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Primary Hyperaldosteronism

more about Primary Hyperaldosteronism

PH, Conn's Syndrome

  • A disorder that results from the excess secretion of a hormone known as aldosterone.  This hormone is secreted by the adrenal glands (located above the kidneys), and is involved in the regulation of many important bodily functions, such as blood pressure, proper electrolyte balance (Potassium, Sodium etc.), and the secondary retention of water.

  • Tumors (abnormal growths) of the adrenal glands are the main cause.
  • The tumors are often benign (adrenal adenomas) and rarely cancerous (i.e., adrenocortical carcinomas).
  • The secretion of excess aldosterone by these tumors increases the reabsorption (uptake) of Sodium, while increasing Potassium loss by the kidneys.
  • Most patients have normal Potassium levels (normokalemic).

  • History:
    1. Symptoms
    2. Illnesses
    3. Surgeries
    4. Medications
    5. Allergies
    6. Habits
    7. Family
  • Medical exam:
    1. High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
    2. Looking at the back of the eye with an ophthalmoscope, the physician may see damaged blood vessels due to Hypertension.
    3. The heart rate may have a fast or an irregular rhythm (palpitation).
  • Blood tests may show:
    1. Hypokalemia (low Potassium)
    2. Low acidity of the blood (metabolic alkalosis)
    3. High aldosterone levels
    4. Low Renin (an enzyme involved in maintaining proper blood pressure) levels
    5. Urine samples may show:
      Increased Potassium levels
      Increased aldosterone levels
    6. A CAT scan (uses computers to generate detailed pictures) is done to locate the adrenal tumor.

  • Women
  • Age between 30-50
  • Also, there is association with increased renal cysts (sacs in the kidneys).

  • Your doctor may consult with an endocrinologist (hormone doctor) or a surgeon.
  • If a tumor is present in only one adrenal gland, the affected adrenal is surgically removed.
  • If tumors are seen in both adrenal glands, then medical therapy is the usual treatment.
  • Potassium sparing diuretic medications such as Spironolactone, blood pressure medications (ACE-inhibitors, etc.), and a low salt (Sodium) diet is recommended.
  • Exercise and avoidance of drugs (tobacco and alcohol) is recommended.

  • Contact your physician.

more about Primary Hyperaldosteronism

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