Zinc is a nutrient that we need to stay healthy. Zinc is found in cells throughout the body. It helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. The body also needs zinc to make proteins and DNA. During pregnancy, infancy, and childhood the body needs zinc to grow and develop properly. Zinc also helps wounds to heal and is important for proper senses of taste and smell. Zinc blood tests are primarily ordered to help detect iron deficiency in children and to detect and monitor chronic exposure to lead in adults, as zinc is involved in the chemical process by which our body carries iron via red blood cells. Signs and symptoms of lead poisoning include:
-High blood pressure
-Numbness / tingling in the hands and feet
-Memory loss, mood disorders
For this reason, it is also common to assess zinc levels when iron deficiency is suspected, symptoms include:
-Chronic fatigue, tiredness
-Pica (cravings for specific substances like chalk, dirt, or clay)
-A burning sensation on the tongue or a smooth tongue
-Sores at the corners of the mouth
-Spoon-shaped fingernails and toenails
Most people in the United States get enough zinc from the foods they eat. However, certain groups of people are more likely than others to have trouble getting enough zinc:
-People with malabsorption disorders (e.g., Crohn’s disease)
-Vegetarians (meat is a good source of zinc)
Although zinc deficiency is rare in North America, it can cause:
-Slow growth in infants and children
-Delayed sexual development in adolescents
-Problems with wound healing
-Decreased ability to taste food
Understand and improve your laboratory results with our health dashboard.
Upload your lab reports and get interpretation today.
Our technology helps to understand, combine, track, organize, and act on your medical lab test results.
The main reasons for zinc levels to increase are iron deficiency and lead poisoning. In addition, zinc may be elevated in inflammatory conditions, infections, and in people with anemia of chronic disease, but zinc tests are not generally used to monitor or diagnose these conditions.
Interpret Your Lab Results
Upload your lab report and we’ll interpret and provide you with recomendations today.Get Started
Get Started With Our Personal Plan
Are You a Health Professional?
Get started with our professional plan
Welcome to Healthmatters Pro.
Save time on interpreting lab results with the largest database of biomarkers online. In-depth research on any test at your fingertips, all stored and tracked in one place. Learn more
for health professionals
$45 per month