Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Well, I heard back from June at TCI. She has been in contact with Dr. Camacho, my new endocrinologist. Dr. Camacho has told June that I have another diagnosis: hyperparathyroidism, which is causing my osteopenia. Of course, I can't find out the details until I see Dr. Camacho, which is scheduled for December 8th. However, I can't wait that long to find out about it, so I've done a little research on my own.

I found this information at http://www.endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/hyper/hyper.htm

There are four pea-sized parathyroid glands located at the front of your neck. They produce PTH (parathyroid hormone) which helps regulate calcium and phosphorous levels in the body. In hyperparathyroidism, one or more parathyroid glands grows an adenoma, or a benign tumor, causing it to secrete too much PTH. This causes calcium levels in your bones to decrease and in your blood to increase. The cause is unknown. Common complications include osteoporosis and kidney stones.

Symptoms include: bone pain, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, and depression.

The treatment for parathyroidism is surgery to remove the offending parathyroid gland. This is recommended in the vast majority of cases, since the condition will only progress without surgery. With surgery, any associated weakening of the bones will be quickly reversed.

So, this is good and bad news. The bad news: It sounds like I will need an additional surgery. The good news: We know the cause of my osteopenia, and the treatment is more of a "quick-fix". This means I may not require 12-18 months of medication before I'd be ready for my cranio-cervical fusion. This also means that a very simple surgery could relieve some of my symptoms right away!!!

However, I obviously haven't talked to a doctor directly about this condition yet. So, I'll need to really be patient until December 8th to talk to Dr. Camacho about it. Because, I only have the general information on the condition, not the specifics of my individual case. So let's not get carried away, yet!

Well, that's all the news I've got for now. Thanks for listening.