Zinc deficiency is very common. Zinc is a very important mineral needed for hundreds of processes in your body. We need zinc to make hydrochloric acid in our stomach. Good levels of hydrochloric acid are important to make sure the stomach is at the correct pH so that we can breakdown our food and kill the bugs in our food. We also use zinc to make our neurotransmitters including dopamine which makes us feel motivated, and serotonin which makes us feel happy.
If you become deficient in zinc you will get symptoms which may include white spots on your finger nails, bloating after meals or other digestive symptoms, skin problems, disturbed sleep, intolerance to stress, low libido, memory problems and many other symptoms. In clinic I see zinc deficiency in clients with bloating, infertility, eczema, acne, immune issues, children with ADHD and many other conditions.
How do we become deficient in zinc?
We get zinc from our food, but we use up a lot of zinc for everyday bodily processes. Being deficient in zinc is very common. High levels of heavy metals can also cause zinc to be pushed out of the body. Medications including the oral contraceptive pill have also been shown to cause a deficiency in zinc.
Where to get your zinc from?
Food sources of zinc include lamb, beef, pumpkin seeds, spinach, cashews, cocoa and chickpeas. Many people don’t get enough zinc from their food and so require a supplement to bring their levels back up to normal. In cases of severe zinc deficiency high doses of zinc may be needed.
How do I know if I am deficient in zinc?
A zinc taste test will indicate if you are deficient in zinc. We do this test at your first appointment, but many health shops will also do this for you. The results of the Oligoscan test will also show a zinc deficiency and can show the severity of the deficiency. The Oligoscan is a medical device which measures the levels of minerals and heavy metals.