Markers Measured:

  • Potassium, serum

Potassium Test

An electrolyte, Potassium is essential for proper muscle and nerve function, with even minor increases or decreases in the amount of potassium in your blood can result in serious health problems. A potassium test is often performed as part of a basic metabolic panel, which is a group of chemical tests run on your blood serum and may be asked for by your physician if he/she suspects that you have an electrolyte imbalance or as part of a routine check-up.

Your physician may order a potassium test during a routine physical or for a variety of other reasons, including checking for or monitoring an electrolyte imbalance; monitoring certain medications that affect potassium levels, particularly diuretics, heart medications, and high blood pressure medications; diagnosing heart problems and high blood pressure; diagnosing or monitoring kidney disease; checking for metabolic acidosis (when the kidneys don’t remove enough acid from the body or when the body produces too much acid, as might happen in uncontrolled diabetes); diagnosing alkalosis (a condition in which the body fluids have excess alkali); and finding the cause of a paralysis attack.

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