The preferred method of testing for a hyperparathyroid and locating the over-active gland is a nuclear medicine isotope study known as the Sestamibi Scan. First developed in the early 1990s, this method of testing has proven to be very accurate.
Other protocols to check for a hyperparathyroid include testing for elevated parathyroid hormone and calcium levels. Ultrasounds, CT Scans and MRIs are also used to locate enlarged glands and facilitate management of the disease.
The only cure for parathyroid disease is surgery. Removing the tumor and, if necessary, the entire diseased gland, forces the dormant glands to reawaken and begin to function properly once again. During the week or two it takes for the healthy glands to resume normal function, patients are given calcium pills to compensate for a lower calcium level in the blood.