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How can I reduce the calcium content in my blood if I have an overactive parathyroid and recurrent kidney stones?

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Endocrinology

Dear Doctor,

I have undergone a number of operations every 2-3 years, to remove stones in kidney, bladder and urinary tract.  The result of a hormone test iPTH showed the reading of 14.7.  The doctor advised to go for parathyroid test.  I am very disheartened to know that this is abnormally high.  Please advise what’s the possible cause.  Is there a way to reduce this through dietary controls?

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (1)

Hi Reeta, thanks for your question.

From what you’ve described, it sounds like the cause of your kidney stones could be due to high calcium levels resulting from an overactive parathyroid gland, (or hyperparathyroidism).

The parathyroid gland produces the hormone PTH, which increases calcium levels in your body. Normally, when calcium levels in your blood fall too low, your parathyroid glands secrete PTH to restore the balance.

PTH raises calcium levels by releasing calcium from your bones and increasing the amount of calcium absorbed from your small intestine.

When blood calcium levels are too high, the parathyroid glands produce less PTH. But sometimes one or more of these glands produce too much PTH hormone – which seems to have happened in your case.

There are different types of hyperparathyroidism – doctors use blood tests, and possibly scans to determine the type of hyperparathyroidism a patient has.

With hyperparathyroidism, there’s no way to control your calcium levels through diet alone, unfortunately (although an “inappropriate diet” can certainly raise your calcium levels even higher). You will need to consult your doctor for appropriate treatment, if so.

There are other important causes to rule out in someone with high calcium levels, so I’d strongly recommend that you chat to your doctor.

Cheers

Consult Doctor
0 183 views 0 Doctors agree 26 Jan 2018
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