Protein deficiency, or hypoproteinemia, is when the body has lower-than-normal protein levels. Protein is an essential nutrient in bones, muscles, skin, hair, and nails, and maintains bone and muscle strength. The body does not store protein, so it is needed daily. It helps make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body, and chemical enzymes, which cause reactions that maintain organ function. A lack of enough protein can cause problems like muscle loss, fatigue, a weakened immune system, and chronic pain. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic can provide nutritional guidance and develop a personalized nutrition plan to restore musculoskeletal health and function.

Protein Deficiency: EP's Functional Chiropractic Clinic

Protein Deficiency

When digested, protein breaks down into amino acids that help the body’s tissues function and grow. Individuals can become deficient if their bodies can’t effectively digest and absorb the proteins within the foods they eat.

Symptoms

When the body doesn’t meet the required protein amounts or can’t absorb protein efficiently, it can lead to symptoms, including:

  • Chronic fatigue.
  • Increased infections and illnesses.
  • Reduced muscle mass.
  • Loss of muscle mass.
  • Slower injury healing times.
  • Sarcopenia in older individuals.
  • Swelling in the legs, face, and other areas from fluid buildup.
  • Dry, brittle hair that falls out.
  • Cracked, pitted nails.
  • High blood pressure during the second trimester of pregnancy/preeclampsia.

Causes

Protein deficiency can have various causes, depending on the individual case. Certain medical conditions include:

  • Malnutrition or undereating – an individual does not eat enough calories or avoids certain food groups.
  • Anorexia nervosa.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Kidney problems.
  • Liver disorders.
  • Celiac disease.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Cancer.
  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

Increase Protein Intake

Adequate protein intake is essential to maintain healthy amino acid levels to support cell structure and function. The requirement differs for everybody based on age, sex, and physical activity levels. Protein is available in a wide variety of animal and plant foods. Recommended nutritious protein sources for optimal health and fitness include foods such as:

  • Beans and legumes
  • Oats
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Lean beef, chicken, turkey, and pork
  • Seafood
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Various kinds of nut butter
  • Greek yogurt
  • Quinoa
  • Tofu

Protein is essential for all cells and body tissue and can impair body function in short supply. Although diet-related protein deficiency is rare in the United States, certain medical conditions can increase the risk. Adding protein to a diet is simple and can be achieved by incorporating various foods from either plant or animal sources.


Clinical Implementation of Functional Nutrition


References

Bauer, Juergen M, and Rebecca Diekmann. “Protein and Older Persons.” Clinics in geriatric medicine vol. 31,3 (2015): 327-38. doi:10.1016/j.cger.2015.04.002

Brock, J F. “Protein deficiency in adults.” Progress in food & nutrition science vol. 1,6 (1975): 359-70.

Deutz, Nicolaas E P, et al. “Protein intake and exercise for optimal muscle function with aging: recommendations from the ESPEN Expert Group.” Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland) vol. 33,6 (2014): 929-36. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2014.04.007

Hypoproteinemia MedGen UID: 581229 Concept ID: C0392692 Finding www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/medgen/581229#:~:text=Definition,of%20protein%20in%20the%20blood.%20%5B

Paddon-Jones, Douglas, and Blake B Rasmussen. “Dietary protein recommendations and the prevention of sarcopenia.” Current Opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care vol. 12,1 (2009): 86-90. doi:10.1097/MCO.0b013e32831cef8b

Pappova, E et al. “Acute hypoproteinemic fluid overload: its determinants, distribution, and treatment with concentrated albumin and diuretics.” Vox sanguinis vol. 33,5 (1977): 307-17. doi:10.1111/j.1423-0410.1977.tb04481.x

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Protein Deficiency: EP Functional Health and Wellness Clinic" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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