Signs You May Have a Protein Deficiency

Protein deficiency is a serious condition that everyone should be aware of. A number of studies have found that many Americans don’t meet the daily recommended amount of protein in their diets. However, most of them don’t develop protein deficiency.

According to most studies, about half of a percent of Americans suffer from Protein C deficiency syndrome. Protein deficiency is a very unpleasant condition that people should be aware of. Here are some of the symptoms:

Lack of Energy

Protein is an essential nutrient for producing energy. One of the first symptoms of protein deficiency is chronic fatigue. Patients often report muscle weakness as well.

A lack of protein can leave anyone feeling drained of energy. However, a protein deficiency also causes many people to develop insomnia, which worsens the condition. Some experts argue that the majority of insomnia cases are due to protein deficiency. This claim may be an exaggeration, but insomnia is clearly a warning sign that you may be getting an insufficient amount of protein in your diet.


Protein is one of the macronutrients that is responsible for regulating blood plasma. Proteins will help keep fluids flowing within the blood vessels most of the time. Patients with protein deficiencies can’t keep their blood levels in check as easily.

As a result, they tend to develop a condition known as edema. This is a buildup of fluids throughout the body. Most of the fluid tends to accumulate in the abdomen and lower extremities. It can also build up under their skin and around their joints.

Digestive Issues

As I alluded to above, protein is essential for regulating fluids in the body. In addition to causing edema, a protein deficiency can lead to a number of digestive problems. These can include loose stools or stomach pain and discomfort.

Changes to Physical Appearance

Signs You May Have a Protein DeficiencyProtein deficiencies can cause a number of outward physical changes as well. Many patients with protein deficiencies have yellowing of the skin. They can also experience hair loss or splitting. Yellowing of the skin can be one of the first things that you look out for. Your fingernails will likely start to look clearer and become more brittle as well.

As the disease progresses, it can lead to a number of other conditions that you should look for. Your skin may frequently break out into rashes or start to feel rougher.

Slowing Heart Beat

Patients with protein deficiency are at risk of sudden death or coma. A slow heart rate is one of the biggest warning signs you may need to seek immediate medical attention to treat this condition.

People’s heart rates tend to drop as they develop a protein deficiency. A normal heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute. You should see a doctor if your heart rate falls below this range.

Protein deficiency is a very serious condition. Make sure you consult with a doctor if you start to show any of these signs. The condition may be reversible in the early stages if you take proper precautions.

Adam Schlaeberg is a health writer who shares advice on satisfying their protein needs. He talks about best whey protein and best protein powders.