Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency

Zinc deficiency symptoms

Symptoms of zinc deficiency are often similar to other mineral or vitamin deficiencies. The only way to know for certain if you have such a deficiency is to have a specific blood test.

Zinc Is an Important Mineral

Zinc is one of the most important minerals your body needs in order to maintain a healthy immune system. Every cell in your body has traces of zinc. Zinc contributes to the manufacturing of vital enzymes within your various body systems and must constantly be replenished.

Avoiding Zinc Deficiency

You can avoid a zinc deficiency if you follow a balanced diet and eat plenty of foods with zinc. In addition, you can augment your diet with a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement.

Serious Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency

There are a wide variety of symptoms of a zinc deficiency. These symptoms can be different for each person suffering from a lack of this mineral. No one person will have all of the symptoms, you might only a one or two symptoms while someone else may have many more. Below is a list of most of the symptoms associated with a zinc deficiency. You should keep in mind that just because you may have one or more of the following symptoms, doesn't automatically mean you have a zinc deficiency. There are many other explanations for each symptom listed.

  • Brittle nails, white spots or white bands on fingernails
  • Dandruff
  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry skin, prone to rashes
  • Eye irritation or infections
  • Failing Eyesight
  • Anemia
  • Hair Loss
  • Hyperactive
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of sense of smell and/or taste
  • Memory Impairment
  • Nail cuticle inflammation
  • Night blindness
  • Sexual dysfunction or impotence
  • Skin blemishes such as acne, psoriasis and eczema
  • Stunted growth
  • Toxemia during pregnancy
  • Weakened Immunity System
  • Wounds slow to heal

Avoid Self-Diagnosis

As you can see there are many symptoms that could easily be the symptom of something other than a zinc deficiency. The most dangerous thing you can do is to self-diagnose and then try to self-medicate. You need a professional health practitioner to determine if you have a zinc deficiency or some other kind of deficiency and prescribe the correct dosage. An important step to recovering from any deficiency is to constantly monitor your condition so your dosage can be adjusted accordingly.

Underlying Illness

Your zinc deficiency could be a symptom of a bigger problem, such as a major illness. That's why it's vital that you seek a medical professional to evaluate if you do indeed have a deficiency and be able to rule out any underlying cause such as a chronic illness. A zinc deficiency can be a two-edged sword since many times the deficiency may cause or at least contribute to an illness. In children, a zinc deficiency can result in stunted growth and delay emotional maturity.

Possible illnesses related to zinc deficiency include:

  • Anorexia
  • Chronic Renal Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Liver Disease
  • Malignancy
  • Pneumonia
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Wilson's Syndrome

Danger of Too Much Zinc

While you may feel confident in increasing your zinc consumption and with supplements, you should be aware of the adverse effects that too much zinc can have on your health. Too much zinc can be just as dangerous as too little. You could upset the balance and create enormous amounts of free radicals that can cause cancer.

Most Common Cause of Zinc Deficiency

The most obvious reason for a zinc deficiency is poor diet and failing to take vitamin and mineral supplements. A poor diet can easily create this and other deficiencies. Eating a balanced diet is vital to maintaining good health.

Remedy for Zinc Deficiency

One of the most common remedies to relieve your symptoms of zinc deficiency is a zinc supplement in a dosage between 100 - 150 mg of zinc for several months. Again, you need to have the correct blood test to determine the severity of your deficiency and a medical practitioner or doctor to monitor your recovery. Also increasing your consumption of zinc-enriched foods such as eggs, meats, poultry, fish, especially oysters, nuts, and seeds will help, but remember, your body can't produce or store zinc, so you need a consistent and constant supply of the mineral.

Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency