A potassium test measures the amount of potassium in blood serum, the fluid part of your blood.
Potassium ↗ is a mineral that helps:
- nerves and muscles "communicate"
- nutrients move into cells and waste products move out of cells
- the heart function healthily
A potassium test may be recommended to help diagnose or monitor kidney disease ↗, which is the most common cause of high potassium levels.
Your doctor may also recommend the test if you have heart-related problems, such as high blood pressure (hypertension) ↗.
If you have low potassium levels, you may have a heart problem, such as an irregular heartbeat ↗.
If you have high potassium levels, your heart muscle activity may be reduced.
Both situations are serious and can be life threatening.
In rare cases, potassium levels may be low through a poor diet.
Good sources of dietary potassium include:
- fruit, particularly bananas
- nuts and seeds
Read more about the potassium test ↗ on Lab Tests Online UK.