood calcium levels, butContinue Reading

Kidney Failure Due to Hyperparathyroidism and High Blood Calcium

Kidney Failure Due to Hyperparathyroidism and High Blood Calcium

High blood calcium over a number of years can cause kidney failure (renal failure). Nephrocalcinosis (calcification of the kidney) is a completely avoidable complication of hyperparathyroidism. Kidney failure due to high blood calcium is less common than kidney stones, but the consequences are far more severe. Kidney stones are a well known complication of highContinue Reading

Depression, Fatigue, Anger Management, and Hyperparathyroidism

Depression, Fatigue, Anger Management, and Hyperparathyroidism

High blood calcium almost always makes people feel bad. Sometimes it make them fatigued and depressed… and sometimes it makes them angry and crazy!  Just listen to Robert’s story! High blood calcium due to hyperparathyroidism is well known to cause “psychiatric” problems. It’s part of the classic “Bones, Stones, Groans, and Psychic Overtones” that wasContinue Reading

Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib) Due to High Calcium and Hyperparathyroidism

Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib) Due to High Calcium and Hyperparathyroidism

  Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) and high blood calcium due to primary hyperparathyroidism is a leading cause. A-fib is the rapid contraction of the upper two chambers of the hear (the right and left atrium). This rapid contraction is not coordinated so it is ineffective in pumping blood. ThusContinue Reading

High Calcium and Hyperparathyroidism During Pregnancy

High Calcium and Hyperparathyroidism During Pregnancy

High blood calcium during pregnancy can be very dangerous to the baby, resulting in miscarriage rates 5-10 times higher. Hyperparathyroidism during pregnancy usually demands a parathyroid operation to help prevent loss of the pregnancy. “My OB doctor is freaked out!”. Today we operated on a 30 year old female with a parathyroid tumor and highContinue Reading

FNA (Fine Needle Aspiration) Biopsy of Parathyroid Adenoma

FNA (Fine Needle Aspiration) Biopsy of Parathyroid Adenoma

Biopsy of parathyroid adenomas can be dangerous and is almost always unnecessary. Parathyroid glands should almost never be biopsied (FNA biopsy). Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy of parathyroid adenomas is a procedure we would love to see disappear! One of the parathyroid operations that I performed this week that really stood out from the others wasContinue Reading

Hyperparathyroidism in Teenagers (High Calcium in Teens)

Hyperparathyroidism in Teenagers (High Calcium in Teens)

Hyperparathyroidism in teenagers can be extremely destructive. Today’s hyperparathyroidism case is quite sad and completely avoidable. Today we operated on a 15 year old high school freshman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana who had quite severe hyperparathyroidism. He was eventually brought to our center by his parents when his orthopedic surgeon made the diagnosis. Sadly, theirContinue Reading

The Parathyroid Blog has Begun!

The Parathyroid Blog has Begun!

The Hyperparathyroidism Blog Has Begun! Interesting and compelling stories from the parathyroid patients we see every day. Fun reading, and great learning! A new blog starts today on the topic of parathyroid disorders, hyperparathyroidism and high calcium. Patients and doctors seeking information on parathyroid topics will have a fresh choice–a blog written by the world’sContinue Reading

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The Hyperparathyroidism Blog is an educational service of the Norman Parathyroid Center, the world's leading parathyroid treatment center, caring for over 3000 new hyperparathyroidism patients annually.

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