I don't have Addison's, but can't find any other board that deals with adrenal issues. I've been suffering with a host of really bad symptoms for nearly a year now, going from doctor to doctor.
So far the only things they found (other than an inconclusive diagnosis of autonomic problems) is low DHEA and very high aldosterone. They can't seem to do anyting about either of them, especially the aldosterone which is 50 when it should be under 10. That's supposed to control the blood pressure. But I was shocked to read that high aldosterone causes high bp when I have severe hypotension!! Nothing makes sense, never mind no one can cure this mess. I'm feeling so helpless and hopeless. Nothing fits any known disease, and I'm going through hell. And every doctor says "not my problem."
Anyway, just wondering if any of you have issues with this hormone or know more about it. Thanks.
Sorry I can't help, but my aldosterone is very high as well. I do not have high blood pressure. Is your potassium low too? Mine is and I think it is because my aldosterone is so high, it makes me pee out all my potassium. Docs dont seem to have any ideas w/me either. It is very frustrating. You are the only other person that I have heard of that is high in aldosterone. If you find anything out please let me know and I will do the same.
In many cases, high aldosterone is from a tumor on the adrenal gland. In most people it seems to cause high blood pressure but maybe your body is still able to regulate things with alterations in renin. It does often cause low potassium just as you mentioned. And it would make sense that problems with one layer of the adrenal gland could lead to deficiencies in other hormones it makes like DHEA/testosterone.
What are your other symptoms...that may also offer clues as to why this is happening.
I believe this type of adrenal tumor is called "Conn's syndrome" I know that for quite a few, the tumor is so small it doesn't even show up on a CT scan or MRI. Then they have to try things like measuring blood samples from the vein associated with each adrenal gland and measuring aldosterone. The side excreting more aldosterone is the side with the tumor.
I don't know much about other causes of high aldosterone but I do know that it goes hand in hand with renin. Have your doctors tested renin at the same time as aldosterone?
Good luck to you both...it is positively frightening when your doctors don't understand what is making you sick. Do some searches with this term and see what you can find...maybe a doctor with more experience in the field will come up. There are boards dealing with pheochromocytomas (secrete catecholamines) and they may have some experience with this type of tumor.
I've had blood tests come back with low potassium and aldosterone within the "normal" range, but high end of normal. (if you could hear my sarcasm through a computer it would be VERY high in regards to "normal" tests). I've also been diagnosed with a 1.5cm adrenal adenoma. You'd think the doctors would want to remove it (my GP did), but the endocrinologist I saw said my tests aren't showing the growth doing too much (despite months and months of random symptoms all consistent with adrenal gland dysfunction) so they want to monitor it with another CT scan next year.
All I can say is if you're FEELING symptoms and your tests aren't showing anything conclusive, ie. a specific, clear cut disease like Addison's, you may want to request a CT scan of your abdomen to check for a growth on your adrenal glands. Unfortunately, from my own experience, I can't say the docs will actually do anything about it, but at least you'll know either way!!
Also, my best advice for dealing with the symptoms is to take a vitamin B complex daily and completely cut alcohol, caffine and chocolate out of your diet. By doing that, I was able to go back to work part-time. Hope that's somewhat helpful!
You may also want to look into congenital adrenal hyperplasia (adult onset CAH) as a cause. In one more unusual form of this disease, you are lacking an enzyme needed to make cortisol and androgens and the precursors ingredients are instead made into aldosterone.