Since the symptoms of primary aldosteronism aren't always obvious, your doctor may be the one to suggest you set up an appointment to get screened for the condition. Your doctor may suspect primary aldosteronism if you have high blood pressure and:
- Your blood pressure remains persistently high, especially if you're already taking at least three medications for it (resistant hypertension)
- You have low blood potassium — although many people with primary aldosteronism have normal potassium levels, especially in the early stages of the disease
- An imaging test taken for another reason incidentally shows a growth on one of your adrenal glands
- You have a personal or family history of high blood pressure or stroke at a young age
The screening test for primary aldosteronism may require some planning. The test can be performed while you're taking most blood pressure medications, but you may need to discontinue taking certain drugs, such as spironolactone (Aldactone) and eplerenone (Inspra), up to six weeks before testing. Your doctor also may ask you to avoid real licorice products for a couple of weeks before the test, as these can cause changes that mimic excess aldosterone.
Jan. 02, 2014
- Funder JW, et al. Case detection, diagnosis and treatment of patients with primary aldosteronism: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2008;93:3266.
- Young WF, et al. Clinical features of primary aldosteronism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 25, 2013.
- Primary aldosteronism. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec12/ch153/ch153f.html. Accessed Aug. 26, 2013.
- Sechi LA, et al. Cardiovascular and renal damage in primary aldosteronism: Outcomes after treatment. American Journal of Hypertension. 2010;23:1253.
- Young WF, et al. Treatment of primary aldosteronism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 25, 2013.
- High blood pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Hbp/HBP_All.html. Accessed Aug. 26, 2013.
- Mount DB. Clinical manifestations and treatment of hypokalemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 26, 2013.
- Nwariaku F. Adrenalectomy: Minimally invasive surgery and traditional open procedures. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 26, 2013.
- Young WF, et al. Approach to the patient with hypertension and hypokalemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 26, 2013.
- Papadakis MA, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2013. 52nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed Aug. 25, 2013.
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