Parathyroid diseaseI was recently diagnosed with parathyroid disease. Is anyone familiar with this disease? Can anyone help me to know what to expect?

Expert Answers
clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My roommate in college suffered from this.  The two biggest things she complained of as direct results of the disease were weight gain (and her inability to really lose weight no matter how hard she tried) and depression.  She was constantly trying out different medications and every time her meds changed she would be in bed for days - just sleeping and sleepy a lot.  I also remember she had a diet she was supposed to stick to and didn't, which also resulted in major energy loss and headaches.

She actually had several symptoms that led to the diagnosis.  She said it happened in high school when she went from being a straight A student to C's and D's.  She felt tired all the time, she lost her ability to concentrate (she was originally diagnosed with ADHD and when the meds didn't do anything she was re-evaluated).

I'm guessing you are already experiencing many of these symptoms.  I think those who live with this disease relatively comfortably are faithful about taking medications, but more so, I think you might be looking at a very strict nutritional plan.  It seems to me that it is controllable but it takes more than just medication.

marbar57 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here's what the encyclopedia says about it

The single major disease of parathyroid glands is overactivity of one or more of the parathyroid lobes, which make too much parathyroid hormone, causing a potentially serious calcium imbalance . . . was first described in 1925 and the symptoms have collectively become known as "moans, groans, stones, and bones" . . . the most common symptom is fatigue, but depression, memory loss, and bone aches are also very common. The primary treatment for this disease is the surgical removal of the faulty gland.

I agree with the other posts in that you will probably be on a special diet and perhaps medication indefinately.   See for the full article. 



linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have an appointment with an endocrinologist but haven't seen him yet. Everything I've read says that medication is ineffective in this condition, that the only real "cure" is to remove the affected gland. Everything I've read also says that it is very rare for these types of tumors to be malignant and that even though we have 4 parathyroid glands, we can get by with just half of one. I'm just wondering if everything I've read is correct!

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Oh, Linda!  I am so sorry to hear this!  Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need anything.  Perhaps this disease can be controlled with diet in such a way that the effect will be minimal.  Do keep in touch and let me know what the doctor has told you and what your next steps will be. 

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The number one symptom is fatigue. Since your thyroid regulates your body, you will also not have a normal body temperature. You might feel hot and then cold all the time, like if you had the flu. Another side effect is weight gain with loss of appetite (not fair!) and depression.

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