Discussions By Condition: Thyroid conditions

Could I have hyperparathyroidism?

Posted In: Thyroid conditions 8 Replies
  • Posted By: KatieRose
  • December 19, 2009
  • 10:16 PM

I am a 44 year old female. I have had problems for over three years. I've had recurrent kidney stones on both sides, GERD, IBS, heart arhythmias, high blood pressure, chest pain (especially sub-sternal; feels like a rock in my chest just below the sternum) and times where I feel short of breath, even without activity, especially when laying down at night, my hair falls out, missing and irregular periods and ovarian cysts, headaches, pain in my neck and arms, swelling of my ankles and feet, depression, fatigue, change in personanality, difficulty concentrating sometimes, nausea, alternate between loose stools and constipation, sometime have lighter colored stools, a recurrent area of rash and itchiness on the underside of my left arm and the top of my left foot, and the area on my back below my neck. I have SVT (episodes of extremely fast heart rate - over 225 at times) and PVC's that I can feel. I have hirsutism - I have excessive hair growth on my chin and neck, my arms and my feet. I have what is classically called a dowager's hump at the top of my back under my neck. I am overweight and gain all my weight in my abdomen, my upper abdomen especially. I look about 8 months pregnant from the side. I have pitting edema of my calves when I wear socks or cross my legs for long periods. I experience tingling in my arms and fingers at times. I am on Cardizem, Nexium, and Xanax and Lunesta at night because I can't sleep on my own and I am fatigued during the day, but sleep study shows no significant apnea (although I barely slept at all while I was there). I also am borderline diabetic but don't take medications for it. I've gained about 30 pounds in the last year, but my upper abdomen seems disproportionately distended to my weight.

I had a lithotripsy last year to remove the kidney stones on the left, but there were several fragments left that I couldn't pass (the original stone was about the size of a tootsie roll) and the original pain in my side and radiating to my back is coming back and now I suspect I've got one on the right, too. I've gone to several specialistis for individual symptoms. I had an endoscopy 2 weeks ago and the GERD looks better, but my symptoms are MUCH worse. Some days I feel like I'm having a heart attack, but ER visit says it's not my heart. I had a nuclear stress test 2 years ago and they said there was no sign of blockage or enlargement of my heart. My GE doctor called me yesterday and said one of my pancreatic enzymes is elevated and she wants to do an ultrasound for possible pancreatitis or maybe even cancer.

My doctors have checked my thyroid hormones and say they are normal levels. I don't know if they've checked my parathyroid hormone or calcium levels, but I suspect not.

All in all, I really believe I have the symptoms of thyroid disease, specifically hyperparathyroidism. What should I INSIST on when I go to the doctor? How can I get a definitive diagnosis? I want to know the root cause, not treat individual symptoms. I never feel good and I'm missing out on life with my kids. I just started a new job 4 months ago and I've missed work to go to doctors for tests, etc... I'm afraid I'm gonna get fired if I don't figure this out. Now I'm terrified that I have pancreatic cancer.
If anyone can tell me what I should do, I am all ears! You have my eternal thanks!



Reply Flag this Discussion

8 Replies:

  • The only way to know for sure is through a series of testing the blood over a period of time to get an idea of the amount of calcium showing up.It does sound like you have some troublesome symptoms of some physical problem. Hope you find an answer on what that is.Good luck.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 23, 2009
    • 05:44 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • The only way to know for sure is through a series of testing the blood over a period of time to get an idea of the amount of calcium showing up.It does sound like you have some troublesome symptoms of some physical problem. Hope you find an answer on what that is.Good luck.Well now I've gone for an abdominal CT and abdominal and pelvic ultrasound. Second set of blood tests and CT show that my pancreas seems to be fine. Enzyme levels were normal and no sign of enlargement or pancreatic tumor. However . . . I found out I have an 8cm cyst on my right ovary. I had this done on Monday and haven't heard back from my gyn or my GE on the test results. The cyst was there 2 years ago, but it was about 4 cm and they said it was fluid filled, functional cyst and nothing to worry about . . . it would go away on it's own. Obviously not . . it's doubled in size in about 18 months. I'm still experiencing shortness of breath and chest pain periodically and I am trying desperately not to smoke. It's so hard to quit. I was told that on the chest x-ray in the ER last week, my lungs don't appear to be expanding all the way when I take a deep breath, but no explanation as to why, no one said I had a spot or tumor in my lungs and they sound clear, so I am assuming this is related to the smoking, hence my trying to quit. I am so sick of feeling bad all the time and I'm afraid it's going to cost me my job and maybe my marriage. How do you find a doctor that puts all the pieces of the puzzle together and looks for the zebra in the herd of horses? Everyone just concentrates on their own "specialty" and if they don't find anything there, they say it's all in your head and get you hooked on Xanax just to function. I am so fed up with this crap!
    KatieRose 29 Replies
    • December 26, 2009
    • 06:48 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hmm. Some of your symptoms match Polycystic ovary syndrome/disease (PCOS).The cysts, but also hirsutism, hair falling out (is it similar to male pattern baldness?), missing and irregular periods, borderline diabetes, and weight gain.Hope this helps. PS A number of your other issues might actually be caused by the medications you are taking. Please talk to a doctor or pharmacist!For example, the most common side effects for Cardizem are constipation; dizziness; facial flushing; headache; weakness, edema. Nexium causes headaches in over 5% of users. It also effects the bowels (constipation, diarrhea, gas).
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 7, 2010
    • 08:29 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Have you been checked for Cushing's? I am a 44 year old female. I have had problems for over three years. I've had recurrent kidney stones on both sides, GERD, IBS, heart arhythmias, high blood pressure, chest pain (especially sub-sternal; feels like a rock in my chest just below the sternum) and times where I feel short of breath, even without activity, especially when laying down at night, my hair falls out, missing and irregular periods and ovarian cysts, headaches, pain in my neck and arms, swelling of my ankles and feet, depression, fatigue, change in personanality, difficulty concentrating sometimes, nausea, alternate between loose stools and constipation, sometime have lighter colored stools, a recurrent area of rash and itchiness on the underside of my left arm and the top of my left foot, and the area on my back below my neck. I have SVT (episodes of extremely fast heart rate - over 225 at times) and PVC's that I can feel. I have hirsutism - I have excessive hair growth on my chin and neck, my arms and my feet. I have what is classically called a dowager's hump at the top of my back under my neck. I am overweight and gain all my weight in my abdomen, my upper abdomen especially. I look about 8 months pregnant from the side. I have pitting edema of my calves when I wear socks or cross my legs for long periods. I experience tingling in my arms and fingers at times. I am on Cardizem, Nexium, and Xanax and Lunesta at night because I can't sleep on my own and I am fatigued during the day, but sleep study shows no significant apnea (although I barely slept at all while I was there). I also am borderline diabetic but don't take medications for it. I've gained about 30 pounds in the last year, but my upper abdomen seems disproportionately distended to my weight. I had a lithotripsy last year to remove the kidney stones on the left, but there were several fragments left that I couldn't pass (the original stone was about the size of a tootsie roll) and the original pain in my side and radiating to my back is coming back and now I suspect I've got one on the right, too. I've gone to several specialistis for individual symptoms. I had an endoscopy 2 weeks ago and the GERD looks better, but my symptoms are MUCH worse. Some days I feel like I'm having a heart attack, but ER visit says it's not my heart. I had a nuclear stress test 2 years ago and they said there was no sign of blockage or enlargement of my heart. My GE doctor called me yesterday and said one of my pancreatic enzymes is elevated and she wants to do an ultrasound for possible pancreatitis or maybe even cancer. My doctors have checked my thyroid hormones and say they are normal levels. I don't know if they've checked my parathyroid hormone or calcium levels, but I suspect not. All in all, I really believe I have the symptoms of thyroid disease, specifically hyperparathyroidism. What should I INSIST on when I go to the doctor? How can I get a definitive diagnosis? I want to know the root cause, not treat individual symptoms. I never feel good and I'm missing out on life with my kids. I just started a new job 4 months ago and I've missed work to go to doctors for tests, etc... I'm afraid I'm gonna get fired if I don't figure this out. Now I'm terrified that I have pancreatic cancer. If anyone can tell me what I should do, I am all ears! You have my eternal thanks!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • You might have hyperparathyroidism. Your symptoms support the possibility. Hyperparathyroidism can cause every symptom you mentioned and can affect every organ you mentioned. Ask your doctor to check your calcium levels and ask for an ionized calcium level as well. Also ask for a parathyroid hormone level, as calcium fluctuates quite a bit. If your calcium is high, it's high. A "little high" is still bad. A 24-hour urine isn't a bad idea, either. You need a referral to an endocrinologist if blood tests reveal hypercalcemia or hyperparathyroidism, even if the levels are mildly out of range.The thyroid has nothing to do with the parathyroids. "Parathyroid" merely indicates the usual location of the glands, which is behind or very near ("para") the thyroid. Their functions are completely unrelated, and the thyroid hormone level will contribute virtually nothing to the diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism. You may have symptoms of thyroid disease, but that will not affect the function of your parathyroid glands. As far as Cushing's is concerned, there is an extremely remote connection between that and a genetic endocrine disorder which just happens to affect the parathyroid glands, too. So, what you really need is an endocrine workup, and you need it as soon as possible, at the very least to rule these conditions out and for your peace of mind.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Wow, I can't beleive that I found this thread. I, too, am sick of the run around and rolled eyes I get from so called professionals. I just turned 58, and god knows if a female doesn't feel well, it's her 'lady glands' I've had my uterus removed, gall bladder removed, and tonsils removed. I've had a cyst rmoved form my tailbone and cysts broken on my ovaries. I currently have problems with kidney stones in one kidney every year in which I pass my biggest one on Memorial Day weekend. When the tiny grits begin to form in February, I also experience a mood swing, sometimes resembling a manic mode. The feeling of a lump half way up/down the right side of my neck also comes around this time. It has been blamed on allergies and stress for years. Yes I have those things especaily with all of the med bills with no results. I can't handle drinking milk especially cooked milk; it is one of many things that upsets my digestive tract and leaves my skin dry and itchy. At times when I lay down I feel very short of breath which seems so odd. I am overweight with much of my weight in my stomache area, and I have GERD. About 20 years ago I was told by a counselor that I need to be checked for yeast and mold in my blood. Yes I have systemic yeast infection that, too, causes stress. I can't eat many foods, and if my yeast gets too far out of hand I have chemical allergies. I use grapefruit seed extract to kill the yeast. When things get really bad, usually during early spring and early fall, I suffer from severe, I mean red/purple spells of blushing without cause except for a slight change in the room temperature. Possibly pathological blushing which I just discovered had a name. As badly as I feel missing out on being active, this blushing thing has nearly paralyzed my life making me want to quite my job. It has been suggested that I am actually allergic to the cold. I'm on 20 mg of cytalopram for depression. It works part fo the time now. I've taken an antihistamine for years. Still, I experience swelling of the face, hands and eyes. I can't wear my rings. I used to be treated for asthma but it is better. I was diagnosed with IBS. I was tested for celiac. The best label they could give me was Chronic Fatigue. I'm surprised that I could actually concentrate on getting all of this info on the page. I often have bouts of poor concentration to the point of being in a motionless stupor. Help!!!!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hello , I do have primary hyperparathyroidism . This was comfirmed by biochemical tests which showed high parathyroid hormone and high blood calcium .These are the test which determine such a diagnosis. Secondary parathyroidism has other results .My clinical history which lead me to getting diagnosed were severe pain in my right side . After a night in the emergency departement I was sent for a CT scan . At that time there was no sign of kidney stones but it was assumed they had passed in the night. I had made many trips to the toilet .I had been rehydrated intravenvously .I had a follow up appointment with my GP and he did various blood tests . The one which caused alarm was the one which showed high calcium . This was then followed by a test for the the level of secretion of the parathyroid hormone. This too proved to be high . Hence the diagnosis .I was then referred to an endocrinologist and was also sent for imaging to determine the location of the offending parathyroid gland .Unfortuneatly in my case the gland has not so far been located , but a nodule or nodules were found on my thyroid , which is close by.In a small 5% number of cases of nodules on the thyroid, this can can mean malignancy so I am off to the Ultrasound department to have a Fine needle aspriation guided by ultrasound to find out if this means danger.In a couple of months I expect I will have surgery to locate and remove the offending parathyroid gland . Because the Thyroid and the parathyroid are very close I might end up getting two surgeries at the same time .There is a lot of imformation about these conditions on the internet and It might help to have alook . I donot think it helpful to go to the doctor with the attitude that they do not take womens health seriously . They do !!!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I hope you got your parathyroids checked out further. Read www.parathyroid.com A lot of times the reason they cant find a tumor is because they dont really know what they are doing with the imaging, or one of the parathyroids that is affected may not be in the neck region, every so often they can be as far down as in the chest area. Do not let them go in and do exploratory surgery. If you can possibly afford it go to see Dr. Norman who is the surgeon and creater of that website. Hes a little expensive but you wont come out with a lot of problems due to him making any mistakes. He's done over 16,000 of these surgeries. I was dxd as having fibromyalgia and yet somehow I never quite believed that. I am in the 20% range of people who have a somewhat high calcium and have had for years but my pth seems to be normal. In reality tho if you have high calcium your body should respond by having a lower pth, not normal or higher so even having a normal pth means there is a problem. I'm still working on getting someone to believe all this and either do some imaging to prove it or do the surgery. I dont have the money to go see Dr. Norman but if I cant find anyone else reliable to do it then I will get the money and go to him anyway.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.
Advertisement

8 Health Dangers of Depression

Unmanaged depression can take a toll on your physical health.

Best Cough & Cold Meds for Kids

Help your child feel better, faster.

What HIV Positive Women Should Know About Sex

You can have sex after an HIV diagnosis.

Food Choices for Diabetes

What, when and how much you eat affects your blood sugar.

6 Exercises for Multiple Sclerosis

Ease your way into these stretching and strengthening moves,

Advertisement