No Doctor visit is required for this Labtest


$ 15.00

Detail Description


Does this test have other names?

Potassium serum, serum potassium, serum electrolytes, Urine potassium test, K+

What is a potassium plasma test?

A potassium plasma test measures the amount of potassium in your blood. The test gives information about the levels of potassium. Your provider may order the potassium blood test separately, but it is often part of the electrolytic panel, renal panel, or basic or comprehensive metabolic panel. High or low potassium plasma levels can lead to several diseases and health problems. 

What is potassium?

Potassium is an electrolyte. It helps maintain the fluid levels in your body and the acid-base balance. It also regulates the functions of nerves and muscles. It transfers nutrients to the cells and removes all the waste from them. Potassium is present in many available foods like bananas, oranges, avocados, spinach, pumpkins, beets, etc. Your body takes and stores the potassium from these foods. The kidneys excrete the excess potassium into the urine. The potassium test can indicate any disturbance in the storage, usage, and excretion processes for potassium in your blood. 

What does a potassium plasma test indicate?

A potassium blood test detects the quantity of magnesium in your blood. The potassium test diagnoses and monitors the conditions for abnormal potassium levels. These include kidney disease, heart disease, and high blood pressure. 

Why do I need a potassium blood test?

If you experience symptoms of abnormal potassium levels, your healthcare provider may recommend a potassium plasma test. Following are the signs and symptoms of high potassium level (hyperkalemia)
  • Heartbeat disorder or Arrhythmia (a condition of disturbance of your heartbeat)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Nausea

Signs and symptoms of low potassium level (hypokalemia) include
  • Muscle cramps 
  • Muscle twitches
  • Changes in the heartbeat
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

Your provider may ask to repeat the potassium and other electrolyte tests. The additional tests are for those who take medications that may affect their kidneys or electrolyte balance. Your doctor can also use electrolyte tests to monitor the conditions of people who take specific drugs. The potassium plasma test is generally suited for those with severe medical conditions. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, or a family history of kidney problems. 

What is the procedure for a potassium blood test?

Your provider needs a blood sample from you. A small needle injects into a vein in your arm to collect blood in a test tube. Your provider applies a bandage to your vein. You can return to your home for daily activities. This test generally takes at least 5 minutes. 

How do I prepare for the test?

You don’t have to prepare for the potassium plasma test. If your provider recommends additional blood tests to observe your conditions, you may need to keep a fast for at least 6–8 hours. You cannot eat or drink before the test. You also have to follow any specific instructions given by your provider. 

Some healthcare providers may also ask for a urine sample. You have to collect your urine in a sample container. 

What are the risks involved in the test?

A blood test does not have a high risk. You may feel a little pain or bruise when the needle injects into a vein in your arm. But these symptoms do not last for a long time. 

What does the serum potassium test result mean?

The ideal test results may differ slightly among different laboratories. That’s because some laboratories use different measurement methods. The recommended range for potassium in your blood should be between 3.6 and 5.2 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). You can talk with your doctor about your test results. 

High potassium levels (hyperkalemia) in your blood can show signs of several diseases. It occurs due to
  • Kidney disease - Your kidneys eliminate extra potassium from your body, which shows kidney failure or damage.
  • Type 1 diabetes - The value of type 1 diabetes is not under control. 
  • Destruction of red blood cells 
  • Metabolic or respiratory acidosis
  • Blood transfusion
  • Injuries or surgery can lead to a high amount of potassium released in your blood by your cells. 
  • Side effects of a specific medicine, including diuretics (water pills) or antibiotics.
  • Disorder of adrenal glands
  • Intake of a high-potassium diet or potassium supplements can result in various problems for your health.

Low levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia) can indicate the following signs
  • Loss of fluid from vomiting, diarrhea, or high sweating.
  • Intake of large amounts of laxatives.
  • Disorders of the adrenal gland, such as aldosteronism and Cushing’s syndrome.
  • Intake of prescription diuretics.
  • Alcohol use disorder (AUD)
  • Kidney disease
  • A low-potassium diet

If your results are not in the recommended range, you do not need to worry about them. Test results do not always show a medical disease. Some factors, like specific medications and antibiotics, may affect your test results. Eating large amounts of licorice made from licorice plants can decrease the potassium level in your blood. 

You can place an online order for the potassium blood test at UmbrellaMD. To understand the test results, you don’t have to visit physically anywhere. Umbrella Health Care Systems helps you to make an online appointment with a doctor for medicine and treatment. Register here to learn more about laboratory tests, medical imaging, pharmacies, and e-consultation.

What factors can affect the results of the potassium blood test?

The following are the factors that may affect your potassium test results:
  • Fist clenching - A temporary increase of potassium level occurs when a person tightens their hand into a fist (a bunch of fingers) during or before the test.
  • Difficulty collecting the blood - Temporary damage may occur when your provider does not find a vein in your arm. That leads to the release of extra potassium from cells into your blood. 
  • Disturbance in blood cells - Inaccurate high or low potassium test results may occur to people in a condition that may affect their white blood cells or platelet counts. It can be a sign of specific medications that disturbs the functions of blood cells and production. 

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