What is Hyperparathyroidism?
Hyperparathyroidism is a disease in which one of the four main parathyroid glands turns overactive leading to troubles. These parathyroids glands are tiny structures present behind the thyroid gland in the neck. During the overactive situation, these glands produce excessive parathyroid hormone (PTH). It further controls the content of calcium in the blood hence the excess presence of PTH can severely impair the calcium balance as well. A complete evaluation is mandatory to find out the root cause of hyperparathyroidism as well as its impacts over the body. The presence of tumors in any of the parathyroid glands also requires a complete evaluation by tests since that can also be a cause for hyperparathyroidism.
Hyperparathyroidism also causes weakening of the bones. The excess of parathyroid hormone increases blood calcium levels which comes directly from the bones of the whole body making the bones weak without calcium. Furthermore, excess calcium present in the blood also leads to kidney stones and other health issues.
Hyperparathyroidism has several other impacts over the body like making the body fatigue and mind confused. An abrupt spike of hormone levels in the body is also believed to cause weight issues and make the person to gain weight.
What Can Lead To hyperparathyroidism?
Hyperparathyroidism is a disease of parathyroid gland malfunctioning. In this disease, often an abnormal growth or enlargement of one or more parathyroid gland is observed leading to several abnormal fluctuations. The cause of this disease can even be hereditary in some cases since it can be passed on via genes for over generations. Further, the presence of parathyroid gland tumors can also leave an impact over the functioning of the glands and in turn can greatly affect the hormonal levels causing hyperparathyroidism. The presence of hyperparathyroidism in a person can be diagnosed via several linked symptoms from simple fatigue in the body to extreme levels of tiredness etc.
Even the presence of any other thyroid disorder or disease can also lead to hyperparathyroidism condition over time if left untreated without a diagnosis.
Can Hyperparathyroidism Make You Gain Weight?
Weight gain is a very common point of concern for several patients suffering from hyperparathyroidism and other hormonal troubles. Furthermore, surgery for hyperparathyroidism is also known to cause weight issues in some cases. Hyperparathyroidism and weight gain has a better scientific link than just being myths.
It’s been known for over decades that there is a significant link amongst hyperparathyroidism and weight gain1. The tumors of parathyroid gland are known to trigger weight gain in the patients. Several types of research have pointed out the presence of weight gain and tumor linkage. In fact, several medical journals have published several scientific studies depicting thousands of patients affected by weight issues caused by parathyroid tumors2.
What Is The Cause Of Weight Gain Due To Hyperparathyroidism?
As per the studies it has been revealed that the patients with hyperparathyroidism are observed to be heavier in weight in comparison to the ones of similar age group and without this disease3,4. This is because of the association between primary hyperparathyroidism and the existence of conditions like insulin resistance5,6, hypertension, cholesterol7, lipid, and fat issues, and even cancer8. The increased body weight amongst patients with hyperparathyroidism is observed due to the existence of several diseases which in the long run causes weight issues.
So, to control and manage weight during treatment of hyperparathyroidism, several other causes might seek attention which contributes in their own way to add up to the body weight and disrupt body mass index.
Furthermore, hyperparathyroidism comes along with a lot of fatigue as its main symptom which is also caused by an increase in calcium levels in the blood. This makes the person lazier and might also cause no or minimal physical activity adding to the weight gain. Most of the weight gain is mainly because of a reduction in the workout or daily activity routine. If taken care of with precautions, this weight gain can be managed to at least avoid further increase in the weight.
There are many more researches going on in the field and that is certainly looking into more factors that can contribute to the weight gain other than just fatigue. Many researches have already stated that the process of lipolysis, which is fat cell breaking down process, is hampered due to excess parathyroid hormone levels causing more weight gain and difficulty in managing it.
There also appears a direct connection between hyperparathyroidism and presence of parathyroid tumor2 and ultimately weight gain as one of the unavoidable effects which can only be managed after reversing the condition and removing tumor or any other cause leading to hyperparathyroidism. Until the main root cause of the disease is taken care of no weight management ways can actually help to even manage the weight and stop it from adding up more over the time.
Hyperparathyroidism might appear because of some parathyroid gland problem causing too much of hormone production. It can further cause a hike of the blood calcium levels which might go up and beyond the normal range affecting several other body mechanisms. It can be evaluated via a simple routine blood test and once discovered this might further be evaluated for its root cause. Several parathyroidism cases are usually linked with the presence of benign tumors like adenoma etc. Symptoms of this disease might vary in each case from severe fatigue to mild fatigue, mental confusion, memory impairment, increase in thirst, etc. Weight gain is another major concern in people suffering from hyperparathyroidism; however, very few people are not affected by weight troubles even after being diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism. So every case might not be the same and even the symptoms might greatly vary depending upon the presence of other diseases as well. A complete evaluation is a must then only right treatment can be received.
- Bolland MJ, Grey AB, Gamble GD, Reid IR 2005 Association between primary hyperparathyroidism and increased body weight: a meta-analysis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 90:1525–1530.