What is a blood potassium test?


Quick Answer

A blood potassium test detects the amount of the electrolyte in the blood. The normal range is between 3.6 and 5.2 millimoles per liter, as stated by Healthline. It is used to evaluate kidney, nerve and heart functions.

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Full Answer

A low potassium level could be caused by a dietary deficiency. Certain disease can also cause low potassium levels, including Cushing's syndrome and cystic fibrosis, according to WebMD. A high potassium level can be caused by taking too many supplements. Kidney damage or failure also leads to high levels of potassium.

When potassium levels are too high or low, damage to the heart, kidneys or nervous system can occur, notes WebMD. The test is performed whenever a patient presents with any symptoms indicating a problem with these sytems.

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