There is a condition that has very common symptoms (fatigue, aches, slow thinking, heartburn, brittle bones) that is often over-looked by health care providers. It can lead to terrible medical conditions and a reduction of your life-span of up to 6 years if it is not diagnosed and corrected.
Very often the only lab finding is a slightly elevated calcium level. Doctors often consider this elevated calcium to be not important and don’t even mention it to you. If you have a slightly elevated calcium (even 1/10th of a point high) you need the other lab-work I talk about in this video, and perhaps a referral to a specialist. The only ways to know is to check your serum calcium level (often not done), and then to follow up with additional testing.
The additional lab tests you will need are an intact PTH, ionized Calcium, fractionated Alkaline Phosphatase, and Vitamin D-25. If any of these levels are abnormal your doctor should refer you to an endocrinologist +/- order an Ultrasound/CT Scan of your Parathyroid Glands. Smoldering hyperparathyroidism can be difficult to spot for some health-care providers, but can make you feel terrible
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Ken D Berry, MD, FAAFP, is a Board Certified Family Physician and Fellow in The American Academy of Family Physicians. He has been practicing Family Medicine in rural Tennessee for over a decade, having seen over 20,000 patients in his career so far.
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