About Hypoparathyroidism*

What is hypoparathyroidism?

Hypoparathyroidism is a condition in which the parathyroid glands do not make enough parathyroid hormone (PTH). One of the main roles of PTH is to keep your calcium level from falling too low. Normal calcium levels are important for the function of many of your body’s systems, especially your nerves, muscles, and heart, and calcium imbalances result in many symptoms.

What causes hypoparathyroidism?

Some known causes of hypoparathyroidism include:

  • Neck surgery (usually surgery on the thyroid or parathryoid glands) which results in accidental damage or removal of the parathyroid glands
  • Family genetics
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer radiation treatments to the neck

What are the symptoms of hypoparathyroidism?

Symptoms of hypoparathyroidism can include:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle spasms or twitching
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Heaviness in arms or legs
  • Physical fatigue
  • Slowed or confused thinking (often described as “brain fog”)

Low calcium levels associated with hypoparathyroidism are a common cause of some of these symptoms.