Proteins are made up of many amino acids. They are one of the building blocks of the body and are an important part of a diet. Protein is found throughout the body, in hair, skin, bone, muscle among many others. An appropriate amount of protein should be present in the diet to meet the needs of the body. Many food items are excellent protein sources. These include black beans, tofu, broccoli, meat, fish, eggs, pulses, corn, etc. The deficiency of protein in the body is dangerous. There are prominent signs and symptoms that one can look for when checking for protein deficiencies.
Some of the signs of protein deficiency include the following.
Sign Of Protein Deficiency – Edema
Edema is the characteristic of puffy and swollen skin. It is the classic symptom of kwashiorkor, a pathologic disease due to protein deficiency in the body. Edema is most likely to be caused due to low amounts of serum albumin in the human body. This serum albumin is the most abundant protein in the liquid part of the blood. Due to the low amount of serum albumin, there is lower oncotic pressure as a result of protein deficiency. Edema is one of the most common signs of protein deficiency. Due to this, there is also fluid build-up in the abdominal cavity. A bloated belly is a sure sign of protein deficiency.
Sign Of Protein Deficiency – Fatty Liver
Fatty liver is the accumulation of triglycerides in the intracellular cells of the liver. Simply, it is fat accumulation which if left untreated may cause inflammation of the liver, liver scarring, and potentially liver failure. The major cause of fatty liver is an intake of a large quantity of alcohol and obesity. In fatty liver, the synthesis of fat-transporting proteins also known as lipoproteins is impaired hence there are fewer amounts of protein. This leads to protein deficiency. So, people facing with fatty liver often have protein deficiency in their body.
Sign Of Protein Deficiency – Reduced Muscle Mass
Muscles are the largest reservoir of protein. In case of protein deficiency in the body, the body takes the protein from the skeletal muscles to preserve the more significant body functions and tissues. Therefore, there are fewer proteins in the muscles leading to muscle wasting over some time. Sometimes, even a moderate deficiency of protein may cause muscle wasting, especially in old people. Hence protein is essential for muscle growth and maintenance and loss of muscle mass is one of the starting signs of protein deficiency.
You might want to consult a nutritionist if you think you have the above issues and if you are suffering from a lack of any nutrition for that matter. Protein deficiency can lead to many serious diseases like fatty liver, skin degeneration, malnutrition, atherosclerosis, increased risk of bone fractures, among many others. Kwashiorkor and marasmus are the two major pathological diseases caused due to protein deficiency. Hence, one should have a protein-rich diet to prevent protein deficiency in the body.