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HypoPara Life Impacts Assessment

“I realized that my life had just drastically changed. I went from being able to do my normal activities to having to plan ahead for every minute of my day.” – Chrissy, living with HypoPara.
Compensated by Ascendis Pharmaceuticals.

Understanding HypoPara

What Is Hypoparathyroidism?

Hypoparathyroidism, or HypoPara, is defined by missing or low parathyroid hormone in the body. The 4 parathyroid glands are behind the thyroid gland in the neck. Damaging or removing these may cause a decrease in PTH.

This disease may result from:

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Neck surgery
(most common)

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Genetic causes

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Other secondary or unknown causes

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You can use this helpful phrase to remind your friends and family of the meaning of your disease:

“The O in 'low' means HypO.”

What Is the Role of PTH?

The parathyroid glands play a role in keeping calcium levels under control by releasing PTH. People with HypoPara may have a reduced quality of life, which may be related, in part, to missing PTH.

How PTH keeps calcium levels in the normal range

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PTH helps keep the balance of calcium in the blood and bones.

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PTH signals the kidneys to keep calcium in your body and helps them activate the vitamin D that works in the body.

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PTH activates vitamin D, which helps with the absorption of calcium from food in the intestine.

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PTH receptors are present in the brain. PTH may have an effect on mental function.


When PTH is missing, the body is not able to function normally.

Missing PTH Can Affect Many Different Areas of the Body

The effects of HypoPara

Click to explore

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  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trouble thinking (brain fog)
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  • Cataracts
  • Optic nerve swelling
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  • Abnormal tooth development
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  • Vocal cord spasms (laryngospasm)
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  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart disease from low calcium
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Nervous system
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Involuntary muscle movements
  • Tingling in arms and legs
  • Muscle cramps or spasms
  • Pain
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  • Calcium deposits in kidneys*
  • Kidney stones*
  • Chronic kidney disease*
*These effects are primarily due to treatment with active vitamin D and calcium rather than the results of HypoPara.
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Skin, Hair, and Nails
  • Dry skin
  • Thinning hair
  • Brittle nails
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  • Abnormal bone structure (such as increased bone mineral density)
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  • Muscle weakness

Chrissy, living with HypoPara.

Compensated by Ascendis Pharmaceuticals.

Adapted by permission from Springer Nature. Nature Reviews Disease Primers. 2017;3:17055. Hypoparathyroidism. Mannstadt M, et al. 2017.

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“Five years after my diagnosis, I’m still learning and improving my ability to manage this disorder.”

– Andrea, living with HypoPara. Compensated by Ascendis Pharmaceuticals.

HypoPara Is a Rare Endocrine Disease

HypoPara most commonly occurs after neck surgery (such as a total thyroidectomy)

About 77,000 to 115,000*people in the US are living
with HypoPara

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*Based on estimates from a study of US healthcare claims from 2007 to 2008 that looked at the number of diagnoses related to hypoparathyroidism, along with the 2009 population-based Rochester Epidemiology Project that identified hypoparathyroidism diagnoses from medical records since 1945.

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impacts of low PTH levels

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HypoPara=hypoparathyroidism; PTH=parathyroid hormone.