Hyperparathyroidism is a condition in which the parathyroid glands produce too much parathyroid hormone (PTH). This hormone regulates calcium levels in the body and too much of it can lead to health problems. One potential complication of hyperparathyroidism is ear pain.
What is hyperparathyroidism?
Hyperparathyroidism is a condition in which the parathyroid glands, located in your neck, produce too much parathyroid hormone (PTH).
PTH regulates calcium levels in your body. When PTH levels are high, calcium levels may also be high.
Hyperparathyroidism can cause a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, muscle weakness, mood changes, and nausea. It can also lead to more serious problems such as kidney stones and osteoporosis.
The most common cause of hyperparathyroidism is a benign (noncancerous) tumor on one of the parathyroid glands. In some cases, hyperparathyroidism may be caused by cancer of the parathyroid gland.
What are the symptoms of hyperparathyroidism?
There are a number of symptoms associated with hyperparathyroidism, but not everyone with the condition will experience all of them. The most common symptom is fatigue, followed by muscle weakness. Other symptoms can include:
- Bone pain
- Joint pain
- Frequent urination
- Abdominal pain
How is hyperparathyroidism diagnosed?
Hyperparathyroidism is usually diagnosed by a simple blood test called the serum calcium. The serum calcium is almost always high in people with hyperparathyroidism. However, the serum calcium can be high for other reasons (such as cancer, other types of kidney disease, etc.), so your doctor will likely also order a serum PTH level. If the PTH is high, then you probably have hyperparathyroidism.
How is hyperparathyroidism treated?
There are a number of ways to treat hyperparathyroidism, depending on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, doctors may simply monitor the condition and prescribe calcium and vitamin D supplements. More severe cases may require surgery to remove the diseased or enlarged parathyroid gland.
Can hyperparathyroidism cause ear pain?
While hyperparathyroidism doesn’t usually cause ear pain, in some cases it can. If you have ear pain and think it might be due to hyperparathyroidism, see your doctor to get checked out.
While parathyroid tumors are usually not cancerous, in rare cases they can be. These tumors can cause a number of symptoms, including ear pain. If you have this symptom and think it may be related to your parathyroid gland, it’s important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.