6 Signs of a Protein Deficiency


Around the world suffers from a lack of protein. They are mainly residents of Central Africa and South Asia, whose diet is poor in essential nutrients. Vegetarians and vegans can also be at risk if they do not carefully monitor their diet, replacing meat and dairy products with plant-based protein sources. How to determine that you do not have enough protein in the body? 

1. Edema 

Swollen areas of the body and accumulations of water are not an indicator of health. Scientists believe that small amounts of human serum albumin, a blood plasma protein, can cause swelling. One of the primary functions of albumin is to maintain oncotic pressure, which is the force that draws fluid into the circulation. A sufficient amount of albumin prevents the accumulation of excess fluid in body tissues. Due to a decrease in the level of serum albumin, protein deficiency leads to a decrease in oncotic pressure. As a result, fluid accumulates in the tissues. You can check the amount of protein in the blood by passing tests. 

2. Problems with hair, nails and teeth 

Weak, split ends, and falling out hair is a sure sign of a protein deficiency. The body does not have enough building material for cells, and it sacrifices “useless” parts of the body. If a dentist can tell by the teeth that you are a vegetarian or vegan, it means that you have the wrong diet and you are not getting enough nutrients. Primarily protein and calcium. To keep nails, teeth and hair in order: eat sesame seeds, poppy seeds, tofu, buckwheat, broccoli. If you are a vegetarian – do not forget about high-quality dairy products. With serious problems, you can start drinking special vitamins to restore and maintain a healthy look of nails, hair and teeth.

3. Loss of muscle mass 

Muscles are the main “storage” of protein in the body. If you have lost weight dramatically for no apparent reason, your body may have decided to “sacrifice” muscle mass due to a lack of protein. All our muscles are built from amino acids. Amino acids are found in the protein foods we eat. The diet of any athletes for whom muscle mass is important, largely consists of proteins – vegetable or animal. Healthy, active people are recommended to eat about 1 g of protein per 1 kg of body weight. So the muscle mass will not be destroyed and will be kept at a healthy level.


4. Fractures 

Scientists believe that insufficient protein intake can lead to bone fragility and, as a result, to frequent fractures. Fractures in young and healthy people most often occur in emergency situations. In a normal fall or awkward turn, a fracture should not occur. Otherwise, you need to think about your diet and be sure to contact a specialist. In addition to protein, you will most likely need to check your calcium and other micronutrient levels. 

5. Frequent illnesses 

Lack of protein and on the immune system. Proteins make up antibodies (they are also immunoglobulins) – these are the main defenders of our body from dangerous viruses and the harmful effects of the environment. When there is not enough protein, the immune system is weakened – hence the frequent infectious diseases and colds. But if you are sick now, you first need to fully recover, and only then review your diet. 

6. Increased appetite 

The constant desire to eat something can also be caused by a lack of protein. The principle is very simple: to get at least some protein, the body forces you to eat more. This is the case when you ate a kilo of apples, but still remained hungry, because in fact you needed a protein meal. In addition, protein provides more satiety than carbohydrate foods. This is due to the level of sugar in the blood: carbohydrates quickly increase sugar and also quickly it falls a couple of hours after eating. Proteins, on the other hand, keep sugar at an average level and do not allow sudden jumps. 

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