Chromium is a mineral that affects insulin, carbohydrate, fat, and protein levels in the body. This article discusses the test to check the amount of chromium in your blood.
A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see: Venipuncture
No special preparation is necessary for this test.
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, you feel moderate pain, or only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
This test may be done to diagnose chromium poisoning or deficiency.
Serum chromium levels normally range from less than 0.05 up to 0.5 micrograms/milliliter (mcg/mL).
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.
Increased chromium levels may result if you are overexposed to the substance when you work in the following industries:
Decreased chromium levels only occurs in people who receive all of their nutrition by vein (total parenteral nutrition or TPN) whose nutritional fluids do not contain enough chromium.
Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:
Test results may be altered if the sample is collected in a metal tube.
Mason JB. Nutritional assessment and management of the malnourished patient. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 4.
Mason JB. Vitamins, trace minerals, and other micronutrients. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 237.
National Institutes of Health. Chromium. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet. Available at: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/chromium/ Accessed June 24, 2011.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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