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Aldosterone (ALD) is a hormone your adrenal glands release that helps regulate blood pressure by managing the levels of sodium and potassium in your blood. Your adrenal glands, two little glands above the kidneys, produce this hormone which supports optimal salt and potassium levels while regulating blood pressure.

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Aldosterone (ALD) is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that helps regulate blood pressure by controlling sodium and potassium levels in the blood.

Electrolytes, like sodium and potassium,  are minerals that help your body’s fluid balance and keep your nerves and muscles functioning properly. Aldosterone also regulates how much water your kidneys reabsorb, which increases blood volume and has an effect on blood pressure.

Hormones are chemicals that help your body coordinate different functions by transporting messages through your blood to your organs, muscles, and other tissues. These signals instruct your body on what to do and when.

Your health can suffer if your body has too little or too much aldosterone because t he primary function of aldosterone is to help regulate blood pressure.  It does this by telling  your kidneys and colon to increase the amount of sodium they send into your bloodstream or the amount of potassium released in your urine (pee).

The effect of aldosterone on sodium increase causes your body to retain water in your blood, increasing blood volume.  All of these actions are necessary for returning blood pressure levels to a healthy range after it  drops.

Aldosterone indirectly contributes to the maintenance of your blood’s pH (acid-base balance) and electrolyte levels also.

Aldosterone and ADH work together to cause your kidneys to retain sodium. Aldosterone also causes your kidneys to excrete potassium in your urine. Water retention is caused by an increase in sodium in your bloodstream. This raises blood pressure and volume, completing the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.

Other hormones, such as corticosteroids, estrogen, and thyroid hormones, also activate the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.

If there is a problem with any part of this system, it can affect your blood pressure as well as your sodium and potassium levels. However, other factors such as high cholesterol, genetics, and certain medications can all have an impact on your blood pressure.

What happens when your aldosterone levels are elevated?

Hyperaldosteronism is defined as having higher-than-normal aldosterone levels.

Primary aldosteronism, also known as Conn’s syndrome, is the most common cause of hyperaldosteronism. A benign (noncancerous) tumor on one of your adrenal glands causes the gland to overproduce aldosterone, which causes this condition. Elevated sodium levels (hypernatremia) and low potassium levels (hypokalemia) are caused by high aldosterone levels, resulting in an electrolyte imbalance.

The following are signs and symptoms of high aldosterone levels:

  • Blood pressure is high (hypertension)
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness, particularly if potassium levels are extremely low
  • Excessive thirst and urination

Lower-than-normal aldosterone levels are typically associated with hypoaldosteronism, a condition characterized by a lack of (deficiency) or impaired function of aldosterone. Low levels of aldosterone cause hyponatremia (low sodium levels), hyperkalemia (high potassium levels), and a condition in which your body produces too much acid (metabolic acidosis).

Several conditions can result in hypoaldosteronism, including:

  • Addison’s disease (AD): This uncommon condition, also known as primary adrenal insufficiency, is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks the cortex of your adrenal glands, which produces aldosterone and the hormone cortisol. As a result, both aldosterone and cortisol levels are low.
  • CAH (congenital adrenal hyperplasia): CAH is a term used to describe a group of genetic disorders that affect your adrenal glands. CAH patients are born with enzyme deficiencies that are required for the production of hormones produced by your adrenal glands.

    Certain medical conditions: Hypoaldosteronism can occur in people with diabetes, kidney disease, lead poisoning, or severe illness.

    Hypoaldosteronism can be caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), heparin, or medications used to treat heart failure.

Symptoms of low aldosterone:

  • Blood pressure is too low (hypotension
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Palpitations in the heart
  • Heartbeat irregularity (arrhythmia)

Do  Addison’s disease, for example, can cause changes in your skin, such as darkening on scars and in skin folds, as well as low blood sugar levels, due to low cortisol levels (hypoglycemia).

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