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Aldosterone is a naturally occuring hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It assists with the regulation of blood pressure. Aldosterone binds to receptors in the kidneys, decreasing the amount of water that passes while encouraging the passage of potassium but not the passage of sodium. This causes a rise in blood pressure as the retained water increases blood volume. Abnormal secretion of aldosterone causes diseases in the kidneys, heart and blood vessels.
Certain of the new high blood pressure medications act to block aldosterone. This increases urination and lowers the level of sodium, but results in higher potassium levels.
Aldosterone was first isolated in 1953 by Sylvia and James Tait.
Although several bodily processes can result in increased aldosterone production, it is most commonly produced in response to high potassium levels in the carotid artery. It also has a clear daily cycle tied to sleep-wake cycles..
High aldosterone levels can be ideopathic or the result of Conn's syndrome. Either causes extremely high blood pressure. Low aldosterone levels indicate an issue with the adrenal glands, which can be caused by a condition that affects the adrenals indirectly.