Leading Parathyroid Surgeon Explains Connection Between Parathyroid Function and Vitamin D

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Babak Larian, MD, FACS, Director of the CENTER for Advanced Parathyroid Surgery in Los Angeles, describes the connection between Vitamin D levels and parathyroid function in a recent article.

Babak Larian MD
While hyperparathyroidism patients with accompanying low Vitamin D may benefit from taking a Vitamin D supplement, the only truly effective treatment for the hyperparathyroidism and resulting symptoms is the removal of the affected gland.

In a recent article titled “Vitamin D & the Parathyroid,” Babak Larian, MD, FACS, a leading parathyroid surgeon in Los Angeles, explains the connection between parathyroid function and Vitamin D levels in patients with hyperparathyroidism. Vitamin D is crucial in helping the body absorb calcium and patients with hyperparathyroidism often have a low Vitamin D level.

“We need Vitamin D in order to absorb the calcium we get through food and supplements. When we have a low Vitamin D level, the calcium is not going to get absorbed, thus will not help our bones. This is why most milk is fortified with Vitamin D—to ensure the calcium in the milk can actually be used by our bodies,” explains Dr. Babak Larian.

Hyperparathyroidism is a condition in which a person’s parathyroid glands are overactive, producing too much parathyroid hormone. Typically just one out of a patient’s four parathyroid glands is dysfunctional, but this still causes the level of blood calcium in the patient to become far too high. Often, Hyperparathyroidism is accompanied by low vitamin D levels; possibly a protective mechanism in the body to decrease calcium absorption in the intestines. An abnormally high blood calcium level, accompanied by the common low Vitamin D level, can result in severe physical symptoms that can greatly affect a patient’s quality of life.

“When a person has hyperparathyroidism, it is as if the parathyroid gland’s control mechanism has malfunctioned and it never stops producing parathyroid hormone, even when blood calcium starts to get too high. This can result in symptoms such as kidney stones, bone pain and weakness, abdominal pain, and will eventually lead to osteoporosis,”explained Dr. Larian, parathyroid expert in Los Angeles. Taking vitamin D supplementation has been shown to help prevent progression of osteoporosis, but will not reverse it or cure the problem.

Dr. Larian performs minimally invasive parathyroidectomy procedures at the Los Angeles CENTER for Advanced Parathyroid Surgery. Through a small incision, Dr. Larian and his team remove the dysfunctional parathyroid gland and perform intra-operative PTH testing to ensure the problem is resolved. Patients typically experience significant symptom relief immediately following surgery.

“While hyperparathyroidism patients with accompanying low Vitamin D may benefit from taking a Vitamin D supplement, the only truly effective treatment for the hyperparathyroidism and resulting symptoms is the removal of the affected gland. After the minimally invasive parathyroid removal, patients begin to feel better right away,” said Dr. Larian.

Dr. Babak Larian, the Director of the CENTER for Advanced Parathyroid Surgery in Los Angeles, is a highly experienced and reputable board-certified head and neck surgeon. Dr. Larian is nationally renowned for his expertise in minimally invasive surgery techniques involving parathyroid disorders and is considered a pioneer in his field. Currently, Dr. Larian holds the prestigious honor of Chief of Head & Neck Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at UCLA.

For additional information regarding Dr. Larian and the various services offered at the CENTER for Advanced Parathyroid surgery, please visit http://www.parathyroidmd.com or call 310-461-0300.

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