Also Known as aldosterone urine,
What is an Aldosterone urine test?
This test determines how much Aldosterone (ALD) is in your urine. The adrenal glands, which are two small glands positioned above the kidneys, produce aldosterone. ALD helps in the management of blood pressure and the maintenance of optimum sodium and potassium levels. Electrolytes such as sodium and potassium are minerals that help maintain your nerves and muscles functioning properly by balancing the quantity of fluid in your body. ALD levels that are too high or too low can indicate a major health issue.
What is the test used for?
The most common uses for aldosterone (ALD) urine test are to:
- Help in the diagnosis of primary or secondary Aldosteronism, a condition in which the adrenal glands produce too much ALD.
- Assist in the diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency, a condition in which the adrenal glands fail to produce enough ALD.
- Examine your adrenal glands for an underlying brain tumor.
- Find out the cause of high blood pressure.
Why and when do you need this test?
If you have symptoms of too much or too little aldosterone in the body, your healthcare provider may order this test (ALD).
The following are some of the signs and symptoms of having too much ALD:
- Increase in thirst
- Increased frequency of urination
- Temporary paralysis
- Muscle spasms or cramps
Too little ALD can cause the following symptoms:
- Loss of weight
- Weakness in muscles
- Pain in the abdomen
- Skin discoloration
- Low blood pressure
- Vomiting and nausea
- Reduced body hair
What kind of sample is required for the test?
Your health care provider may ask you to collect all of your urine over a 24-hour period for an ALD urine test. You will be given a container by a laboratory professional to collect your urine and instructions on how to collect and store your samples. The following steps are usually included in a 24-hour urine sample test:
- In the morning, empty your bladder and flush the urine away, keeping track of the time.
- Store all of your urine passed in the container provided for the next24 hours.
- Refrigerate or place your urine container in a chiller with ice.
As directed, return the sample vial to the concerned laboratory.
Do you need to prepare for the test?
Depending on whether you're standing or lying down, the amount of ALD in your blood can alter. As a result, you may be tested while in each of these positions. Before being tested, you may be requested by your healthcare provider to stop taking certain medications for at least two weeks.
These are some of the medications:
- Medications for high blood pressure
- Medicines for the heart
- Hormones like Estrogen and progesterone
- Diuretics (water pills)
- Some ulcer medications and antacids
You may also be requested to refrain from eating salty foods for two weeks before your test. Chips, pretzels, canned soup, soy sauce, and bacon are amongst them. If you need to make any adjustments to your medications or diet, please be sure to consult your healthcare provider.
Are there any risks to this test?
Having a blood test carries relatively little risk. You may experience little pain or bruising where the needle gets inserted, but most symptoms disappear quickly.
What do the test results mean?
If your aldosterone (ALD) levels are greater than normal, it could indicate that you have:
Primary Aldosteronism: (also known as Conn syndrome): Usually caused by a tumor or other issue in the adrenal glands making the glands produce too much ALD.
Secondary Aldosteronism occurs when the adrenal glands produce too much ALD due to an underlying medical issue in another part of the body which may include high blood pressure, disorders of the liver, heart, and kidney.
Bartter Syndrome: A rare congenital abnormality that inhibits the kidneys' ability to absorb sodium. If your ALD levels are lower than normal, it could indicate that you may have:
Addison disease: A kind of adrenal insufficiency caused by injury or other issues with the adrenal glands as a result of which less ALD is produced.
Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency: An issue with the pituitary gland, which is a small gland near the base of the brain. This gland produces hormones that assist in the functioning of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands will not produce enough ALD if these pituitary hormones are insufficient.
There are treatment plans available if you are diagnosed with one of these diseases. Medications and nutritional changes may be part of your treatment plan, depending on the disorder you have. It is always recommended to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions regarding your results.