12 Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency

foods rich in zinc

In this article, I will tell you the main 12 zinc deficiency symptoms you should know. One of the essential minerals is zinc and it is one that is often forgotten about, but it is so vital to our bodies. It’s a mineral that is found in our cells and aids the immune system in fighting off different infections and diseases. It’s also important in helping our bodies to build and grow cells and DNA. Zinc deficiency is extremely common and it is so important that we notice the signs of it so that we can supplement the essential mineral.

Impaired growth and development

One of the biggest signs of zinc deficiency is you might find your(or someone close to you) growth has been stunted earlier than normal and that certain aspects of body development are impaired. This is because zinc is essential to the development and formation of body cells, DNA, and RNA. Therefore, when lacking in this mineral, it can cause abnormal genetic material growth which can therefore impact our development.

Skin Rashes

symptoms of zinc deficiency

Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties and therefore if you are deficient in it you may experience symptoms such as skin rashes, acne, or dermatitis. This is why zinc is an often recommended treatment for acne, as it helps to calm the area and reduce the inflammation and irritation in the skin. It also works by helping to effectively reform the top layer of our epidermis skin.

Worsened wound healing

Due to zinc’s amazing property of being able to reform the top layer of our epidermis. It makes it exceptionally good at healing wounds. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well as its ability to help in the formation of scar tissue are also major contributors. Therefore, when we don’t have enough zinc in our bodies it can instead make our wound healing abilities a lot worse. So we might find cuts and bruises to linger for a long length and be a lot more aggravated than normal.

Chronic Diarrhea

This is very unpleasant but very telling a symptom of zinc deficiency. Chronic diarrhea is something you are very likely to experience if you don’t have enough zinc in your body. It’s a very technical thing to explain but zinc is prescribed to people with diarrhea because it has amazing functions at being able to regulate and ensure the correct transport of water and electrolytes. This transport is the process responsible for causing diarrhea when it’s not functioning properly as it upsets the balance throughout the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, when zinc is deficient and this transport can’t be carried out in its proper balanced way you can suffer from chronic diarrhea.

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Erectile dysfunction

zinc deficiency
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One study found how, when a group of young males were deprived of zinc, their data showed them to have significantly reduced levels of testosterone. It was a decrease of almost 75 percent!

Another study tested the opposite and found that when a group of men had their zinc intake significantly increased so too did their testosterone levels. This data has shown that zinc deficiency may cause delayed erectile dysfunction and how zinc is a mineral that plays a key role in helping men to maintain arousal.

Behavioral issues

Another very common symptom of zinc deficiency is that it can cause people to experience mood swings and behavioral issues. This is because as mentioned earlier zinc is extremely important in the growth and formation of DNA and body cells. This includes cells needed for the correct functioning of our brains. Therefore, when lacking in zinc it can lead to improper brain cell formation and so can lead to altered behaviors and major mood swings.

Thinning Hair

Again that cell building property of zinc is the reason why many experiences this next symptom of a deficiency in the mineral. Hair thinning is a very common sign people with zinc deficiencies have reported experiencing. This is because with those cell-building properties zinc plays a crucial role in the cellular turnover of hair follicles. Therefore, when lacking those hair cells are weaker and can’t develop and so this reflects in the strength and thickness of our hair.

Decreased Appetite

Zinc Deficiency has been found to inhibit appetite and cause people to feel less hungry. This then results in them eating less and has as a result had major links to anorexia and is thought to be the cause of it in some cases. It is therefore extremely important to make sure you get your recommended daily intake of zinc as otherwise, its deficiency symptoms can develop into more serious and potentially life-altering conditions.

Dry skin

Dry Skin

As mentioned earlier zinc is great for helping to reduce acne and a lack of it has been shown to cause skin rashes.

Well, For the same reason zinc deficiency has also been found to cause dry skin. It doesn’t allow the proper renewal and growth of new skin cells, and so dead ones remain and therefore give our skin that dry feeling. Zinc’s anti-inflammatory and immune benefits are also something that would prevent dry skin, and so zinc products are recommended to people who suffer from dry skin or redness.

Eye lesions

You may not know this but zinc is a crucial part of our eyes. It’s found in essential enzymes of our eye that work as an antioxidant and also helps in the formation of visual pigments of our eyes. Therefore, a lack of it can cause a multitude of eye problems including eye lesions and even night blindness ensuring you are getting your recommended amount of zinc also helps your eyes to produce melanin which helps protect them from harmful UV rays.


This links the majority to the point I mentioned earlier about zinc leading to infertility issues. The lack of testosterone production that zinc deficiency can cause can manifest and develop into the more serious condition hypogonadism in males. This is where not enough of the hormone testosterone is produced and as a result, can lead to a lack of masculine growth and sexual immaturity with puberty not happening as and when it should. Furthermore, it causes a lack of sperm production which can lead to major fertility issues.

Impaired immune function

As already touched upon in this article zinc has amazing anti-inflammatory properties and is essential for ensuring the correct functioning of the immune system.

Therefore, a lack of zinc can lead to an impaired immune system which can result in our bodies being more vulnerable to attack by pathogens leaving us more likely to get serious illnesses and diseases. So there you have the main signs and symptoms of zinc deficiency. It is a mineral that many often don’t think about but it does have so many amazing properties and a multitude of positive impacts on your body.

It is therefore vital that you make sure you are getting your recommended daily dosage. If you can’t get it through your food then you should make sure you are taking daily supplements which is so easy to do. They can come in so many different forms and usually consist of taking one a day. So make sure you are eating your beans, nuts, or dairy products, or ensure you are taking those daily supplements. I promise you your body and brain will sincerely thank you for it.

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