Basic Metabolic Panel: About This Test

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What is it?

This blood test measures your sugar (glucose) level and your electrolyte and fluid balance. It also shows how well your kidneys are working.

Why is this test done?

Your doctor may order this test to monitor medicines you take or try to find the reason for your symptoms. Your doctor may also use this test to check on a medical condition, such as high blood pressure or kidney disease.

How do you prepare for the test?

Your doctor may ask you not to eat or drink anything other than water for at least 8 hours before the test.

How is the test done?

A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from the arm.

How long does the test take?

The test will take a few minutes.

What happens after the test?

  • You will probably be able to go home right away.
  • You can go back to your usual activities right away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.

Where can you learn more?

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.