What is selenium deficiency?

The risk of selenium deficiency changes from region to region—that’s because the selenium content of foods depends on how much of the mineral was in the soil it grew from. For example, Europe tends to have lower selenium levels than America.

Adults don’t need a lot of selenium, but a long-term deficiency may lead to fatigue, a weakened immune system, and impaired muscle function.

Selenium Deficiency Symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Coma

What causes a selenium deficiency?

  • Keshan disease (a type of cardiomyopathy)
  • Kashin-Beck disease (a form of osteoarthritis)
  • Kidney failure
  • HIV

Further reading: Harvard School of Public Health