Zinc is a mineral found in our bodies, which has a role to play in almost all our bodily functions. Though its use isn't as specific as minerals like calcium or iron, zinc is needed for the production of body enzymes. Every class of enzyme includes zinc metalloenzymes, and therefore every function of the biochemical pathway is influenced by this metal. As the enzymes carry out diverse functions, the symptoms of zinc deficiency can make it difficult to diagnose.
Hypozincemia, or the deficiency of zinc vitamin, is mainly caused from unbalanced dietary intake. More severe symptoms of deficiency result from excessive alcohol use, diarrhea, chronic liver and renal diseases, diabetes, sickle cell anemia or malabsorption. The low proportions of zinc in your body can cause major genetic disorders, fertility problems in men, and abnormal growth and slow sexual maturity in children.
Zinc deficiency can lead to abnormal mental and physical growth in children. Adequate amounts of zinc should be taken by the mother during her pregnancy.
This condition is the improper functioning of the reproductive system, wherein the gonads (ovaries or testes) don’t perform their basic functions of producing hormones and eggs/sperms. This deficiency leads to defective primary or secondary sexual development.
Skin, Hair and Nail problems
Pale, dry and rough skin, acne, eczema, rashes, psoriasis and greasy skin are all symptoms of hypozincemia. Your nails can display white spots, poor growth, and inflammation of the cuticles, while dandruff, poor growth and hair loss can damage the scalp.
Anorexia or Weight loss
Anorexia can worsen a zinc deficiency. Weight loss can hamper the growth of cells and tissues in your body.
An increase in the incidence and severity of diarrhea can be the result of hypozincemia. Timely zinc treatments can reduce the duration and severity of acute diarrhea in your body and can also prevent future occurrences for up to three months.
Zinc deficiency can affect the efficiency of the birthing process. Difficult and prolonged labor, hemorrhaging, placental abruption, post-natal depression and pre-eclampsia can all be due to inadequate levels of zinc in the body.
Inadequate levels of zinc in your body can also cause impaired sense of taste and smell, joint pain, poor night vision, shaking hands, sleep difficulty and slow healing of wounds.
Prevention of Hypozincemia
The best way to get the appropriate levels of zinc is through raw, uncooked food since zinc can be lost in the cooking process. The best sources of zinc include fish, eggs, nuts and legumes, lean beef, chicken, yogurt and fortified breakfast cereal. You can also try oysters, which are rich in zinc. Use the fitness chart from fitday.com to monitor your dietary intake of zinc vitamins.