Selenium is also necessary for the conversion of the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) into its more active counterpart triiodothyronine (T3), and as such a deficiency can cause symptoms of hypothyroidism, including extreme fatigue, mental slowing, goiter, cretinism, and recurrent miscarriage. Your mental energy is diminished, which means that you just don’t feel like yourself. ... Too much selenium causes selenosis, a condition that, in its mildest form, can lead to loss of hair and nails. Aims: Severe deficiency of the essential trace element selenium can cause myocardial dysfunction although the mechanism at cellular level is uncertain. The problem with a lack of mental energy is that there are other mental health problems that come up. Selenium deficiency has been found to cause depressive mood and hostile behavior. An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away — Fact or Fiction? As I mentioned earlier, selenium and the thyroid gland have a close connection, with selenium helping to convert T4 thyroid hormones into the more bioavailable form of T3. Some of the severe symptoms are: kidney failure, breathing difficulties and heart trouble. Studies have shown a reduction in the likes of lung, colon and bladder cancer. It is even more important for people with thyroid conditions. Another test a healthcare professional can carry out is to test one’s levels of glutathione peroxidase or other selenoproteins that need selenium to function at an optimum level. Selenium deficiency may lead to several health conditions like, cardiovascular disease, impaired immunity and metabolism, infertility and cognitive decline. Hair Loss - Selenium deficiency can also cause hair loss which means many people with hair loss use selenium. Symptoms of selenium deficiency. Research shows that a common symptom of selenium deficiency is impaired thyroid function (hypothyroidism), and this often manifests as a form of chronic fatigue. Or just being so drained from work that you can’t function properly. It sounds more like being a parent at times, right? A calculation of total selenium intake per day, along with symptoms, will further support the diagnosis. Another group of patients at risk for selenium toxicity is thyroid patients. Selenium deficiency can cause nonspecific symptoms like fatigue and brain fog. Selenium deficiency is rare, even in New Zealand and Finland, where selenium intake is 30 to 50 mcg/day, compared with 100 to 250 mcg/day in the US and Canada. Signs of too much selenium include a garlic-like odor on your breath and a metallic taste in your mouth. Selenium (Se) is now recognised as an essential trace element for ruminants. Chronic deficiency of selenium can cause Keshan Disease with symptoms of enlarged heart. It doesn’t change the fact that the mineral is a vital nutrient. Selenium Deficiency in Thyroid Patients. How often have you made it from A to B or written out something and just had no memory of doing it? It helps to reduce oxidative stress, which means that more oxygenated blood can get around the body. It’s perfectly normal to see some hair loss or skin shedding. Learn about conditions linked to selenium deficiency, such as Keshan disease and Kashin-Beck disease, as well as toxicity symptoms, such as hair and nail loss, in this lesson. Because this micronutrient is the essential factor of glutathione peroxidase synthesis and is involved in various metabolic processes, it may predispose individuals to various diseases. All Rights Reserved.Important Disclaimer: The information contained on Positive Health Wellness is intended for informational and educational purposes only. The amount of selenium in food sources is largely determined by the quality of the soil used to grow them. Remember that your brain needs oxygen to function properly. Chronic selenium deficiency has been linked to mental retardation, heart disease, cancer, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis 3. The cells die, and the body needs to get rid of them somehow. It’s time to start following a balanced diet that involves more foods with protein in it. A 2011 review suggests that there may even be a link between selenium deficiency and certain types of cancer. Just be sure that your dose isn't too high or you may cause the same problem. Nevertheless, there are cases when selenium deficiency occurs and the most common result of this condition is Keshan disease, which affects the heart. Well, the deficiency leads to low energy—and not just physical energy. What are the main symptoms of a selenium deficiency? You can also get it from grass-fed animals, chicken, and turkey. Symptoms of selenium deficiency vary greatly and often go unnoticed. Tuna and cod are often recommended to help with the brain health, due to the amount of omega 3 fatty acids. Some health articles may not discuss it. 10 Signs and Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency, The 11 Most Nutrient-Dense Foods on the Planet, How to Identify and Treat a Vitamin E Deficiency, Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, How Cooking Affects the Nutrient Content of Foods. If you repaired the deficiency, you could find that your thyroid problems reverse on their own and there is no need to be on medication for the rest of your life. It doesn’t change the fact that the mineral is a vital nutrient. Hair loss Selenium deficiency occurs due to an insufficient dietary intake of selenium. We all shed some hair and skin on a daily basis. The first-line treatment for selenium deficiency is to try to eat more foods that are high in selenium. Severe selenium deficiency can also cause the leg and underarm hair to come out. They are full of protein and healthy fatty goodness. Selenium deficiencies are known to cause immune problems in equines and are suspected to interfere with thyroid function. Research has shown that by taking more selenium can help to boost the immunity while it is low to fight off further problems. Selenium shortage doesn’t always cause obvious symptoms. Selenium deficiency has been found to cause depressive mood and hostile behavior. This includes problems with concentration, difficulty with focusing on a task or thought, short-term memory problems, and a general lack of mental clarity. That doesn’t mean you can’t make changes to your diet to improve the amount of selenium you get naturally to see if it can help. The use of certain foods or ingredients can cause the nails to change color. Selenium is an important mineral. Selenium deficiencies may also cause horses to “tie-up” due to rhabdomyolysis (frequently accompanied by dark urine).. Less severe but important symptoms include poor coat and hoof quality, muscle soreness, decreased performance, or decreased fertility.. Correcting Selenium Deficiency in Horses. Low selenium levels have been linked to numerous fertility issues. 1 Symptoms include: Garlic smell to the breath Metallic taste in the mouth Hair and nail loss or brittleness This makes sense when you consider the type of food they are and the signs of deficiency. In certain areas of China, where intake averages 10 to 15 mcg/day, selenium deficiency predisposes patients to Keshan disease, an endemic viral cardiomyopathy affecting primarily children and young women. Beef cattle only require 0.1 parts per million (ppm) of Se in the total diet (not the mineral supplement). This medication is used to increase selenium levels immediately, and oral supplementation is used thereafter. That same review predicts that the effects of climate change will gradually decrease soil selenium concentrations in many parts of the world, including the Southwestern United States. The signs depend on the muscles affected. And the side effects of low-grade selenium toxicity, or selenium overdose, can be difficult to identify and may actually mimic some of the same side effects as selenium deficiency. When you take in more selenium, you can reverse the condition. Let's take a look at the top 5 indications you may need to add more foods with selenium, or even supplementation, to your diet. Early manifestations include growth retardation, alopecia and cognitive changes , while cardiac abnormalities are seen in patients who develop Keshan disease. Using a double-blind cross-over design, 50 subjects received either a placebo or 100 mcg selenium on a daily basis. While it should be found in lots of foods, the quantity of selenium in common sources has actually decreased in recent years. 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