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MACJR

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What is it, what is a parathyroid? It is actually a set of thyroid glands in the neck and it seems that one of mine has a tumor attacked to it. This may be what caused my kidney’s to go into stage III kidney disease and it may also be leading up to a bad case of weak bone problems in my future.

 

I think I posted something about my thyroid problem somewhere on this board not too long ago, but I had called it a hyper thyroid problem. That was wrong; it is a parathyroid problem. I am not sure where I came up with the hyper part, it sounded right at the time anyway.

 

What is happening is that this parathyroid gland is over-producing calcium, and I think the doc said potassium and something else into my circulatory system and my kidneys have to work overtime trying to filter it all out. This parathyroid problem has been going on for several years but a previous scan, about four years ago, did not find the problem. The last scans finally did find the offending thyroid gland.

 

Oh, and all that calcium being filtered by my kidneys from that bad gland, that will probably lead to kidney stones sooner or later. When I was getting the thyroid scans done late last month the doctor asked if I had had any stones yet. No, and I am not looking forward to them either. I hear they are quite painful.

 

Now I have to schedule an appointment with a surgeon to see about removing the tumor from the inside of my neck. Oh what fun and joy! 

 

I am not sure if they will take the whole gland or not, but it seems probable to me. I am not at all enthusiastic about having a scar on my neck near the Adam’s apple area or missing another body part (I had my gallbladder taken out about ten years ago).

 

The doc said these kinds of tumors are not necessarily cancerous, but cancer has not been ruled out yet, either.

 

Oh, and to top it off, my left hand is developing a condition that causes twitching… in this early stage. I did not catch what the doctor called the condition but it may be caused from my diabetes and/or just from my age. Whatever this condition is, it will eventually lead to some of my fingers being bent into a claw shape. Right now the left index finger and thumb just twitch from time to time and there is a sensation of weakness… but, I am told, the fingers will eventually start getting bent out of shape and curl up. The doctor said that this problem can be fixed with surgery (I am seeing a pattern here) but I suspect that is for when the condition gets more advanced than it is now.

 

I have an eye doctor’s appointment coming up. I am hoping that at least my eyes will turn out okay.

 

Anyway, so far, I have to rate 2008 as one of my less favorite years.

 

This post was edited on September 27, 2008 to correct the spelling of parathyroid. It turns out that parathyroid is one word, not a two word combo, para thyroid, as I had spelled it. I blame Microsoft Word 2002 for know knowing the correct spelling for parathyroid, either. 

 

 

MACJR


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Xeromem

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Reply with quote  #2 
That's too bad but Good luck on you operation and your future exams. 
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MACJR

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeromem
That's too bad but Good luck on you operation and your future exams. 

Thanks.

 

Anyway, at least my eyes checked out okay today. With all the bad health news I have been getting lately, that is a relief.

 

Now that I am in my mid-forties it is getting a little harder to focus on small print, but I still do not need glasses and my eyes are in an excellent state of health. I will be getting new glasses for my computer time though. I do not need glasses to see or drive, but a little extra help for my often very long hours at the computer were prescribed. I should be getting my new glasses in a few weeks.

 

As for the parathyroid surgery, I still have a bit of a wait on that one. The consult for that is not until early October. The surgery will probably be shortly after that.

 

 

MACJR


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MACJR

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Now I know where the hyper came from. As I mentioned in a post above, I had originally thought I had a “hyperthyroid” problem but then I found out that it was actually a “parathyroid” problem. Well, after doing some online research I have found that the name given for my medical condition is, “hyperparathyroidism.” So, it turns out that I was not completely wrong… just not completely right either. 

 

The thyroid and parathyroid glands are in the same area of the neck, near the voice box, but they are different glands that can come with different, but somewhat related, problems.

I have posted three snippets, below my part of this post, from the article I found on my condition, for anyone interested.

It is getting closer to my surgery time and I am still not all that enthusiastic about getting this done… but the future problems that would come from not doing anything at all are worse than the possible complications so I guess, realistically, there isn’t much choice in this matter.  :\


MACJR

 


What are the parathyroid glands?

The parathyroid glands are four pea-sized glands located on the thyroid gland in the neck. Occasionally, a person is born with one or more of the parathyroid glands embedded in the thyroid, in the thymus, or located elsewhere around this area. In most such cases, however, the glands function normally.

Though their names are similar, the thyroid and parathyroid glands are entirely different glands, each producing distinct hormones with specific functions. The parathyroid glands secrete PTH, a substance that helps maintain the correct balance of calcium and phosphorus in the body. PTH regulates the level of calcium in the blood, release of calcium from bone, absorption of calcium in the intestine, and excretion of calcium in the urine.

When the level of calcium in the blood falls too low, the parathyroid glands secrete just enough PTH to restore the blood calcium level.

***

What is hyperparathyroidism?

If the parathyroid glands secrete too much hormone, as happens in primary hyperparathyroidism, the balance is disrupted: Blood calcium rises. This condition of excessive calcium in the blood, called hypercalcemia, is what usually signals the doctor that something may be wrong with the parathyroid glands. In 85 percent of people with primary hyperparathyroidism, a benign tumor called an adenoma has formed on one of the parathyroid glands, causing it to become overactive. Benign tumors are noncancerous. In most other cases, the excess hormone comes from two or more enlarged parathyroid glands, a condition called hyperplasia. Very rarely, hyperparathyroidism is caused by cancer of a parathyroid gland.

This excess PTH triggers the release of too much calcium into the bloodstream. The bones may lose calcium, and too much calcium may be absorbed from food. The levels of calcium may increase in the urine, causing kidney stones. PTH also lowers blood phosphorus levels by increasing excretion of phosphorus in the urine.

***

Are there any complications associated with parathyroid surgery?

Surgery for hyperparathyroidism is highly successful with a low complication rate when performed by surgeons experienced with this condition. About 1 percent of patients undergoing surgery experience damage to the nerves controlling the vocal cords, which can affect speech. One to 5 percent of patients lose all their parathyroid tissue and thus develop chronic low calcium levels, which may require treatment with calcium or vitamin D. The complication rate is slightly higher for hyperplasia than it is for adenoma since more extensive surgery is needed.


Hyperparathyroidism – the complete source article


The article snippets above were clipped from: National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service


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nannyjo

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Reply with quote  #5 

It sounds very encouraging, though, so at least there's that.  I know that you certainly aren't looking forward to it but at least hey have a solution for the condition.  And like you said, it beats the alternative.


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Reply with quote  #6 
Like NJ said, at least they have a solution. And you know we'll be pulling for you when the time comes.
MACJR

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Reply with quote  #7 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Questmaker
Like NJ said, at least they have a solution. And you know we'll be pulling for you when the time comes.

Thanks, but I was given a reprieve... at least for the time being. 

 

The surgeon thinks the surgery should be delayed for a few months for more testing in about six months or so. He wants more conclusive evidence as to which of the four parathyroid glands is the problem. Right now, it is only a best guess as to which is the problem gland, he wants something more conclusive before he starts cutting out parts that might not be the problem.

 

His logic sounded good to me so I was not about to attempt swaying his way of thinking on this. 

 

 

MACJR


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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MACJR

His logic sounded good to me so I was not about to attempt swaying his way of thinking on this.

MACJR



I can't blame you for that. At least you have a Dr who has sense enough to check. I have a friend in London who may have Celiac but they won't do any conclusive tests. They keep doing the same stuff over again and don't really give him any answers.
MACJR

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Well, that was a short lived reprieve.  :\

 

A couple days ago a gland in my neck became swollen and sore… again. It is on the lower right side of my Adam's apple area... right where I have had this gland swell and become sore several times before over the years. I now know that is about where one or another of the parathyroid glands is located. This seems like a likely suspect for my parathyroid problem then.

 

On my last visit, when the surgeon asked if I had any symptoms, I had forgotten to mention the gland in my neck that periodically becomes sore. After all, it had been a year or so since the last time this glad had acted up… enough to get my attention, so I had pretty much forgotten about it. If the surgeon had asked about any past history of sore and swollen glands in my neck that would have jogged my memory and I could have pointed to the general area on the right side of my neck where I thought the problem gland is. Right now I can point right to the spot where the problem gland is. All I have to do is GENTLY poke around with the tip of my index figure until I find the pain center.

 

Looks like the surgery is back on. I talk with the surgeon again tomorrow to set the slice and dice date.

 

 

MACJR


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Questmaker

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Reply with quote  #10 
It's easy to forget past medical problems while visiting the doctor. Let us know what the surgeon says.
MACJR

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Questmaker
It's easy to forget past medical problems while visiting the doctor. Let us know what the surgeon says.

Well, it turns out that it was a false alarm. The surgeon tells me that it was not likely to have been the parathyroid gland that was sore. It was probably one of several other glands in the neck and he would still rather wait for something more definitive before he starts slicing and dicing.

 

Cool by me. 

 

 

MACJR


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Quote:
Originally Posted by MACJR

Cool by me.

MACJR



I can relate. Glad it was a false alarm.
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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Questmaker
Quote:
Originally Posted by MACJR

Cool by me.

MACJR



I can relate. Glad it was a false alarm.

Me too, MAC. (;

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