5 Signs you have a zinc deficiency
Zinc deficiency is something that is very common and can cause a number of health issues. The World Health Organisation reports that the average prevalence of zinc deficiency across the globe at around 31%.
Here are the warning signs that you may be zinc deficient, why and how to supplement your diet with zinc rich foods to try and improve your zinc status.
1. Compromised Immune System
The number one warning sign that you have a zinc deficiency is if your immune system is compromised. If you are suffering from frequent infections, have immune system issues, or suffer from chronic allergies.
Why? Because zinc plays a vital role in regulating immune function.
It plays a part in:
- T-cell growth and differentiation into the white blood cells that we need to ward off disease
- Apoptosis to kill dangerous bacteria, virus and cancer cells
- Gene transcription
- Protective functions of our cell membranes
So if you’re immune-compromised — or if you get sick often or you are always the one person in the group that seems to be getting sick all of the time - it is a major warning sign you need more zinc!
2. Leaky Gut Syndrome
One of the most concerning sign that the body is zinc deficient is if you have leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut is a condition in which proteins can leak through the gut and cause systemic inflammation, and that can lead to to food allergies, thyroid problems and adrenal fatigue.
Zinc has been shown to resolve permeability issues by strengthening the tight gap junctions along the intestinal lining and resolve permeability issues and improve levy gut symptoms.
So, if you suffer from leaky gut, have malabsorption issues and/or do not digest nutrients properly, you may be suffer from a zinc deficiency.
If your are struggling with chronic diarrhoea you are likely to be zinc deficient. A "solid" zinc deficiency sign (pardon the pun) is if you have loose stools and what you see in the toilet bowl isn’t firmly formed. Other warning signs you may be low in zinc include inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome or even just simple gas and bloating.
4. Thinning Hair or Hair Loss
If you have thin hair or are losing your hair, zinc is an essential mineral that really supports thicker hair growth often zinc deficiency can be overlooked when someone is starting to show signs of balding but because zinc supports growth, healing and repair of the body it's a great natural hair loss remedy.
5. Inflammatory Skin Issues
Any sort of inflammatory skin issue can suggest a Zinc deficiency, especially acne, eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis.
Zinc Deficiency Causes
So who is most likely to be zinc deficient and why? Typically it is those who are experiencing either physical or emotional demands such as someone who is over-exercising such as a triathlete, marathon runner or CrossFit athlete or a women who is either pregnant or breast feeding or someone who is suffering from chronic emotional stress.
Malabsorption is another issue that is firmly aligned with a zinc deficiency status. Typically, the aging or elderly tend to have malabsorption issues, so they have poor zinc absorption and overtime will start to present with zinc deficiency signs.
How to overcome zinc deficiency
If you’re going to get more zinc in your diet to offset your zinc deficiency symptoms, a few things need to happen. The number one thing you need to do is consume more high zinc foods and in many cases discuss with your practitioner a zinc supplement that is right for you and your needs and is prescribed at the right dose.
High zinc foods include:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Grass fed beef
- Sprouted nuts and seeds
- Chia seeds
As well as probiotic foods such as kefir and fermented foods and vegetables like sauerkraut which improved your absorption and digestion of zinc.
For more information on zinc or anything discussed above please stop by the shop or make an appointment with us today.