Diseases Caused by Protein Deficiency


Proteins are substances that makeup and are a part of tissues, cells, and various organs in the body. The body needs enough protein to keep everything running smoothly on a daily basis. Protein builds muscles and is necessary for hormones in the body.

Protein deficiency

Any shortage of this vital substance needed for the body in sufficient amounts through the daily intake in form of food sources enriched with protein may result in protein deficiencies. Lack of protein in the body may cause several health issues and diseases. It can create various health complications.

The quality of protein also affects the protein levels in the body. Even if a person has enough protein intake through their diets, they can still be protein deficient due to the poor quality of protein. Poor or low-quality protein might not fulfill the requirement of the body.

Protein deficiency is rarely seen in developed countries but is common in developing countries around the globe. People who suffer from malnutrition or live in poverty are susceptible to protein deficiency.

Certain genetic disorders which hinder the production of certain proteins in the body can also be the reason. The lack of protein might also be associated with the diseases that cause loss of appetite and muscle breakdown.

Health Issues associated with Protein Deficiency

If the body is unable to get sufficient amounts of protein required for the development and growth of the cells in the body, it might fail to keep up the defense system of the body. Making it prone to many medical complications.

According to research, people with high protein deficiency are at risk to develop abnormal blood coagulation. There is also a risk of developing deep vein thrombosis.

Some other complications that may be caused due to the lack of protein in the body include organ failure, kwashiorkor, marasmus, neurological problems, depletion of muscles tissue, and a weak immune system.


Kwashiorkor is caused by severe inadequacy of protein that affects older children. People suffering from this condition have a swollen midriff due to fluid retention, swollen feet (pedal oedema), skin depigmentation, extended liver, hair loss, and skin aggravation. Symptoms include fatigue, diarrhea, impaired cognitive skills, stunted growth, and irritability. It affects the mental and physical development and advancement.


Marasmus is a condition caused by protein deficiency that affects the muscle tissue. It prompts muscle squandering, depletion of muscles, weakness, dehydration, weight loss, and low vitality levels. It affects toddlers and infants. The lack of vital nutrition required for development develops in starvation and is fatal.

Neurological Issues

If protein deficiencies are not treated promptly, it can affect the mental health in the long run. Protein is crucial in the development years when cells require more protein for proper cell formation. It can cause impaired mental state, tension, sorrow, and crankiness.

Organ Failure

Protein is a substance which is required for maintenance, development and running various body functions. Lack of protein in the body leads to impaired body functions which affect various organs.

Loss of muscle tissue

People suffering from protein inadequacy appear skinny with very little muscle tissue. When the body does not get a substantial amount of protein from the food intake, it begins to take it from the muscles. The body directs itself to fulfill its protein requirement from the muscles which lead to muscle depletion.

Weakened Immune System

Protein is a major part of antibodies which are used to fight off against bacteria, viruses, and infections. Protein deficiency makes it impossible to develop antibodies because it has no source through which they can be created.

This leaves the body susceptible to infections as the body loses its ability to fight. A weak immune system leaves the body defenseless and without any protection against diseases.









Michelle M

Conducting research in a laboratory can often feel isolated so Lisa prefers writing about scientific research in healthcare. She contributes stories about the latest research in all fields related to health. Email: lisa@askhealthnews.com

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