Aldosteronism (Hyperaldosteronism) (Conn’s Syndrome)
Aldosterone is a hormone made by the outer portion (cortex) of the adrenal gland that regulates the balance of salt and water in the body. It is secreted in response to low salt levels and activates the MR (for mineralocorticoid receptor) gene. The product of the MR gene stimulates the kidney to reabsorb and retain salt, thereby retaining water. An MR gene mutation leads to salt retention and high blood pressure early in life which becomes much worse with pregnancy. Aldosteronism is the overproduction of the hormone aldosterone. Excess aldosterone results in low potassium levels (hypokalemia), underacidity of the body (alkalosis), muscle weakness, excess thirst (polydipsia), excess urination (polyuria), and high blood pressure (hypertension). It is also called hyperaldosteronism or Conn’s syndrome.