What are the Symptoms of Selenium Toxicity?

What are the Symptoms of Selenium Toxicity?

Selenium is an essential mineral that the body needs in small amounts for proper function. However, excessive intake of selenium, either through diet or supplements, can lead to selenium toxicity or selenosis. Symptoms of selenium toxicity can vary in severity and may include:

  1. Gastrointestinal Distress:
  2. Hair and Nail Changes:
    • Brittle hair, hair loss, or changes in hair color. Nails may become brittle or develop white spots or ridges.
  3. Skin Changes:
    • Skin rashes, redness, or lesions.
  4. Foul Breath or Metallic Taste:
    • An unpleasant taste in the mouth or a metallic taste.
  5. Fatigue and Weakness:
    • Generalized weakness, fatigue, or a feeling of being unwell.
  6. Nervous System Symptoms:
    • Nervousness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, or dizziness.
  7. Respiratory Distress:
    • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or respiratory distress.
  8. Garlic Breath Odor:
    • A garlic-like odor on the breath (especially in cases of acute selenium poisoning).
  9. Selenosis:
    • Chronic excessive intake of selenium can lead to selenosis, characterized by hair and nail changes, gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue, and irritability.
  10. Joint and Muscle Pain:
    • Pain or discomfort in the muscles or joints.
  11. Altered Selenium Levels in Blood:
    • Elevated levels of selenium in blood tests, confirming selenium toxicity.

It’s important to note that selenium toxicity is rare and typically occurs from excessive supplementation or ingestion of high-selenium foods over an extended period. Selenium toxicity is a serious condition and requires immediate medical attention. If you suspect selenium toxicity or experience concerning symptoms, it’s crucial to seek medical help and follow the advice of a healthcare professional. Avoid self-diagnosis and self-treatment, especially with supplements, as excessive selenium intake can have serious health implications.

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