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Glucose (blood or urine sugar)

Potassium testing is frequently ordered, along with other, as part of a routine physical. It is used to detect concentrations that are too high
(). The most common cause of hyperkalemia is, but many drugs can decrease potassium excretion
from the body and result in this condition. Hypokalemia can occur if you have diarrhea and vomiting or if you are sweating excessively. Potassium can be
lost through your kidneys in urine; in rare cases, potassium may be low because you are not getting enough in your diet.
Potassium concentrations may be ordered at regular intervals to monitor drugs that can cause your kidneys to lose potassium, particularly
resulting in hypokalemia. Monitoring may also be done if you have a condition or disease, such as acute or chronic kidney failure, that can be associated
with abnormal potassium levels.
tests for potassium levels are routinely performed in most patients when they are investigated for any
type of serious illness. Also, because potassium is so important to heart function, it is usually ordered (along with othe
) during all complete
routine evaluations, especially in those
ood pressure or heart medications. Potassium is ordered when a doctor is diagnosing and
and when monitoring a patient recei, diuretic therapy, or .
Increased potassium levels indicate
. Increased levels may also indicate the following health co,
, , excessive dietary potassium intake (for example,
fruits are particularly high in potassium, so excessive intake of fruits or juices may contribute to high potassium) & excessive intravenous potassium intake.
Certain drugs can also cause hyperkalemia in a small percent of patients. Among them are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Advil, Motrin,
and Nuprin);
(such as propanolol and atenolol), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (such as captopril, enalapril, and lisinopril), and
amterene, amiloride, and spironolactone).
Decreased levels of potassium indicate
Decreased levels may occur in a number of conditions, particularly: dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea,
Hyperaldosteronism (see
assium intake (rare), as a complication of acetaminophen overdose.
False hyperkalemia is caused by hemolysis, which may be undetectable, after collection. False high values may occur in the serum of patients with
thrombocythemia, since platelets release Potassium during coagulation. WBC also release Potassium when clotting, particularly in patients with chronic
myelogenous leukemia. Low sodium intake may mask the hypokalemia in aldosteronism.
Serum/plasma potassium is ph dependent. Increase of ph of 0.1 decreases potassium by 0.6 mmol/L. Therapeutic increase in ketoacidosis will decrease
plasma/serum K. During insulin administration, plasma/serum K decrease due to move of K into cells.

3.2 – 5.5 mmol/ L
3.6 – 4.5 mmol/L
8 d – 1 mth
3.4 – 6.0 mmol/L
3.7 – 5.5 mmol/L
1 – 6 mth
3.5 – 5.6 mmol/L
7 mth – 1 yr
3.5 – 6.1 mmol/L
3.3 – 4.6 mmol/L
1 ml serum. Avoid small needles. Hand clenching and stasis increase potassium values! Avoid any hemolysis. Separate serum or plasma within 1 hour.
2 hours after receiving sample.


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