If you or your child has hypoparathyroidism — which can have causes ranging from genetic mutations or surgery to high levels of magnesium — it is important to create a treatment plan, together with your healthcare team.
Having such a plan in place will ensure that you or your child receive the best possible medical care.
The following can help you work with your doctors and other healthcare providers to create a treatment plan that will best serve you or your child.
What causes hypoparathyroidism?
Hypoparathyroidism is a rare disorder in which the body produces insufficient amounts of parathyroid hormone from the parathyroid glands. It may be caused by genetic mutations. In many cases, it is acquired due to a number of other factors. These include an autoimmune disorder, accidental damage or removal of the parathyroid glands during surgery, high levels of magnesium, or damage due to cancer treatments.
What is a treatment plan?
A treatment plan for hypoparathyroidism is a working document that contains detailed information about the disease and a list of its common symptoms — notably any that you or your child experience.
The plan also should include a list of medications or supplements that you take, when you take them, and the possible side effects. For example, information about how much calcium and activated vitamin D you or your child are taking should be included. It also is important to include information about what to do in case of serious symptoms or side effects, such as low calcium levels or seizures.
Finally, the contact details for your primary care physician and emergency contacts should be part of the plan. Your emergency contacts should include a health care proxy, or the person who is authorized to make decisions for you or your child if you are unable to do so.
Why is it important to have a treatment plan?
A treatment plan can ensure that you or your child are receiving appropriate care. Since hypoparathyroidism is a rare disease, many doctors and clinicians may not be familiar with it nor know how to effectively treat it.
Having the treatment plan available can improve your or your child’s care, since it will guide your healthcare team in treating any other illnesses or injuries you may have. You also can use the treatment plan to appraise doctors other than your primary care physicians, whom you may see, about any changes in symptoms or treatments.
Who should have a copy?
You should share the treatment plan with all the different healthcare providers you might see. This will ensure that they all are up-to-date with your or your child’s disease progression and most current medications. You also should have a copy available for emergency workers.
If your child is the one with hypoparathyroidism, you should share his or her treatment plan with any school or daycare center attended. The child’s teachers, administrators, and school nurse should all have access to the plan. This way, they will know what care your child should receive during the day and what to do in case of emergency.
If you have hypoparathyroidism and work, it may be helpful to share your plan with your employer. This will allow someone at your workplace to know how to handle any emergencies that might arise.
A copy also should go your health care proxy, if you have one, and to relatives, especially those who may serve as your emergency contact. This way, these individuals know how to make decisions about your or your child’s care if you are unable to do so.
How frequently should it be updated?
You or your doctor should update the treatment plan after each visit. The symptoms of hypoparathyroidism can change over time. So, it is important to document them and any changes in treatment. Consider the plan a working document and update it as needed.
Last updated: Feb. 12, 2021
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.
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