12 symptoms that indicate a nutrient deficiency

Zinc insufficiency manifests itself in a variety of non-specific symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose. We'll go through some of the most common symptoms and what you can do to help.

What is a zinc deficiency?

A zinc shortage causes a variety of symptoms, some of which are difficult to categorize, such as hair loss and brittle fingernails. Zinc is an essential trace element, which means it cannot be produced by the body. As a result, it must be obtained from zinc supplements or the diet, primarily through meat-eating. Zinc insufficiency affects approximately 20% of all adults in Germany.

Zinc requirements: What does the body need zinc for?

Zinc is involved in a number of body functions, including immune system activation, metabolism, and hormone production. This is also why zinc deficiency causes such a wide range of symptoms. It's also not as straightforward to identify as, say, iron deficiency. This is due to the fact that there is a blood test for zinc deficiency, but it is unreliable because the shortage only manifests itself in the blood when it is well advanced.

Symptoms: How can I recognize a zinc deficiency?

It is true that there are no symptoms that exclusively indicate a zinc deficiency. However, if several of the following symptoms occur, a zinc deficiency is obvious:

  • Hair falls out
  • Nails are brittle

  • High susceptibility to infections/colds
  • Wound healing is delayed
  • Taste and smell disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of drive
  • Mood swings
  • concentration disorders
  • dry skin
  • dry eyes
  • increased blood sugar levels

The correct zinc value and causes: How does a zinc deficiency develop?

A zinc shortage is most commonly caused by a lack of zinc in the diet. Healthy adult men require ten milligrams of zinc per day, while women require seven mg. To put that in perspective, 50 grams of Edam already contains five milligrams of zinc. Other conditions or disorders, in addition to food, can cause zinc deficiency. These include:

  • Diabetes
  • Diseases of the liver, intestines, or stomach
  • increased alcohol consumption

In addition, certain factors increase the need for zinc. These include:

  • Smoking
  • stress
  • diseases such as cancer
  • heavy sweating

Pregnant and breastfeeding women, the elderly, and children and adolescents generally have a higher need for zinc.

Treatment: What to do about a zinc deficiency?

If zinc insufficiency is caused by a disease, it must be treated first. Otherwise, the easiest approach to get enough zinc is to eat foods that are high in zinc. Zinc is found in abundance in the foods listed below.:

  • Beef tenderloin
  • calf's liver
  • Nuts
  • Wheat germ
  • Oatmeal
  • Edam cheese
  • Lentils

Zinc supply through preparations

If the symptoms persist after one to two weeks, a course of zinc preparations can be tried. For two to three weeks, 25 milligrams of zinc are taken daily. However, it's ideal to plan and execute this under medical supervision. Because an excessive amount of zinc can induce unpleasant side effects such as a metallic taste in the mouth, stomach, and intestinal problems, or fever, an overdose is not recommended.

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