What is metabolism? Well, metabolism is commonly thought of as the breakdown of food into energy so that you can get around. Yet, this energy production is only part of what metabolism is.
Metabolism refers to a broad range of physical and chemical processes that are continuously occurring within your body because you need a constant source of energy and material to stay alive.
Some of the physical process involved in metabolism include:
- blood circulation
- muscle contractions
- brain & nerve function
- food & nutrient digestion
- body temperature control
- waste elimination via urine & feces
The chemical processes of metabolism consists of the perpetual building up (anabolism) and breaking down (catabolism) of substances. These reactions take place with the catalyzing help of enzymes for the transformation of one substance into another substance. And hormones regulate whether to buildup tissue and energy stores or breakdown tissue and energy stores.
Energy metabolism is the chemical reactions that convert the food you eat into the energy you need. This is a perpetual process because your body is in need of energy all the time, even at rest. And the amount of energy being used at rest is what’s known as basal metabolic rate.
Typically metabolism is at work all the time without much notice. But sometimes health problems can affect your metabolism, energy metabolism and basal metabolic rate, aka metabolic disorders. Some of the health conditions that could have an altering effect on your metabolism include:
- Refsum disease
- chronic diarrhea
- Paget’s disease
- Wilson’s disease
- Bartter syndrome
- Cushing’s disease
- Addison’s disease
- Fanconi’s syndrome
- kidney disease, cirrhosis
- type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes
- hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism
- deficiency, excess of selenium, zinc
- hypomagnesemia, hypermagnesemia
- hyperparathyroidism, hypoparathyroidism
- inborn errors of metabolism ~ galactosemia, phenylketonuria
Many of these health conditions involve abnormal levels of enzymes or hormones, or causes some type of an affect on their function.