Having a clear understanding of zinc deficiency and the probable signs and symptoms of having one is very vital. The knowledge of signs and causes can lead to treatment and prevention.

With the important role that Zinc plays in our human anatomy particularly in the immune system, cellular and humoral aspects as well as growth and repair, it is imperative that we be able to isolate signs and symptoms related to Zinc nutrition deficiency.

Zinc nutrition deficiency is the lack of zinc availability in a diet or the body not being able to absorb zinc efficiently. More often than not, it is widespread to young children, pregnant women, lactating and breastfeeding women, and the old. The fact is, the body doesn’t have any means of storing zinc for future use thus the need for daily intakes. Adequate supply is what’s needed as too much zinc can also pose a threat.

The signs of having zinc nutrition deficiency might be a challenge for many to identify onset since these are usual symptoms of every other illness. This is one reason why most are not aware that they have the deficiency. Zinc deficiency has been considered a global problem that 170,000 diarrhea deaths, 400,000 pneumonia-related losses, and 207,000 malaria cases are directly due to zinc deficiency.

These are just some of the common signs of possibly being zinc deficient:

  • Anemia
  • Deferred emotional maturity
  • Developing of skin lesions and skin blemishes
  • Diarrhea
  • Failing eyesight
  • Growth retardation
  • Hanging nails and inflamed nail cuticles
  • Hyperactiveness
  • Increased allergic sensitivity
  • Leaky gut
  • Loss of appetite
  • Memory impairment
  • Photosensitivity
  • Poor sense of smell and taste
  • Pre-menstrual syndrome
  • Reduced fertility leading to impotence
  • Reduced neurological function
  • Slow wound healing
  • Thinning of hair
  • Toxemia for the pregnant
  • Weakening of the immune system
  • White flecks on nails or white bands

If you have any of the signs above, it is best to get with your doctor for diagnosis and professional instruction. Self-diagnosis and self-medication are risky and life-threatening. A full blood test will determine and confirm the extent of your zinc deficiency in any case. Vigilance on changes in your body is important as well as being pro-active in knowing what’s going on.

Foods with Zinc

With awareness of the symptoms, we can take the necessary preventive measures to ensure that we have the daily needed Zinc resource for our body. The table below should serve as a guideline for the recommended dietary allowances for Zinc.

0-6 months old2 mg2 mg  
7-12 months old3 mg3 mg  
1-3 years old3 mg3 mg  
4-8 years old5 mg5 mg  
9-13 years old8 mg8 mg  
14-18 years old11 mg9 mg12 mg13 mg
19 years old and older11 mg8 mg11 mg12 mg
Zinc Dosage

Treatment for zinc is readily available and is very much a controllable factor. The greater challenge is not the remedy but knowing that you are affected.

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Author: Editor

Samantha Evans serves as a senior writer and editor-in-chief for News Bucket. With over 15 years of journalism experience, she oversees News Bucket's content strategy and works closely with writers to edit articles across sections. Samantha holds a master's degree in journalism from Dowling College. When not working, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her family.