Potassium Lab Values – Overview
Potassium is an important mineral in the human body that helps nerves and muscles function properly. It also helps nutrients move into the cells and let your heart function normally. High or low potassium in human bodies is caused by kidney diseases.
Your doctor would prescribe you a potassium test to check your level of it. Let’s find out the standard Potassium Lab Values with more information about the Potassium Test.
What is a Potassium Test?
A potassium test is prescribed by your doctor to check the amount of potassium in your blood. A minor imbalance of potassium in our bloodstream can invite many health problems.
This nutrient comes with several foods. If you eat these foods regularly, there will be no issues of potassium imbalance in your body. Beets, bananas, avocados, spinach, pumpkins, oranges, etc. are high in potassium. Regular consumption of these foods helps regulate the amount of potassium in your body.
Why Would I Get Potassium Test?
Potassium plays a vital role in your body’s functionality. If you are having any type of health issues with your body, your doctor would prescribe you to go for a potassium test. The following health issues would require a potassium test:
- Kidney problems
- Diabetes problems
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic acidosis
- Some special diseases
What is the Procedure for Potassium Test?
A potassium test is just like any other blood test. Your doctor would advise you to stop taking any medications if you are taking them a day before the test. Discuss the medications and your current health condition before you go for this test at the laboratory.
Your elbow will be cleaned by the nurse to take out blood from your vein. A tight band will be wrapped around your hand to locate the veins faster. Most of us are familiar with this procedure which takes only a couple of minutes.
After that, the nurse will collect the blood from your vein into a glass tube for further testing. The needle and the band will be removed after that and a hole will be covered up with cotton wool or a small bandage.
Potassium Lab Values
The normal range of potassium in our body is 3.7 to 5.2 milliequivalents per liter or 3.70 to 5.20 millimoles per liter.
The normal potassium lab values may differ as the testing procedure may vary from lab to lab. The final result of potassium level after the blood test must be checked by your doctor. Your doctor would guide you more about the test result.
What are the abnormalities of the Potassium Test?
A high level of potassium is referred to as hyperkalemia. As per the results, a blood potassium level of 7.0 millimoles per liter or higher than this can be life-threatening. Your body may invite a variety of health problems due to a high level of potassium.
Why is your potassium level high?
There are many reasons why the value of potassium in your body is high. Here, we have prepared a list of reasons behind the high potassium value in your body.
- Taking potassium supplement
- Havings regular foods with high potassium value
- Due to medications
- Due to blood transfusion
- Due to severe injury
- Tissue injury
- Type 1 diabetes
- Dehydration problem
- Metabolic acidosis
- Respiratory acidosis
- Addison’s disease
- Kidney failure or kidney diseases
Why is your potassium level low?
A low potassium level is referred to as hypokalemia. Low potassium levels in your blood can be caused by…
- Not taking potassium-rich foods in your diet
- Vomiting, gastrointestinal disorders
- Excessive workout and sweating
- Deficiency of folic acid
- Taking insulin
- Chronic kidney disease
- Excessive use of a laxative
To avoid the imbalance of potassium in your body, you should take the right amount of potassium in your diet.
The amount of potassium you should take depends upon your age, gender, and other factors. Your doctor would tell you more about the right amount of potassium in your body.
The potassium test doesn’t require any special preparations. It is one of the common blood tests that is done by most healthcare providers to treat certain conditions in human bodies.
Eat healthy food to regulate not just potassium levels, but all the other nutrients and micronutrients in our body.