serum potassium

anyone else notice sometimes (coincidentally when its harder to get blood from a blood draw) that in a metabolic panel, your potassium is high?

i'm going to get tested without a turniquet (sp) but i was wondering if im the only freak who's experienced really really high potassium readings.

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that is DANGEROUS so please do not dismiss it! many electrolyte solutions that people buy to help with POTS have unnecessarily high potassium content, like coconut water. PLEASE talk to the doc who ordered the test!

most POTSers have low to normal serum potassium, not that it matters or has an understandable link.


niki (a real live doc, actually a pediatric kidney doc, so i know all too much about potassium)

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i do have pots though, most definitely. i tested low in aldosterone

two different docs ordered the test and it showed up two different times. neither one of them made a deal about it.

Pseudohyperkalemia is a rise in the amount of potassium that occurs due to excessive leakage of potassium from cells, during or after blood is drawn. It is a laboratory artifact rather than a biological abnormality and can be misleading to caregivers.[3] Pseudohyperkalemia is typically caused by hemolysis during venipuncture (by either excessive vacuum of the blood draw or by a collection needle that is of too fine a gauge); excessive tourniquet time or fist clenching during phlebotomy (which presumably leads to efflux of potassium from the muscle cells into the bloodstream);[4] or by a delay in the processing of the blood specimen. It can also occur in specimens from patients with abnormally high numbers of platelets (>500,000/mm³), leukocytes (> 70 000/mm³), or erythrocytes (hematocrit > 55%). People with "leakier" cell membranes have been found, whose blood must be separated immediately to avoid pseudohyperkalemia.[5]"

is why i believe the docs dismissed it. i had to ask for the test results, neither doc mentioned it

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i really cant remember what i was eating around this time. which is what sucks. i mean, how many nuts/bananas/etc would actually give you hyperkalemia? like a lb? i dont drink electrolyte waters and i dont eat much of ANYTHING. makes no sense to me.

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Ditto borriskarloff - I once had Pseudohyperkalemia and it was chalked up to the butterfly needle they used to draw the blood. My doc rechecked K (excessive K can cause heart attacks). On retest, it was found to be normal.

Good luck.

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If you get hemolysis of the specimen it will give a false high result for the potassium. I work in Peds and we see it alot, especially with kids when they have finger or heel pokes.

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