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Chromium, Blood Test

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About Our Chromium, Blood Test

This blood test is used to determine chromium levels for deficiency or toxicity.

Chromium is a mineral that the body uses in small doses for typical body functions, like digesting food. It also helps to move glucose into cells to use as energy, as well as to turn carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy. This blood test is used to determine chromium levels.

Hexavalent chromium, also known as metallic chromium, is commonly used in the production of steel and other industrial products. Chronic exposure to metallic chromium can cause serious problems.

Deficient chromium levels can lead to:

  • High cholesterol
  • Glaucoma
  • Decreased white blood cell count
  • Osteoporosis or nerve damage
  • Muscle weakness and impaired coordination
  • Numbness or tingling in the limbs
  • Irritability and depression
  • Confusion

Chromium levels that are too high can lead to:

  • Low glucose levels (hypoglycemia)
  • Stomach/digestive trouble
  • Liver and/or kidney damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Arrhythmia
  • Pneumoconiosis (if metallic chromium fumes or dust is inhaled)
  • Skin ulcerations, dermatitis, increased respiratory sensitivity and tissue necrosis including nasal septum perforation (caused by metallic chromium inorganic salts)

Major dietary sources of chromium include:

  • Brewer's yeast
  • Cheeses
  • Molasses
  • Meats
  • Potato skins
  • Spices
  • Whole grains
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Fresh fruit
  • Hard tap water

Chromium deficiency can be more prevalent in people who are:

  • Elderly
  • Diabetic
  • Workers in these industries: metal plating, steel and nonferrous alloys, refractory materials, and chromate pigments and preservatives

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