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Potassium has a very short stability time so we do not routinely report on it as it tends to rise within hours of a blood sample being taken. The exception to this is when a sample is taken at the laboratory.

Potassium is essential in regulating how the heart beats. It also helps move nutrients into cells and waste products out of cells and influences how nerves and muscles communicate.

What might a low result mean?

Low potassium can be caused by dehydration, excessive sweating, diarrhoea and eating disorders.

What might a high result mean?

Raised potassium can be caused by over-supplementation but is also a sign of kidney failure as the kidneys fail to remove excess potassium from the blood.