This test is used to check the level of selenium present in the body. This test is useful in assessing the selenium toxicity or deficiency which may be caused due to various reasons like malnutrition, industrial exposure, etc.
What is selenium?
Selenium is an essential trace element. It can also be called as a micronutrient as it is needed in very small amounts for the functioning of the body. Selenium plays a role in synthesizing anti-oxidant enzymes which help in preventing cell damage, healthy thyroid, heart, brain, and sexual function. Few studies also suggest that selenium protects the body from certain types of cancers and harmful substances. Most of the selenium required for the body is obtained from the diet.
The dietary sources rich in selenium include mushrooms, garlic, beans, nuts, sunflower seeds, meat, pork, seafood like oysters, tuna, etc.
Decreased level of selenium in the body is very rare but it may occur when a person was fed through parenteral route (IV Line) only for an extended period of time, kidney dialysis, malnutrition, etc. Lack or deficiency of selenium in a person may lead to an increase in the risk of diseases like Alzheimer's disease, damage or weak heart muscle (Cardiomyopathy), weakness, etc.
Although selenium is an essential mineral in the body high levels of selenium can be toxic which may occur due to industrial exposure or through drinking water and may cause effects like abnormal nails, hair loss, digestive disturbances, generalized weakness, and tiredness, fatigue, etc.
Why is this test recommended?
This test may be recommended to you if you had undergone any gastric surgeries, kidney dialysis, undergoing parenteral nutrition, suspected malnutrition. This test may also be recommended to you if you experience certain symptoms like facial flushing, hair loss, kidney damage, heart damage or diseases, muscle pain, and tenderness, etc.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Selenium - 24 Hours Urine 24 Hour Urine. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Selenium - 24 Hours Urine 24 Hour Urine.
No specific preparation is required for urine selenium test.
The normal test results may vary depending on gender, age, health history, etc.
If your urine selenium test results are higher than the recommended range then it may indicate the presence of selenium toxicity and symptoms like hair loss, white blotchy nails, nerve damage, etc.
If your urine selenium test results are lower then the recommended range then it may indicate the presence of selenium deficiency and symptoms like fatigue, slowed growth, muscle weakness, lightheadedness, etc.