It was almost as if I hit a wall and no matter what I did, I wasn’t getting better. Literally in the span of 6 months I started to get sick…and really sick. In fact, I didn’t tell a soul because it would have meant that I might be admitting that I’m some sort of fraud – a common feeling of professionals in the health industry. We’re expected to be perfect, to never slip and to be the poster babes of health. I had spent the majority of my years hustling and figuring out how to serve others when I stopped serving myself. I realized I was deficient in quite a bit, especially in one crucial mineral that we don’t often think about, so I wanted to share it with you:
5 symptoms of a zinc deficiency…and why you should care
Back in the spring of this year, two weeks before I had to go on air for a national health segment, I woke up like this. Yup, it looked like someone had socked me in the eye.
Alarmed I figure maybe something got in my eye or I had some sort of infection, but as days passed it wasn’t getting any better. Just three days before my segment and being flown out west to do a talk, I begged my doctor to surgically remove it that was beyond painful to say the least.
Zinc plays a major role in protecting our immune system and could help bacteria from entering the oil gland, possibly reducing the likelihood of getting a stye.
Physical & Mental Exhaustion
Within these six months I began to feel increasingly tired, despite watching my iron intake and what I ate. I was absolutely exhausted and it was painful. Zinc is a crucial mineral found in adrenal complexes for a reason. The more burnt out you are, the more that you turn to alcohol, the higher chances you’ll be zinc deficient. And because zinc plays a balancing act with copper, the more deficient you are in it, the more chance that copper will be elevated agitating the adrenals.
We often hear about zinc to help fight a cold, but we also don’t realize that its needed for proper insulin and glucose metabolism leading to sugar cravings. So while my diet isn’t filled with mineral-deficient processed foods, I will say that working to the bone definitely played a major role in certain out of control cravings I was dealing with.
Slow Wound Healing
After a certain point I realized it took weeks if not months for a simple cut to heal and much of this has to do with a lowered immune system. So if you notice this then ask yourself if you’re getting sick often and if the answer is no, then how quickly do you recover?
Let me preface this by saying that I’m not saying that zinc is a depression cure-all. Rather I’m saying that a zinc deficiency could be a part of the problem. Zinc plays a role in modulating the brain and the body’s response to stress along the way. And the highest amount of zinc is found in our brains, particularly in the hippocampus, so when there’s a deficiency, depression and symptoms of ADHD can follow. And find yourself turning to wine when you’re feeling down? Be careful because excessive alcohol consumption (more than 4 servings per week) can lead to lowered zinc status in the body.
Now for myself personally, I began to feel depression hit really hard. Feeling sick wasn’t just about my eye flaring up or getting hit hard with the flu. Nor was it necessarily just about my cravings or fatigue. It was about how painfully isolating the depression was that I was experiencing and not knowing why until I realized how absolutely deficient I really was from burning the candle at both ends for far too long.
Now certainly there are other symptoms of zinc deficiency like low sex drive, infertility, loss of taste, skin issues and even our hair falling out. So what can be done?
Test your zinc levels
Testing sounds complicated, right? But really it doesn’t require going to your MD, but rather performing an inexpensive Zinc Tally Test. Simply take 1 tbsp of the clear liquid and swish it around for one minute. If it tastes like water rather than a bitter, metallic taste, then chances are you’re deficient.
Dosing and toxicity
If you discover that you are deficient, then stay away from zinc sulphate, the least absorbable and take 25mg-50mg of the following forms: zinc picolinate, acetate, citrate, glycerate, monomethionine (most absorbable). Then retest after a couple weeks.
In a world where everything was due yesterday, it can be challenging to remember to put ourselves first – and I know this first hand. I’d rather be open with you regarding my personal struggles and how I too, am always looking for answers. It’s why every year I partake in the Stress Detox with the new tribe that forms. It’s a great opportunity to reconnect with the world around you and with yourself. The motivation and support is paramount but I realistically I can only take on so many people every year because I want everyone to get the attention they deserve.