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How is hypokalemia diagnosed?

To diagnose hypokalemia (low levels of potassium in the blood), the doctor will run a blood test to check potassium levels; however, most cases are found during routine blood tests for other conditions. Other blood tests that may be useful are to check for arterial blood gas (the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood) and pH; BUN (urea nitrogen) and creatinine levels; blood glucose (sugar); levels of other minerals and electrolytes; and levels of a hormone, aldosterone. The doctor will ask for a recent health history including medications, drugs, and supplements taken, as well as whether the individual has been vomiting or experiencing diarrhea. Electrocardiograms (EKG) can be used to determine if the heart has been affected by deficient potassium.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.