Hypoparathyroidism may result in numerous complications.

Reversible complications

The following complications are due to low calcium levels, and most are likely to improve with adequate treatment:

  • Tetany. These cramp-like spasms of your hands and fingers may be prolonged and painful. Tetany also may include muscle discomfort and twitches or spasms of the muscles of your face, throat or arms. When these spasms occur in your throat, they can interfere with breathing, creating a possible emergency.
  • Paresthesias. These are characterized by sensory symptoms of odd, tingling sensations or pins and needles feelings in your lips, tongue, fingers and feet.
  • Loss of consciousness with convulsions (grand mal seizures).
  • Malformation of the teeth, affecting their shape and size.
  • Impaired kidney function.
  • Heart arrhythmias and fainting, even heart failure.

Irreversible complications

Other complications associated with hypoparathyroidism will not improve with calcium and vitamin D treatment:

  • Stunted growth (short stature)
  • Slow mental development (or mental retardation) in children
  • Calcium deposits in the brain
  • Cataracts
Oct. 24, 2012