Selenium, as a natural part of the human body, is necessary for all cells to function properly. It works within enzymes and plays a big role in the production of antioxidants, those wonderful cancer prevention buddies. Too much selenium can be incredibly dangerous but so can too little. Even though only a trace amount of selenium is considered the normal level, less than this can cause serious damage.
A selenium deficiency can be very serious, even leading to death in some cases. While rare, it is a condition you should know about, considering its harmful effects. Some conditions known to be a result of selenium deficiency include:
- Lack of mental dexterity
However, there are diseases that can be caused by this deficiency as well and they include Keshan disease and Kashin-Beck disease.
Keshan disease is viral disease and mostly affects children. It is caused by a deficient amount of selenium present in the body. The main symptom of this condition is myocardial necrosis, which leads to the weakening of the heart and a general weakness of the heart muscle. Keshan disease can also make a person much more susceptible to developing other illnesses.
Kashin-Beck disease occurs when the body is deficient of both selenium and iodine. The symptoms this can then present include the degeneration of cartilage.
So, what exactly causes a selenium deficiency in the first place? Eating food that is grown in soil lacking this nutrient is thought to be the primary cause. Also, people suffering from intestinal disorders that make the absorption of selenium next to impossible are at an elevated risk for developing this deficiency.
Treatment usually consists of taking selenium supplements until the body’s levels have returned to normal. However, supplements may always be necessary if absorption is a problem.
The real trick to combating selenium deficiency is to prevent it from ever happening. This can be done by eating a well balanced diet and seeing your doctor regularly However, one way you can take your health into your own hands is to use an at home test called a wellness panel. A wellness panel test is just a simple oral fluids test, but it can detect ten different substances at once.
All you need to do is collect four small oral fluids samples and mail it into the laboratory for testing. You will receive your results within a few days and then you will be all set. You will have in your own hands the results that spell out your levels for many substances including selenium. Then, if you find you may have a problem, you can visit your doctor and get it all straightened out. It sounds easy because it is easy. Only by preventing such conditions as selenium deficiency can we ever hope to stay healthy. While treatment after symptoms appear is possible and even successful, damage may have already been done to your body.
Why take the risk? Testing at home can help you ensure selenium deficiency never makes its way into your body.