Potassium, Plasma

1 Day(s)

Reference Range

Potassium is an electrolyte, a positively charged molecule that works with other electrolytes, such as sodium, chloride, and bicarbonate to help regulate the amount of fluid in the body, stimulate muscle contraction, and maintain a stable acid-base balance. Because the blood concentration of potassium is so small, minor changes can have significant consequences. If potassium levels go too low or too high, there’s an increased risk for developing shock, respiratory failure, or heart rhythm disturbances. Abnormal potassium levels may cause symptoms such as muscle cramps or weakness, nausea, diarrhea, frequent urination, dehydration, low blood pressure, confusion, irritability, and paralysis. Potassium level is in an inverse relationship with sodium level and is also affected by aldosterone. INCREASED potassium levels indicate hyperkalemia. It may be associated with acute or chronic kidney failure, Addisons disease, hypoaldosteronism, injury to tissue , infection, diabetes, and dehydration. DECREASED levels of potassium indicate hypokalemia, which may be associated with vomiting, diarrhea, or hyperaldosteronism.

Special Requirements

Maintain at room temperature.

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