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Dr.Saleem, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17361
Experience:  MBBS
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What does it mean if my potassium level is 5.3?

Customer Question

Hello, what does it mean if my potassium level is 5.3 ?
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr.Saleem replied 15 days ago.

Hello! I am Dr Saleem. Welcome to JustAnswer.
Thank you for the question. I will be with you in a moment.

Expert:  Dr.Saleem replied 15 days ago.

May I know your age please? Do you have any other chronic health condition?

Can you please share why the testing was performed?

Are your kidney tests fine?

Do you take any supplements?

Expert:  Dr.Saleem replied 15 days ago.

A one off reading could be due to red cell breakdown after collection of blood also called pseudohyperkalemia. We usually repeat the test to confirm the potassium readings in most cases. If the values are persistently high then the usual first step is to check kidney functions and review the list of medications that are being taken by the individual. Recent exertional activity can also lead to temporarily elevated potassium levels. If the above mentioned tests are fine then we request trans tubular potassium gradient to see if the problem lies in kidneys and then aldosterone levels may also be checked to reach a definitive diagnosis. It's a step wise approach that is applied in clinical practice to diagnose the underlying cause of high potassium.

Expert:  Dr.Saleem replied 15 days ago.

That's the best I can tell with information at hand. Please let me know if you have any other queries.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Hello Dr Salem, I’m 41 years old I have under active thyroid I take Leo thyroxine everyday I take supplements as well.
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I did the test because I feel tired and I have pain in my bones and joints
Expert:  Dr.Saleem replied 15 days ago.

Thank you for sharing that information. The test should ideally be repeated on a fresh blood sample. Hypothyroidism doesn't cause increased potassium but you may look into the contents of your supplements and see if it contains potassium. If the repeat test also shows high potassium then your doctor may request the workup I mentioned earlier to find a clue. Also, it would be wise to hold the supplements and see if that brings your potassium levels down.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Okay I will do all that thank you
Expert:  Dr.Saleem replied 15 days ago.

My pleasure.