Can celiac disease cause hyperparathyroidism?
Celiac disease, or any disease that causes chronic diarrhea or intestinal malabsorption, can cause secondary hyperparathyroidism - not primary hyperparathyroidism. In secondary hyperparathyroidism due to celiac disease, the calcium is chronically low because the intestines have difficulty absorbing it. The PTH rises in response to the low calcium. All four parathyroid glands will produce more PTH, which will lead to hyperplasia (enlargement of all four parathyroid glands). Most people with celiac disease, though, will NOT get secondary hyperparathyroidism, especially if it is asymptomatic (if you are not having loose stools). If the disease is controlled, most people with celiac disease will be able to absorb enough calcium to keep their calcium levels in normal range. It is important to note that celiac disease does not cause primary hyperparathyroidism, which is characterized by a high blood calcium. If you have celiac disease and develop a high blood calcium, that is consistent with primary hyperparathyroidism – celiac does not cause high calcium levels.