Your body requires zinc and uses it for many systemic functions throughout the body. Zinc enhances immunity to help your body fight off infections, aids in the production of DNA, and promotes healing. Zinc deficiency is unusual in the United States; however, it can occur in breastfed babies, the elderly, and those who suffer from alcoholism. Those suffering from gastrointestinal disorders, sickle cell disease, and vegetarians are also at an increased risk of zinc deficiency.
Diagnosing a zinc deficiency involves more than a simple blood test because zinc is distributed throughout your body in trace amounts. Instead, your doctor will need to have your blood plasma tested. Zinc deficiency tests can also use urine or hair to measure the amount of zinc in the body.
Zinc deficiency causes a number of signs and symptoms. Let’s look at the top seven symptoms found in people having zinc deficiency. Zinc supplements like metagenics supplements help to correct a zinc deficiency. In addition to taking a supplement, you should eat zinc rich foods like seafood, beef, nuts, lentils, and seeds.
- Decreased Appetite – Low zinc levels can cause a reduced appetite. Zinc affects ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates your appetite. When ghrelin levels are decreased, your appetite will diminish, resulting in unintentional weight loss. As you begin improving the zinc levels in your body, your appetite will naturally increase.
- Decreased Immunity – Low zinc levels can negatively impact the immune system. In fact, scientific research has demonstrated that taking a zinc supplement can reduce the severity and the duration of upper respiratory illnesses. Zinc supports immunity by reducing systemic inflammation and changing how our cells respond to dangerous microbes in the body.
- Diarrhea – A zinc deficiency can cause unpleasant digestive disturbances, including diarrhea. Diarrhea can impact the body’s ability to properly absorb vitamins and minerals, which is why it is time to talk with one of our caring doctors at Integrative medicine virginia . We will work together to determine the severity of your zinc deficiency and come up with a diet and supplement regime to get your zinc levels where they need to be.
- Wound Healing Issues – Zinc is instrumental in the healing process. The body needs zinc to coagulate and clot the blood at the site of the wound, skin cell repair, and immune defense. Furthermore, zinc synthesizes collagen and protein to assist in wound healing and minimize the risk of scarring.
- Dulled Sense of Smell or Taste – Adults, especially older adults, are prone to losing their sense of smell and sense of taste. Approximately one quarter of all adults older than 60 years old are not getting enough zinc, which may explain why the elderly have a dulled sense of smell, a dulled sense of taste, or both. Many studies show that even those who take a zinc supplement may have a zinc deficiency, which is why you need a supplement that is proven to provide the zinc your body needs.
- Hair Loss – Hair loss, also referred to as alopecia, commonly occurs in individuals who have a zinc deficiency. Because zinc is necessary for cellular reproduction, it can affect the body’s ability to produce new hair cells, resulting in unwanted hair loss. If your body isn’t receiving an ample amount of zinc, the protein structure of your hair follicles can change, thus weakening the hair and increasing the risk of hair loss. Furthermore, zinc plays a crucial roll in RNA and DNA production.
- Skin Problems– If you are zinc deficient, you may begin to experience certain skin issues. Those with a zinc deficiency may experience dry or scaly skin, eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis. Adult acne is another symptom of zinc deficiency. Unfortunately, the risk for acne scarring is increased when you have a zinc deficiency. Using a proven acne treatment that contains zinc can help decrease the risk of breakouts and scarring.
Zinc is an essential mineral needed for numerous functions in the body. When you do not consume enough zinc rich foods, you are at risk of developing a zinc deficiency. Taking a high quality zinc supplement along with increasing zinc hearty foods, can help reverse a deficiency and counteract the symptoms and signs of a zinc deficiency.