How does my doctor know I have hyperparathyroidism?
Hyperparathyroidism is most often suspected when a high level of calcium is found in your blood on a routine blood test, especially since symptoms of hyperparathyroidism are often not present. The test results can help your family doctor make the diagnosis even before any problems start. This is one benefit of having regular blood tests. Further blood testing proves the diagnosis, usually by measuring the amount of PTH in your blood.
A special scan can find any abnormal growth on your parathyroid gland, if that is what is causing your hyperparathyroidism. Regular X-rays look normal until late in the disease, so they aren't much help in diagnosing hyperparathyroidism. Other causes of increased calcium in the blood, such as some medicines or cancer, must sometimes be considered.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff