“I am not convinced of any exceptional reason, circumstance or justification for us to grant request. There is no immediate and compelling necessity for the former president to seek treatment abroad as attested to by Health Secretary Enrique Ona…”
So it’s final (or so it seems). The Aquino government, through Justice Secretary de Lima, has decided to bar Congresswoman Gloria Arroyo from leaving the country. The condition for which the former president is seeking treatment is called HYPOPARATHYROIDISM.
What is this disease all about? To understand it, I have created a mnemonic to explain some of its intricacies.
H – Hormonal Problem. It is due to decreased secretion of parathyroid hormone or PTH. PTH is required to maintain adequate calcium levels in the blood.
Y – Why does it happen? The most common causes are accidental trauma to the parathyroid gland due to neck surgeries and autoimmune destruction of the parathyroid gland. Uncommon causes include immobilization and lithium use.
P – Potentially serious. If left untreated, it can lead to death.
O – Osteoporosis or softening of the bone tissues occur in hypoparathyroidism.
P – Pseudohypoparathyroidism, where PTH levels are normal but body tissues are insensitive to PTH, are associated with mental retardation and bone deformities.
A – Abdominal Pain. Hypoparathyroidism can lead to cramping of the abdominal muscles.
R – Rare disease. The incidence of hyperparathyroidism increases with age. In persons over the age of 65 years, hyperparathyroidism occurs in one out of every 1,000 men and in 2-3 out of every 1,000 women.
A – Autoimmune invasion or destruction of the parathyroid gland is the most common non-surgical cause of hypoparathyroidism.
T – Thyroid surgery can cause hypoparathyroidism. This happens due to accidental removal or trauma to the parathyroid gland during thyroidectomy or other neck surgeries.
H – Hypocalcemia. Decreased parathyroid hormone levels lead to a decrease in blood calcium levels.
Y – Why is calcium important? Calcium is important for the formation of bones and teeth, blood clotting to diminish bleeding, and the contraction of muscles (including the heart muscle).
R – Renal or kidney reabsorption of calcium is promoted by PTH, which will result in an increase in blood calcium levels.
O – Ophthalmologically speaking, it can also lead to cataracts.
I – Idiopathic, or unknown causes of hypoparathyroidism, have also been documented.
D – Vitamin D synthesis in the body is aided by PTH.
I – Intravenous injection of calcium gluconate can be administered in severe hypocalcemia.
S – Seizures. When left untreated, hypoparathyroidism can lead to tetanic convulsions due to decreased blood calcium levels.
M – Muscle Cramps and spasms are common. If it occurs in the muscles of the larynx, it can result in breathing difficulties.
Was the Justice Secretary right in refusing treatment? Send me your feedback. Now that you know what hypothyroidism is, you be the judge.
- Philippines bars ill Arroyo from treatment abroad (seattletimes.nwsource.com)