Hyperparathyroidism & Diet

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Eating varied and balanced meals can help offset some of the symptoms and complications of hyperparathyroidism. (Image: Halfpoint/iStock/Getty Images)

Hyperparathyroidism is a treatable condition, but something as simple as diet can also help control symptoms and promote and maintain overall health. Eating varied and balanced meals can help offset some of the symptoms and complications of hyperparathyroidism, but should not be used in place of the treatments your doctor has prescribed. If you have this condition, consult your doctor about good nutrition and what you can do to stay healthy with hyperparathyroidism.

Hyperparathyroidism

The body has four parathyroid glands, and when any of them are overactive, this can cause hyperparathyroidism. Parathyroid hormone aids in maintaining calcium levels in the blood and tissues. Symptoms can include urinating more than usual, depression, memory problems, stomach pain, constipation, weak bones and kidney stones. This condition is usually diagnosed through blood tests that show elevated calcium and parathyroid hormone levels. Treatment may include surgery or medications; sometimes treatment is not necessary, just regular monitoring. Talk with your doctor about your condition and what the best treatment options are for you.

Healthy Foods to Eat

Beans, almonds and dark green, leafy vegetables are all good sources of calcium and help build strong bones. For overall health, eat lean meat like fish for protein, rather than red meat; tofu and beans are good non-meat sources of protein. Avoiding trans-fatty acids, which are typically found in processed foods like cookies and baked goods is also suggested. Choose whole grain breads and pastas instead of refined products like white bread; this will provide more fiber and help you avoid constipation. To ensure you get all the necessary nutrients, your doctor may also recommend you take a multivitamin that contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals.

Things to Avoid

Carbonated beverages containing phosphates cause your bones to lose calcium, which further increases your risk of developing osteoporosis, in addition to the hyperparathyroidism. Minimize or cut out your consumption of these drinks to promote bone health. Drink fortified soy milk for calcium if you are not allergic to soy. Drinking six to eight glasses of water can also reduce your risk of kidney stones. If you smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol, quitting will be beneficial to your health; talk with your doctor about ways to quit these habits and where to seek help to make quitting easier.

Considerations

Diet alone will not treat hyperparathyroidism, but it may help promote overall wellness and reduce your risk of complications. Talk with your doctor about your diet and whether modifications may help control your condition. She may also recommend taking various diet supplements like additional vitamin D or calcium for your bones or omega-3 fatty acids for inflammation. Before you use any supplements, check to see if they are safe for you to consume.

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