I *THINK* I’ve figured out what’s wrong with me and causing all my symptoms: I think my adrenal gland/s is/are producing too much of the hormone aldosterone. It would explain my high BP, low potassium, and fluid retention and edema. It could either be primary or secondary, but I’m pretty sure that’s the cause.
The most common cause of a high amount of aldosterone is a tumour on the adrenal gland/s. This is a rare thing,however, and may be present on one or both of the adrenal glands and may or may not be cancerous. Only one out of a million people have the cancerous type….yet *I* usually tend to BE that rare and unlucky one out of a million so nothing would surprise me. The tumour causing it would be the primary type and blood tests would show high levels of aldosterone but low levels of the enzyme renin if a tumour was present. A CT or MRI scan would then confirm it.
If it were due to a secondary cause, such as heart ,kidney, or liver diseases, then both the aldosterone AND renin levels would show high measured in the blood. Aldosterone’s function is to regulate blood pressure, blood volume, salt in the body and to maintain the overall pH balance. When adenomas( tumours) are present affecting it they are usually found on the cortex of the adrenal gland and generally they remove the entire adrenal gland(and biopsy it to check for cancer cells) as well as the tumour to treat it and generally then the potassium and salt/fluid level is restored to normal and the BP goes back down to normal, and in my case that would also mean I could go OFF 3 out of my 7 medications!
I think in my case I might have BOTH, though, the adrenal tumour AND a heart problem, not one OR the other but likely BOTH together, as not only do I have the symptoms of high aldosterone but also a dull achy pain in my right side which may indicate pressure of a tumour but ALSO shortness of breath and blue lips indicative of a heart problem. We’ll find out soon enough though, after the tests and see what they reveal….