10 Signs That You May Have A Zinc Deficiency
When you think of zinc, you might think of zinc lozenges, which are those tablets that taste like syrup and help soothe a sore throat when the weather gets cold. Zinc is an essential mineral that your cells need to keep your whole body running well, especially when it comes to your metabolism, growth, and senses. It also keeps your immune system in good health. But what happens when you have a zinc deficiency?
The good news is that the foods you eat probably give you enough zinc, and true zinc deficiency is actually quite rare. Most of the zinc people get comes from foods like beef and chicken, but beans, nuts, certain types of seafood, and fortified dairy products are also good sources. People with eating disorders, alcoholism, and digestive diseases are most likely to have a true zinc deficiency, says Jessica Crandall, RDN, CDE, founder of the Denver Wellness and Nutrition Center-Sodexo and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Some of the worst symptoms are loss of appetite, hair loss, sores on the eyes and skin, and diarrhoea.
However, plant-based foods can have less zinc than foods with animal proteins. This may be why vegetarians are more prone to having zinc deficiencies. It is harder for your body to absorb enough zinc only from whole grains and legumes. When your body lacks zinc, it will result in symptoms you can take as signs that you’re not eating enough zinc.
Here are 10 such signs which indicate you need to increase your zinc intake:
1 Wounds are not healing properly
Zinc is important for keeping your immune system healthy. If you don’t get enough of it, you may be more likely to get a virus or bacteria. The NIH says that since your body needs it to repair tissues, cuts, and scrapes. So, when your body lacks zinc, your wounds may take longer to heal.
2 Acne and pimples
According to some research, taking an oral medication or using a cream containing zinc may help eliminate pimples. A review published in Dermatology Research and Practice suggests that zinc may have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce the amount of oil and bacteria in your skin that cause acne.
Acne can be caused by many things, hormones, birth control, and certain foods you eat, including your makeup or skin care. But if you feel like you’ve tried everything and still have other symptoms on this list, you should talk to your primary care doctor or a dermatologist about zinc deficiency.
3 Hair loss and bald spots
The National Institutes of Health says that if your zinc levels are low, you can experience hair loss. Some reports also say that people with alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss on the scalp or other parts of the body, are zinc deficient. Some people have had Topical and oral zinc medications do provide some positive results to remedy this solution. However, more research still needs to be done to understand this connection fully. However, bald patches and fewer hair strands on your scalp indicate a severe zinc deficiency.