A Normal Potassium Level
Has Little to Do With Potassium

Every lab sheet shows what a Normal Potassium Level is, but there is something VITAL about that number that your doctor- and the lab sheet- can't and won't tell you. That 'something' is that POTASSIUM levels are ENTIRELY dependent upon having enough MAGNESIUM

But most doctors aren't aware of this and look at the potassium blood test by itself without taking into consideration the importance of magnesium.

 The normal potassium levels are slightly different for every laboratory and run between about

3.5-5.0 mEq/L- pronounced milli-equivalents per liter which is simply a measurement of concentration in the blood.

This is a commonly done test that nearly everyone sees on their Metabolic Panel Blood Test. But what do high, normal and low potassium levels mean to you?

High Potassium Levels

High potassium levels are VERY concerning and should be followed up IMMEDIATELY by your doctor. The VAST majority of cases of high potassium levels occur in those with kidney failure- and sometimes when the blood sample was damaged when being drawn, which releases large amounts of potassium from inside the cells into the blood 'serum' that is being measured Otherwise, it is EXTREMELY rare for someone to have a potassium level that is too high. Not including those with kidney problems, a LOW potassium level is nearly always the problem. A high potassium level is NOT due to eating too many bananas!


Low Potassium Levels

For MOST people, the problem is LOW potassium levels. This is an EXTREMELY common condition that can contribute to the formation of Kidney Stones- and doctors give potassium supplements very frequently because so many patients, particularly those with Congestive Heart Failure, take Diuretic pills that lower potassium levels- but being common does not necessarily mean that it is NORMAL and people taking diuretics are not the ONLY ones who get Potassium Deficiency Symptoms!

Often when this condition is discovered, depending upon the doctor and the medical conditions that the person has, the doctor may or may not recommend potassium tablets. But there are two reasons that ONLY recommending potassium supplements is shortsighted.

  • The First is that this does not address What Causes Low Potassium and, unless the person is quite ill, repeat levels are not done again to ensure that a normal potassium level is attained. So, soon after the pills are finished, the person will get potassium deficiency again- but no one does another level.



  • The Second is that the REASON that potassium levels are so often low is that low MAGNESIUM levels are actually causing the potassium levels to be low! Studies on people with chronically low potassium levels have shown that this problem can be VERY rapidly resolved when magnesium is given- even when high doses of potassium don't create a normal potassium level (1)
  • But since your Magnesium Level is completely USELESS information and is almost always normal unless there is SEVERE deficiency, this 'subclinical' magnesium deficiency is almost never discovered.

     So, if you want to achieve a Normal Potassium Level, then the BEST way to do this is to recognize that your low potassium level is a good indication that you have Magnesium Deficiency and that following the detailed instructions on the Magnesium Dosage

    page is actually going to go a LOT further towards getting you a Normal Potassium Level than is taking potassium supplements.

    In fact, in many cases, studies show that low potassium levels can be increased by taking ONLY magnesium supplements and NOT taking potassium at all!! Now, don't you wish that your doctor had told you this?! Keep reading to find out MORE great information on Understanding Blood Test Results

    Next --->
    Understanding Blood Test Results

    Potassium Level Resources

    • Jigsaw Health's Extended Release Magnesium Malate

      - One of the best magnesium supplements on the market. High absorption in an extended release formula for longer lasting results.

    • Transdermal Magnesium Gel- Just rub this magnesium right into your skin and it gets absorbed straight into your tissues- no pills required.
    • Transdermal Magnesium The Book- See how and why transdermal magnesium is really an effective replacement for magnesium pills!
    • The Magnesium Medicine Book- Take a look at the AMAZING amount of research that there is on the use of magnesium for health. You will be seriously amazed at what your doctor has NOT told you!!
    • Magnesium Bath Flakes- Another surprisingly effective 'Transdermal' form of magnesium. A great way to get magnesium into kids and the elderly.

    Already Answered Questions about this Laboratory Test

    Click below to see already answered questions about this laboratory test

    What to do about a low potassium level?  
    My potassium level keeps droping all thru the day I take potassium pills eat fruits and vegetables drink orange juice as well as v8 juice and still my …

    Magnesium Supplements and Potassium blood levels 
    Can too much magnesium supplement cause a high potassium level in my lab work?

    Blacking out / passing out from low POTASSIUM 
    I have low potassium. I have been having a lot of strange symptoms the last 2 weeks. I told my doctor and he didn't seem to concerned. But it sure is bothering …

    Should I be worried? 
    I am a 57 year old female. I was diagnosed with HCV in 2001, and went through the pegalated interferon treatment for 6 months. It did not work. I also …

    Vitamin D deficiency and high potassium 
    I had a blood test done one week ago, and my result show my Vitamin D test is less than -4 and my potassium result is 5.4, what does this mean?

    high potassium/low vitamin D 
    I just had blood drawn and found my vitamin D was 27.9 and potassium was 5.3. I was not aware of the magnesium/potassium relation. But assuming i would …

    I just had my 4 month check up, have had two cancer surgeries, part of the lung removed and the bladder IS REMOVED. I have a neo-bladder and have to cath …

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