What is the diagnosis of Hypoparathyroidism?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 01, 2013

In order for an individual to receive appropriate medical assistance for hypoparathyroidism, one should be aware of the kind of details required by doctors to make the right diagnosis. Detailed information regarding the occurrence of unexplained twitching or spasms of muscles, dry skin, hair loss or yeast infections are generally enquired about by the doctor.

doctor checking patients necSpecifically in children, the doctor will seek details relating to the developmental stages of the child. For instance the doctor will enquire about tooth development and about timing of developmental milestones (ages at which a child first rolled over, sat up, crawled, walked and spoke).

If any of the above mentioned symptoms are being experienced, the doctor will go on to check for muscle spasms, particularly in the face and hand regions. The doctor will also check for signs of dry skin, patches of hair thinning and yeast infected surfaces on the skin. Post clarification of these symptoms, the doctor will conduct a blood test to confirm the presence of hypoparathyroidism. The blood test is essentially done to measure levels of parathyroid hormone, calcium and phosphorus in the system, indicating the presence of hypoparathyroidism.

Medical history

If the doctor suspects hypoparathyroidism, he or she will begin the diagnostic process by understanding the medical history of the patient and by further seeking information regarding reported symptoms, such as muscle cramps or tingling of the extremities. Information regarding recent surgeries, particularly operations involving the thyroid or neck is of utmost importance and must be reported to the medical assistant for a better diagnosis.

Physical exam

Once the doctor has gained a thorough understanding of a patient’s medical history, the next step of diagnosis is the physical examination. The physical examination attempts to look for signs that suggest hypoparathyroidism, such as facial muscle twitching.
Blood tests

Based on the medical history and physical examination conducted by the doctor, a blood test may be requested to confirm the presence of hypoparathyroidism. The blood test might reveal the following, thus indicating the presence of hypoparathyroidism:

  • a low blood-calcium level,
  • low parathyroid hormone level,
  • high blood-phosphorus level,
  • low blood-magnesium level.

In addition to a blood test, the doctor might have good reasons for ordering a battery of test to eliminate the presence of hypoparathyroidism or its related illnesses.

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): This test involves taking electrical readings of the heart's activity. It can detect arrhythmias associated with hypocalcemia and, in turn, hypoparathyroidism.
  • Urine test: Evaluation of a sample of your urine can show whether the body is excreting too much calcium.
  • X-rays and bone density tests: These can determine whether abnormal calcium levels have affected the strength of the bones, thus pointing in the direction of hypoparathyroidism.
  • While diagnosing for Hypoparathyroidism in children, the regular developmental stages are matched to check for delays. Delay in developments at different stages of growth, for instance, beginning to walk, starting to talk, teeth formation, and etc., form solid indicators for the presence of hypoparathyroidism. These delays might form initial indicators for hypoparathyroidism, however, blood tests might also be required to confirm the same.


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