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What to Know about Aldosterone Renin Ratio?

You might need to get tested to determine your body’s renin and aldosterone levels. Abnormal levels will mean an endocrine or hormonal disorder, and some of the signs can include muscle weakness or high blood pressure.

The ratio is essentially a mass concentration of the aldosterone, and it’s then divided by the activity of the plasma renin. The aldosterone renin ratio is determined through the overall concentration of renin in the blood. Know that the two can play vital roles in the body.

The blood volume, potassium, and sodium levels are regulated by aldosterone. The high levels are called aldosteronism, and this is a disorder that needs to be treated. It’s also a primary cause of higher blood pressure. It’s also known in the medical field as Conn Syndrome, which can open up doors for other medical illnesses to follow. 

Higher aldosterone levels will mean that the renin can cause a dip. The test that determines this generally looks at the ratio between the two for the testers to make a report and a full diagnosis. When your physician suspects this is the case with you, they might order a test to confirm their suspicions. High aldosterone findings will mean that this can potentially damage your brain, kidneys, and heart if left untreated.

What are the Required Samples?

The start of the tests requires a laboratory specialist to draw blood from a vein. This is generally coming from the arm. Others might ask for a urine sample that’s not more than 24 hours. This is tested in specialized labs where blood from the renal veins or kidneys is collected.

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You might be asked to lie down or remain upright for a few minutes before blood is drawn. The doctor will also leave instructions about the food you should avoid before the testing or liquors you shouldn’t drink. Follow these instructions to the letter to get more accurate findings. 

About the Hormones

Aldosterone plays a vital role in maintaining potassium and sodium concentrations in the blood. It’s also responsible for controlling blood pressure and volume in the body. On the other hand, renin is considered an enzyme that controls the production of hormones like aldosterone which you can know more in this source. The laboratory technicians will essentially measure the two levels through urine or blood. 

The adrenal glands are responsible for the production of aldosterone. They are found on top of the kidneys called the adrenal cortex, which is located in the outer part. This hormone will eliminate potassium through the kidneys and retain salt in the body. Since the kidneys produce renin, it will be responsible for controlling and activating angiotensin. This angiotensin is, in turn, responsible for stimulating the renal glands to make the right hormone.

If there’s a sudden decrease in the concentration of sodium chloride in the body, the kidney will begin to release renin inside the tubules. This will cleave to a protein that will result in angiotensin 1, which is converted into a second enzyme. The angiotensin production will result in the constriction of the blood vessels, and the result is that the potassium and sodium levels will remain normal.

Generally, there are a lot of conditions that can result in the overproduction of aldosterone. This is called aldosteronism, and it’s also possible to underproduce it. The two hormones in the body are tightly-knit and closely related to each other, so they are generally tested together to see if abnormalities in the body need addressing.

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Usage and Other Things to Know

A qualified physician orders the test to see if there are abnormalities in the adrenal glands. They will determine the hormones being produced and see the causes of the deficiencies or excess amounts in the body. Renin is always measured through the blood, while aldosterone can be determined through the urine samples. 

Most of these tests are required to determine if an individual has Conn syndrome, which is the primary cause of high blood pressure. Read more about Conn syndrome in this link here: When the test becomes positive, further evaluations, like suppression testing and stimulation, are required to know more about a condition. Both hormones can be affected by prescribed drugs, stress, and the body’s position, and a medical practitioner will advise you on what you need to do before testing.

When Is the Time that this is Required?

The test is usually ordered for people who have abnormal levels of blood pressure, especially if they display symptoms of low potassium levels. Primary aldosteronism is treatable, especially if it’s detected and treated in its early signs. This is very helpful for individuals with hypertension who have no idea about the cause of their medical conditions. This can also be required occasionally for people with Addison’s disease or adrenal insufficiencies.

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