Conn’s syndrome: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help
About conn’s syndrome (primary hyperaldosteronism)
Conn’s syndrome or primary hyperaldosteronism is a disorder of the adrenal glands wherein it produces excess quantity of a hormone named aldosterone. Adrenal glands are two in number and placed on top of the kidneys. They are responsible for synthesizing various hormones, one of which is aldosterone. This disease is rare but fortunately curable and does not result in any serious health hazards.
Conn’s syndrome (primary hyperaldosteronism): Incidence, age and sex
Conn’s syndrome is seldom encountered in the general population and can afflict any age group. However individuals in the age group between 30 to 50 years are most likely to be affected.
Signs and symptoms of conn’s syndrome (primary hyperaldosteronism): Diagnosis
The hormone aldosterone is responsible for secretion and excretion of various electrolytes. Imbalance of electrolytes may result in disruption of various body functions. The predominant symptom of conn’s syndrome is high blood pressure in the affected individuals. Other features include exhaustion, headache, muscle twitching and muscle cramps. Affected individuals may also complain of weakness in the limb muscles. Increased quantity of urine (polyuria) especially at night may also be seen in some individuals.
Causes and prevention of conn’s syndrome (primary hyperaldosteronism)
Excess production of aldosterone hormone is the primary factor leading to clinical features in conn’s syndrome. This may result from benign tumour of adrenal gland termed as adenoma and it usually affects only one gland. Hyperplasia which is enlargement of both the adrenal glands may also result in excess production of aldosterone.
Conn’s syndrome (primary hyperaldosteronism): Complications
Conn’s syndrome is not a very serious disorder and thereby does not result in any serious health concerns. Some effects like enlargement of breast tissue in men or impotence may result from drugs like spironolactone which are used in management of this disorder.
Conn’s syndrome (primary hyperaldosteronism): Treatment
The goal of treatment is to diminish the excess production of aldosterone hormone. Therefore surgical resection of affected adrenal gland in case of adenoma is the most effective treatment. In most of the individuals, the blood pressure normalises after surgery. However some individuals may still experience high blood pressure after resection of adrenal gland. Such individuals may require lifelong antihypertensive medications to maintain their blood pressure in normal range. Other medications like spironolactone which causes increased urination or eplerenone which blocks the action of aldosterone, may provide immense relief from symptoms. The prognosis of this disorder is fairly good when diagnosed and managed in early stage.