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Poisoning and overdose of selenium: symptoms, treatment

Selenium in the human body plays a role of antioxidant. It protects cells in the body from free radicals. This chemical element involved in metabolism and energy processes. A couple of decades ago doctors prescribed drugs with selenium for different groups of patients. The excessive consumption of this chemical can be toxic overdose of selenium, which is no less dangerous than failure. You need to know the first signs of poisoning these items to protect yourself and loved ones from irreversible changes in the body.

The benefits of selenium

In the human body can be from 10 to 14 mg of selenium. The bulk of this chemical element is concentrated in the heart, liver, kidneys, spleen and male reproductive organs. Favor of selenium are hard to evaluate. Chemical substance has an effect on the human body:

  • Strengthens the immune system. Selenium takes part in oxidation processes and protects the cells from various damages. It is because of the chemical element of HIV for a long period of time occurs in a latent form and does not go into AIDS.
  • Improves thyroid and prevents diseases of endocrine nature.
  • Promotes rapid absorption of certain vitamins and iodine.
  • With moderate intake of selenium in the body decreases the risk of developing diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
  • Preparations on the basis of selenium are used to treat different types of infertility in men.
  • Required selenium and for the occurrence of normal pregnancy. The disadvantage of this microorganism increases the risk of miscarriage.
  • A chemical element promotes removal from the body of heavy metals. People who live in disadvantaged areas or work in hazardous industries, just need to take selenium.
  • The mineral has a pronounced anti-inflammatory properties, so it will be indispensable in the treatment of arthritis, pathologies of respiratory and digestive organs.
  • Helps to restore cells of the liver and normalizes the pancreas.

The daily requirement of an adult for selenium is 80 to 200 mcg. In the diagnosis of diseases that can be caused by a lack of trace elements, the daily dosage can be increased up to 1000 micrograms. It is worth remembering that if you regularly exceed the dosage of the trace mineral prescribed by a doctor, may be the strongest poisoning.

With regular consumption of small doses of selenium significantly reduces the risk of developing cancer – lung, prostate and breast cancer.

How does the poisoning

Chemical element enters the body in different ways. It can be foods rich in this substance, vitamin complexes and polluted air. Overdose active selenium most often occurs in workers of hazardous industries – oil refining, glass and chemical industry. Often toxic chemical element observed in pharmacists.

In hazardous industries compounds with selenium into the human body from the polluted air. To ignore the hydrogen selenide in the air is impossible, since it has an unpleasant and very peculiar smell.

When you contact some compounds of mineral water are formed corrosive substances which corrode the mucous membranes and the skin. This leads to the formation of extensive ulcers and burns.

After contact with selenium compounds in the respiratory trace mineral reacts with water and forms corrosive substances which corrode the mucous membranes of the respiratory organs. Due to this, there are wheezing, severe cold, and pain when breathing. If the patient does not first aid, that the lungs cease to function normally and the person is suffering from a lack of oxygen.

In contact with the chemical element in the eye, the eyes swollen and watery.


An overdose of selenium can be acute and chronic. In acute poisoning the body immediately gets a lot of active substances, which is manifested typical symptoms. The chronic form of poisoning occurs when a person regularly inhales a chemical element that often happens when working in hazardous occupations.

Acute selenium poisoning appears such specific characteristics:

  • Symptoms of intoxication – weakness, headache, and severe dizziness.
  • Observed itchy eyes and a bad cold.
  • Develop dyspepsia.
  • There is pain in the right hypochondrium and region of the spleen.
  • Blood pressure greatly reduced, the victim begins to sweat.
  • From man comes the characteristic garlic smell.
  • Victim complains of a metallic taste in the mouth.

If the poisoning with sulfur dioxide, it can lead to pulmonary edema and seizures.

Overdose of the trace element can then cause pneumonia.

Chronic overdose occurs when a person is in regular contact with selenium. This can be in a production environment or when staying near the site of extraction of a chemical element. In this case, the signs of an overdose look like this:

  • The patient often suffers from migraines and problems with coordination.
  • Appearsirritability and markedly deteriorating appetite.
  • Often pain in the liver area.
  • The dream is broken.
  • A runny nose is not a long time.
  • There are frequent bleeding from the nose.
  • People often sick with bronchitis.
  • Significantly worsens the condition of the hair and skin.

If the person is in contact with selenous compounds, the observed skin burns and pigmentation characteristic grayish color.

When the manifestation of the first symptoms of poisoning trace the victim to immediately render assistance.


For the beginning the victim first aid, which is these events:

  • The patient is removed to fresh air.
  • The patient is wrapped warm and give hot, sweet tea.
  • If the affected skin, it is thoroughly washed with water.
  • With the defeat of their eyes is washed with soda solution, which is prepared from a teaspoon of dry substance and a glass of water.

Mandatory call an ambulance or take the victim to the hospital on their own. Further therapeutic measures are as follows:

  • The patient is administered intramuscularly Diphenhydramine.
  • If the victim has observed convulsions, shows the introduction of vitamin B1.
  • Administered intramuscularly magnesium sulfate.
  • Shown intravenous magnesium thiosulfate.
  • Can be assigned kazeinovye drugs.

To prevent the poisoning of selenium compounds on the production, it is necessary to strictly observe safety and not to neglect the means of protection.

We don't have to take vitamins to make up for the deficiency of selenium. This substance is found in many foods – fat sour cream, fat, seaweed, eggs, garlic, pistachios and dry oyster mushrooms. Therefore, to maintain the normal balance of chemical substances in the body enough to eat rationally.