Protein belongs to that elite class of nutrients needed by the body in large quantities. It is a macronutrient. Protein is an important ingredient used to build, maintain and repair body tissues, muscles and enzymes.
Little wonder, that it is widely regarded as an essential building block of life.
When people do not get adequate amounts of protein from their diet, it leads to protein deficiency. Protein deficiency is today a major cause of malnutrition, especially among children.
Protein deficiency is when your intake is unable to meet your body’s requirement. The required level of protein consumption varies and is most times dependent on factors such as body weight, age, physical activity and muscle mass. To know the exact amount of protein to consume, it is best to consult a dietitian or a nutritionist.
Protein deficiency, in addition to its gross impact on the economy, is also a health issue and has visible physical symptoms. Here are 10 symptoms indicative of protein deficiency:
- Oedema – This is the accumulation of liquid under the skin, which affects the legs, feet, arms and ankles. Oedema can happen almost anywhere in the body. Protein is required for keeping up an equalization of water in your body; without it, the body may store water inappropriately.
- Hair loss – Hair loss (alopecia) and diminishing or weak hair can equally be a symptom of protein deficiency. Protein is the building block of the entirety of cells, including the hair follicles and hair. Insufficient protein intake may deprive the hair follicles, and hair, the measure of protein it needs to remain healthy. In severe deficiency, hair fall-out may result.
- Fatigue – Protein is basic for building muscle. Lethargy and weakness can be brought about by an absence of protein in the diet. After some time, as the stores of protein are drained, the body will start to deplete muscle tissue, which will subsequently lead to general weakness or lethargy.
- Frequent Sickness – Protein is required to fabricate every one of the compounds in the immune systems. So, if you appear to catch a cold or diseases more regularly than every other person, check in with a medical expert, as protein deficiency could be the problem.
- Slow Healing Of Wounds – The skin is a tremendous immune organ as it shields the body from certain harsh conditions of the environment. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are vital in repairing wounds.
When the body suffers harm, for example, cuts, wounds and burns, it needs to fix or reproduce tissues and amino acids are utilised in the repairs and multiplication of tissues. The absence of protein can lead to slow healing of wounds.
- Rest Issues – Trouble in sleeping might be caused by serotonin (an important chemical in the body that helps with sleep) insufficiency, which in turn can be as a result of an absence of specific amino acids.
The essential amino acids are delivered when protein is broken down by the body and an eating regimen with little or no protein could prompt trouble in sleeping.
- Headache – Headaches are caused by numerous things, one of which includes protein deficiency. An absence of protein may prompt headaches by causing anaemia and causing a low glucose level in the blood.
- Nail Ridges – Insufficient protein in the diet can cause ridges or white lines to appear on fingers and toenails. Ridges that run the length of the nail can demonstrate a continuous protein lack, while a ridge that runs across the nail may show a deficiency that has passed. Brittle nails are also a sign of protein deficiency.
- Pale Skin – Skin that loses pigmentation can be caused by an absence of iron and protein. Every now and then, foods that are rich in iron additionally contain protein. Protein is basic for the body to use iron appropriately. Weakness, or absence of iron, may bring about pale skin.
- Weight Loss – Extreme weight loss is another side effect of protein deficiency. It might be credited to muscle wastage, as the body disintegrates muscles trying to get protein from them.
In conclusion, protein is important to health and wellbeing. Everyone must take responsibility for ensuring optimal intake of protein so as to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Protein is essential to life.