Most people think of their metabolism as being either fast or slow. Or how many calories they burn. Often times we try to trick our metabolism by eating less or exercising more. It's important to understand our metabolism is really our personal chemistry influenced by many factors. And just like a drop of water can be the start of a force which affects enormous change, so can a disruption in your metabolism.
5 Factors Affecting Your Metabolism
The liver is the primary organ of detoxification. It functions to transform toxins and eliminate them from the body. Daily our bodies are assaulted with toxins; environmental pollutants, medications, contaminated water, pesticides and hormones in our food supply to name a few. An inefficient detoxification system leads to a build-up of toxins, which impacts metabolism, and results in premature aging, joint problems, skin disturbances, gastrointestinal problems, lower immune response, fatigue, cardiovascular disease, hormone imbalances, neurological disease and weight management issues.
No hormones have a larger impact on metabolism than the thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones not only influence energy levels, weight management and body fat percentage, they also impact insulin regulation, cholesterol levels, plaque formation, gastrointestinal function, basal body temperature regulation, enzyme function, hair growth, muscle growth, sex hormones and emotional health.
The gastrointestinal tract is home to the immune system. The health of the “gut” is directly related to metabolic health and the immune response. Poor intestinal health is related to conditions like food allergies, skin rashes, thyroid disorders, cancer, autoimmune disorders, joint pain, headaches, arthritis and celiac disease.
Stress requires a response that is controlled by the adrenal glands and the secretion of the hormone cortisol. Chronic elevations in cortisol disrupt the metabolism and result in exhaustion, lowered thyroid function, cardiovascular stress, alterations in blood sugar, weight gain, muscle loss, decreased immunity, sleep disturbances, decreased sex drive, memory loss, depression and an increase in sugar cravings.
Responsible for secreting the hormones necessary for proper blood sugar balance and digestion, many metabolic conditions are associated with impaired pancreatic function. Type 2 diabetes, impaired insulin secretion, hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance and increased glucose production occur when the pancreas does not function properly.
What Does This All Mean?
Metabolism is more than the calorie balance equation. And while revising one's diet to high-quality food, lowering carbohydrate intake, improving gut bacteria, supporting sleep and decreasing stress helps in weight management for some, others will need to address these metabolic disruptions.