Are you having high selenium levels in your blood? The body needs selenium in small amounts for it to work properly. Selenium supports the immune system, protects cells from damage, and regulates thyroid function.
Too much selenium can be harmful to the body, causing a range of symptoms.
High selenium levels in the blood can occur for a number of reasons, including excessive intake of supplements, environmental exposure, and medical conditions.
In this article, we’ll explore the signs and symptoms of high selenium levels, causes of this condition, and the solutions that are available.
Causes of high selenium levels
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There are several causes of high selenium levels in the blood. These include:
- Taking too much selenium supplements
- Exposure to high levels of selenium in the mining or industrial areas
- Liver disease or thyroid problems
Symptoms of high selenium levels
In mild cases of high selenium levels symptoms don’t show, while in more severe cases, symptoms can include:
- Hair loss
- Nail brittleness
- Abdominal pain
- Irritability and nervousness
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Joint pain
- White blotchy nails
What is the normal range for selenium in the blood?
Diagnosis of high selenium levels usually involves a blood test to measure the level of selenium in the blood.
The normal range of selenium depends on the laboratory and method used for analysis.
However, the typical reference range for selenium in the blood is between 70 and 150 micrograms per liter (μg/L).
Additionally, selenium toxicity can occur if levels exceed the upper limit of the normal range.
Treatment options for high selenium levels
In mild cases, simply reducing selenium intake may be enough to bring levels back to normal.
In more severe cases, medical intervention may be required. Treatment options for high selenium levels include:
In mild cases, no specific treatment is needed, and the symptoms can resolve on their own. Supportive care may include drinking plenty of water, maintaining good nutrition, and resting.
Discontinuing selenium supplements
Reducing the supplementation can help to bring levels back to normal.
This involves the use of chelating agents like dimercaprol, which binds to excess selenium in the blood and facilitate it’s elimination through urine.
N-acetylcysteine may be used to reduce selenium toxicity in the blood. They work by increasing the excretion of selenium or by decreasing its absorption in the gut.
In this medical procedure, blood is filtered through a machine to remove excess selenium.
Prevention of high selenium levels
Preventing this condition in the first place is the best approach to avoid the risks. Here are some tips for preventing high selenium levels:
- Monitor your selenium intake: Be aware of how much selenium you’re getting from your diet and any supplements you’re taking. Avoid taking more than the recommended dosage.
- Be cautious of environmental exposure: If you live in an area with high selenium levels in the environment, take precautions such as wearing protective clothing and nose mask to avoid exposure to dust.
- Seek medical advice: If you have a medical condition that could affect your selenium levels, such as liver or thyroid disease, talk to your doctor about monitoring your selenium levels.
- Eat a balanced diet: Consuming a balanced diet that includes selenium-rich foods, such as brazil nuts, seafood, and poultry, can help ensure you’re getting the right amount of selenium without overdoing it.
- Get regular check-ups: Regular blood tests can help detect high selenium levels early on, so be sure to get routine check-ups.
Other ways to prevent selenosis is to follow the recommended daily intake, and these are as follows according to age and gender:
- Infants 0-6 months: 15 mcg/day
- Infants 7-12 months: 20 mcg/day
- Children 1-3 years: 20 mcg/day
- Children 4-8 years: 30 mcg/day
- Children 9-13 years: 40 mcg/day
- Teens 14-18 years: 55 mcg/day
- Adults 19+ years: 55 mcg/day
- Pregnant women: 60 mcg/day
- Breastfeeding women: 70 mcg/day
Conclusion: Are you having high selenium levels in your blood?
High selenium levels can be dangerous if left untreated. With the right diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to bring selenium levels back to normal.
Remember to monitor your selenium intake, be cautious of environmental exposure, and seek medical advice if you suspect that you have high selenium levels.
By taking these steps, you can maintain optimal health and well-being.