6 Side Effects of a Low Protein Diet

Gastrointestinal Discomfort

Protein is an essential element of appropriate nutrition, as it helps the body to function properly. When your body is not receiving sufficient protein required to perform the function smoothly, you will get the indications that your health is not well. Check out 6 side effects of a low protein Diet:

1. Lowered Immune Functioning

Protein helps in boosting your immune system. According to Columbia University’s health services, low protein intake may slow down the activity of your immune system and as a result, your body will become more vulnerable to common diseases like the flu or the cold.


2. Gastrointestinal Discomfort

Low protein supplies make you feel fatigued, exhausted, and weak. You may also suffer from nausea, the discomfort of the stomach, and diarrhea. Protein helps in the transportation of minerals and nutrients in the body, distributing and emancipating them where they are required. When protein fails to execute this task, it disturbs the homeostasis of the body. As a result, your body suffers from loss of appetite, irritability, apathy, and the incapability to stay warm.

Gastrointestinal Discomfort

3. Hair Loss

Hair loss and thinning of hair can be the sole reason for a low protein diet. Your hair is made up of protein, which is known as keratin. If your protein intake is low, your hair may become dry and it will start changing textures or color as well. Hair comprises 90 percent protein and if the quantity of protein is absent in your body, you may ever suffer from hair loss. So try to keep your hair healthy by increasing the intake of protein (up to 46 grams for females and 56 grams for males).


4. Changes in Nail and Skin

The fourth side effect of insufficient protein in your diet can be it affects your nails and skin as well. Protein allows a cell to regenerate, helps in new cell formation, and replacement dead cells. Hence, if you do not eat good amounts of protein, it will result in a lightening of skin which may burn when exposed to sun rays. You may experience, flaking, cracking, rashes, and dryness of the skin. Other side effects of a low protein Diet are ulcers and delayed wound curing. Protein also helps in the development of nails. Protein insufficiency can cause brownish spots or white bands on the nails.

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5. Edema

Edema is the reason for fluid accumulation in the cavities and tissues of the body. It is a collection of fluid beneath the skin. Edema mostly affects the hands, abdomen, feet, and ankles. Protein helps in regulating and maintaining an appropriate electrolyte and fluid and balance in the body. But not receiving adequate dietary protein may disturb the electrolyte-fluid balance, resulting in edema and swelling.


6. Muscle Wasting and Weight Loss

Protein maintains the growth and strength of muscles as well. Low protein consumption causes muscle weakness, soreness, and cramping. When your body needs protein, it breaks down the muscles to receive protein, hence causes muscle wastage and also reduces the mass of your body. So consume as much as protein you can.