What is the definition of Hypoaldosteronism?
Hypoaldosteronism is a condition characterized by the shortage (deficiency) or impaired function of a hormone called aldosterone. The symptoms of this condition include low sodium (hyponatremia), too much potassium (hyperkalemia), and a condition where the body produces too much acid (metabolic acidosis). These symptoms may cause muscle weakness, nausea, heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, and abnormal blood pressure.
Hypoaldosteronism may be described as hyporeninemic (low renin level) or hyperreninemic (high renin level) based on the amount of another chemical produced in the kidneys called renin. Hypoaldosteronism can be caused by other health conditions or medications. Individuals with diabetes, kidney disease, primary adrenal insufficiency, lead poisoning, or severe illness can develop hypoaldosteronism. Certain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, heparin or medications used to treat heart failure can cause hypoaldosteronism. There are rare forms of congenital hypoaldosteronism that can be inherited in families.
This condition is diagnosed based on the symptoms and confirmed by various blood tests (plasma renin activity, serum aldosterone, and serum cortisol) The exact incidence of hypoaldosteronism is unknown. This condition is treated depending on the underlying cause for the condition.
What are the current treatments for Hypoaldosteronism?
Treatment for hypoaldosteronism depends on the underlying condition. Affected individuals are often advised to follow a low-potassium diet with liberal sodium intake. People with hypoaldosteronism should typically avoid ACE inhibitors and potassium-sparing diuretics. Individuals with hypoaldosteronism and a deficiency of adrenal glucocorticoid hormones are usually given fludrocortisone. People with hyporeninemic hypoaldosteronism are frequently given furosemide to correct hyperkalemia.