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10 telltale signs of zinc deficiency you shouldn't ignore

By, New Delhi
Feb 05, 2024 01:15 PM IST

A deficiency of zinc can affect your sense of taste and smell, apart from hair and skin health. All you want to about the signs and symptoms.

Your body may require small amounts of zinc, but without this crucial mineral, many important functions may be affected, leading to worrying symptoms. Zinc helps in growth of cells, healing the body and supporting a robust immune system. Meats, poultry, seafood, legumes, whole grains are all good sources of zinc. In case of a deficiency, zinc supplements are also recommended. A deficiency of zinc can affect your sense of taste and smell, apart from hair and skin health. It can also manifest as a non-healing wound or even mood swings and memory issues. Zinc requirement may increase during times of rapid growth like in childhood, adolescence or pregnancy.(See pics: Trace minerals for healthy hormones: Expert shares tips)

Zinc requirement may increase during times of rapid growth like in childhood, adolescence or pregnancy.

While its deficiency may disrupt body functions, too much of zinc can cause toxicity and result in symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. This is the reason zinc supplements should be taken only on advice of your doctor.

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Dr Rahul Agrawal Consultant General Medicine CARE Hospitals Hitec City Hyderabad in an interview with HT Digital shares top signs of zinc deficiency you should never ignore.

SIGNS OF ZINC DEFICIENCY

1. Hair loss: Have you been losing too much hair of late? You may be deficient in zinc. An important mineral for hair growth and maintenance, zinc deficiency may result in hair loss or thinning.

2. Eye problems: Zinc is crucial for maintaining the health of the eyes. Deficiency may lead to vision problems, night blindness, or difficulty adapting to low light conditions.

3. Loss of taste and smell: Not just Covid, zinc deficiency can also lead to loss of taste and smell. Zinc is essential for proper functioning of taste and smell receptors. A lack of zinc can lead to a reduced ability to taste and smell.

4. Impaired wound healing: Zinc plays a vital role in the healing process, and a deficiency can slow down wound healing and increase the risk of infections.

5. Skin issues: Do not always blame extreme winter or scorching summer for your skin issues. How your skin looks can also depend on the intake of crucial nutrients. Zinc deficiency may manifest in various skin problems, including dry skin, dermatitis, or other skin conditions.

6. Frequent infections: Zinc is necessary for a healthy immune system. A lack of zinc may result in an increased susceptibility to infections and illnesses.

7. Poor growth: Zinc is an important mineral for growth of body cells. In children, zinc deficiency can lead to stunted growth and development.

8. Digestive issues: Zinc is involved in the production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes. Deficiency may contribute to digestive problems such as diarrhoea or malabsorption.

9. Hypogonadism: In males, zinc deficiency can lead to reduced testosterone levels and associated symptoms such as decreased libido and fertility issues.

10. Neurological symptoms: Severe zinc deficiency may affect the nervous system, leading to symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, mood swings, and memory impairment.

If you suspect a zinc deficiency, your doctor may recommend a blood test to measure your zinc levels and provide appropriate guidance on supplementation or dietary changes.

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