vitamins deficiency symptoms

What are symptoms of zinc deficiency?

Zinc is a crucial mineral that is involved in hundreds of bodily processes. It helps protect the body from oxidative stress and repair DNA. While zinc is readily available in food, research suggests 2 billion people worldwide do not get enough zinc in their diet, and even in the U.S., 12 percent of the general population and 40 percent of the elderly population are at risk of zinc deficiency.

Most common zinc deficiency symptoms

How do you know when you have a zinc deficiency?
The symptoms and signs of zinc deficiency vary from person to person. However, there are a few common symptoms to look out for. These contain dandruff, poor wound healing, sleep disturbances, diarrhea, hair loss, loss of libido, skin dryness, rashes and reduced fertility.

If you suffer with psoriasis and complain of any of the other suspected symptoms, then you could be suffering from a zinc deficiency. To find out whether you are zinc deficient or not, it is important to consult your doctor or nutritionist.
Symptoms of a zinc deficiency may also include slow growth, loss of appetite, and impaired immune function. In extreme cases, a zinc deficiency may cause:

  • Loss of hair
  • Impaired sense of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Impotence
  • Hypogonadism in males
  • Weight loss
  • Mental lethargy
  • Skin lesions
  • Low insulin levels
  • Rough and dry skin
  • Slow wound healing

Who is at Risk of Zinc Deficiency

According to the National Institute of Health, there are certain groups at risk of zinc deficiency, including:
• Alcoholics.
• Infants who are above seven months and exclusively breastfed.
• Vegetarians.
• Individuals suffering from sickle cell disease.
• Nursing and expectant women.
• People suffering from gastrointestinal disorders and diseases such as short bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Facts about zinc:

  • Zinc is essential to male sex organ function and reproductive fluids. Oysters contain the highest zinc than any other food item.
  • Phytic acids, found in high amounts in whole grains reduce the absorption of zinc.

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