5 Ways to Tell You’re Not Getting Enough Protein

symptoms of protein deficiency

Protein has a reputation as the best friend of bodybuilders. It all has to do with bulking up, which conversely makes some people want to avoid it.

The truth is that protein is really important to our overall health. When we don’t get enough of it, our body can start to react with some pretty serious symptoms. Read on to learn more about the symptoms of protein deficiency and just how bad they can get.

Fatty Liver

The research behind this is not entirely clear, but there is evidence that fatty liver is common amongst those with protein deficiency. If left untreated, it can lead to cirrhosis, which can impact liver function. In some cases, this can even lead to liver cancer.

Problems with Hair, Skin & Nails

Out of all the symptoms of protein deficiency, its effects on our hair, skin, and nails are the most visible. Not getting enough protein can lead to our skin and hair breaking, and nails becoming brittle and discolored.

Bigger Appetite

If you aren’t feeding your body enough protein, it’s going to react by increasing your appetite. It does this in the hope that the extra food you eat will contain the protein it wants. Be careful though, a bigger appetite will usually mean consuming more calories which can lead to weight gain.


Edema is the condition of fluid accumulating in our tissues, which causes swelling. It’s most common in hands, ankles, feet, and legs. This can happen when our body is lacking human serum albumin, which is a protein.

Higher Risks of Infections

When you get sick, you need your body to fight off infections. One of the common symptoms of protein deficiency is that you can’t fight them off as well. Not having enough protein affects your immune system, which means that infections will hit you harder.

In Conclusion

The symptoms of protein deficiency are real and can be quite serious. By paying attention to your body and fueling it with the protein it needs, you can help to avoid all of these things.

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