Risks of aldosterone suppression test?
February 18, 2011 9:24 AM   Subscribe

Aldosterone suppression test, AKA oral salt loading test - how dangerous is it?

So lucky me, I was diagnosed with an adrenal adenoma last week, and now the fun begins. The next hoop I have to jump through - mainly for my insurance company's satisfaction - is an aldosterone suppression test, also called an oral salt loading test.

Despite my Mad Librarian Skillz, I can't find a lot of info on this test other than what my doctor has given me. Apparently the preferred alternative is a saline suppression test, done at an infusion center, but this option does not seem to be available in my area.

My question is for the medical types here: how risky is this at-home salt loading test, considering that I will be in frequent contact with my doctor, will monitor my own blood pressure regularly, and will have friends check up on me during the three days I will be taking the salt tablets? An online doctor who runs a support group told me that the med school joke about this test is that it's other name is the "berry aneurism tolerance test" - needless to say, this didn't boost my confidence much.

Bonus points to anybody who has experienced this test and can tell me what it was like for them.
posted by chez shoes to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
I know your skillz are mad, Shoes, but has your doc called up the endocrine surgery center at UCLA and made sure you can't get a saline suppression test? UCLA has two infusion centers for oncology in Santa Monica alone and Dr. Yeh, who is allegedly a giant adrenal badass; I would be very surprised if they couldn't do a saline suppression test.

(Referrals and so on permitting, of course. Feel free to tell me to butt out. I'm glad you're getting some answers, finally. :)
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:51 AM on February 18, 2011

Response by poster: Hey fairytale, thanks! My doctor is affiliated with UCLA and knows that Dr. Yeh will be my surgeon of choice, so I just assumed that was where he checked. But you know, just to cover all bases, I'm going to call them myself.
posted by chez shoes at 10:17 AM on February 18, 2011

Response by poster: Just wanted to post an update, now that day 3 of the oral sodium loading is coming to a close. It's been no big deal at all - the only side effects I've experienced are a bit of nausea and a small headache, both of which passed quickly. I realize this is one of those things that varies by individual, but the "Dr. Google" accounts of this test causing hypertensive emergency and putting one at risk for stroke just may be a bit exaggerated.
posted by chez shoes at 3:02 PM on February 23, 2011

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