A 38-year-old male asked:
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does a basic metabolic panel show serum or intracellular potassium levels? how is hypokalemia diagnosed?

4 doctor answers
Dr. Liawaty Ho
22 years experience Hematology and Oncology
Serum potassium: Bmp will show you serum potassium level. Hypokalemia is diagnosed if the serum potassium level is below the normal range.
Answered on May 14, 2016
Dr. Morton Levitt
A Verified Doctor answered
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Hypokalemia: Low potassium can be a very serious condition, and a simple blood test ("electrolyte panel") can measure the serum level. The serum level correlates with but does not measure intra cellular potassium. The nasic metabolic panel you refer to often includes seeum elctrolytes, including porassium. Read this==>http://en.Wikipedia.Org/wiki/hypokalemia for some common answers. Follow up immediately.
Answered on Mar 26, 2013
Dr. Howard Min
22 years experience Cardiology
Serum levels: The bmp measures serum levels of the basic electrolytes. Hypokalemia is diagnosed when the serum potassium levels are lower than the standard. Less than 3.7 meq/l is considered to be below normal.
Answered on Mar 10, 2015
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Dr. Rashid Khan
32 years experience Internal Medicine
Hypokalemia.: Yes it shows the serum potassium . Consult your physician for the work up of hypokalemia.L .There are many reasons a person can have hypokalemia , it can be due to certain medications or some endocrine and metabolic disorders. To initiate the work up for hypokalemia start with basic metabolic panel , urine potassium level and list of any medication and supplement that the person is on.
Answered on Mar 13, 2013

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