Overlooked Parathyroid Gland Dysfunction

The thyroid gland and the parathyroid gland are very important hormonal organs, but somehow, they are being ignored. The parathyroid gland is a hormone secretory organ of rice grain size which is attached to the back side of the thyroid gland. It was discovered by a Swedish medical student in 1877. Until then, perhaps, it might have been considered only as a mass of fat.

However, this rice-grain organ plays a very important role for the human body. It is the most important organ that regulates calcium and phosphorus ions. It is thought that life first occurred in the ocean and then rose to land with evolution. Unlike underwater, we lose buoyancy and need a strong skeleton to support the body on land. Also, because of the loss of calcium which is present in a large quantity in sea water, bone has been developed as its reservoir, and a mechanism to hold calcium has thus been created.

On the contrary, phosphorus is hardly contained in sea water but found in large quantity in land. It is for this reason that mammals raised to the ground have plenty of phosphorus as it is present in large amounts in land plants which animals eat. Phosphorus exists more than the proportion existing in nature especially in the body of humans.

Calcium is involved in bone formation, tooth formation, nerve excitement, muscle contraction, blood coagulation, cell stimulation conduction whereas phosphorus is essential for constituting ATP which plays the most important role as organism’s energy currency.
It is a parathyroid hormone that controls the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the body. Parathyroid hormone is a peptide hormone consisting of 84 amino acids called PTH (parathormone) and is secreted from the parathyroid gland.

When it is secreted abnormally high (a term called hyperparathyroidism), conditions such as hypercalcemia and hypophosphatemia occurs and on abnormally low secretion (a term called hypoparathyroidism), hypocalcaemia and hyperphosphatemia occurs and thus the patients feel sick. Various malfunctions of this hormone are manifested in the body as explained below:

In the case of excessive PTH secretion: red eye, corneal calcification, arrhythmia, pancreatitis, kidney stone, urolithiasis, muscle weakness, mental restlessness, depression, cognitive impairment, nausea, vomiting, constipation, anorexia, abdominal pain, peptic ulcer, bone pain, multiple drinking, dry mouth (xerostomia).

In the case of insufficient PTH secretion: cataract (chronic), bone pain, arrhythmia, hypotension, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, mood changes, restlessness, excitement, irritability, epilepsy, muscle spasms, tingling sensation, tetany, numbness, perception abnormality, dry skin and itching sensation.

However, as you can see, these symptoms are not specific to parathyroid gland dysfunction. If the symptoms are mild, you will be deceived by other bad physical conditions which is a main reason for overlooking the parathormone dysfunction.

If there are remarkable symptoms such as severe symptoms of convulsions, epilepsy, stupor of mind, vomiting, diarrhoea, etc., the parathyroid gland is also taken into consideration by the doctor. There are also other symptoms such as ” strange feeling around the mouth”, “pain of the skin and the muscle like when they are pushed by a pin”, “petechial bleeding on the lower extremity”, and “getting tired easily”. In the case of symptoms such as insinuation, insomnia, depression, pain in the bone, arrhythmia, cataract, kidney and urinary calculus and itching of the skin, we generally do not pay attention to thyroid abnormalities.

When patient complains of the pain of the bone, osteoporosis is suspected, and doctor prescribes calcium supplement carelessly, even though the pain is due to hyperparathyroidism. But in this case, serum calcium is already too much, and calcium supplementation makes pain more painful. When it comes to “insomnia”, doctors prescribe sleeping pill often without any detailed examinations.

When calcium is insufficient, the electrocardiogram shows QTc prolongation, and conversely, when it is excessive, it shows a specific waveform of QTc shortening. But very few doctors think of taking ECG when patients complain of “slight strange feeling around the mouth”. Usually such symptom is regarded as “just in your head” , or “autonomic imbalance”, or “beginning of menopausal disorder”.

In other words, abnormality of parathyroid function is a disease that is easily overlooked.
Perhaps, at least 5% of the people supposed to be healthy are suffering from parathyroid dysfunction, including very mild ones. The number of those who are suffering from hyper or hypoparathyroidism may be less than “hidden hypothyroidism”, but quite a few people are supposed to be suffering from parathyroid dysfunction.

“Depression” can also become miserable. In the case of high calcium, the sodium channel is blocked by calcium. Hence, depolarization at the cell membrane does not work well and neurotransmission does not take place effectively. Consecutively, depression may occur. Simply correcting calcium ions can thus cure many problems associated with depression but many patients are superimposed with antidepressants for easily cure, and thus they finally fall out of society! This is a typical iatrogenic disease. Even in patients diagnosed with depression, there may be many people with the state of hyperparathyroidism. Doctors in psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine should check the function of the patient’s parathyroid glands properly by all means.

Personally, I have never prescribed antidepressants. I have never given a disease name such as autonomic imbalance and chronic fatigue syndrome. Before prescribing any medicines for such medical conditions, investigation for some kind of ion balance and hormonal balance abnormality, side effects of medicines, allergy, extra supplement intake, skeletal distortion, decline of kidney function, influence of viruses and bacteria and accumulation of harmful substances, etc. should be done.

If you are suffering from symptoms of unknown cause, please ask the doctores to inspect the parathyroid gland carefully.

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