Primary Hyperaldosteronism

Primary Hyperaldosteronism

Primary hyperaldosteronism (or Conn's syndrome) is a condition in which the body produces too much of the hormone aldosterone, leading to an imbalance of sodium and potassium levels in the blood. It is usually caused by an underlying adrenal tumor, and is more common in women than in men. Symptoms usually include high blood pressure, headaches, muscle weakness, and fatigue.

Left untreated, primary hyperaldosteronism can lead to health problems like heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, and other complications. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of this condition and to seek medical help if they occur.


Most cases of primary hyperaldosteronism are caused by an adrenal tumor, called an aldosterone-producing adenoma, which secretes more aldosterone than the body needs. Less commonly, the condition is caused by an enlarged adrenal gland (hyperplasia), in which both sides of the gland produce too much aldosterone. In both cases, the excess aldosterone causes a decrease in potassium levels and an increase in sodium levels in the blood.


Common symptoms of primary hyperaldosteronism include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Facial swelling
  • Headaches
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Low potassium levels


Diagnosing primary hyperaldosteronism can be difficult as the symptoms can be vague and common to other conditions. For this reason, it is important to discuss any suspicious symptoms with a doctor. Tests for diagnosing primary hyperaldosteronism typically involve measurements of sodium, potassium, and aldosterone levels in the blood.


Treatment for primary hyperaldosteronism usually involves surgery to remove the affected adrenal gland or tumor. In some cases, medication may also be prescribed to lower blood pressure and reduce the production of aldosterone.