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Selenium, Urine Test

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About Our Selenium, Urine Test

Note: Fasting is not required for this test.

Selenium is an antioxidant that plays an important role in reproduction, thyroid hormone metabolism, DNA synthesis, and protection from oxidative damage and infection. Selenium is readily available in many foods.

This urine test is used to monitor industrial exposure to selenium or to determine a selenium deficiency.

Deficient selenium levels can lead to:

  • Viral cardiomyopathy in children and young women (called Keshan disease)
  • Chronic osteoarthropathy in children (Kashin-Beck disease)
  • Muscle tenderness and pain

Selenium levels that are too high can lead to:

  • Abnormal nails
  • Facial flushing
  • Hair loss
  • Severe gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Muscle tenderness
  • Lightheadedness fatigue
  • Kidney failure
  • Cardiac failure

Major dietary sources of selenium include:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Fish, especially yellowfin tuna
  • Beef and organ meats
  • Poultry
  • Cottage cheese
  • Whole grains
  • Shrimp
  • Spinach

Selenium deficiency can be more prevalent in people who are:

  • Over the age of 90
  • Undergoing total parenteral nutrition
  • Patients undergoing kidney dialysis
  • Have severe intestinal disorders or severely compromised intestinal function
  • Are gastrointestinal surgery patients
  • People living with HIV
  • Individuals who rely on food grown in selenium-deficient soil

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