Arsenic, Blood

Optimal Result: 0 - 9 ug/L.

The "Arsenic, Blood" marker on the "Heavy Metals Profile I, Blood" panel from LabCorp is a crucial test for assessing exposure to arsenic, a toxic heavy metal with significant health implications. Arsenic exposure can occur through various means, including contaminated water, certain foods, industrial processes, and occupational exposure in industries like mining and smelting.

Measuring arsenic levels in blood is essential for detecting recent exposure, as arsenic is rapidly cleared from the bloodstream and redistributed to organs and tissues. Elevated blood arsenic levels can lead to acute symptoms like gastrointestinal distress, cardiac problems, and severe skin manifestations. Chronic exposure, even at lower levels, is particularly concerning, as it can result in long-term health issues like skin lesions, increased risk of cancers (especially skin, bladder, and lung), cardiovascular diseases, and neurotoxicity. For certain forms of organic arsenic, such as those found in seafood, the toxicity is much lower, and these forms are rapidly eliminated from the body; however, inorganic arsenic, found in contaminated water and certain foods, is highly toxic.

The "Arsenic, Blood" test is therefore vital for distinguishing between these forms and understanding the exposure context. In cases of elevated arsenic levels, immediate steps are taken to reduce and eliminate exposure, and depending on the severity, treatments may include chelation therapy, which helps remove arsenic from the body. Continuous monitoring and follow-up testing are crucial for ensuring the effectiveness of these interventions and preventing further exposure.

What does it mean if your Arsenic, Blood result is too high?

Elevated levels of arsenic in the blood, as detected by the "Arsenic, Blood" marker on LabCorp's "Heavy Metals Profile I, Blood" panel, indicate recent exposure to arsenic, a potent toxin with serious health implications. Such exposure can result from contaminated water, certain industrial activities, or consumption of foods high in inorganic arsenic.

High arsenic levels can cause acute health effects like gastrointestinal distress, abnormal heart rhythm, and skin changes, and chronic exposure can lead to more severe outcomes, including an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological problems.

Treatment for arsenic poisoning focuses on eliminating the source of exposure and may include the use of chelation therapy, which involves administering substances that bind to arsenic, facilitating its excretion from the body. Additionally, supportive care to manage symptoms and prevent complications is crucial. In cases of long-term exposure, continuous monitoring and follow-up testing are necessary to track the effectiveness of treatment and ensure that arsenic levels return to a safe range.

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