You might have noticed that Dr. Fowler now monitors a new yearly lab value, called Parathyroid Hormone or PTH. This hormone is produced by your Parathyroid Glands in your neck. The glands help regulate the Calcium and Phosphorous levels in your blood. When your calcium level gets low, the glands secrete PTH. PTH acts on your bones to release calcium and increase gut absorption to maintain proper blood levels.
Elevated PTH can result from glands that are incorrectly secreting too much hormone, or from another problem that affects the function. This other cause is termed, Secondary Hyperparathyroidism.
Secondary Hyperparathyroidism is important in Bariatric Surgery Patients because severe Calcium or Vitamin D deficiency can occur in patients who are not taking the correct type or amount of multivitamin supplements. As you remember, low Calcium and Vitamin D can cause early bone loss, or osteoporosis. So in summary, an elevated PTH level in a Bariatric Patient can mean that they are suffering from low Calcium or Vitamin D levels. This may not matter to the patient now, but they will most likely have big problems with bone strength as they age.
Making the commitment to undergo Bariatric Surgery includes taking the recommended multivitamin supplements to avoid any negative health effects. You’ve done the hard work, continue to maintain your investment with good quality multivitamins! For any questions on Parathyroid Hormone or to make an appointment with Dr. Fowler call the office at (808) 521-1300.