Signs of Slow Metabolism

Signs of Slow Metabolism

Metabolism is described as the overall chemical reactions inside a human body that changes nutrients from food into energy. Metabolism includes the way the body digests food, how quickly or slowly it breaks down calories, and how the body uses energy.  A person’s metabolism is affected by many things, including their age, weight, gender, muscle-to-fat ratio, and medications they may be taking.

All of the metabolic processes require energy to work properly. The minimum amount of this required energy is known as basal metabolic rate (BMR). Low BMR is frequently described as ‘slow metabolism.’

Signs of Slow Metabolism

People can have a slow, fast, or normal metabolism and many factors can influence the speed of metabolism. Slow metabolism means that the body cannot properly burn all the calories, which leads to the storage of calories in the form of fat. 

The following signs are indicators of a slow metabolism:

1.Unexplained Weight Gain

If you suddenly gain weight even after eating a balanced diet and getting proper exercise, it might be connected to your metabolism. Unexplained sudden weight gain is the most common sign of slow metabolism and is often connected with the lack of thyroid hormone, or hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism effectively decreases the BMR of the body resulting in a reduction in the overall metabolic activity of the body.


If you are constantly feeling tired and have no energy, it might be a sign of slow metabolism. When the body’s metabolic rate is low, it doesn’t have enough energy to properly function, leading to fatigue. This can also cause muscle weakness as the muscles don’t get enough oxygen and nutrients.

3.Hair Loss, Brittle Nails, and Dry Skin

Hair loss, brittle nails, and dry skin are common signs of deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. When the body doesn’t have enough of these nutrients, it can’t properly function, leading to these problems. A slow metabolism can also cause these deficiencies as the body isn’t able to properly absorb all the nutrients from food.

4.Decreased Body Temperature

A normal body temperature is essential for the body to carry out its biological and physical activities. Heat is provided to the body by metabolism, but if your body is cold more frequently than normal, it might be because of a slower metabolic rate. An underactive thyroid (or hypothyroidism) is also associated with slow metabolism as hypothyroidism causes a decrease in metabolic activity, hence low body temperature.

5.Constant Craving of Carbs and Sugar

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which regulates how the body uses and stores glucose and fat. It regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the body. When cells in our body don’t respond well to insulin, insulin resistance occurs. Insulin resistance causes slow metabolism and stresses the pancreas into producing even MORE insulin. This phenomenon leads to a constant craving for carbohydrates and sugar-packed products, simply because the cells can‘t get the necessary glucose they need. Insulin resistance is a vicious cycle. The fact that cells can’t get the necessary glucose causes the body to produce more insulin and it also leads to increased sugar and carbohydrate cravings.

Watch for my next post—all about why metabolism slows down. 

Ready to optimize your metabolic health? Schedule a Functional Medicine Session with Dr. Ryan here.

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