A potassium test checks how much potassium is in your blood or urine. Potassium helps keep the body's water and electrolytes in balance. It is also important in how nerves and muscles work.
Potassium levels can be tested by having a blood sample taken or by collecting your urine. Urine potassium can be checked in a single urine sample. But it is more often measured in a 24-hour urine sample.
A blood or urine test for potassium may be done to:
For 24-hour urine collection, your doctor or lab will usually give you a large container that holds about 4 litres.
A health professional takes a sample of your blood.
After a blood test:
After a urine test, you will need to return the urine sample to the lab or the doctor's office.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have questions about the test.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter A911 in the search box to learn more about "Potassium Test: About This Test".
Current as of: October 14, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
© 2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.