There are many factors that can contribute to high blood pressure such as being overweight, diet and lack of physical activity. But there is another condition that can also lead to high blood pressure, it’s called primary aldosteronism.
Primary aldosteronism is a hormone disorder that can contribute to high blood pressure. Our adrenal glands are responsible for producing hormones – you may be familiar with them releasing cortisol, the stress hormone. Another hormone produced by the adrenal glands is called aldosterone, which balances out potassium and sodium levels.
Primary aldosteronism can also be referred to as Conn’s syndrome or hyperaldosteronism.
The adrenal glands produce aldosterone, but when production of this hormone is high potassium becomes lost and sodium is stored by our body holding water. This increase in sodium results in high blood pressure.
Causes for the adrenal glands to produce too much aldosterone can be a benign growth on the adrenal gland or the adrenal gland becomes overactive. In rare cases primary aldosteronism can be caused by a growth on the outer layer of the adrenal gland or it can run in the family – this cause is very rare.
Symptoms of primary aldosteronism include:
The cause of primary aldosteronism will determine the route of treatment. One form of treatment is to surgically remove the adrenal gland. This is done when there is a tumor or growth present. This surgery can return blood pressure back to normal. Aldosterone-blocking medication may also be prescribed if surgery is not an option. The risk of using aldosterone-blocking medications is that high blood pressure could return once medications are stopped.
Lifestyle changes, too, can have an impact on treatment of primary aldosteronism. Since there are many lifestyle factors that can contribute to high blood pressure, it’s important to partake in healthy living habits. Some effective lifestyle habits to treat primary aldosteronism include:
It’s not always possible to prevent primary aldosteronism as causes include growths on the adrenal glands. But a good practice is to always adopt healthy lifestyle habits to reduce your risk of developing any illness.
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