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9 Signs of Protein Deficiency

Protein deficiency occurs when our protein intake is lesser than the body requirement. According to Dietary reference intake, approximately 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight should be consumed. This means 56 grams for a sedentary man and 46 grams of sedentary women is required in a day.

Proteins are the main building block of the body, and play a role in muscles, tendons, organs, and skin and also the enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and various tiny molecules which serve important functions.

Protein deficiency is a rare condition and is found occurring in those following a restrictive diet or in those with some sort of medical condition.

9 Signs of Protein Deficiency

9 Signs of Protein Deficiency

Here are some of the signs of protein deficiency:

  1. Swelling: This is the most common sign of protein deficiency. A person deficient in protein experiences swelling in abdomen, hands, legs, and feet. Albumin which circulates in the blood keeps the fluid from building up in the tissue. There are other things as well which can lead to swelling in these parts. It is good to check with the doctor for a better diagnosis.
  2. Mood Changes: Neurotransmitters which are used by the brain to relay information between the cells are made of amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. Lack of protein in the diet would mean, the body is not able to make enough neurotransmitters. This changes how the brain works. The person experiences mood swings.
  3. Hair, Nails, and Skin: Our hair, nails, and skin are made up of protein like elastin, collagen, and keratin. Deficiency of protein leads to brittle hair and thinning of hair, flaky skin, and deep ridges on the fingernails.
  4. Weakness and Fatigue: A diet lacking in protein cause weak muscles which are responsible for the posture and movement. Due to the lack of protein, the body starts pulling protein from the muscles and other areas of the body. Over a period of time, this leads to the loss of muscle mass, which in turns cuts the strength and makes harder to keep balance and also slows down the metabolism. All this can lead to anemia which causes low oxygen to the cells making you get tired easily.
  5. Hunger: Protein is one of the three sources of energy along with carbs and fats. If you feel a constant urge to eat in spite of having regular meals, you may need a protein. Studies show eating proteins helps you feel full throughout the day.(1)
  6. Wounds Take Time To Heal: Those who are low in proteins find their cuts and scrapes taking time to heal. Same applies to the sprains and the fracture. To make blood clot you need protein. It is also present in the connective tissues.
  7. Weakens the Immune System: The role of amino acids in the blood is to help the immune system make antibodies which activate the white blood cells to fight off the viruses, bacteria, and toxins. Protein is also required to absorb the other nutrients that keep you healthy. It is also researched that protein-energy malnutrition can lead to the impairment of the immune responses.(2)
  8. Inhibits Proper Growth In Children: Protein not only helps in building bone mass or muscle but it is also important for the overall health. It is important for children to load up on enough protein for proper body growth.
  9. Increases the Risk of Fracture: As we know protein helps in strengthening the bone, their deficiency can weaken the bone and increase the risk of fractures.

It is very important to eat a protein-rich diet. Protein can be found in various foods including cheese, yogurt, almonds, oats, chicken, cottage cheese, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, and fishes.

Be active and keep up with your protein count to avoid the above health hazards. Consult a doctor if any condition is bothering too much, to avoid problems in a longer run.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 19, 2022

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