Proteins are one of the building blocks of human tissue. It also serves as a fuel source. They are very important nutrients for the human body. Proteins are chains of polymer which are made of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. Proteins are broken down into smaller polypeptide chains via HCL and protease action in the human stomach during the time of human digestion.
Proteins are the substances that are part of organs, tissues, and cells throughout the human body. Deficiency of protein is common among the people who live in developed or developing countries and in old people who don’t have access to protein-rich food. Some diseases caused by protein deficiency are discussed below.
It is a disease which is caused by the deficiency of several proteins in food that contains calories mostly from carbohydrates like rice, yams, and bananas. Kwashiorkor is common in older children. A person with this disease appears puffy in the abdomen region from the retention of fluids. The common symptoms of kwashiorkor are irritability, stunted growth, fatigue, diarrhea, and impairment of cognition and mental health.
Infants and young children are vulnerable to the consequences of lack of protein. Marasmus is a protein deficiency disease which is caused by several deficiencies of calories and proteins. The deficiency of proteins and calories results in dehydration and weight loss. People affected by this disease look thin and frail and appear bony with very little muscle tissue.
It is a condition that involves depletion of deficiency of protein, increased rate of protein degradation and skeletal muscle. The disease causes mortality and weight loss and is associated with AIDS, cancer, heart diseases, chronic kidney failure, rheumatoid arthritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. People with malignant cancer of the colon, stomach, pancreas, liver, and biliary tract experience undernutrition from reduced intake of calories, proteins, and micronutrients, and have a negative nitrogen balance due to the loss of muscle mass from cachexia.
Deficiencies of Protein S and Protein C
According to researchers 1 in every 300 people suffers from the lack of protein C and similarly 1 in every 20000 people suffers from the lack of protein S. Scientists states that the deficiency of protein S and protein C is a hereditary disease leading to blood clotting. These deficiencies are characterized by redness, pain, tenderness, and swelling in the affected region. Patients with this disease should be careful about the activities that increase the risk of blood clots, such as bed rest, prolonged sitting, and longtime travel in airplanes and cars. Researchers also discovered that the deficiency of protein S causes ischemic stroke.
Symptoms of Protein Malnutrition
Protein malnutrition occurs when an individual is starving, either unintentionally because of a food scarcity or, intentionally because of an eating disorder or fasting. Protein malnutrition can result in various fatal health problems, which includes kidney failure and heart problems. Some symptoms of protein malnutrition are mentioned below.
- Skin and Hair Changes
- Fat and Muscle Wasting
- Growth Failure
- Swollen Abdomen
- Constant headaches
- Skin ulcers
- Moody feelings
- Deep line formations around the toes and nails
- Flakiness, dry skin, and rashes
- Increased water retention
- Weak and sore muscles
In case of protein deficiency, protein supplement should be taken. The use of supplements depends on the effect on the deficiency as well as the extent of the condition. Apart from protein supplements, one must also take protein rich foods like lobster, peanut butter, skinned chicken, yoghurt, eggs, oats, pork chops, bananas, coconut, cheese, tuna, etc.
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