Parathyroid Disease

Parathyroid glands are the essential constituents of the endocrine system. These small rice-shaped organs are located behind the thyroid. The key function of parathyroids consists in regulating the level of calcium in our organisms. Sometimes the work of these glands gets disturbed – in such cases we have to deal with parathyroid diseases − hypo- or hyperparathyroidism.

Here, at the First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, we have a solid experience in treatment of these disorders. In order to prevent, diagnose, and cure parathyroid diseases we implement both modern medicine and the centuries-old Oriental wisdom. Our specialists help patients of all ages and obtain excellent results, regardless of the stage of the pathology.

Causes of parathyroid disease

Doctors say there are no common causes for parathyroid diseases. Most of patients with this diagnosis have no family history of the disorder. In rare cases, hyper- or hypoparathyroidism develops due to the corresponding inherited problems. The risk group includes also the people with Type 1 multiple endocrine neoplasia and familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that only 2% of people with these pathologies suffer from parathyroid diseases.

Symptoms of parathyroid disease

The signs and symptoms of parathyroid disease are as follows:

  • Fragile bones;
  • Kidney stone disease;
  • Urinary frequency;
  • Stomach-ache;
  • Fatigability and weakness;
  • Obliviousness and depression;
  • Bone or joint pain;
  • Nausea, loss of appetite, and other intestinal issues.

In severe cases, elevated level of blood calcium can result in the so-called “hypercalcemic crisis”, in which the patient falls into a coma or a near-comatose state.

Diagnosis of parathyroid disease

In order to reveal hyperparathyroidism the doctors of the First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine apply to a number of diagnostic methods. For example, they conduct blood tests to reveal the level of calcium in the patient’s blood. If the results of the investigation are positive, the specialists repeat the test after the person has not eaten within a given time. One more marker of parathyroid disease is elevated parathyroid hormone, which is also revealed in blood tests.

The list of clinical investigations used by our specialists to diagnose hyperparathyroidism includes the following:

Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, which lets us measure how much calcium and other bone minerals contain the patient’s bones. Imaging tests of kidneys, which reveal nephroliths and other kidney disorders.

Sestamibi parathyroid scan. It lets the specialists detect hyper-active parathyroid glands, which tend to absorb sestamibi.

Ultrasound, creating the images of the person’s parathyroid glands and surrounding tissues.

Treatment of parathyroid disease

The specialists of Tianjin hospital use the unique integrated approach to treatment of parathyroid disease, which includes both modern medical achievements and the old Oriental wisdom.

About 95 percent of all cases are treated surgically: it is the most efficient way to manage hyperparathyroidism and its consequences. The specialists remove all the affected glands, leaving some healthy parathyroid tissue. In a number of cases, we apply to minimally invasive surgery, which is conducted through the smallest incisions in the neck, with the use of local anesthetics. In order to help the clients with parathyroid disease, our doctors apply to medication, too. For instance, they use calcimimetics to stop secretion of PTH.

The list of Oriental methods of treatment for these disorders includes acupuncture, moxibustion, massage, herbalism, and others. The specialists of our hospital develop an individual therapeutic regimen foe each client, based on the characteristics of the pathology and the patients’ personal medical data.