10 Signs Of Protein Deficiency

The fundamental building blocks of the human body are proteins. Proteins are essential for the life and operation of every cell, tissue, and organ. Proteins, however, couldn’t be stored by the body for later use.

Therefore, obtaining it daily through a balanced diet is crucial for the body to function at its best. Those who do not get enough protein each day have a variety of protein shortage symptoms.

Protein intake should not exceed 0.8 grams per kg of body weight per day. The need for protein is substantially increased for resistance trainers, pregnant women, and nursing mothers.

Perhaps twice as much protein as an ordinary adult has required them. This is around 1.3 to 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight.

You could meet your daily protein requirements by including high-protein items in your diet regularly. The daily calorie intake must come from proteins most of the time.

Protein deficiency’s early symptoms portend trouble ahead. Hypoproteinemia is caused by a severe and persistent protein deficit.

Here, we will be looking at the signs of protein deficiency.

Protein Deficiency


Signs Of Protein Deficiency

The following are some of the signs of protein deficiency:

  1. Low Brain Function

    Since tryptophan is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, the majority of people have heard of at least one amino acid, tryptophan. Neurotransmitters are also made from other amino acids.

    When we are low in protein, our body’s ability to synthesize neurotransmitters is restricted, which hurts how well our brain functions. Another sign of a potential protein deficit is mood swings and anxiety.

    Irregular sleeping patterns, insomnia, and a persistent feeling of exhaustion may be signs that your body is not getting enough of the critical amino acids it needs to operate normally.

  2. Feeling Fatigued And Tired

    Since protein is a macronutrient, it gives the body energy. Weakness and weariness are frequently the initial symptoms of protein and calorie restriction.

    One of the most prominent signs of protein insufficiency is ongoing weariness. Poor muscle health could result in fatigue and tiredness, and around the age of 30, most adults start to lose muscle.

    Even after eating well and exercising frequently, if you constantly feel weary, it is possible that your body needs extra protein.

  3. Loss Of Muscle Mass

    Proteins are essential for muscle development, maintenance, and repair.

    The proteins are used to perform crucial bodily activities and are stored in the muscles. Skeletal muscles help the body meet its needs in cases of low protein consumption.

    However, a persistent protein deficiency may result in muscular atrophy, which may eventually cause muscle weakness, fatigue, and the inability to maintain balance.

  4. Impacts Hair Health

    One of the first indications that your body may be lacking protein is hair that is falling out, thin hair, peeling skin and nails, and ridges in the nails.

    Hair loss is the first symptom of protein malnourishment. The water-soluble B vitamin biotin is essential for the metabolism of branched-chain amino acids, which are found in proteins.

    It also supports the health and beauty of our hair, skin, and nails. Since protein deficiency frequently results in biotin deficiency, many persons who are protein deficient have hair loss.

  5. Extreme Hunger

    Protein is crucial for hunger regulation since it boosts the synthesis of several hormones that could tell your brain when you have had enough to eat.

    According to a study high-protein meal (containing 30 grams) versus a meal with standard amounts of protein (including 10 grams).

    Participants who ate the high-protein meal had fewer post-meal food cravings than those who ate the meal with regular protein.

    If you are feeling peckish, consider including some lean protein in your meals or snacks to squelch your appetite. Good alternatives include hard-boiled eggs, curd, lentils, and poultry with white flesh.

  6. Weak Immune System

    Your chance of developing an illness could increase if you do not get enough of the amino acids contained in protein.

    Your immunity suffers, which could make it harder for your body to fight infections. Dietary protein and whey protein in particular could help boost immunity and ward off disease.

    When it comes to immunity, whey protein stands out from other proteins since it also seems to increase the formation of glutathione in particular tissues.

    The body’s antioxidant defense system, which controls immunological function, is centered on glutathione.

  7. Difficulty In Losing Weight

    People who increase their protein consumption to 30% of their total calories eat roughly 400 fewer calories per day and therefore could lose 10 pounds over 3 months.

    When dieting, getting enough protein is especially crucial since it ensures that you lose fat and not metabolism-boosting muscle.

    High-protein foods require more energy to digest, metabolize, and use, so you burn more calories processing them.

    You feel full more quickly and for a longer period since they also take longer to exit your stomach.

  8. Slow Healing Wounds

    Protein intake is important to promote wound healing. The elderly, disabled, or patients with chronic illnesses are more prone to experience protein-energy malnutrition, which is also more likely to result in wounds.

    Consuming enough protein is essential for maintaining protein reserves, especially in these people at risk since protein stores speed up the healing process.

    A loss of more than 15% of lean body mass hinders the healing of wounds, and a loss of 30% or more could encourage the emergence of pressure ulcers, which are localized tissue damage.

  9. Swelling Or Edema

    It may be due to insufficient protein if you are suffering swelling or edema, and retaining water weight throughout your body.

    Our cell walls contain proteins that function as channels to pump electrolytes (sodium and potassium) in and out, and control fluid balance (more water inside cells than outside).

    Edema is likely to happen with protein energy malnutrition. Because cell protein channels are not able to properly pump blood fluid into and out of cells as they should, it may manifest in some persons as a bloated abdomen.

  10. Patchy Skin

    A protein deficit could occasionally cause flaky dermatitis or irritation of the skin, particularly on the back of the thighs and the buttocks.

    Skin could become more sensitive to allergens and other irritants if a certain protein in the barrier that protects the skin is missing.


Proteins are beneficial for the development and upkeep of tissues.

Since proteins are the foundation of our bodies, eating insufficient amounts could result in muscle mass loss, which could further cause generalized weakness and the inability to carry out daily chores.

The building blocks of life are proteins. Insufficient protein intake leads to protein insufficiency. Consequently, a protein deficit could result in a wide range of symptoms.

A severe lack of protein could impair development, cause edema, cause fatty liver, and exacerbate infections.

The two main disorders caused by a lack of protein are marasmus and kwashiorkor. Additionally, proteins are necessary for the creation of many hormones and enzymes.

A low protein intake might cause muscle atrophy and elevated fracture risk. For the better health, it is essential to consume protein every day.