The adrenal glands perform some very important functions in the body by producing certain important hormones, the aldosterone hormone being one of them. It helps in regulating the levels of potassium and sodium in the body. Aldosterone controls the absorption of sodium and the release of potassium, thus helping to regulate blood pressure. The aldosterone test is used to measure the levels of aldosterone in the blood.
Why is the test performed?
An aldosterone blood test may be recommended to determine the levels of aldosterone in the blood and to know the cause of low potassium levels and high sodium levels in the body if abnormal adrenal growth or overactive adrenal glands are suspected. The test may also be ordered to determine the presence of an adrenal gland tumour.
When is the test recommended?
A physician may order an aldosterone test along with a renin test if an individual complains of high blood pressure and low potassium levels. The test may also be recommended if the potassium levels are normal, but the person develops high blood pressure at an early age or if medicines are unable to control high blood pressure. Occasionally the test may be ordered in conjunction with other tests if Addison disease or adrenal insufficiency is suspected in an individual.
How is the sample collected?
A blood sample is collected from a vein in the arm.
How to prepare for the test?
There is no need to prepare for the test if it is ordered along with a routine blood test. However, for a follow-up test, the instructions of the doctor must be followed explicitly.