Hypoparathyroidism, which is rare, occurs when the parathyroid glands in your neck make an insufficient amount of parathyroid hormone. This hormone helps regulate the levels of phosphorus and calcium in your blood. If you have hypoparathyroidism, your body has too little calcium and too much phosphorus. Hypoparathyroidism may be either inherited or acquired (from injury to or surgery on the thyroid gland).
People with the following conditions or characteristics are at risk for developing hypoparathyroidism: autoimmune condition, removal of or surgery on the parathyroid gland, family history of parathyroid disorder, or taking medications that suppress the thyroid gland. If diagnosed early, it is highly treatable. If left untreated, hypoparathyrodism can lead to stunted growth, tooth problems and mental retardation in childhood and cataracts, breathing problems and nervous system and muscle disorders in adults.1
Most symptoms of hypoparathyroidism result from having too little calcium in the blood. Signs include the following:
- Muscle spasm or cramping in hands or feet
- Hair loss
- Dry skin or malformed nails
- Numbness, tingling, or burning, especially around the mouth and fingers
Children with hypoparathyroidism often present with the following:
- Poor tooth development
- Too much iron in tissues, drug treatment, radiation to thyroid gland, thyroid or parathyroid surgery
- An underlying medical condition such as Addison’s Disease, cancer, neck trauma,Wilson’s disease, low levels of magnesium
- Underdeveloped or missing parathyroid glands at birth
We want to restore the calcium balance in your body. Foods rich in calcium include almonds (soak for 8 hours in lightly salted water and roast at 150 degrees F for 8-12 hours), legumes, spinach, kale, blackstrap molasses, sardines, prunes, tahini and apricots. Squeeze lemon juice over leafy greens; the acid helps the calcium absorb.
Eat pastured meats and eggs (avoid conventionally farmed animals), wild-caught fish, or beans for protein. Utilize healthy oils for baking, sautéing and cooking: virgin olive, virgin coconut oil, ghee or pastured butter. Stay hydrated with at least 6 glasses of filtered water daily.
Exercise at least 30 minutes daily, five days per week.
- Potential food allergens, including dairy, wheat (gluten), soy, corn, preservatives, and food additives.
- Refined foods, such as pasta, sugar and white breads.
- Trans-fatty acids, found in commercially baked goods such as cakes, crackers, cookies, and donuts. Also avoid fried foods, processed foods, and margarine.
- Carbonated beverages are high in phosphates, which leaches calcium from your bones.
- Coffee and other stimulants, alcohol, and tobacco.
- ALL artificial sweeteners: Nutrasweet, Splenda, etc. A little raw honey, Rapdura or coconut crystals is OK.
Supports healthy metabolism.
Helps decrease inflammation and assists metabolism.
In one study, long-term vitamin D treatment in hypoparathyroid patients resulted in a positive calcium balance and normalized the abnormalities previously found in phosphate homeostasis of hypoparathyroid patients.2 (get levels checked first)
3. Gerolsteiner Mineral Water for Calcium and Magnesium
To support healthy bones.
2. Mortensen L, Hyldstrup L, Charles P. Effect of vitamin D treatment in hypoparathyroid patients: a study on calcium, phosphate and magnesium homeostasis. Eur J Endocrinol. 1997 Jan;136(1):52-60.