What is Hyperparathyroidism?

At Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology, our board-certified endocrinology experts treat a number of endocrinological conditions including diabetes and thyroid disease. We also treat some less common hormone-related conditions such as hyperparathyroidism causing hypercalcemia.

What is hypercalcemia?

Hypercalcemia is caused by above normal calcium levels in your blood. Excess calcium in the blood can lead to weakened bones or osteoporosis, kidney stones or kidney failure, and even heart issues such as arrhythmia.  

What are some common symptoms of hypercalcemia?

Hypercalcemia is typically caught early as part of a routine blood test. However, long-term hypercalcemia can cause issues in the body near the region where the blood is most concentrated with calcium. Examples of some common hypercalcemia symptoms and associated areas include: 

  • Frequent urination or excessive thirst (kidneys)
  • Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting or constipation (digestive system)
  • Sore bones and muscles (skeletal and muscular systems)
  • Confusion, depression or fatigue (the brain)
  • Palpitations or arrhythmia/irregular heartbeat (the heart and circulatory system)

What causes hypercalcemia? 

Hypercalcemia can be caused by overactive parathyroid glands (hyperparathyroidism) or a parathyroid tumor. Other contributing factors that may potentially lead to hypercalcemia are:

  • Certain cancers like lung or breast cancer, or any cancer that has spread to the bones
  • Genetics and a family history of hypercalcemia 
  • Diseases such as tuberculosis that can elevate vitamin D levels in the blood and lead to more calcium absorption in the body
  • Dehydration
  • Certain medications or overuse of  calcium or vitamin D supplements 
  • A sedentary lifestyle causing bones to weaken, break down, and secrete calcium into the bloodstream

After a confirmed hypercalcemia diagnosis, your provider may recommend additional imaging tests to examine your parathyroid glands to determine if hyperparathyroidism is causing hypercalcemia. 

How is hyperparathyroidism treated? 

For mild cases of hyperparathyroidism,  our endocrinologists may recommend close monitoring and limiting supplemental calcium. 

For more advanced cases, surgical removal of the parathyroid glands may be necessary. Typically, only one of the four parathyroid glands are affected but all four could be involved.

Contact Us to Help Manage your Hyperparathyroidism 

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology and discover how our diabetes services  and other endocrinology therapies can help you lead a full and active life, please contact us at (512) 458-8400 or request an appointment online.  

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check back with us each month as we provide you helpful wellness and health information.

nder affirming hormone therapy
Texas Diabetes Offers Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy

Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology’s team of board-certified endocrinology experts treat common endocrinology issues which are closely associated with the body’s hormonal system. 

One of the services we offer patients is gender affirming hormone therapy. In this blog, Dr. Valerie Espinosa explains everything you need to know about the gender affirming hormone therapy we offer in Austin, TX. 

What is gender affirming hormone therapy? 

This form of treatment is used in transgender and non-binary patients in order to help better align the body with a person’s gender identity, whether it be feminizing or masculinizing therapy. 

Feminizing therapy is mainly achieved with the administration of the hormone estradiol in transgender women and non-binary individuals. 

While estradiol is the mainstay of treatment, other medications may sometimes be

added (such as progestins and anti-androgens). Treatment with these medications induces several physical changes that are more consistent with a feminine appearance. These changes


  • Breast development
  • Less facial and body hair
  • Softer skin
  • More body fat and a decline in muscle mass
  • Smaller testicles
  • Lower libido and fewer erections

Masculinizing therapy which uses testosterone in transgender men and non-binary individuals will also bring about several physical changes which include:

  • Cessation of the menstrual cycle
  • Deepening of the voice
  • Growth of facial and body hair
  • Clitoral enlargement
  • Increase in strength and muscle mass

How long does it take to see changes with gender affirming hormone therapy?

Changes generally start to occur within a few months, but full effects may not become apparent

until two to five years after starting hormone therapy.

What are the possible risks and side effects? 

Gender affirming hormone therapy does not come without serious risks/side effects. 

Estrogen-related side effects are: 

  • Blood clots
  • Higher cholesterol
  • Elevated prolactin
  • Weight gain
  • Hypertension
  • Potential for stroke
  • Mood changes, anxiety or depression 

Testosterone-related side effects are:  

  • Weight gain
  • Acne
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Higher cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Sleep apnea
  • High red blood cell counts
  • Blood clots

Both hormones will cause the transgender individual to develop infertility, which may or may

not be permanent.

What is the process to begin gender affirming hormone therapy?

Prior to starting therapy, we require a physician referral. Then, we will provide patient education including the risks and benefits of treatment to ensure that you are well informed enough to consent to treatment. Following this initial step, you will:

1.         Undergo a complete medical evaluation, including physical exam and laboratory diagnostics, to determine any treatment risks.

2.         Learn about and discuss options for fertility preservation. 

3.         Seek a mental health evaluation in order to confirm a gender dysphoria diagnosis and to rule out any co-existing mental health issues.

Once you have begun your hormone therapy, you will visit with our providers on a regular basis so that we can track your response to treatment and check for any signs of complications. 

We are ready to facilitate your journey through this process.

If you’d like to learn more about our gender affirming hormone therapy services, please call Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology at (512) 458-8400 or request an appointment online.  

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check back with us each month as we provide you helpful wellness and health information.

adrenal disorder
What are Adrenal Disorders?

The adrenal glands are located at the top of the kidneys and produce a variety of hormones that help regulate essential bodily functions including the immune system, metabolism, blood pressure and how the body response to stress. When your adrenal glands don’t produce enough or produce too much of these hormones, adrenal disorders can occur.

We asked board certified endocrinologist Dr. Jean Chen to provide her insights on some of the top questions around adrenal disorders.

What are adrenal disorders? 

Adrenal disorders are a category of diseases that are due to dysfunction of adrenal glands. This is where the glands may over or under produce certain adrenal hormones.

What adrenal disorders are treated at Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology?

There are several adrenal gland disorders that can range from temporary concerns to chronic conditions. We see patients with:

What are the symptoms of adrenal disorders and when should you contact a healthcare provider?

There are a large range of symptoms that can occur due to adrenal issues. You may see unexplained weight changes, blood pressure abnormalities, frequent sickness or fatigue, or weakness. You should contact your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms.

How are adrenal disorders diagnosed?

A patient’s history and examination will help determine the blood and urine tests we ordered to look adrenal hormone levels. If the results are abnormal, additional imaging tests including CT or MRI scans may be recommended. 

How are adrenal disorders treated at Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology?

Once a diagnosis is made, our adrenal experts can help tailor a treatment plan that fits best for the patient. Depending on the type of adrenal gland disorder, treatment can include medication, radiation therapy, or surgery. 

If you think you may have an adrenal disorder, contact your healthcare provider immediately. These conditions can be serious if left untreated.

If you’d like to learn more about our full range of endocrine services, please call Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology at (512) 458-8400 or request an appointment online

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check back with us each month as we provide you helpful wellness and health information.

Men's Health low testosterone
Men’s Health Month: Low Testosterone

June is Men’s Health Month – a time to focus on the health and well-being of men of all ages. One health issue that impacts many men is low testosterone. It is projected that approximately 6.5 million American men between the ages of 30-79 will have low testosterone by 2025.

While there is still much research to be done around the connection of low testosterone to other health issues, there is already an established link between insulin resistance, diabetes and low T. According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetics are twice as likely to have low testosterone compared to those without diabetes. 

Here is the information you need to know to better understand how low testosterone affects men’s health.

Low Testosterone Overview

The testosterone hormone is a part of the endocrine system and plays a large role in men’s health. It helps regulate muscle mass and strength, it can impact sex drive and sexual function, and it helps maintain bone strength. If a man is diagnosed with hypogonadism, it means they’re experiencing low testosterone along with a potential for other symptoms.

Causes and Symptoms

There are several potential causes of low testosterone, including:

  • Normal aging
  • Certain cancer treatments
  • Diseases affecting the testicles
  • Disorders that affect the pituitary gland

The symptoms of low T depend on the person, but can include:

  • Low energy
  • Low sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Feelings of sadness or depression
  • Weight gain

Related Health Concerns

Low testosterone is associated with a variety of related health concerns, and some of which can be very serious. 

Examples include:

Low Testosterone Treatment

Low testosterone can be treated with testosterone replacement therapy. It is important to talk to your doctor to find the treatment that will work best for you and to monitor your testosterone levels to optimize the results. At Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology, we offer a variety of testosterone replacement treatments, including skin patches, gels, injections, and nasal spray. Our providers will work with you to find a personalized treatment plan.

Consult with an Endocrinologist in Austin, TX

To learn more about low testosterone (low T) and testosterone replacement therapy, schedule a consultation with one of our board certified endocrinologists in Austin or Round Rock by requesting an appointment online or call (512) 458-8400.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check back with us each month as we provide you helpful wellness and health information.

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