Hyperaldosteronism (patient information)

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Hyperaldosteronism

Overview

What are the symptoms?

What are the causes?

Who is at highest risk?

Diagnosis

When to seek urgent medical care?

Treatment options

Where to find medical care for (Condition)?

Prevention

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

Possible complications

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FDA on Hyperaldosteronism

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Directions to Hospitals Treating Hyperaldosteronism

Risk calculators and risk factors for Hyperaldosteronism

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Jinhui Wu, M.D.

Overview

Primary and secondary hyperaldosteronism are conditions in which the adrenal gland releases too much of the hormone aldosterone.

What are the symptoms of Hyperaldosteronism?

What are the causes of Hyperaldosteronism?

Persons with primary hyperaldosteronism have a problem with the adrenal gland that causes it to release too 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 hypertension in some patients. Most cases of primary hyperaldosteronism are caused by a noncancerous (benign) tumor of the adrenal gland. Secondary hyperaldosteronism is generally related to hypertension. It is also related to disorders such as:

Who is at highest risk?

The condition is common in people ages 30 - 50.

Diagnosis

  • Abdominal CT scan
  • ECG
  • Plasma aldosterone level
  • Plasma renin activity
  • Serum potassium level
  • Urinary aldosterone

Occasionally, it is necessary to insert a catheter into the veins of the adrenal glands to determine which of the adrenals contains the growth. This disease may also affect the results of the following tests:

When to seek urgent medical care

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop symptoms of hyperaldosteronism.

Treatment options

Primary hyperaldosteronism caused by a tumor is usually treated with surgery. Removing adrenal tumors may control the symptoms. Even after surgery, some people have hypertension and need to take medication. Watching your salt intake and taking medication may control the symptoms without surgery. Medications used to treat hyperaldosteronism include:

Surgery is not used for secondary hyperaldosteronism, but medications and diet are part of treatment.

Where to find medical care for Hyperaldosteronism

Directions to Hospitals Treating Hyperaldosteronism

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)

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

Impotence and gynecomastia (enlarged breasts in men) may occur with long-term spironolactone treatment in men, but this is uncommon.

Sources


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