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What are the symptoms of hypoparathyroidism?

Symptoms of hypoparathyroidism may include:

  • Tingling in the lips, fingers, and toes
  • Dry hair, brittle nails, and dry, coarse skin
  • Muscle cramps and pain in the face, hands, legs, and feet
  • Cataracts on the eyes
  • Malformations of the teeth, including weakened tooth enamel and misshapen roots of the teeth
  • Loss of memory
  • Headaches
  • Severe muscle spasms (also called tetany) and convulsions

How is hypoparathyroidism treated?

The goal of treatment for hypoparathyroidism is to restore the body's calcium and phosphorus to normal levels. Calcium carbonate and vitamin D supplements are the only currently approved treatment. However, NIH studies have shown the investigational drug PTH to work well as an alternative therapy.

If hypoparathyroidism is diagnosed and treated early, outcomes are usual good and the body grows normally.

If hypoparathyroidism is left untreated, complications can include a blocked airway due to severe muscle spasms, stunted growth, malformed teeth, development of cataracts, and calcium deposits in the brain.

Medically reviewed by James Felicetta, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism

Last update: 9/24/2008

SOURCE: National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

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