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Low Potassium (cont.)

Low Potassium Diagnosis

Sometimes the cause of low potassium is not clear. Your doctor may perform certain tests to rule out other conditions such as renal tubular acidosis, Cushing syndrome, and hypocalcemia.

  • Blood tests check potassium level, kidney function (BUN and creatinine), glucose, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous if an electrolyte imbalance is suspected. Because low potassium is known to affect heart rhythms (arrhythmias), a doctor may order a digoxin (Lanoxin) level if you are taking a digitalis preparation.
  • ECG or a heart tracing is done to detect electrical changes in the heart and certain types of irregular heart rhythms that may be caused by low potassium.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/27/2014

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Hypokalemia »

Potassium, the most abundant intracellular cation, is essential for the life of the organism.

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