It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



General Health Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-19-2009, 03:15 PM   #1
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,147
MariaBB HB User
Potassium Levels Elevated

What could elevated postassium levels mean? My doctor discovered this on a recent blood test and they are sending me back to the lab to be retested. Should I be worried? I feel fine.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 02-19-2009, 05:08 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 3,159
bethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB User
Re: Potassium Levels Elevated

Maria,

First of all, lab tests are not perfect. I think your doctor was wise to send it back for retesting. Best not to worry unless you have something concrete to worry about.

Bethsheba

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 02-20-2009, 07:08 AM   #3
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,147
MariaBB HB User
Re: Potassium Levels Elevated

Beth, I read online that it is fairly common for elevated potassium levels to appear due to blood test errors. Thanks for your reassurance!

 
Old 02-20-2009, 07:18 AM   #4
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 3,159
bethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB User
Re: Potassium Levels Elevated

Maria,

I'm glad I could help...I've worried too often about things unnecessarily and have personally experienced lab errors on more than one occasion.

If per weird chance, the second test comes out the same, come back and we'll go from there.

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 02-20-2009 at 07:21 AM.

 
Old 02-23-2009, 02:57 PM   #5
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 470
plasva HB User
Re: Potassium Levels Elevated

It could be a mistake. When your blood is drawn, the lab has to let the tube sit for awhile so it will clot, then put it in a centrifuge to "spin" all of the red cells to the bottom of the test tube so there will be nice clear serum to test. (There is usually a gel barrier in the tube that will separate the red cells from the serum.) However, if the tube sat around for too long before it was centrifuged, or if enough of your red cells were damaged during the blood draw itself, potassium could have leaked from the red cells into your serum, making your potassium come back falsely high. In other words, your red blood cells contain potassium, so the result could be made false by not separating them from the serum soon enough. It is a common problem, because everyone's blood takes a different amount of time to clot, so they can't all be centrifuged right away, and sometimes they don't get centrifuged for HOURS, if the lab is backed up.

If your potassium repeats high, then you either do have high potassium and need to find out why OR your doctor's office/lab is continuously letting blood samples sit around too long before processing them, resulting in a lot of false high potassiums. This is more likely the case if they don't have a centrifuge at your doctor's office, so they have to send all their samples to the laboratory "unspun."

Also, if your tests for kidney function were normal (BUN/Creatinine), it's less likely you actually have high potassium... if they are abnormally high as well, your high potassium is more likely to be a true result.

Good luck-- I would not worry about this result, just be sure to get redrawn right away if you haven't already.

 
Old 02-24-2009, 11:00 AM   #6
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,147
MariaBB HB User
Re: Potassium Levels Elevated

Thanks! I'm going for a second blood test on Friday.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Gitelman's syndrome or low potassium beth67 Kidney Disorders 141 10-17-2009 05:29 PM
potassium& sodium levels in secondary hypo??? Dora55 Thyroid Disorders 9 11-12-2008 03:34 PM
HCT water pill and potassium leea1206 High & Low Blood Pressure 3 02-29-2008 12:33 PM
Potassium Chloride K-Tabs? Zoraa High & Low Blood Pressure 4 01-14-2008 11:27 PM
renin-aldosterone-potassium??? accessn12 Heart Disorders 10 07-16-2007 12:20 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:44 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!