Gastric bypass operations frequently lead to secondary hyperparathyroidism, since the intestines have difficulty absorbing adequate calcium.
Over the last few years my calcium levels have been a little low, between 8.8 and 9.1 mg/dl. My PTH levels have been very high, up to 200 pg/ml. I had a gastric bypass 7 years ago, and one doctor told me that the PTH was a result of that. Another doctor told me that I have primary hyperparathyroidism and need surgery to remove a parathyroid tumor. Do I have primary hyperparathyroidism? Do I need surgery?
This clinical picture is most consistent with secondary hyperparathyroidism (not primary) due to intestinal malabsorption of calcium (as a result of the gastric bypass). Secondary hyperparathyroidism occurs when blood calcium levels are chronically low. Most people should have calcium levels in the mid to high 9s in mg/dl, or between 2.32 and 2.5 mmol/l. If calcium levels are consistently b...