Question

Is surgery going to help my symptoms? I am exhausted, and just don't feel like myself any more. I have had high calcium levels for the last four years. My doctor recently diagnosed primary hyperparathyroidism but said that I don't need surgery. He doesn't have an explanation for why I feel so bad. My doctor does not think these symptoms are related to the parathyroid, or that parathyroid surgery will help.


Answer
Deva Boone
Answer authored by Deva Boone
Deva Boone, MD is the founder of the Southwest Parathyroid Center. As one of the most experienced parathyroid surgeons in the U.S., she has treated thousands of patients with parathyroid conditions.

Fatigue is the most common symptom reported in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. It is very likely that your parathyroid condition is a major cause of why you are feeling exhausted. It is also common for patients to state that “I’m no myself any more.” Fortunately, these symptoms improve once the parathyroid disease is treated (once the diseased parathyroid gland is removed). Based on outcomes from other patients, I would expect you to feel significantly better after parathyroid surgery. 

Your doctor is likely unfamiliar with the most common symptoms of parathyroid disease. Most doctors are not taught much about parathyroid disease. In medical school we learn that it causes kidney stones, bone fractures, and abdominal pain. If you aren’t having those issues, then your doctor may believe that you are not having any health effects from the parathyroid tumor. Even though he knows you are tired, he doesn’t associate that with parathyroid disease. Beliefs and practices change very slowly in medicine. If you can, this is a good opportunity to educate your doctor, but you may need to see another physician to get the treatment you need.

Symptoms Operation Postop expectations