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6 Negative Symptoms Of Protein Deficiency

Protein is one of the 3 macronutrients that your body needs to survive. Your body uses protein to build, maintain and repair all the body's cells. Without this essential nutrient your body will be unable to maintain healthy cells and will also experience a number of negative side effects. In this article I will be discussing 6 of the negative symptoms of protein deficiency.

1) KWASHIORKOR:- Kwashiorkor is a type of protein deficiency which affects young children. It has numerous unpleasant symptoms which include an enlarged liver, swelling in the abdomen, depigmentation of the skin and thinning hair. It can also weaken the immune system and cause poor mental and physical development.

2) MARASMUS:- Marasmus is a form of protein deficiency which can cause fatigue, wasting of the muscles, low energy levels and weight loss. Like kwashiorkor, it can also weaken the immune system and increase the risk of infection amongst sufferers.

3) OEDEMA:- Oedema is a condition where too much fluid builds up in your body. It can lead to swelling in numerous parts of the body including the feet and hands. Oedema can also cause pain in the limbs, high blood pressure and stiff joints.

4) ORGAN FAILURE:- One of the most severe symptoms of protein deficiency is organ failure. As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, protein is essential for the construction, maintenance and repair of all your body's cells. A long term lack of protein in the diet means that your body does not have the fuel it needs to maintain and repair organ cells. This ultimately leads to limited organ function and in the worst cases complete organ failure.

5) MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS:- Protein deficiency has been linked with a number of mental health problems. It can cause anxiety, crankiness, moodiness and in the worst cases mental retardation.

6) WASTAGE AND SHRINKING OF MUSCLE TISSUES:- The muscle tissues are one of the richest protein sources in your body. If your diet is deficient in protein for long periods your body will turn to the muscles for the protein it needs. When this happens it causes the muscles to shrink and weaken.


As you can see protein deficiency can pose a serious risk to your health. Fortunately, there are many dietary sources of this important macronutrient with dairy products, fish, meats, nuts and even certain fruits and vegetables containing high levels. So if you want to avoid protein deficiency and maintain optimal health make sure that at least 15% of your daily calories come from protein.


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