Potassium test

A blood test will show if your levels of potassium are too high (hyperkalaemia) or too low (hypokalaemia).

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Contents

Introduction

A blood test will show if your levels of potassium are too high (hyperkalaemia) or too low (hypokalaemia).

Kidney disease is the most common cause of hyperkalaemia, though it can also be caused by medications which reduce the amount of potassium removed from the body.

Hypokalaemia can be due to dehydration, which can be caused by diarrhoea and vomiting or excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).

In rare cases potassium levels may be low through poor diet.

Content supplied by NHS Choices