Zinc Deficiency


Zinc is a mineral that your body uses for fighting off infections and producing cells. It’s important for healing injuries and creating DNA, the genetic blueprint in all of your cells. If you’re not getting enough zinc in your diet, you may have side effects such as hair loss, lack of alertness, and a reduced sense of taste and smell.


Zinc is used by your body in cell production and immune functions. There is still a lot more to learn about zinc, but we do know that zinc is an essential part of growth, sexual development, and reproduction.

When you’re zinc deficient, your body can’t produce healthy, new cells. This leads to symptoms such as:

– unexplained weight loss

– wounds that won’t heal

– lack of alertness

– decreased sense of smell and taste diarrhoea

– loss of appetite

– open sores on the skin

Risk factors

If you’re pregnant and have zinc deficiency, your baby might not have what it needs to develop properly in your womb. And if you and your partner are trying to become pregnant, zinc deficiency could make it difficult. That’s because zinc deficiency may lead to impotence in men.

The people at the highest risk of zinc deficiency are infants who are breastfeeding and older adults. Pregnant women need more zinc than usual because the zinc in their body is needed to help the developing baby. People with alcoholism are also at risk of deficiency. Some research shows that alcohol makes it harder for your body to digest zinc.

Diagnosing zinc deficiency

Zinc is distributed in trace amounts among the cells in your body, making it difficult to detect zinc deficiency through a simple blood test.

If your doctor suspects a zinc deficiency, they will need to test your blood plasma for an accurate reading. Other tests for zinc deficiency include a urine test and an analysis of a strand of your hair to measure the zinc content.

Sometimes zinc deficiency is a symptom of another condition. For example, some conditions may cause zinc to be processed in your body but not absorbed well. Zinc deficiency can also lead to copper deficiency. Your doctor will be aware of these possibilities. They may do additional testing to get to the root of your deficiency.

Treating zinc deficiency

– Diet changes

Long-term treatment for zinc deficiency starts with changing your diet. To start, consider eating more:

1. red meat poultry seeds

2. wheat germ wild rice oysters

If you’re a vegetarian, it might be more difficult to get the amount of zinc you need from the foods you eat. Consider baked beans, cashews, peas, and almonds as alternative sources of zinc.

– Supplements

You can also treat your zinc deficiency right away with supplements. Zinc is found in many multivitamin supplements. It’s also found in some cold medicines, though you shouldn’t take cold medicine if you’re not sick. You can also buy supplements that contain only zinc.

If you’re using supplements to boost the amount of zinc in your body, be careful. Zinc can interact with some antibiotics, arthritis medications, and diuretics.

When to call your doctor

In most cases, a zinc deficiency is not an emergency. That said, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and suspect a zinc deficiency, it’s extremely important that you address it right away. Zinc is essential to healthy development in the womb.

If you know that you are deficient and have diarrhea that lasts for several days, you should call a doctor. Zinc is the mineral that helps your intestines fight off infection, and without it, your infection might become more serious.

As with any condition, you should contact your healthcare provider if you: feel dizzy or nauseous
have a sudden headache that will not go away
experience unconsciousness

Zinc Deficiency

Zinc deficiency is characterized by growth retardation, loss of appetite, and impaired immune function. In more severe cases, zinc deficiency causes hair loss, diarrhea, delayed sexual maturation, impotence, hypogonadism in males, and eye and skin lesions , Weight loss, delayed healing of wounds, taste abnormalities, and mental lethargy can also occur. Many of these symptoms are non-specific and often associated with other health conditions; therefore, a medical examination is necessary to ascertain whether a zinc deficiency is present.


Zinc is essential for growth and sexual development, a deficiency in this mineral can lead to a variety of physical ailments.

It’s important for pregnant women to maintain healthy zinc levels during and (if breastfeeding) after pregnancy to ensure the proper development of their baby.

A zinc deficiency can be diagnosed using a blood test, urine test, or hair analysis. As some conditions can lead to a zinc deficiency, your doctor may do additional testing to discover the root cause.

Changing your diet to include foods rich in zinc is the best way to treat a zinc deficiency. Zinc supplements are available but should be used with caution, as they can interfere with certain medications.


Written by: Ore Okebukunola

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