A potassium test is used to detect abnormal concentrations of potassium, including high potassium (hyperkalemia) and low potassium (hypokalemia). It is often used as part of an electrolyte panel or basic metabolic panel for a routine physical.
Potassium is an electrolyte that is vital to cell metabolism. It helps transport nutrients into cells and removes waste products out of cells. It is also important in muscle function, helping to transmit messages between nerves and muscles, and is important to heart function.
The potassium test may be used to help diagnose and/or monitor kidney disease, the most common cause of high blood potassium. It may also be used to evaluate for abnormal values when someone has diarrhea and vomiting, excessive sweating, or with a variety of symptoms. Blood potassium can be abnormal in many diseases. A healthcare practitioner may order this test, along with other electrolytes, to identify an electrolyte imbalance, if metabolic acidosis is suspected, or if there is high blood pressure or other symptoms of illness present. Potassium in particular may be measured when there are symptoms involving the heart.
- Sample of blood serum
- We perform the test daily