Aldosterone is a mineralcoritcoid and a hormone. It allows the transport of sodium across the cell membrane. This is especially important in the kidney (distal tubule). Because of its function, aldosterone is important in blood pressure regulation and also for the volume of blood found in the blood vessels. Potassium is an antagonist to sodium. If potassium is high, sodium levels will be low. When potassium is found high in the plasma of the blood, the adrenals step in and synthesize aldosterone. The synthesis of aldosterone is taken care of in the body primarily by the renin-angiotensin system.
Normal Ranges for Aldosterone in ng/dL:
0-6 days 5.0-102.0 ng/dL
1-3 weeks 6.0-179.0 ng/dL
1-11 months 7.0-99.0 ng/dL
1-2 years 7.0-93.0 ng/dL
3-10 years 4.0-44.0 ng/dL
11-14 years 4.0-31.0 ng/dL
15 years and older < or = 31.0 ng/dL (posture unspecified), or < or = 16.0 ng/dL for supine, or 4.0-31.0 ng/dL for upright
In Addison's disease, there is a general loss of adrenal function resulting in low blood pressure, lethargy and an increase in potassium levels in the blood.
An enzyme called aldosterone synthase is responsible for the last steps in the production of aldosterone. Rarely, a mutation in the gene that codes for aldosterone synthase can result in low or absent production of aldosterone (aldosterone synthase deficiency). With this rare genetic condition, the symptoms are similar to that of Addison's disease but milder.
Some specific causes of high Aldosterone levels might be due to:
- Low sodium diet
- Using Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitiors
- Bartter syndrome
- Primary hyperaldosteronism (benign tumor in the adrenal gland)
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