Does parathyroid disease run in families? I just had parathyroid surgery. Do I need to have my kids check their calcium levels?
Most of the time, parathyroid disease is not familial - it doesn’t run in families. Most people who get parathyroid disease will be the only one in their family with it. But occassionally we do see parathyroid disease run in families, and multiple family members across multiple generations will need surgery for parathyroid disease. This can occur in some rare genetic syndromes like MEN (multiple endocrine neoplasia). People with MEN will often develop multiple endocrine tumors throughout their lifetime, and can pass it to their children. There are also genetic abnormalities not associated with MEN that cause familial primary hyperparathyroidism. If you have one or more relatives who have had primary hyperparathyroidism, then you likely have a genetic form of the disease.
If no one else in your family has had parathyroid disease or high calcium, then it is unlikely that your children have it. But there is an easy way to check. Your children have likely had calcium levels drawn at some point. If the calcium was normal, then they do not have parathyroid disease. Remember that children, teenagers, and young adults can have higher calcium levels than older adults, so your children may have calcium levels that are higher than yours if they are still in their 20s or 30s.