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Alternative Names Return to topConn syndrome
Definition Return to top
Primary and secondary hyperaldosteronism are conditions in which the adrenal gland releases too much of the hormone aldosterone.
Causes Return to top
Persons with primary hyperaldosteronism have a problem with the adrenal gland that causes it too release to much aldosterone.
In secondary hyperaldosteronism, the excess aldosterone is caused by something outside the adrenal gland that mimics the primary condition.
Primary hyperaldosteronism used to be considered a rare condition, but some experts believe that it may be the cause of high blood pressure in some patients. Most cases of primary hyperaldosteronism are caused by a noncancerous (benign) tumor of the adrenal gland. The condition is common in people ages 30 - 50.
Secondary hyperaldosteronism is generally related to high blood pressure. It is also related to disorders such as:
Symptoms Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
Treatment Return to top
Primary hyperaldosteronism caused by a tumor is usually treated with surgery. Removing adrenal tumors may control the symptoms. Even after surgery, some people have high blood pressure and need to take medication.
Watching your salt intake and taking medication may control the symptoms without surgery. Medications used to treat hyperaldosteronism are the diuretic ("water pill") spironolactone (Aldactone; Aldactazide) or eplerenone (Inspra), which blocks the action of aldosterone.
Surgery is not used for secondary hyperaldosteronism, but medications and diet are part of treatment.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
The prognosis for primary hyperaldosteronism is good with early diagnosis and treatment. The prognosis for secondary hyperaldosteronism will vary depending on the cause of the condition.
Possible Complications Return to top
Impotence and gynecomastia (enlarged breasts in men) may occur with long-term spironolactone treatment in men, but this is uncommon.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop symptoms of hyperaldosteronism.Update Date: 12/6/2007 Updated by: Nancy J. Rennert, M.D., Chief of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Norwalk Hospital, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.