A 41-year-old member asked:
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how will i know if my potassium levels are too low or high?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Tarek Naguib
40 years experience Nephrology and Dialysis
Blood test: High and low blood levels of potassium may actually have similar symptoms e.g. Muscle fatigue or cramps. There is no substitute for blood test. Taking excessive amounts of otc potassium pills for cramps is dangerous since if you have high levels of blood potassium it may be compounded causing heart muscle problems.
Answered on Feb 8, 2012
Dr. Jason Cogdill
17 years experience Nephrology and Dialysis
Testing: Other than a blood test there is not a reliable way to know. Ekgs are used too but they aren't specific and don't catch everything. By the time someone has a obvious side effect to a very very high or very very low potassium level it is likely life threatening. Symptoms often associated with mild potassium abnormalities are common and correctioning potassium level doesn't always resolve them.
Answered on Jun 14, 2016

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