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6 Signs That You Have a Zinc Deficiency

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 31% of the world population has a zinc deficiency. Zinc is known as an essential trace element and it is required by every human, plant, and animal to survive. Your body uses zinc to produce cells, fight off infections, and heal injuries. Here are some signs that you might have a zinc deficiency:

1- Your Hair Is Falling Out

According to National Institutes of Health, zinc deficiency can lead to hair fall. According to some studies, people who suffer from alopecia, an autoimmune disease which causes hair fall, need more zinc. Even though a lot of people have reported positive results from zinc medications, more studies will have to be done to establish a connection between zinc deficiency and hair fall.

2- You Can’t Seem To Focus

Zinc is imperative for neuropsychological performance and a deficiency has been linked to attention disorders that continue into adulthood. Zinc supplements have been shown to improve attention and focus. However, for zinc to be absorbed properly b your body, you must also ensure that you are getting all the other nutrients.

3- You Have Acne

Some studies have shown that oral and topical medications that contain zinc may help people get rid of acne. Zinc is said to have anti-inflammatory properties and it can regulate oil production and the amount of acne-causing bacteria in your skin. Other things that may cause you to breakout include certain foods, hormones, birth control, and makeup and skincare products.

4- Your Immune System Is Weak

Zinc is required to maintain the immune system and it is important for T-cell growth and differentiation into the white blood cells that are needed to fight off disease, killing dangerous virus and bacteria by programmed cell death, protective functions of the cell membranes, and gene transcription. Zinc is also the main structural component for many hormone receptors and proteins which are responsible for balancing mood and keeping the immune function health.

5- Your Wounds Take A Long Time To Heal

Since zinc is vital for your immune health, a deficiency can make you make more susceptible to bacterial or viral infections. Scrapers, cuts, and wounds may take longer to heal as your body needs zinc to repair tissues.

6- Your Eyesight Is Getting Weaker

Your eyes, particularly the retina, have high concentrations of zinc. Zinc helps carry vitamin A from your liver to your retina to make protective pigments in your eyes, thus it is required to keep your vision sharp.

7- Loss of appetite

Dr. Dana Hunnes, a senior dietitian at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, says a loss of appetite is a telltale sign of low zinc levels. But while medical professionals see patients with low zinc who report diminished appetite, studies tend to go in the other direction. This mineral is so closely tied with appetite that one study showed zinc supplementation successfully boosted calorie intake in patients with anorexia (Khademian, 2014).

Although more studies need to be done specifically in humans to clarify zinc’s role, it is believed that zinc influences appetite because of how it affects ghrelin (Suzuki, 2011). This hormone, sometimes referred to as “the hunger hormone” stimulates appetite, increases food intake, and promotes fat storage.

8- Diarrhea

Unfortunately, you’ll need to watch for diarrhea on either side of your zinc intake. Taking too much can cause this unpleasant symptom, as well as having a deficiency. Diarrhea can also make a deficiency in this crucial mineral worse because it prevents proper absorption. That’s also serious because zinc is essential for immune response to gut issues that could potentially cause loose stool.

So if you already know you’re deficient—even if you’re already on a treatment plan—and have been suffering from diarrhea for several days, it’s time to call your healthcare provider.

Zinc deficiency is not just prevalent in developing countries; it affects people in developed countries like the United States as well. However, it can be reversed through dietary changes and supplements. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and suspect a zinc deficiency, consult your doctor. You can find and book an appointment with a top dietitian in Rawalpindi, Karachi and Multan through oladoc.com. You can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your health concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.
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