How is hyperparathyroidism treated?

If you have mild hyperparathyroidism (no symptoms, blood calcium levels only slightly elevated), then your doctor may advise that you do not need to treat it. Instead, the doctor will monitor your blood calcium levels (every 6 months), blood pressure (every 6 months), kidney function (every year), and bone density (every 1 to 3 years).

If the doctor feels that the hyperparathyroidism does not need immediate treatment, you should take certain measures, including the following:

  • Drink more water.
  • Keep active and get more exercise.
  • Do not take thiazide diuretics or lithium because these drugs can increase the level of calcium in the blood.

If you have more severe hyperparathyroidism, your doctor may recommend that you have surgery to remove the enlarged parathyroid gland (or glands). Surgery cures hyperparathyroidism in about 95% of cases.

A group of drugs known as calcimimetics has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism. These drugs work by stopping the production of PTH by the parathyroid glands. Although calcimimetics are intended for secondary hyperparathyroidism, some physicians prescribe them for primary hyperparathyroidism.