What Is a Potassium Blood Test?
Mar 14, · Potassium balances the effects of sodium and helps keep fluid levels within a certain range. Your body should maintain a specific amount of potassium in the blood, ranging from to Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins. Blood Potassium Levels Normal blood potassium levels can range from to millimoles per liter or mmol/L, according to " Current Consult Medicine." Total body potassium stores are approximately 50 milliequivalents per kilogram of body weight or mEq/kg. More than 95 percent of the body's potassium is stored in the ICF.
Low potassium levels how to become an inspector of homes your blood is also called hypokalemia. Normal levels of potassium range from 3.
Reference ranges potxssium not the exact same at every laboratory. Usually, levels under 2. Potassium levels are very important in keeping your muscles, nerves, and heart working well.
Potassium, an electrolyte, is also important for digestive health and for bone health. Potassium supplements are generally prescribed for low potassium levels. If the situation is severe, potassium might be given as an intravenous IV solution. If there is a condition that causes the hypokalemia, such as low levels of magnesium or an overactive thyroid, the other condition must be treated also.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Low Potassium Levels in Your Blood Hypokalemia Potassium is important to your body's functioning in terms of wht, nerves, and heart. Potassium levels below 2. Low levels have many causes. Supplements and foods can provide potassium.
What does potassium do for your body? Symptoms and Causes What causes low potassium levels? Mild cases of low potassium how to outdoor pizza oven not cause symptoms. More severe cases might cause: Muscle twitches Muscle cramps or weakness Muscles that will not move paralysis Abnormal heart rhythms Kidney problems.
Diagnosis and Tests How are low potassium levels diagnosed? Blood tests Urine tests Electrocardiogram to check the heart. Management and Treatment What is the treatment for low potassium levels? What foods provide potassium? Show More.
What is a Normal Potassium Level?
8 rows · Aug 12, · The normal range of potassium in your blood is between to millimoles per liter. If Estimated Reading Time: 4 mins. Dec 15, · According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the normal range for potassium in the blood is to milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). A potassium level below this range may be a signal that you have a low amount of potassium in your blood, or hypokalemia. Normal levels of potassium range from mmol/L to mmol/L in adults. (Reference ranges are not the exact same at every laboratory). Usually, levels under mmol/L are considered to be very serious.
Start Visit. It plays a major role in the functioning of your muscles, nerves, digestive system and bodily organs such as your heart and kidneys. According to the U. National Library of Medicine, a normal potassium level should be between 3. If your blood potassium levels are too low or high, you may experience certain symptoms. A low blood potassium level is referred to as hypokalemia.
If your level of potassium is too low, you may experience symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness, numbness and a range of mild-to-serious cardiovascular issues. A high blood potassium level is referred to as hyperkalemia. High levels of potassium often do not cause any noticeable symptoms. However, some people may experience chest pain, heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, nausea or vomiting and other symptoms.
Potassium is one of several minerals and electrolytes that play a major role in helping your body function normally. Normal levels of potassium are vital for maintaining fluid and blood volume and for proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, nerves and digestive system. Potassium is also an essential nutrient for maintaining proper muscle function. Your muscles need potassium in order to function properly, including the muscles that control your breathing and heartbeat. Beyond its important role in essential biological functions, potassium has a range of benefits as a mineral.
For example, research shows that increasing potassium intake can help to decrease blood pressure in people with hypertension, and consequently reduce the risk of strokes. Potassium is found in a variety of different foods, including fruit, vegetables, seafood and dairy products. Overly low and overly high potassium levels can both cause health issues, making it important to focus on getting a healthy, balanced intake of potassium and other minerals and nutrients.
National Library of Medicine, the normal range for potassium in the blood is 3. A potassium level below this range may be a signal that you have a low amount of potassium in your blood, or hypokalemia. A test result above this range may signal that you have a high level of potassium, or hyperkalemia. Tests to check blood potassium levels are performed in a clinical laboratory setting.
Different laboratories may use different reference ranges for interpreting potassium levels. It's best to talk to your healthcare provider to learn more about their testing method and your results. A variety of factors may contribute to low potassium levels, including the following:. When your potassium levels only drop by a small amount, you may not notice any symptoms. In some cases, you may experience mild symptoms such as the following:. When your potassium level drops by a significant amount, you may experience heart arrhythmias and feelings of lightheadedness.
A very low potassium level may even cause your heart to stop -- a serious, potentially fatal medical emergency referred to as sudden cardiac arrest SCA.
Numerous factors may cause your potassium levels to become overly high, including the following:. However, you may experience the following symptoms if your potassium level is elevated:.
In some cases, a high potassium level may cause you to suddenly collapse due to a slow pulse or sudden cardiac arrest. If you experience severe symptoms due to low or high potassium levels, seek medical care as soon as possible. Call for urgent assistance during a medical emergency.
Potassium level can be checked through a simple test called a potassium blood test. This test measures the amount of potassium in the serum, or fluid part, of your blood. It may also be checked as part of a basic or comprehensive metabolic panel , tests which check not just your potassium level but other electrolytes such as sodium, magnesium and others and also measure your blood glucose, kidney function, and other elements.
To perform this test, a professional will collect a sample of your blood using a small needle. The blood is typically drawn from a vein in your arm. The process only takes a few minutes and may cause a mild sting when the needle is inserted and removed.
Your blood sample will be sent to a laboratory, where its potassium content will be analyzed. It may take several days for you to receive the results from your potassium test. Maintaining a healthy, normal potassium level is important for your cardiovascular and general health, helping to lower your risk of serious issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. If you have an overly low potassium level hypokalemia , your healthcare provider may suggest that you:. If your low potassium level is related to a medication, your healthcare provider may suggest making changes to your dosage or switching to a different medication.
If you have an overly high potassium level hyperkalemia , your healthcare provider may suggest that you:. If you have a very high potassium level, or experience signs of a medical emergency, you may need emergency treatment. This may involve treatment with an intravenous IV fluid drip, the use of medication to remove potassium before absorption or diuretics.
If your potassium level is very high due to a kidney issue, you may need to undergo kidney dialysis. Potassium is an essential mineral and electrolyte that has significant effects on your muscular and cardiovascular health.
A normal potassium level is 3. If your potassium level is above or below this range, talk to your healthcare provider. They may suggest making some adjustments to your diet and use of medication to bring you potassium levels back to normal. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice.
Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Top Treatments. Top Conditions Erectile Dysfunction. Primary Care. Back to Blog. Potassium: An Overview Potassium is one of several minerals and electrolytes that play a major role in helping your body function normally. What is a Normal Potassium Level? Low Potassium Levels Hypokalemia A low blood potassium level is referred to as hypokalemia.
In some cases, you may experience mild symptoms such as the following: Fatigue Constipation Tingling or feelings of numbness Heart palpitations or skipped heartbeats Muscle weakness, spasms or damage When your potassium level drops by a significant amount, you may experience heart arrhythmias and feelings of lightheadedness.
High Potassium Level Hyperkalemia A high blood potassium level is referred to as hyperkalemia. However, you may experience the following symptoms if your potassium level is elevated: Difficulty breathing Nausea Chest pain Heart palpitations A slow, weak or irregular heartbeat In some cases, a high potassium level may cause you to suddenly collapse due to a slow pulse or sudden cardiac arrest.
How to Maintain a Healthy Potassium Level Maintaining a healthy, normal potassium level is important for your cardiovascular and general health, helping to lower your risk of serious issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. If you have an overly low potassium level hypokalemia , your healthcare provider may suggest that you: Eat more potassium-rich foods.
Many foods, including certain fruits and vegetables, beans and peas, complex carbs, meats, seafood and others contain large amounts of potassium, making them good additions to your diet.
Use a potassium supplement or medication. In some causes, you may benefit from using a potassium supplement. If you have a very low potassium level, you may need to take in potassium via an intravenous drip IV. If you have an overly high potassium level hyperkalemia , your healthcare provider may suggest that you: Reduce your consumption of foods rich in potassium. You may need to limit your consumption of certain foods that contain significant amounts of potassium, or avoid eating them altogether.
Reduce your consumption of salt substitutes. If you need to follow a low-salt diet, your healthcare provider may recommend limiting your consumption of or avoiding salt substitutes.
Stop using potassium supplements. If you take a potassium supplement, you may need to adjust your dosage or stop using your supplement. Adjust or stop using certain medications. Some medications, such as medications used to treat hypertension and heart disease, may affect your potassium level. Your healthcare provider may suggest changing or stopping use of certain medications. Use a diuretic water pill. If your high potassium level is caused by a kidney issue, your healthcare provider may prescribe a diuretic, or water pill, to assist your body in expelling fluid and potassium.
In Conclusion Potassium is an essential mineral and electrolyte that has significant effects on your muscular and cardiovascular health.