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Hyperparathyroidism Symptoms & Diagnosis


If you experience any of these, do not assume it is due to this condition. The symptoms may be caused by other health conditions. If you have any one of them, see your doctor.

The degree of hypercalcemia, as well as the disease progress, will determine the symptoms. Symptoms commonly seen with primary hyperparathyroidism include the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Thirst
  • Frequent and sometimes painful urination
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Joint pain
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Heartburn
  • Back pain

Symptoms and clinical signs common to those patients with secondary or tertiary hyperparathyroidism include the following:

  • Bone pain
  • Fracture
  • Muscle weakness
  • Symptoms related to kidney failure or intestinal diseases such as malabsorption


Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a specialist. An endocrinologist focuses on hormones.

Tests may include the following:

  • Blood tests—to measure calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, vitamin D, and/or PTH
  • Urine test—a 24-hour urine collection to measure calcium excretion and kidney function
  • Abdominal x-ray —a test that uses radiation to take a picture of the structures inside the body; can show kidney stones caused by high calcium levels
  • Bone density test —a test to measure bone loss and risk of fractures
  • Neck ultrasound —a test that uses sound waves to detect a large parathyroid tumor (adenoma)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or technetium 99m sestamibi scan—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body; to locate a single parathyroid adenoma

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Hyperparathyroidism Guide

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