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A balanced diet, consisting of all the essential nutrients is very important to remain healthy and avoid diseases. Protein is one such nutrient which is very important for the body, the lack of which will cause a deficiency. Some of the main signs of protein deficiency are a loss of muscle mass, fluid retention, fatty liver, low immunity, etc.
Research studies and statistics have proven that 80% of our health is dependent directly on our diet. So, we must always make an effort to eat healthy, consciously and also ensure that we include all the important nutrient groups required for the well-being of our system.
Proteins, vitamins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, fibre, water, etc., are some of the most important nutrients that must be provided to the body through the diet, on a daily basis. If the body does not get one particular nutrient adequately, it could cause a deficiency.
How Protein Helps The Body?
Before we learn about the signs of protein deficiency, it is important to know why protein is important for the body in the first place. Protein is very essential in the process of building and repairing all the cells of the body, muscle growth and recovery, bone growth, etc.
So, without protein, the body can experience a number of health conditions. Some of the natural sources of protein are meat, dairy products, lentils, pulses, spinach, etc.
Check out the signs of protein deficiency, below.
1. Loss Of Muscle Mass
As we read earlier, protein is very important in building the muscle tissues of the body. So, if you notice that you are losing muscle mass rapidly, or feel like your muscle weight is dropping significantly, then it could indicate protein deficiency. Muscles soreness, muscle pain, cramping of the muscles, etc., can also indicate protein deficiency.
2. Brain Fog
Protein is necessary to keep the brain cells and tissues healthy and the neurotransmitter levels stable; all of which are required for a sharp memory. So, if you are experiencing frequent memory loss, difficulty in remembering recent events and certain words, difficulty in concentrating, etc., then it could indicate protein deficiency.
3. Fluid Retention
When the body does not receive enough protein, it leads to a reduction in the albumin levels. Albumin is responsible for maintaining the oncotic pressure in the body. Therefore, when the albumin levels are low, it leads to the accumulation of fluids in the tissues of the body. So, if you are experiencing an unexplained swelling in certain parts of the body, unexplained weight gain, joint pain, etc, it could indicate protein deficiency.
4. Poor Skin/Hair Health
Protein is one of the main components in the tissues of the hair, skin and even nails, of the human body. So, symptoms such as hair loss, brittle nails, flaky skin, premature grey hair and wrinkles, etc., could be some of the signs of protein deficiency, as the skin, hair and nails require protein to remain healthy.
5. Hunger Pangs
If you are experiencing symptoms like unexplained increase in appetite, constant hunger pangs and weight gain, they could be signs of protein deficiency. When the body is experiencing a protein deficiency, the cells and tissues become weaker and naturally the body starts to crave for more food, especially foods with higher levels of sugar and fat, as these foods can satiate the body quickly.
6. Slow Wound Healing
If you notice that your wounds are healing much slower than normal, it could indicate protein deficiency, because protein is very essential for the formation of collagen, the protein required for repairing damaged tissues. When a protein-deficient person experiences injury or trauma of any sort to the body, it could cause the wounds to heal much slower than normal, as the tissue repair process is affected.
7. Fatty Liver
Fatty liver is a condition wherein there is an abnormal accumulation of fat in the cells of the liver. When not treated, fatty liver could even cause liver failure. Studies claim that people with protein deficiency are more prone to fatty liver, as there is an impaired synthesis of lipoproteins, leading to the condition.
8. Low Immunity
Experts through research studies have found that people with protein deficiency have a lowered immunity and are more prone to diseases. This is because a deficiency of protein causes a deficiency of essential amino acids in the body which can compromise the immune system and its functions.
If you are experiencing mental ailments such as depression, anxiety and related symptoms, it could be caused by protein deficiency. The protein deficiency causes neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine in the brain to deplete leading to mood fluctuations.
10.Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure could be a sign of protein deficiency. The blood proteins are responsible for the thickness and stickiness of the blood. If you have a protein deficiency, the blood protein levels might be less, resulting in low blood pressure. This, in turn, could lead to a lot of other problems as well, one being a low heart rate.