Other serum level tests
Due to the relationship between PTH and calcium, calcium levels should be tested at the same time as PTH. Most laboratories have established reference values to indicate what PTH level is normal for a particular calcium level. In addition, the effects of PTH on kidney function and bone strength indicate that serum calcium, phosphorus, and creatinine levels should be measured together with PTH. The creatinine test measures kidney function and aids in the diagnosis of parathyroid dysfunction.
The PTH test is performed on a sample of the patient's blood, withdrawn from a vein into a vacuum tube. The procedure, which is called a venipuncture, takes about five minutes.
The patient should have nothing to eat or drink from midnight of the day of the test.
Risks for this test are minimal, but may include slight bleeding from the puncture site, a small bruise or swelling in the area, or fainting or feeling lightheaded.
Reference ranges for PTH tests vary somewhat depending on the laboratory, and must be interpreted in association with calcium results. The following ranges are typical:
Intact PTH: 10-65 pg/mL
PTH N-terminal (includes intact PTH): 8-24 pg/mL
PTH C-terminal (includes C-terminal, intact PTH, and midmolecule): 50-330 pg/mL.
When measured with serum calcium levels, abnormally high PTH values may indicate primary, secondary, or tertiary hyperparathyroidism, chronic renal failure, malabsorption syndrome, and vitamin D deficiency. Abnormally low PTH levels may indicate hypoparathyroidism, hypercalcemia, and certain malignancies.
Symptoms of Parathyroid Disease
Loss of energy. Don't feel like doing much. Tired all the time.
Just don't feel well; don't quite feel normal. Hard to explain but just feel kind of bad.
Feel old. Don't have the interest in things that you used to.
Can't concentrate, or can't keep your concentration like in the past.
Osteoporosis and Osteopenia.
Bones hurt; typically it's bones in the legs and arms but can be most bones.
Don't sleep like you used to. Wake up in middle of night. Trouble getting to sleep.
Tired during the day and frequently feel like you want a nap.
Spouse claims you are more irritable and harder to get along with (cranky, bitchy).
Forget simple things that you used to remember very easily.
Gastric acid reflux; heartburn; GERD.
Decrease in sex drive.
Thinning hair (predominately in older females).
High Blood Pressure (sometimes mild, sometimes quite severe; up and down a lot).
Recurrent Headaches (usually patients under the age of 40).
Heart Palpitations (arrhythmias). Typically atrial arrhythmias.
Most people with hyperparathyroidism will have 4 - 6 of these symptoms. Some will have lots of them. A few people will say they don't have any... but after an operation they will often say otherwise. 95% of people with hyperparathyroidism will have 3 or more of these symptoms. In general, the longer you have hyperparathyroidism, the more symptoms you will develop.