In today's digital world, we all have a hectic lifestyle in which we have to manage our family, children, job, and take care of the home simultaneously. We have become more focused on the external factors in our lifestyle and usually neglect the most crucial aspect that is our health. Did you ever realize that our negligence towards health may cause serious health problems that may last for a long or short time? Today in this article, we'll have a quick look at Hyperparathyroidism and what foods to avoid if you have Hyperparathyroidism.
- What is Hyperparathyroidism?
- Signs and symptoms of Hyperparathyroidism:
- What Causes Hyperparathyroidism?
- Who is more susceptible to it?
- Complications of Hyperparathyroidism:
- Hyperparathyroidism and Diet
- Dietary management of Hyperparathyroidism:
- What foods to avoid if you have Hyperparathyroidism?
What is Hyperparathyroidism?
Hyperparathyroidism is a severe condition in which the parathyroid glands in the neck secrete many parathyroid hormones. These pea-sized parathyroid glands are located in your neck and attached behind the thyroid gland.
Parathyroid hormones maintain the level of calcium and phosphate in the body. It keeps track of how much calcium is taken from the bones, the amount of calcium absorbed in the intestines, and lost in the urine.
Signs and symptoms of Hyperparathyroidism:
There are several signs and symptoms of Hyperparathyroidism, and these are the abnormalities that your body will exhibit. Symptoms are the subjective data or anomalies which you can only feel and experience. Signs are the objective evidence that is visible to others also.
If you are diagnosed with these following symptoms, then you might be suffering from Hyperparathyroidism.
● Frequent urination
● Loss of concentration
● Mild confusion
● Excessive thirst
● Depression and anxiety
● Abdominal pain
● Muscle weakness
● Fatigue and weakness
- If it is left untreated, then other severe symptoms will also arise:
● Muscle spasm or twitching around your mouth and in your hands, arms
● Brittle nails
● Bone pain
● Joint pain
● Bone loss leading to osteoporosis
● Anorexia or Loss of appetite
● Patchy hair loss
● Nausea and vomiting
● Muscle cramps and aches
● Nephrolithiasis or kidney stones
● Hypertension or high blood pressure
● Memory loss
● Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeats
All of these indicate that one may have Hyperparathyroidism.
What Causes Hyperparathyroidism?
There are two types of causes of Hyperparathyroidism.
1. Primary cause: When the problem itself lies in the parathyroid glands like a non-cancerous tumor in the gland.
2. Secondary cause: Parathyroid glands perform smoothly. Any external cause like vitamin D deficiency, renal failure reduces the calcium level in the body. As a result, parathyroid glands produce extra parathyroid hormones.
On the other hand, when the secondary causes in the long term start behaving like primary Hyperparathyroidism, then it may result in tertiary Hyperparathyroidism.
Every effect must have a cause. Similarly, some undesired causes trigger Hyperparathyroidism.
Some of the causes include:
● Age and sex: The end age groups are more susceptible to it. For example, a person above 60 years. As per the statistics, omen are also more prone to this disease.
● A benign tumor in parathyroid glands.
● A critical renal disease disbalances calcium level in the body.
● Cancer in parathyroid glands is rare but still needs to be considered a prime cause of Hyperparathyroidism.
● If you have undergone neck surgery and that has led to accidental removal of the parathyroid glands.
● Autoimmune diseases: In a few cases, when your body's immune system stops responding normally and all of a sudden attacks parathyroid tissues as they seem like foreign bodies to them. This ultimately causes massive damage to the parathyroid glands, and ultimately the parathyroid glands stop generating hormones in a previous manner.
● Magnesium level: When the magnesium level decreases in the body, it directly hampers the parathyroid hormone's function.
● Addison's disease: Hypercalcemic patients are prone to this condition.
Who is more susceptible to it?
Now, as you have known the causes and symptoms of Hyperparathyroidism, it is time for you to know who is more prone to Hyperparathyroidism.
There are several risk factors associated with it; go through them one by one. These risk factors provoke the parathyroid glands in some way or the other.
● Similar to other diseases, Hyperparathyroidism also affects older persons. A person with 60+ age is more susceptible to it. However, younger adults also are no exception. The positive aspect is that Hyperparathyroidism in childhood is unknown.
● This might be an inherited disease. If your parents or grandparents were being affected by this, chances are there for you to be affected, as this disease can be transmitted to you via gene as an endocrine problem.
● If you have been on medication like bisphosphonates and certain other diuretics, you need to be careful as these may cause side effects.
● Any history of exposure to radiotherapy.
Apart from these types of susceptible people, there may be others, like those exposed to radiation in the head or neck, and those who have vitamin D deficiency are also vulnerable to it.
Complications of Hyperparathyroidism:
The complications arise due to the long term effect. The calcium level decreases in the blood and unexpectedly increases in the bloodstream.
● Osteoporosis: You will suffer from a bone fracture
● Peptic ulcer
● Neonatal Hyperparathyroidism: pregnant women are more prone to it. If the calcium level in their body decreases, as a result, the neonates will suffer.
● Nephrolithiasis or renal calculi: Hard and thick deposit of calcium in kidneys. It will lead to blockage and damage to the kidney.
● Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas.
● Cardiovascular disease: High calcium level leads to high blood pressure.
Hyperparathyroidism and Diet
If you are suffering from Hyperparathyroidism, then you should have a proper diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. Though the only diet will not completely minimize the complications, it might promote your overall fitness and lower the risk of complications.
Apart from medication, diet plays a huge role in the treatment of Hyperparathyroidism. Besides its treatment, modifying a daily diet would help control signs and symptoms like bone pain, muscle weakness, tiredness, etc., which are non-specific in nature.
Aims of diet therapy:
The main objectives of dietary management are:
- To maintain the desired weight and good nutritional status.
- To correct the faulty food habits.
- Restricting selective food intake and to promote the necessary food intake.
- To correct and maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.
- To supply the necessary vitamins and other nutrients to maintain a general nutritional status.
- Proper intake of calcium to avoid bone wasting.
- Relieving the strain on parathyroid glands.
- Preventing further damage to parathyroid glands.
- Restoring the previous healthy condition of the parathyroid glands.
- Maintaining adequate nutrition.
- To provide relief from complications.
Dietary management of Hyperparathyroidism:
A therapeutic diet plays an important role in the treatment of Hyperparathyroidism. You may use diet alone or with any medicines your physician prescribes. The diet plan generally depends on your height, weight, age, sex, physical activity, and hyperparathyroidism nature.
A few things that you need on an organized and fixed diet:
● Specifying energy requirements.
● Proper distribution of carbohydrates, fat, and, most importantly, protein.
● Stages of Hyperparathyroidism concerning the absence or presence of any complications.
● Proper intake of a fiber-rich diet.
Healthy foods you can prefer:
As you are ill and anorexic, so in the beginning, you may prefer to eat high energy, high protein, and high fiber diets. You can take small meals at frequent intervals. In addition, you can gradually switch to recommend diet and nutrition as prescribed by physicians, dieticians, and endocrinologists.
After consulting your dietician and endocrinologist, you will get plenty of suggestions of what foods to be included, what foods to avoid if you have Hyperparathyroidism, what foods to be strictly restricted. They might suggest you mostly calcium-rich diet and vitamin D supplements.
Green and leafy vegetables are the common food which any healthy or unhealthy person can prefer. Hyperparathyroidism is a treatable situation. But maintaining a healthy diet will surely adjust the calcium level in your body.
Diet will help you to strengthen your overall health. It will restrict the signs and symptoms if you maintain a healthy diet in the long term. The balanced and proportional diet will reduce the complications from the root of the disease. But, all the above, you should take all the advice either from a dietician or a physician. Also, you will have to adapt plenty of healthy food habits to get rid of this disease.
You have numerous good food choices. Your dietician will most likely prescribe all these following foods.
A variety of food you can eat, let's have a look at them:
The specific measure that you might implement to fight Hyperparathyroidism:
● Green leafy vegetables are the first and foremost part of a healthy diet. Green and leafy vegetables such as cabbage, okra, broccoli, etc.
● Eat whole-grain bread (fortified flour) as it will provide enough fiber, which will prevent constipation and facilitate bowel elimination.
● If you are a vegan, you can eat tofu, as it is a good protein source, and if you are a nonvegetarian, you can eat lean meat instead of red meat.
● Add lemon juice to your diet as calcium is better absorbed in an acidic environment.
● Spinach as it is high in oxalates
● Beans (white beans and lentils)
● Sweet potatoes.
● Sunflower seeds
● Apricot, dried figs, prune
● Include healthy cooking oil (like coconut oil, olive oil)
● High fiber diet
● Drink plenty of water throughout the whole day ( at least 6-8 glasses of water)
● Every week burn at least 150 minutes.
● Daily intake of a multivitamin must contain antioxidants like vitamins A, C, E, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, etc.
● Vitamin D
You must not intake anything without consulting a dietitian. Maintaining a healthy diet is as crucial as breathing air in your lungs. Recommended nutrition and proper diet are necessary. You have to strictly follow assorted things which your dietitian or endocrinologist has prescribed.
You must strictly follow some nutritional tips, remedies, intake calcium, vitamin D, and diet supplements. Nothing is good in excessive quantities, so it goes for a diet. You have to intake only recommended food as prescribed by a doctor and dietitian.
What foods to avoid if you have Hyperparathyroidism?
The food we eat impacts our health, so it is important to have a healthy diet. In case you have any health conditions, then it’s recommended that you take the guidance of your physician or dietician and plan your diet accordingly. Since this article is related to Hyperparathyroidism, so let us have a look at foods to avoid if you have Hyperparathyroidism.
The consumption of alcohol can cause severe damage to the thyroid hormone levels in the body and also lowers the ability to produce thyroid hormones as per the study of the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. Alcohol consumption may have a toxic effect on the thyroid gland and reduces the body's ability to use these thyroid hormones. Also, the cortisol level increases with the high consumption of alcohol, decreasing bones' formation, and increasing bone breakdown. Ideally, people having thyroid must avoid alcohol consumption completely.
Smoking lowers the level of Vitamins D, lowers bone mineral density, and also increases the risk of bone fractures at an old age. It might be because the smokers have a lower intake of calcium and a high level of secretion of calcium with the urine. This would have a negative impact on the calcium balance that would cause an increase in serum parathyroid hormone. Additionally, smoking may compromise the appropriate diagnostics evaluation of Hyperparathyroidism. Therefore it is unknown to what extent smoking in primary Hyperparathyroidism affects the indication of surgery or fracture risk.
3. Refined Flour
The people suffering from Hyperparathyroidism must avoid refined flour and all the products made using refined flour because it is a bit difficult to digest and has extremely low nutritional value. Food products made with refined flour contain a high glycemic index, which is harmful to the blood sugar level and the hormones. Therefore, food items made with refined flour like the white bread, pasta, cereals, and snacks have to be replaced with whole-grain bread, wheat bread, barley, or other whole grain products. You must avoid these foods if you think you have hyperparathyroidism.
4. Refined Sugar
Similar to the refined flour, the food items made using refined sugar should be avoided. In addition to refined sugar, all the products contain sugar like the sugarcane, corn syrup, maple syrup, fructose, dextrose, and all the other types of food items that contain added sugar. Sugars also increase the calorie count and glycemic index of the food and slow down hyperparathyroidism recovery. It also satisfies our hunger and leaves no space for the vegetables or salads that are actually beneficial for our bodies. Therefore sweets like jams, cakes, donuts, cookies, pastries, candies, carbonated drinks should be replaced with the no sugar added snacks.
5. High Iodine Food
It is a mineral found mainly in the salt and also in other food items. Eating iodine in excessive amounts worsens the Hyperparathyroidism because it increases the activity of the thyroid glands. People suffering from Hyperparathyroidism must limit the intake of food items such as fish, prawns, crabs, sushi, egg yolks, etc.
6. Red Meat
Red meat offers high levels of saturated fats and cholesterol, causing heart disease and type II diabetes. It is also known as inflammatory food, as it can cause inflammation in the body if it is consumed for a long time. Therefore, it is advised to avoid these foods if you think you have Hyperparathyroidism. You can substitute red meat with a lean protein food like tuna, salmon, beans, etc.
7. Allergic Food
Consuming food items that are allergic to your body should not be consumed as it can worsen your Hyperparathyroidism. If you are not aware of which food type you are allergic, you can either opt for a food allergy test or even notice some of its symptoms on your own like skin rashes, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, or difficulty in breathing. Grave's disease is an autoimmune disease that can trigger Hyperparathyroidism if allergic food items are consumed. Therefore, it is advised to avoid allergic food items and replace them with the healthy ones that help to prevent Hyperparathyroidism.
8. Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
Hydrogenated vegetable oil is used mainly for making commercial food items like crackers, cookies, onion rings, pie crust, and many more. This oil is the source of trans fat, which decreases the good cholesterol in the body and increases Hyperparathyroidism symptoms. So, it's better to avoid these foods if you think you have Hyperparathyroidism.
9. Food containing Nitrates
Nitrate is the chemical that makes your thyroid absorb excessive iodine, leading to enlarged thyroid and Hyperparathyroidism. Nitrates are usually found in the natural food items, and processed food may contain some additional nitrate. It's advised to limit the food such as lettuce, beets, cabbage, cucumber, pumpkin.
Excessive caffeine consumption is harmful to our health, but it is worse for the people suffering from Hyperparathyroidism as it can cause palpitations, insomnia, tremors, and even anxiety. It is advised to avoid all the drinks that contain a high amount of caffeine like tea, coffee, soda, chocolate, and energy drinks.
The main objective of a health-specific diet is to normalize the body's level of calcium and phosphorus. Moreover, maintaining a proper diet is just like maintaining a good habit. It's as important as maintaining a healthy diet to build one. But when the same proper diet is continued for a prolonged period, it will surely cater to you with a healthy life with a sound body.
Hyperparathyroidism requires lifelong treatment, but following a strict diet rich in calcium would ensure reduced risks. Consult with an endocrinologist and a dietician because they can guide you properly by recommending foods to be included and what foods to avoid if you have Hyperparathyroidism.