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Zinc Deficiency


Zinc is an essential mineral that can be found in a variety of foods. Adults and children with certain medical disorders or restricted diets may not obtain enough zinc from food and may require supplements. Zinc deficiency symptoms include skin rashes and recurrent colds.

The symptoms and causes of zinc deficiency are discussed in this article. It also discusses how it is diagnosed and how to treat it.


Zinc deficiency is uncommon, although it can arise if people have medical conditions that interfere with food absorption or do not consume enough zinc.

Zinc deficiency causes can occur in persons with difficulty absorbing nutrients from diet, such as the elderly and those suffering from certain gastrointestinal (gut) illnesses. Some medications also enhance zinc loss through urine.

Zinc from animal meals is better absorbed than zinc from plant foods. This indicates that vegetarians, vegans, and those on other long-term limited diets may be more susceptible to zinc deficiency.Because zinc is only found in trace amounts in breast milk, babies solely breastfed for more than 6 months may suffer from zinc deficiency.

When newborns are premature or severely unwell, or if their mothers have a slight zinc shortage, they may develop zinc deficiency. Some people are born deficient in zinc.


Symptoms of zinc shortage are often tied to the roles zinc plays in the body. Some of the most frequent zinc deficiency symptoms are:
• Loss of appetite

  • Slower-than-expected growth
  • Weakened immune system

Severe zinc deficiency can result in even more troubling symptoms:

  • Delayed sexual maturity
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye and skin lesions
  • Feeling tired
  • Funny-taste sensations
  • Hair loss
  • Poor wound healing
  • Unexplained weight loss

Impotence and hypogonadism, when a male’s body does not create enough testosterone, can also affect men and boys.


The symptoms of zinc deficiency are non-specific; it might be difficult to diagnose. Zinc deficiency symptoms also indicate other dietary deficits and medical problems. Infections, anemia, and thyroid disorders, for example, frequently create symptoms comparable to zinc deficiency.

Zinc insufficiency is not a standard blood test, it might not be easy to diagnose. Your zinc levels, symptoms, and dietary history can help your physician determine if you are deficient in zinc.

Your provider will conduct a thorough medical history and physical examination. You may also require diagnostic testing, such as blood tests, for your evaluation.

–          A complete blood count (CBC)

–          Electrolytes

–          Thyroid function tests


You should enhance your zinc intake by including more zinc-containing items. You may also require a food supplement. Your symptoms should improve after eating more zinc-rich foods and taking a supplement.

When To See A Doctor

Consult your doctor if you believe your child may be zinc deficient. They may refer you for a blood test, which is unreliable for persons with modest deficiency. The easiest technique to diagnose zinc deficiency is to check if the symptoms improve after taking a zinc supplement.


This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have concerns about zinc deficiency or any other medical condition, please see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment suggestions.