Hypoparathyroidism is an uncommon condition in which your body secretes abnormally low levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH plays a key role in regulating and maintaining a balance of your body's levels of two minerals — calcium and phosphorus.

The low production of PTH in hypoparathyroidism leads to abnormally low ionized calcium levels in your blood and bones and to an increase of serum phosphorus.

Treatment for hypoparathyroidism consists of taking supplements to normalize your calcium and phosphorus levels. Depending on the cause of your hypoparathyroidism, you'll likely need to take supplements for life.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications Prevention

Signs and symptoms of hypoparathyroidism can include:

  • Tingling or burning (paresthesias) in your fingertips, toes and lips
  • Muscle aches or cramps affecting your legs, feet, abdomen or face
  • Twitching or spasms of your muscles, particularly around your mouth, but also in your hands, arms and throat
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Painful menstruation
  • Patchy hair loss, such as thinning of your eyebrows
  • Dry, coarse skin
  • Brittle nails
  • Headaches
  • Depression, mood swings
  • Memory problems

When to see a doctor

If you have any of the signs and symptoms associated with hypoparathyroidism, make an appointment with your doctor for an evaluation. Contact your doctor immediately if you have a seizure or have difficulty breathing, both of which can be complications of hypoparathyroidism.

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