People who have primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism tend to have a tumor on the outer section of their adrenal gland, also known as the cortex, which secretes excess amounts of the aldosterone hormone. The hormone is usually involved in the regulation of salt levels. Patients with excessive production of the hormone experience retention of large amounts of salt in your body that lead to loss of potassium and elevated blood pressure.
Unilateral or bilateral over-activity of the adrenal glands could lead to primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism. The over-activity of one gland (unilateral) is often caused by the production of aldosterone by a non-malignant tumor (adenoma). In less common events, it is brought about by hyperplasia or adrenal cancer. When the two glands are all hyperactive, this may lead to the bilateral disease. Hyperactivity of both glands may be as a result of familial hyperaldosteronism which is an example of an uncommon genetic syndrome.
In this article you will read about the treatment for primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism, risk factors and complications in primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism.
Treatment for Primary Hyperaldosteronism or Primary Aldosteronism
The root cause of primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism determines the type of treatment to be used. However, the main goal of treatment for primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism is to block or regulate the effect of elevated levels of aldosterone. It also seeks to minimize the complications that may arise such as low levels of potassium or blood pressure.
Adrenal Gland Tumor Treatment in Primary Hyperaldosteronism or Primary Aldosteronism
Lifestyle modifications, medication or surgeries are some of the methods of to treat a tumor in the adrenal gland.
- Removal of the gland through surgery is done for primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism. The solution that is most often recommended is surgery to remove the gland on which the tumor has grown. The surgery is known as adrenalectomy. It is recommended because it provides a permanent solution for a lack of potassium and elevated blood pressure. It also helps to regulate levels of aldosterone. Blood pressure has been noted to drop progressively following a unilateral surgery for the removal of adrenal glands. Following the surgery, your doctor will monitor you closely. He will gradually regulate or eradicate the medication you are taking for your blood pressure. This surgery bears risks similar to abdominal surgery. These risks include infection and bleeding. On the other hand, it is unnecessary to replace adrenal hormones after the surgery. This is because the remaining gland is well-able to produce enough quantities of all required hormones.
- Usage of aldosterone blocking drug in primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism. In case the patient is unable or unwilling to go through surgery, you can choose to take drugs that block aldosterone (mineral corticoid receptor antagonists) as treatment for primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism that originates from a benign tumor. You can also take measures to change your lifestyle. However, you are advised to keep taking your medication since failure will lead to low levels of potassium and elevated blood pressure.
Treatments for Both Adrenal Glands Which are Over Active
If primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism is as a result of over-activity of the two glands, then a blend of lifestyle changes and medication can treat it. Over-activity of the glands is also referred to as bilateral adrenal hyperplasia.
Medications for treating Both Adrenal Glands Which are Over Active in Primary Hyperaldosteronism or Primary Aldosteronism
Medications are used for treating both adrenal glands which are over active in primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism. The consequence of aldosterone in the body can be mitigated by the use of mineral corticoid receptor anatagonists. At first, the doctor may prescribe Aldactone (spironolactone). Through this medicine, potassium deficiency and elevated blood pressure may be regulated. However, there may be some issues resulting from use of the medication.
Aldactone blocks progesterone and androgen receptors, as well as receptors of aldosterone. They may, as a result, limit the working of the hormones. There are several side effects including gynecomastia (enlargement of male breasts), impotence, gastro-intestinal pain, menstrual abnormalities and reduced desire for sexual intercourse.
Eplerenone is a new and more costly mineral corticoid receptor anatagonist that regulates the levels of aldosterone without affecting sexual desire like spironolactone. In the event that you have grave side effects while using spironolactone, then the doctor can recommend this new drug, eplerenone. There may also be a need to take other medication to help with the blood pressure.
Lifestyle Changes for treating Both Adrenal Glands Which are Over Active in Primary Hyperaldosteronism or Primary Aldosteronism
Lifestyle changes are crucial along with medications for treating both adrenal glands which are over active in primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism. The effects of medication for elevated blood pressure are more useful when they are accompanied by a healthy lifestyle and diet. You are advised to speak to your doctor and establish a plan that will help to keep a reasonable body weight and lower the sodium in your diet. You should also engage regularly in exercise, stop smoking and minimize alcohol intake. All of these will work together to advance your reaction to medicine.
Risk Factors for Primary Hyperaldosteronism or Primary Aldosteronism
Primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism is caused by either a bilateral adrenal hyperplasia or an adrenal adenoma that is producing aldosterone. There are other risk factors for primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism that is not quite as common. They include adrenal cortical carcinoma, glucocorticoid suppressible hyperaldosteronism and familial non-glucocorticoid variation of hyperaldosteronismn that is suppressible.
Complications in Primary Hyperaldosteronism or Primary Aldosteronism
Some of the complications of primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism include low potassium levels causing high blood pressure. There are other problems that could also result from these complications.
There can be many problems associated with high levels of blood pressure. Levels of blood pressure that are constantly high may result in kidney and heart problems. These include:
- Stroke, Failure of the heart is a complication of primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism.
- Heart attack
- Premature death, Kidney disease or failure is another complication of primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism.
- Swelling of the muscle making up the left ventricle’s wall. The ventricle is one of the pumping chambers of the heart. This is referred to as left ventricular hypertrophy is a complication involved in primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism.
The kind of elevated blood pressure levels associated with primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism carry more danger of cardiovascular problems than any other kind of elevated blood pressure. The risk is elevated by the high levels of aldosterone and this can lead to blood vessel and heart damage autonomous of problems associated with soaring levels of blood pressure.
Problems associated with low potassium levels leading to complications of primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism. There are some people that have primary hyperaldosteronism or primary aldosteronism and also have potassium deficiency. This is a condition referred to as hypokalemia. There may be no symptoms in the case of mild hypokalemia. However, low potassium levels can result in:
- Excessive urination or thirst
- Muscle cramps
- Weakness, and
- Cardiac arrhythmias.
- Mayo Clinic. “Primary Aldosteronism (Hyperaldosteronism).” https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/primary-aldosteronism/symptoms-causes/syc-20354729
- Cleveland Clinic. “Primary Aldosteronism (Conn Syndrome).” https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/8667-primary-aldosteronism-conn-syndrome
- American Association of Endocrine Surgeons. “Primary Hyperaldosteronism.” https://endocrinediseases.org/adrenal/primary_hyperaldosteronism.shtml
- MedlinePlus. “Aldosterone Blood Test.” https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/aldosterone-blood-test/