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Protein deficiency: 9 signs that show you need more protein

We all have heard of protein deficiency, but have we really checked our protein intake? Deficiency of protein can be seen among people from across all age groups. Today, we discuss signs of protein deficiency, disease caused due to this, necessary tests, etc.

Protein deficiency: 9 signs that show you need more protein-snj
Bengaluru, First Published Aug 18, 2020, 5:59 PM IST
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Do you know why you constantly crave sugar? Do you know why you feel tired all the time? We will tell you the real reason behind your craving and tiredness.

Are you wondering how you developed new habits in a short span of time? Is there something dangerous hidden in your new lifestyle? There is no need to worry, but the real reason for these symptoms is protein deficiency.

We all are familiar with phrase protein deficiency, but many of us haven’t bothered to check protein content in our bodies. How can you help yourself and others in this situation to be healthy?

Do not panic, we are here to tell you about protein deficiency - signs to look out for, diseases that it can cause, the right amount of intake, tests to undergo and more.

What is protein deficiency?

We all eat food, but is it meeting our body requirement? If not, it will obviously end up in protein deficiency. According to reports, around one billion people worldwide suffer from inadequate protein intake.

Signs of protein deficiency:

1. You are tired all the time even if you get proper sleep and rest in a day

2. An hour after eating food, you still feel hungry

3. You crave sugar and carbs even though you do not have a sweet tooth

4. Wondering where your hair is vanishing? Less amount of protein in your body means you need to be ready to let go of your hair

5. Even after drinking good amount of water, your skin is dry and cracking

6. Even after hours of workout, your belly fat doesn’t budge

7. You may have fractured or broken a bone recently as protein deficiency decreases the strength of bones

8. Protein deficiency takes a toll on your immunity system and you might fall sick easily

9. You constantly suffer from a bad headache

What is the right amount of protein intake?

Official nutrition organizations recommend a modest protein intake. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) suggests 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound.

This attributes to:

56 grams per day for the average sedentary man.

46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman.

Protein deficiency test:

Is there a particular test which can detect protein deficiency? Yes, a blood test can reveal whether a person has enough protein in the body. With this blood test, the doctor can understand the total protein, albumin, and albumin/globulin (A/G) ratio. Albumin and globulin are two proteins that the liver produces.

Diseases caused due to deficiency of protein:

1. Kwashikor

Kwashiorkor is a form of protein deficiency that often occurs in children found in developing countries plagued by famine.

2. Impaired mental health

5 types of mental illness and disability are anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia psychotic disorders, dementia and eating disorders.

3. Marasmus

Marasmus usually occurs in children and it is a form of severe malnutrition. It is a life-threatening disease, but you can avail treatment.

4. Organ failure

Organ failure is a condition where an organ does not perform its expected function. Due to this, normal homeostasis cannot be maintained without external clinical intervention.

5. Oedema

Oedema is also known as dropsy, which is the medical term for fluid retention in the body. The build-up of fluid causes the affected tissue to swell.

Protein deficiency in India:

According to a 2019 study by the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA), about 84% Indians are deficient in protein. This is due to predominantly vegetarian diets and lack of awareness about the importance of getting enough protein.

Scientifically, it is proved that you will get all the protein that you need from a plant-based diet. But studies have shown that vegetarians, especially vegans, should put in more effort than their carnivore counterparts at consuming an assortment of different fresh, plant-based proteins.

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