Hyperparathyroidism | Causes & Risk Factors


What causes hyperparathyroidism?

Hyperparathyroidism occurs when your parathyroid glands make too much PTH and cause you to have too much calcium in the bloodstream. A number of things can cause your parathyroid glands to make too much PTH, including a growth on the parathyroid glands, enlargement of 2 or more of the parathyroid glands or medical conditions such as kidney failure and rickets.

Who gets hyperparathyroidism?

Hyperparathyroidism is hereditary (which means it runs in families). More women develop hyperparathyroidism than men, especially women who have gone through menopause. Hyperparathyroidism is also more common in older people. People who have vitamin D deficiency are also at an increased risk of developing hyperparathyroidism, because vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium in your bloodstream. People who take lithium (typically prescribed to treat bipolar disorder) are also at an increased risk for hyperparathyroidism.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 09/00