Hypoparathyroidism and Nutrition

Hypoparathyroidism and Nutrition
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Hypoparathyroidism is a rare condition in which the parathyroid glands produce too little parathyroid hormone or PTH. This causes a decrease in blood calcium levels and an increase in blood phosphorus levels, which can lead to a broad range of symptoms that include tingling sensations in the fingertips, toes, and lips, and muscle pains or cramps.

Here’s some information regarding nutrition, which is central to treatment.

How is hyperparathyroidism treated?

The goal of treatment for hypoparathyroidism is to ease symptoms and normalize your body’s levels of calcium and phosphorus.

For optimal treatment and specialized testing, it’s recommended that you consult an endocrinologist — a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders affecting the endocrine system.

Your treatment regimen will be lifelong, and will usually include calcium and vitamin D supplements. Because high doses of calcium can cause side effects, you should only take them if instructed by your physician. Vitamin D supplements, usually in the form of calcitriol, can also help your body eliminate phosphorus. Again, your physician will prescribe the best dosages for you.

What are good sources of dietary calcium?

If you have hyperparathyroidism, your physician might recommend that you consult a dietician, who will likely advise that you follow a high-calcium diet. Good sources of calcium include:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Fortified orange juice
  • Green and leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, and okra. While high in calcium, spinach is also high in oxalates. These naturally occurring compounds bind to calcium, making some of the calcium ingested unavailable.
  • Rhubarb
  • Oats
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Butternut squash
  • Soybean drinks with added calcium
  • Tofu
  • Edamame
  • Beans, especially white beans, and lentils
  • Dried figs, apricots, and prunes
  • Seeds, especially sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Bread and anything made with fortified flour
  • Sardines and canned salmon

What should I avoid?

Avoiding the following foods can help your general health.

  • Preservatives and food additives
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Refined foods, such as white bread and pasta
  • Trans fats, which can be found in commercially baked goods
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco

Monitoring and medical intervention

Your physician will regularly check your blood to monitor your levels of calcium and phosphorus. At first, these tests will likely be weekly, then monthly. Eventually, you’ll need tests about twice annually. If there are any changes in your calcium or phosphorus levels, your physician will adjust supplemental calcium dosages accordingly.

If immediate relief is needed, your physician might recommend hospitalization so that you can receive calcium intravenously.

 

Last updated: April 24, 2020

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Hypoparathyroidism News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.
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Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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