Hypoparathyroidism is an endocrine disorder of the parathyroid glands which produce the hormone parathyroid stimulating hormone or PTH. This hormone helps regulate the amount of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in the bones and blood. Hypoparathyroidism is characterised by low levels of PTH, which decreases the amount of calcium in the blood.
The typical diet for someone with hypoparathyroidism is one that is high in calcium (with adequate vitamin D levels) and low in phosphorus. Calcium supplementation (calcium carbonate) may be warranted however always check with your doctor or dietitian before taking these. Dietary strategies to ensure you are getting enough calcium and vitmain D in your diet include:
- Making sure you include 3-4 servings of dairy foods everyday. 1 serve of dairy includes:
- 250mL milk (reduced or low fat)
- 40g (2 slices) of cheese
- 200g tub of yoghurt (low fat, fruit flavoured)
The best source of vitamin D is from the sun. Vitamin D is needed to help increase the absorption of calcium from the small intestine. A few minutes of sun exposure (outside the hours of 1000-1400) everyday in summer should be enough for the body to produce sufficient vitamin D. In the winter around 20-30 minutes on most days of the week is needed. You may like to consider a vitamin D supplement if you do not get enough sunlight.
For more specific advice and a plan tailored to your needs consult an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). You can find an APD by logging onto the Dietitians Association of Australia website (www.daa.asn.au)
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