5 Major Signs Of Protein Deficiency You Should Ignore
By: Kratika Mon, 25 July 2022 1:18 PM
Proteins are the essential building blocks of the human body. Every cell, tissue, and organ requires proteins for their function and survival. But the body cannot store proteins for future use. Therefore, getting it every day through a balanced diet is important for optimal functioning of the body. People who fail to meet their daily protein requirements face a range of protein deficiency symptoms. Read through to know more about signs of protein deficiency which must not be ignored.
Proteins are found in almost every part of the body – nails, skin, hair, bones, and muscles. So, if the protein intake continues to remain compromised for a prolonged period, every body part begins to show signs of protein deficiency. These include:
# Swelling or Oedema
Kwashiorkor, a protein deficiency disease, is marked by classical swelling of the ankle, feet, and the abdominal cavity.
This is caused by reduced levels of human serum albumin, the most abundant protein in the blood plasma. Albumin is responsible for maintaining the body’s oncotic pressure which holds the fluid into circulation. This prevents the accumulation of fluids in tissues and cavities.
Thus, when protein intake is compromised, it directly leads to swelling or oedema.
# Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver
Although fatty liver is commonly associated with alcohol abuse, it is triggered by protein deficiency in non-alcoholics. It is marked by fat accumulation in the liver cells.
Researchers believe that protein deficiency impairs the synthesis of lipoproteins, the fat-transporting proteins. This leads to fat accumulation in the liver cells. The condition, if left untreated, leads to liver inflammation, scarring, and liver failure.
# Skin Troubles
Skin, the largest organ of the human body, is made of the protein collagen. Collagen is responsible for making the skin cells strong and resilient. It confers elasticity to the skin. The skin shows protein deficiency symptoms by turning flaky and patchy. While children are more prone to splitting skin and redness, adults experience acne and premature ageing.
# Hair Problems
Hair is primarily made up of protein Keratin which is made up using several amino acids. Keratin is vital for hair’s elasticity, colour, and shine. Sticky, stringy, and limp hair are possible signs of protein deficiency. The hair strands become thin and brittle with split ends. The colour of hair looks faded and there is excessive hair loss.
# Weak Nails
Nails also show visible signs of protein deficiency. As proteins are responsible for giving nails their strength, brittle nails are the most common symptom of protein deficiency. White-lined bands across the nail bed also signal protein deficiency.