The Parathyroid Gland – What is it and How can Homeopathy Help it?
Over the years, I have worked with a few parathyroid cases. I suspect the reason why I’ve only had a few of these cases is because everyone thinks that the only way to address parathyroid health conditions (Hyperparathyroidism and Hypoparathyroidism) is to have surgery; removing the tumor and or parathyroid gland(s). A parathyroid health condition is very serious. The parathyroid glands play a major role in keeping the calcium and phosphorus levels balanced and can potentially cause life-threatening conditions such as: kidney stones, bone disorders, muscle and nerve disorders and cardiovascular conditions.
Removing the tumor or parathyroid gland(s) is not the only approach depending on the severity of the condition. True, when the tumor or gland is removed one no longer has the parathyroid symptoms and calcium levels can go back to normal. However, the reason as to “why” one developed the parathyroid health condition is not addressed. This is where Homeopathy comes in. There are homeopathic remedies specifically for parathyroid symptoms (i.e. nausea, bone pains). And there are homeopathic remedies for “why” someone develops the parathyroid health conditions Hyperparathyroidism or Hypoparathyroidism.
A client called and told me that her yearly blood test came back showing she has high levels of calcium in her blood. The doctor told her that she may have a parathyroid condition and may need to have 1 or more of her parathyroid glands removed. I asked if she has been experiencing any of the any nausea, loss of appetite, body aches or joint pain symptoms. She replied that she has not. I asked if she has been feeling tired or having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. She did admit that she has been feeling tired these last several months. I went on to ask her how she has been feeling emotionally. I asked if she has been feeling low spirited or depressed. She in fact had been feeling depressed but dismissed it as something attributed to what’s been going on in her life. I asked her to explain.
My client went on to tell me that she is not happy in the relationship that she has been in for over a year. She was debating whether or not to have her partner move in with her. But, because his lease was up at his place, she just let him move in without fully thinking it through. “He’s a great guy and all, but he drinks a little more than I think he should”, she said. She went on to tell me that she has not been happy and feeling more depressed about the relationship the past 9-10 months. She shared that she feels that she made a mistake in having him move in with her. She doesn’t think the relationship is going to work out. She has been trying to find a way to talk to him about how she is feeling, but can’t find a way to do it.
After acquiring my client’s prior health history, I put her on the homeopathic remedy Natrum Muriaticum. I told my client that she will take Natrum Muriaticum 6c daily, until we hear back from her doctor when her other tests results come back. If her tests results do come back as hyperparathyroidism, she will take Calcarea Phosphorica to help balance out her calcium levels. I went on to explain that the Natrum Muriaticum will address how she is feeling and will help her to find the words to speak up to her boyfriend and resolve the situation. If she does have hyperparathyroidism the Natrum Muriaticum will address the “why” she has the parathyroid condition.
The few homeopathic parathyroid cases that I have worked with, usually start just like this case scenario. They go in for routine bloodwork and their calcium levels come back flagged high or on the high end of the range; very close to being flagged. I always tell my clients I am happy to hear that your doctor is taking further steps to check your calcium levels. Many times, when the blood test comes back on the high end of the range, nothing is said to the client. The doctor does not tell the client to come back in a few months to have the calcium levels checked again. When my client’s calcium levels come back high, I tell my client to talk to their doctor about running a few tests to confirm whether they have a parathyroid condition or not. If all the tests come back pointing to hyperparathyroidism, we will then select a homeopathic remedy to address the health condition and have their doctor monitor their calcium levels through blood work. Most doctors will push to have the parathyroid gland removed. However, a few doctors, are willing to monitor the calcium levels as long as they are not too high.
What is the Parathyroid and How Does it Function?
The Parathyroid, not to be confused with the thyroid are completely different, even though they are in the same area of the neck.
The parathyroid has 4 four rice-pea sized glands, called parathyroid glands, located behind the thyroid gland in the neck and are part of the endocrine system and play a very critical role in many body functions.
The parathyroid glands job is to maintain proper calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood and bones by regulating the secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH). When calcium levels in the blood fall too low, the parathyroid glands secrete enough PTH to restore the balance. PTH raises calcium levels by releasing calcium from the bones and increasing the amount of calcium absorbed from the small intestine.
When blood-calcium levels are too high, the parathyroid glands produce less PTH.
Along with the calcium keeping the teeth and bones healthy, it also aids in the transmission of signals in nerve cells, and in muscle contraction. Phosphorus, works in conjunction with calcium in these areas.
Sometimes one or more of the parathyroid glands will produce too much of the hormone, leading to abnormally high levels of calcium (hypercalcemia) and low levels of phosphorus in the blood creating what is called Hyperparathyroidism.
About 1 in 800 people (1 in 250 women over 50) and young people too can develop a parathyroid gland tumor during their lifetime, causing a disease called “hyperparathyroidism”. And 80% of these cases, may not know of their parathyroid condition.
Hyperparathyroidism occurs when one or more of the four parathyroid glands develop a noncancerous tumor, that causes the parathyroid gland(s) to secret too much hormone leading to high calcium levels; which can lead to serious health problems.
Two Types of Hyperparathyroidism
If the parathyroid glands produce too much or too little calcium 1 of 2 hyperparathyroidism conditions can develop:
- Primary Hyperparathyroidism
- Secondary Hyperparathyroidism
This is when one or more of the parathyroid glands become enlarged and cause an overproduction of the hormone. This results in creating high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia), which can cause a variety of health problems. Surgery is the most common method of treatment for primary hyperparathyroidism.
Primary hyperparathyroidism occurs because of a problem with one or more of the four parathyroid glands:
- A noncancerous growth on a gland is the most common cause.
- Enlargement (hyperplasia) of two or more parathyroid glands accounts for most other cases.
Primary Hyperparathyroidism Risk Factors:
- Woman who has gone through Menopause;
- Had Prolonged, severe Calcium or vitamin D deficiency;
- Have a Rare, Inherited Disorder, such as multiple endocrine neoplasia, type 1, which usually affects multiple glands;
- Had Radiation treatment for cancer that exposed the neck to radiation;
- Taken Lithium – Drug most often used to treat bipolar disorder
Secondary Hyperparathyroidism is a result of another disease that initially causes low levels of calcium in the body and over time increased parathyroid hormone levels occur. The parathyroid glands overwork to compensate for the loss of calcium.
What Can Contribute to Secondary Hyperparathyroidism?
- Severe Calcium Deficiency – The body may not be getting enough calcium from food. This, usually happens because the digestive system is not absorbing the calcium in food.
- Severe Vitamin D Deficiency – Vitamin D helps maintain appropriate levels of calcium in the blood, and helps the digestive system absorb calcium from food. The body produces vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight and from eating foods with vitamin D. Calcium levels may drop when don’t get enough vitamin D.
- Chronic Kidney Failure – The kidneys convert vitamin D into a form that the body can use. When the kidneys function poorly, the usable vitamin D may decline and calcium levels drop. Chronic kidney failure is the most common cause of secondary hyperparathyroidism.
Hyperparathyroidism (Primary and Secondary) Symptoms
Hyperparathyroidism is often diagnosed before signs or symptoms of the health condition is apparent. When symptoms do occur, they’re the result of damage or dysfunction in other organs or tissues in the body, due to high calcium levels circulating in the blood, urine or too little calcium in bones.
Some of the Symptoms One Can Experience:
- Nausea, Vomiting,
- Loss of Appetite,
- Abdominal Pain,
- Muscle Weakness,
- Needing More Sleep,
- Joint and Bone Pains,
- Confusion or Impaired Thinking and Memory,
- Increased Thirst and Urination,
- Fragile Bones that Easily Fracture (Osteoporosis),
- Kidney Stones
Hyperparathyroidism (Primary and Secondary) Complications
Complications of hyperparathyroidism are mainly related to the long-term effect of too little calcium in the bones and too much calcium circulating in the bloodstream.
- Osteoporosis – From the parathyroid tumor taking calcium out of the bones;
- Kidney Stones – Very commonly in someone with hyperparathyroidism. The longer one has hyperparathyroidism, the higher one’s chances of getting kidney stones. Anyone with kidney stones may want to be tested for a parathyroid tumor;
- Cardiovascular Disease – From high calcium levels are associated with cardiovascular conditions causing hardening of the muscles, arteries (arteriosclerosis, stroke), high blood pressure and certain types of heart disease.
When hyperparathyroidism goes untreated, it can lead to a higher chance of developing breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon or kidney cancer.
Hypoparathyroidism means the body is not making enough parathyroid hormone (PTH). Causing the calcium levels in the blood to be too low. The parathyroid health condition is usually caused by a neck injury or surgery (e.g. neck, thyroid or parathyroid surgery), that damaged the parathyroid or from an autoimmune disease attacking the glands. The blood will have too little calcium and too much phosphorous.
- Tingling or Burning in the fingertips, toes and lips,
- Muscle Aches or Cramps (tetany) in the legs, feet, stomach or face,
- Twitching or Spasms of the Muscles, particularly around the mouth, hands, arms and throat,
- Fatigue or Weakness,
- Painful Menstrual Periods,
- Patchy Hair Loss,
- Dry, Coarse Skin,
- Brittle Nails,
- Depression or Anxiety
Hypoparathyroidism Increases the Risk of:
- Addison’s Disease,
- Parkinson’s Disease,
- Pernicious Anemia,
Extremely rare disease, in which cancer cells form in the tissues of a parathyroid gland. Parathyroid cancer can cause Hyperparathyroidism. Often returns or recurs at the original site after allopathic treatment. Early detection is key.
Symptoms of Parathyroid Cancer
- Feeling Tired,
- Lump in the Neck
Diagnosing a Parathyroid (Hyperparathyroidism and Hypoparathyroidism)
- Parathyroid disease is first checked by measuring the levels of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and parathyroid hormone (PTH) in the blood.
Other Tests and Scans to Confirm Hyperparathyroidism and Hypoparathyroidism
- Urine Test (24 hour test) – Checking to see if the kidneys are excreting too much calcium;
- Bone Density Test (DEXA, DXA) – Checking for bone loss or weakening;
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Body;
- Ultrasound – Body;
- Computed Tomography Scan (CT or CAT scan) – Identify blockages caused by excess calcium and any bone fractures;
- 25-hydroxy-vitamin D Blood Test (Primary Hyperparathyroidism) Checking vitamin D levels
How is Parathyroid Health Condition Allopathically Treated?
- Surgery – Most Hyperparathyroidism cases have 1 or more parathyroid glands/tumors removed,
- Dietary supplements and monitoring
Homeopathic Remedies for Hyperparathyroidism and Hypoparathyroidism
- Cadmium Iodatum – Cancer of the glands (e.g. parathyroid glands), tumors of glands.
- Calcarea Carbonica – For calcium deficiency in hypoparathyroidism and osteoporosis in hyperparathyroidism.
- Calcarea Fluorica – Hyperparathyroidism, Arteriosclerosis, enlarged glands that become stony hard.
- Calcarea Phosphorica – Hyperparathyroidism and hypoparathyroidism. Helps to balance the calcium and phosphorus levels in the body. It is also useful for nausea, vomiting, tetany, bone disorders and other symptoms of the parathyroid.
- Hecla Lava – Hyperparathyroidism. Calcium deposits in joints and tumors.
- Parathyroid (homeopathic remedy made from parathyroid gland) – Hyperparathyroidism and hypoparathyroidism, Calcium deposits, calcium loss, osteoporosis.
Other Homeopathic Remedies to Address Specific Parathyroid Symptoms
- Fluoricum Acidum – Bone disorders, especially, from metabolic disorders such as parathyroid disorders.
- Nux Vomica – For nausea and vomiting in parathyroid disorders.
- Magnesia Phosphorica – Muscles aches, cramps and twitches (tetany), a common symptom of hypoparathyroidism.
- Symphytum Officinale – Bone fractures and other bone complications from osteoporosis.
- Phosphorus – Tingling and burning in the body.
How Can Homeopathy Help Your Parathyroid Health Conditions (Hyperparathyroidism and Hypoparathyroidism)?
- Select a Homeopath that has experience in working with chronic health conditions. Someone that not only knows how to select a homeopathic remedy for chronic health conditions, but also knows how to manage homeopathic remedies as one continues to move through the healing process.
- The Homeopath will ask you questions, to obtain specific information about your hyperparathyroidism or hypoparathyroidism symptoms to help select a homeopathic remedy
- Next you will be asked about your prior health history, along with what was going on 1-2 years prior to you developing the parathyroid health condition. This is the reason “why” you developed the hyperparathyroidism and hypoparathyroidism health condition and what needs to addressed.
The good news is whether you come to Homeopathy first for your parathyroid health condition or had parathyroid surgery, homeopathy can still help you by addressing “why” you developed hyperparathyroidism or hypoparathyroidism.
Consult with a trained homeopath to have your complete health history taken to help select a homeopathic remedy to address the “why” you have a parathyroid health condition. Even if the gland is removed the “why” and its effects are still present. With homeopathy, the whole person is considered; mind, body and spirit. Homeopathy is used to strengthen the vital force and ensure ongoing good health and a strong constitution.