Body signs such as edema, water retention, sharp wrinkles, sunken eyes and cheeks, muscle cramps and weakness, high blood pressure, skin pigmentation changes and always being thirsty but dehydrated could be showing adrenal fatigue, in particular an imbalanced hormone aldosterone.
What is the function of aldosterone?
Aldosterone is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands above the kidneys. Its role is to act on organs such as the the kidney and colon to increase the amount of sodium that is being reabsorbed into the bloodstream and the amount of potassium removed in the urine. It directly regulates blood levels of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and hydrogen and helps to maintain the blood PH.
What Could be the Cause of an Imbalance?
Aldosterone, like cortisol, is naturally increased in the morning, and lower at night. An imbalance can occur due to stress, either mental, emotional or physical, changes in potassium or sodium intake through diet, some drugs and during pregnancy.
Treating the cause can lead to balance
When aldosterone gets too high, cortisol also goes up under stress, blood pressure also gets too high and potassium levels become too low. You can have muscle cramps, muscle weakness, and numbness or tingling in the hands and feet.
When aldesterone gets too low, usually with cortisol deficiency, the kidneys will excrete too much salt, leading to low blood pressure, low blood volume, a high pulse, possibly palpitations, dizziness, light headedness, a craving for salt and fatigue. Other signs can be frequent urination, higher body temperature and a feeling of thirst.
How to know for sure?
Through the signs and symptoms listed above or check the Free Tests you can do at home HERE. Alternatively, you could get a pathology urine or blood test that measures your levels of aldosterone. The urine test can be done at home as a one off sample in the morning for $50 and $20 Initiation Fee and sent to a Pathology Lab for analysis. If you are interested, please contact me for more information.
What are the Treatment Strategies?
If you have low aldosterone, adding sea salt can be beneficial. Recommended amounts are 1/4 to 1/2 tsp in water twice a day. Balancing body minerals is the key for the symptoms to subside, potassium intake may also need to be increased through food or through supplementation. Long term treatment strategy could be to find the cause of the stress and heal that.