A disorder that results from excessive production of the hormone aldosterone from one or both adrenal glands. Aldosteronism caused by an adrenal tumour is known as
Symptoms and signs
Symptoms are precisely related to the actions of the aldosterone. Excess sodium is retained in the body, which then leads to a rise in blood pressure and excess potassium is lost in the urine. Low levels of potassium cause muscle weakness, tiredness and damage kidney function, leading to thirst and overproduction of urine.
Restriction of salt in the diet and use of diuretic drug spironolactone is used for treatment. Spironolactone blocks the action of aldosterone on the kidneys, leading to increased loss of sodium from the body, reduced potassium loss and low blood pressure. When the cause of aldosteronism is an adrenal tumour then this may be surgically removed.