My previous blog explained why zinc is critical for our health and fitness.

Zinc deficiency is higher in :

  • People with eating disorders

  • Pregnant or lactating women

  • People with issues such as IBS and leaky gut

  • Women who have used copper IUDs and oral birth control pills

  • Those who have used anti-ulcer medications, corticosteroids, diuretics, statins (cholesterol meds), NSAIDs

  • Vegans and vegetarians

However, anyone can have low zinc. Here are some symptoms of zinc deficiency.

Thinning hair and excessive hair lossPeople with low zinc levels usually have thin hair and experience excessive hair loss. 

No appetite for animal proteinI have noticed when zinc levels are low, clients tell me they “don’t like eating proteins”. And for no moral reasons. Within a few weeks after supplementing with zinc, they start wanting/enjoying animal proteins! This may have to do with zinc helping them make more stomach acid and improving liver health.

Nausea in the morningThis is another symptom I have observed in people, especially women, with low zinc. They always complain about feeling nauseous first thing in the morning.  

Weak immune systemZinc being a critical nutrient for the immune system, a deficiency in zinc leads to frequent flu-like symptoms, colds and coughs. 

Allergies and food sensitivitiesLow zinc results in excess histamine to be released in the body. High histamine increases your body’s sensitivity to environmental and food allergens, resulting in hives, dry/itchy eyes, running nose, etc.

Poor motivation and driveZinc regulates dopamine; the neurotransmitter that boosts mood and pleasure. People low in zinc have trouble being motivated, driven and focused. They are also at higher risk for developing depression. 

Low libido and vaginal dryness – Zinc raises testosterone levels to improve libido and support reproductive health. Low zinc is also linked to vaginal dryness. This is a very common symptom in female athletes who are on low fat diets and do excessive endurance training. 

The best way to test our zinc levels, is to ask your doctor for a RBC zinc blood test.