Hypoparathyroidism: definition and treatments
What is hypoparathyroidism?
- Post-surgical: following thyroid surgery or parathyroidectomy;
- Idiopathic: a PTH secretion deficiency may occur at any time, especially with conditions such as chronic kidney failure, vitamin D deficiency, etc.
Main clinical signs associated with hypoparathyroidism:
- Neuromuscular manifestations: tetanus (70% of cases), contractures, cramps, perioral paraesthesia (affecting the lips), distal paraesthesia (hands and feet);
- Cardiac disorders: arrhythmia, conduction disorders;
- Psychological disorders: mood swings, irritability, psychosis, anxiety, depression;
- Eye manifestations: cataracts affect 13% of people with hypoparathyroidism;
- Dermatological manifestations: dry skin, dry and fine hair, weak and brittle nails, degradation of dental enamel, candidiasis.
Hypoparathyroidism: current treatments
- Low doses of calcium;
- Active form of vitamin D (calcitriol or Alfacalcidol) to promote calcium absorption in the kidneys and intestines.
Good to know:
Vitamin D deficiency leads to calcium and phosphate metabolism disorders (in case of chronic kidney failure) which can increase cardiovascular risks and trigger Fahr syndrome – a condition characterised by the calcification of the central nuclei. It is therefore important to monitor vitamin D levels.