Question

Last year I was diagnosed with parathyroid disease. My doctor recommended just watching it. Last year my calcium was 10.5, but now it is 9.8 and my doctor says that I don't have parathyroid disease. Does it sometimes go away without treatment?


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.

Primary hyperparathyroidism does not resolve on its own, but the calcium levels can fluctuate back into the normal range. This does not mean that the diseased parathyroid glands have improved. Diseased parathyroid glands act inappropriately; they often don’t make a steady amount of PTH. Some days they dump out more PTH, some days less. The PTH thus fluctuates, and so the calcium fluctuates. This is fairly common with parathyroid disease. 

There are a couple of things that could account for your labs: 1. You have primary hyperparathyroidism, and your levels are just fluctuating. You might check the calcium next week and it could be high again. 2. The calcium of 10.5 was a mistake. If this was the ONLY high calcium that you have ever had, then it might be an error. If you had multiple calcium levels that were above 10.0, then it was not an error. 3. Your high calcium last year was due to something that has since resolved. For example, if you were taking high-dose Vitamin D last year, that may have caused the high calcium. If you stopped taking Vitamin D, your levels would normalize with time. 

To figure this out, I would want to know all of the calcium levels that you have had over the last few years, as well as PTH and Vitamin D levels. 

Normal calcium Diagnosis