I have been bothered by cracks on my heels for some time, so one day I did a search over the web for likely causes of this ugly condition. My search led me to the possibility that I could be deficient in the mineral zinc. This is what I found out about zinc deficiency.
Zinc is essential to our bodies. It is needed for normal growth, immunity, healing, skin health, sexual health as well as the health of your sensory organs. This means that if you are deficient in zinc, you could experience several of the following symptoms:
- persistent fatigue
- poor immunity
- growth retardation
- impairments in memory
- poor glucose tolerance
- behavioral or psychiatric problems
- delayed sexual maturation (during teenhood)
- infertility (e.g. low sperm count, reduced testosterone levels or impotence in males)
- prostate problems or testicular atrophy (in males)
- menstrual problems (in females)
- poor night vision or when light is dim
- impairments in your sense of smell or taste
- oversensitivity to environmental toxins
- poor appetite
- malabsorption of nutrients from your food
- inflammatory bowel symptoms
- foul breath
- persistent mouth ulcers
- skin problems, such as eczema, psoriasis and acne
- thin nails that may peel easily
- white spots on fingernails
- diseases of the connective tissues
- rheumatoid arthritis
- hair loss
- sleeping problems
After reading about these symptoms and comparing them with what I am experiencing, my husband loaded up our store of groceries with many zinc-rich foods. So if you have many of the symptoms listed above, you too might want to consider topping up on foods that are zinc-rich in your daily diet. I will touch on these foods in my next blog article.
However, if the symptoms you are experiencing are rather serious, you may wish to get your zinc levels tested in a lab (N.D. Michael T Murray recommended testing your leukocyte zinc level) to confirm your deficiency.
If you are pregnant, zinc deficiency can be problematic, as low zinc levels have been linked to preterm births, low birth weight, growth retardation as well as preeclampsia (a serious pregnancy condition associated with high blood pressure and severe fluid retention).
So, do something today, if you suspect you have a zinc deficiency.
1. Murray, Michael T., ND. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements: The Essential Guide for Improving Your Health Naturally. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press, 1996. Print.
Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.