Hypoparathyroidism: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

The parathyroid glands are found behind the thyroid gland in the neck. They release parathyroid hormone, which helps control how much calcium is in the blood. When these glands do not make or release enough of the hormone, the level of calcium in the blood can drop. This can cause many problems. These include belly pain, muscle spasms, and numbness and tingling in your hands, feet, and around the mouth.

The most common cause of this illness is an injury to the parathyroid glands during surgery on the neck. It happens most often after surgery on the thyroid gland.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. You will get more details on the specific medicines your doctor prescribes.
  • Take calcium and vitamin D tablets as directed by your doctor. You may have to take these for the rest of your life.
  • Eat a diet high in calcium. This includes plenty of dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, and dark green vegetables.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have a seizure.
  • You have severe trouble breathing.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have muscle spasms.
  • You have pain in your belly, face, legs, or feet that is new or gets worse.
  • You have vision problems that are new or get worse.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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Current as of: July 28, 2016