Profile image
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

5 Surprising Signs of Protein Deficiency & What You Should Do?

Friday, October 21, 2016 2:37
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

We all know the importance of protein for our health. It does not only help our bodies to recover from injuries and wounds but also boosts the energy levels and keep us feeling full. Those of us who are following a plant-based vegetarian diet, some extra effort is needed to ensure that your body isn’t deficient this vital nutrient.

Signs of Protein Deficiency

According to the Nutritionist & Health Writer, Cassandra Barns, “It is particularly important to make sure you’re getting enough protein. Protein is not only important for muscles, it has many fundamental roles, including for our immune system, for making hormones, and for making haemoglobin that carries oxygen around our body.”

But how do we know we are getting enough of this vital nutrient?

Here’s presenting 5 Surprising Signs Of Protein Deficiency you should look out for:

  1. An Injury Takes Longer Than Expected To Heal: A vital function of protein is healing.When the body tries to heal a wound, it creates stress hormones and diverts extra resources such as fats, carbohydrates and proteins to create new tissue. If this process takes longer than usual then the body compensates by sending additional protein to deal with the wound thereby deprives the vital nutrient needed by other organs which will leave the body protein deficient.
  2. Depression or Low Mood: Protein is broken down into amino acids which are used to make many vital substances such as the neurotransmitters. These natural chemicals are essential for the brain and nervous system and also have a direct effect on the mood. The well-known feel-good hormone serotonin is made from the amino acid tryptophan. So if you do not get enough protein, then the production of serotonin will be reduced which will contribute to your low mood.
  3. Hair Loss: You might see more hair fall when you shower or just feel that your hair is getting thinner- most likely all over the head rather than just in patches or just at the hairline. Primarily hair is made up protein called as keratin and it is the least important protein structure in the body. Therefore when the protein intake is low, it is allocated instead to the more important functions such as keeping the immune system active. Hence hair loss may be first signs of low protein intake. Additionally, iron deficiency could cause hair to fall out therefore it is wise to see your doctor and determine the cause of hairfall.
  4. Swollen Ankles: One of the surprising signs of protein deficiency if swelling or oedema like the swollen ankles. The proteins in the blood are responsible to keep enough fluid in the blood vessels and help fluid to be drawn back into the blood vessels from the tissues. Therefore when the protein drops below a certain level, the fluid will not be drawn back into blood vessels efficiently. Instead, it will stay in the tissues thereby causes swelling especially in the lower legs, feet and ankles. If you have increased the protein intake but still struggling with swollen legs, then you should visit a GP.
  5. Weakened Immune System: One of the significant functions of protein is to maintain a strong immune system. Protein is used to keep the physical barriers in the body such as the mucous membranes and the skin intact in order to keep the germs out. It is used to make the antibodies and other immune chemicals which help to fight against the invaders and regulate the immune response. If you experience lots of cold or seem susceptible to infections then protein deficiency could be the cause for it. There are many other reasons such as zinc deficiency and vitamin D deficiency which could weaken the immune system.

What You Should Do?

  1. Increase the intake of protein with meat or eggs at least three servings a day and high quality dairy foods, nuts, seeds, beans and pulses and whole grains if you are a vegan. Include a broad variety of plant proteins every day to your diet.
  2. Opt for a plant based protein powder if you have a low appetite, are on a weight loss diet, struggle to digest the protein foods. All these will be great options especially for the vegans since they are easy to digest and low on calories.
  3. Track your protein intake using online tracking tools or apps. Aim for around 1.2 grams of protein per kilo of your body weight at the start if you are recovering from injury, illness or surgery or if you are highly stressed.

Image Source: Second To None Nutrition

We encourage you to Share our Reports, Analyses, Breaking News and Videos. Simply Click your Favorite Social Media Button and Share.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Top Global


Top Alternative




Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.