This test measures Selenium levels in the blood. Selenium is a mineral element which is found naturally in the environment. Small amounts of selenium contribute to good health but overexposure can cause neurological conditions and other health issues. Selenium testing is typically used to determine if a person is suffering from a deficiency or toxicity. Most selenium comes from the food we eat. People who work in industries which produce products such as electronics, glass, plastics, paints, pesticides, rubber, pharmaceuticals and feed for livestock may experience occupational selenium exposure. Symptoms of selenium toxicity can include hair loss, brittle nails, red swollen skin on the hands or feet, numbness and tingling in the extremities, convulsions or paralysis. Selenium deficiency can cause weakness, muscle pains and may contribute to heart disease, especially in young malnourished children.
The Selenium blood test is typically ordered to screen for toxicity when someone is experiencing symptoms associated with selenium exposure, especially if they work in an industrial setting where selenium is used. It may also be used to look for selenium deficiency to determine if someone is not getting enough in their diet.
For additional testing options, please see our Heavy Metals Category.
Turnaround for the Selenium Blood Test is typically 3-5 business days.
Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.
The selenium blood test has no fasting requirements.
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