Editor’s Comment: A new study presented at the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons 2014 Annual Meeting suggests that a subset of patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia may actually have unrecognized hyperparathyroidism.
The two illnesses have a number of symptoms in common, including
- musculoskeletal pain,
- cognitive dysfunction, and
- mood disturbance.
Is Hyperparathyroidism Misdiagnosed as Fibromyalgia?
An earlier study presented at the American College of Rheumatology meeting in October 2013 found hyperparathyroidism in 10% of FM patients.
In contrast, it is found in just one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of the general population. The study authors are hoping their work will eventually encourage physicians treating FM patients to screen them for hyperparathyroidism.
“Hyperparathyroidism is often misdiagnosed because its symptoms are vague and similar to other medical conditions,” Dr. Larian explained.
“Those who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia may actually be suffering from primary hyperparathyroidism. Recognizing that the conditions have similar symptoms is an important step.”
Fibromyalgia and Primary Hyperparathyroidism
nearly all patients with hyperparathyroidism who were previously diagnosed with fibromyalgia showed signs of improvement once parathyroidectomy was performed. One in five were able to stop taking fibromyalgia medications.
Minimally Invasive Parathyroidectomy
Before someone is prematurely diagnosed with fibromyalgia, blood tests for primary hyperparathyroidism may be a simple solution.
High blood calcium and parathyroid hormone levels are indications of primary hyperparathyroidism
The root cause of the disease is typically a benign tumor in one or more of the four parathyroid glands that is called a parathyroid adenoma.
When a parathyroid adenoma is properly removed through minimally invasive parathyroidectomy, blood calcium levels should return to normal within hours. This one powerful factor may greatly improve how a patient feels
The incision used in the surgery is only 1.5 centimeters, so there is also significantly less scarring than standard parathyroid surgery.