This test measures Zinc levels in red blood cells (RBC). Zinc is an important mineral required for a number of bodily functions involving energy and metabolism. Zinc is necessary for a strong immune system, normal growth, cell reproduction and the healing of wounds. Zinc deficiency can be due to lack of proper dietary intake or an excess of minerals such as copper or iron which block the body's ability to properly absorb zinc. Conditions which may contribute to zinc deficiency include Crohn's Disease and other diseases which prevent proper mineral absorption, a diet low in meat and seafood, chronic stress, Sickle Cell Anemia, Alcoholism and Pregnancy. Symptoms of zinc deficiency can include recurrent infections, wounds that are slow to heal, severe diarrhea, thinning hair, recurrent skin rashes or acne, and weakened sense of taste or smell.
Zinc toxicity due to diet is uncommon. Toxicity is more typically due to taking supplements, industrial exposure, or exposure to household products which contain zinc such as paints, varnish and cleaning products. Zinc toxicity may cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, anemia and a decrease in HLD cholesterol levels.
RBC testing provides a measurement equivocal to intracellular levels. A red blood cell test may show a zinc deficiency sooner that a regular Zinc Blood Test.
Turnaround for this 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.
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