Hyperparathyroidism is a condition characterized by the overproduction of parathyroid hormone. This hormone helps maintain an appropriate amount of calcium and phosphorous in the body. Excessive amounts of parathyroid hormone can result in an imbalance between calcium and phosphorous. This may adversely affect teeth, bones, the nervous system, muscles, and kidneys. Many persons affected by this condition may not display any symptoms. Some people, however, may experience fatigue, aches and pains. More severe signs and symptoms that may develop over a long period of time include kidney stones, abdominal pain, and osteoporosis. Primary hyperparathyroidism may be the result of a benign growth on one of the parathyroid glands, or an enlargement of two or more of the four parathyroid glands. Secondary hyperparathyroidism occurs when a separate medical condition leads to the overproduction of parathyroid hormone.
There are a variety of treatment options available for persons affected by this condition. Both types of hyperparathyroidism may be treated with a medication called cinacalcet (Sensipar), which works to decrease the levels of parathyroid hormone and serum calcium levels. Surgery is also an option for certain individuals.