Hypoparathyroidism

Hypoparathyroidism is not as common as hyperparathyroidism and is characterized by secretion of low levels of parathyroid hormone (1). The disorder can be result of removal of parathyroid glands, the glands’ possible autoimmune destruction, or, in some genetic cases, when the kidney is insensitive to parathyroid output (1).

When low parathyroid hormone occurs, hypocalcemia and hyperphosphatemia can become end results. Symptoms include weakness, mental process alterations and faulty muscular function (1).

Patients with hypoparathyroidism are advised to make dietary changes to increase calcium and avoid phosphorus such as found in many soft drinks (2). Treatment for hypoparathyroidism include dietary supplementation with calcium and vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium and get rid of phosphorus (2).

Reference List

1. Nowak TJ, Handford AG. Pathophysiology: Concepts and Applications for Health Professionals. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004.
2. Mayo Clinic. Hypoparathyroidism. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypoparathyroidism/DS00952/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs.

Published by David Despain, MS, CFS

David is a science and health writer living on Long Island, New York. He's written for a variety of publications including Scientific American, Outside Online, the American Society for Nutrition's (ASN) Nutrition Notes Daily, and Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) Food Technology magazine and Live! blog. He's also covered new findings reported at scientific meetings including Experimental Biology, AAAS, AOCS, CASW, Sigma Xi, IFT, and others on his personal blog "Evolving Health." David is also an active member of organizations including the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Society for Nutrition, the Institute of Food Technologists, and the National Audubon Society. David has a master's degree in human nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, and a bachelor's degree in English from University of Illinois at Springfield. He also earned his Certified Food Scientist credential from the Institute of Food Technologists.

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