Zinc Deficiency Treatment in Valparaiso, IN
Zinc is an essential mineral needed for optimal health; in fact, it plays a role in over 100 enzymatic processes in the body. In addition to helping regulate gene expression and supporting cardiovascular health, some additional zinc benefits include:
- Increased immunity
- Improved food metabolism and nutrient absorption
- Mental clarity
- Support balanced hormones
- Support hair growth and overall skin health
- Improved eye health
Experts estimate that over 2 billion people across the world are deficient in this critical nutrient. A zinc deficiency can tarnish your wellness, even in mild cases. And while zinc deficiency is more prevalent in developing countries where nutritional deficiencies are, in general, staggering, a zinc deficiency in babies, the elderly and pregnant woman can have serious health consequences if left unaddressed.
To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in Valparaiso that can identify and address a zinc deficiency, call (765) 259-0545 or contact Charles Turner MD online.
Zinc Deficiency Symptoms
While zinc deficiency symptoms can vary, especially depending upon the extent of the deficiency, many of the following signs could indicate you are low in zinc:
- Poor immune function: susceptibility to colds and other illnesses
- Digestive issues including diarrhea and leaky gut syndrome
- Loss of, or impaired, taste or smell
- Hair loss
- Lack of appetite
- Skin conditions like acne and rashes
- Slow wound healing
Vegetarians, vegans, those with severe digestive issues which impair nutrient absorption, pregnant women and those who regularly consume alcohol are at the greatest risk of developing a zinc deficiency.
It is important to seek the advice of a healthcare professional rather than attempting to diagnose and treat a zinc deficiency on your own. Your healthcare provider will conduct an extensive review of your symptoms and, if necessary, conduct testing to help determine if you have any nutritional deficiencies other than zinc or another health condition that may be causing your symptoms. Unfortunately, blood serum and plasma tests are not the most efficient and accurate way to evaluate the extent of your deficiency, so your healthcare provider will likely rely on your symptoms to reach an adequate diagnosis.
How Much Zinc Do You Need?
Your body does not require a large amount of zinc daily. In fact, too much zinc can result in diarrhea, abdominal cramps and vomiting, and might even lead to a deficiency in copper and iron.
According to the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, the daily recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of zinc is as follows:
|0-6 months||2 mg||2 mg|
|7-12 months||3 mg||3 mg|
|1-3 years||3 mg||3 mg|
|4-8 years||5 mg||5 mg|
|9-13 years||8 mg||8 mg|
|14-18 years||11 mg||9 mg||12 mg||13 mg|
|19+ years||11 mg||8 mg||11 mg||12 mg|
If you are experiencing a zinc deficiency or feel the onset of the cold or flu, it may be necessary to consume a higher level of zinc to restore healthy levels or to ward off illness. Incorporating more zinc into your diet should always be done under the guidance of a healthcare provider to ensure adequate levels are restored without sacrificing any other aspect of your health.
Foods High in Zinc
The first step in correcting a zinc deficiency is to make the necessary dietary adjustments by incorporating foods high in zinc into your daily diet. Some useful food sources include:
- Grass-fed beef
- Pumpkin seeds
- Kidney beans
It is important to find foods which are not depleted of vitamins and nutrients. Through processing and refinement, and poor soil quality, many foods are stripped of their natural zinc content; seek foods which are fresh, organic and contain no preservatives. Certain foods which claim to be fortified with zinc (such as cereal and flours) are typically not the best source of zinc as they can impair zinc absorption through the digestion process.
When diet alone cannot counteract a zinc deficiency, your healthcare provider may recommend taking a zinc supplement to more quickly ramp up nutrient levels in your body. Not all zinc supplements are equally effective. Your healthcare provider can recommend a supplement brand which uses a form of zinc which is bioavailable (best absorbed in the body) such as the chelated forms: zinc orotate, zinc gluconate and zinc citrate. He or she may recommend taking a zinc supplement in conjunction with other nutrients, particularly other minerals.
Don't let a zinc deficiency deplete your health. To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in Valparaiso that specializes in nutritional deficiencies, call (765) 259-0545 or contact Charles Turner MD online.
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