We all hear about our ‘metabolism’, our metabolic rate, we hear and say things like my metabolism is low or slow. This then leads to statements like “That is why I am gaining weight” or “I don’t have any energy”, and ‘I’m too tired!”
Well friends, you are right! One of the most insidious results of hormone loss is the slowdown of your body’s metabolism. Keeping your metabolic rate up is one of the key goals in hormonal balancing. As long as your metabolism is slowing down, you will have the results above. When we get the metabolism revved up again, weight loss will occur, as long as you control the amount of ‘fuel’ you put in. Before I go any further, a quick definition of metabolism;
“The chemical processes occurring within a living cell or organism that are necessary for the maintenance of life. In metabolism some substances are broken down to yield energy for vital processes while other substances, necessary for life, are synthesized.”
Our natural hormones are necessary to encourage or keep our metabolism revved up. Without them weight gain happens, fatigue sets in, and along with all those factors very often depression, lack of motivation, lack of exercise. This all leads to weight gain for most individuals.
Your rate of metabolism can be measured. A very simple test called “Resting Metabolic Rate” or “VO2” is done simply by breathing into a machine that measures your exhaled oxygen. Then by computer wizardry, it can calculate your caloric burn, or metabolism. A simplistic chemical equation would be:
glucose + oxygen = water + energy + CO2.
We utilize this device to monitor Hypothyroid treatment, as well as how well the natural hormones are revving up the metabolism.
There are many other things that can affect the metabolic rate. Our bodies are very complex, and as we are finding out now in the Integrative – Age Management area, we need to have precise levels for optimal results. Some of the other associated metabolic “Brakes” are things like:
1. Sleep Apnea
4. Cardiac disease
5. Insufficient vitamin intake
6. Certain medications
7. Inappropriate caloric intake
Knowing your metabolic rate is a very valuable tool in your quest to shed those pounds that have slowly (most of the time) invaded your body. It gives you a gauge on how much caloric intake to eat every day to enable weight loss, and if done serially, can monitor and see the increase in your metabolism as your hormone balance, thyroid, or other conditions are corrected.
The VO2 test is one that in most cases will be covered by medical insurances. Even if it doesn’t we only have a minimal charge for this service. Please ask about it at your next visit, or on your initial visit.