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Signs and Symptoms of a Chromium deficiency

Signs and Symptoms of a Chromium deficiency

Your body requires macronutrients such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins, in large amounts for energy, growth, repair, and other vital functions. There are other essential nutrients your body needs in smaller amounts to function well and maintain health. Vitamins and minerals are considered micronutrients. Minerals like iron, calcium, and chromium all play vital roles in your body. Thus, it stands to reason that a Chromium deficiency, can have harmful outcomes for your health. Chromium is utilized by the body to regulate glucose metabolism. Glucose intolerance and other effects may be caused by a deficiency of Chromium, although such a deficiency is usually rare. Chromium also has antioxidant effects. Now we shall have a look at a few important signs and symptoms of a Chromium deficiency.


A high level of blood glucose within the body is termed as Hyperglycaemia. This happens when the body has too little insulin or when the body can't use insulin properly.


This is a condition caracterized by an excess of sugar in the urine, typically associated with diabetes or kidney disease.

Unintended weight loss

As Chromium is an essential micronutrient, its deficiency combined with other symptoms may result in unintended weight loss.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy occurs as a result of damage to the nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves). This condition often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in the hands and feet. It can also affect other areas and body functions including digestion, urination and circulation.


Chromium is an essential mineral that is necessary for maintaining healthy glucose metabolism, which helps the body break down sugars and carbohydrates. The recommended daily intake of chromium varies depending on factors such as age, sex, and pregnancy status.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends the following daily intake of chromium:

  • Infants and children (birth to 3 years): 0.2 to 5.5 micrograms (mcg)
  • Children (4 to 8 years): 5 to 10 mcg
  • Children (9 to 13 years): 15 to 25 mcg
  • Adolescents (14 to 18 years): 20 to 35 mcg for females and 30 to 50 mcg for males
  • Adults (19 to 50 years): 20 to 35 mcg for females and 30 to 35 mcg for males
  • Adults (51 years and older): 20 to 30 mcg for females and 30 to 35 mcg for males
  • Pregnant women: 30 mcg
  • Breastfeeding women: 45 mcg

It's important to note that excessive intake of chromium can be harmful and may cause side effects such as kidney damage, liver damage, and anemia. The NIH recommends an upper limit of 1,000 mcg per day for adults to avoid these potential risks.

It's also important to keep in mind that some people may have a higher need for chromium due to certain medical conditions or medications they are taking. It's always best to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any supplements or increasing intake of a particular nutrient.

Side Effects and Warnings

Chromium is generally considered safe when taken in recommended doses. However, there are some potential side effects and warnings to be aware of:

  • Gastrointestinal distress: High doses of chromium picolinate can cause stomach irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Hypoglycemia: Chromium supplements can lower blood sugar levels, so people with diabetes or hypoglycemia should use chromium supplements with caution and under medical supervision.
  • Kidney and liver damage: High doses of chromium supplements can cause kidney and liver damage.
  • Allergic reactions: Chromium supplements can cause an allergic reaction in some people, including rash, hives, and breathing difficulties.
  • Interactions with medication: Chromium supplements can interact with certain medications, such as antacids, corticosteroids, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: There is not enough research to determine the safety of chromium supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding, so women in these categories should avoid chromium supplements or speak with their healthcare provider before taking them.

It is important to speak with a healthcare provider before taking chromium supplements, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medication.


To sum up, chromium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in regulating glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in the body. Adequate intake of chromium through the diet or supplements can improve glucose control in individuals with diabetes and metabolic disorders. However, excessive intake of chromium supplements can cause adverse effects, such as gastrointestinal distress, skin irritation, and renal impairment. It is crucial to follow the recommended dosage and consult a healthcare professional before starting chromium supplements. Additionally, incorporating chromium-rich foods in the diet is an effective way to meet the daily requirements of this essential mineral.

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