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Metabolic Stress: What You Should Know

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Metabolism is the process through which the body converts food into energy. It is a chemical process achieved by developing macronutrients such as protein, sugar, fat, carbohydrates.

Stress is mainly anything that affects your physical, mental health and wellbeing through tension or pressure. Common causes of stress may include expectations from work, academics, relationships.

These and several situations can make the body activate its fight-or-flight mode to help adapt to the situation. While this may seem like a good thing to some people, it can actually be debilitating and have lifelong effects.

Metabolic stress or disorder is a disruption from chemical reactions, when there is an abnormal level of macronutrients, either being too much or too little

When stressed, your body undergoes a series of changes that can affect your metabolism and result in metabolic disorders. These disorders may not arise from stress, as some are hereditary and inherited.

The cause of the disorder may be because of environmental factors such as lifestyle, medications, and genetics. Signs of metabolic disorder range from weight loss, fatigue, lethargy, headaches, weakened immune system, low sexual levels, or libido.

Stress and metabolic disorders can affect overall functionality and can be a lifetime occurrence if it is not properly managed, although it can also be prevented through medications and lifestyle influences.

What Is Metabolic Stress?

Metabolism is the process by which your body generates energy from food eaten. It is a collection of chemical processes that involves breaking down and conversion of food into smaller components and energy. This results in growth, production, and elimination. Macronutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, fat are utilized during metabolism.

Metabolic stress or disorder occurs when there is a disruption in your body’s mechanism. A slight change, increase or decrease in your body’s metabolism will trigger several responses. This means that metabolic disorder is a physiological process that develops when there is too much or too little of these nutrients in your body.

This disruption can cause a series of symptoms that may be mild or severe depending on the individual and type of disorder. Treatment of metabolic disorders can range from medications to altering some lifestyle activities.

A metabolic disorder is sometimes inherited along the way when the body’s metabolism is under stress or pressure. This disorder might show on time as individuals suffering from them can appear healthy for months, if not years.

The onset of symptoms is usually after metabolism stress, such as prolonged fast or severe illness. There are four types of symptoms varying in severity, this includes acute symptoms, late-onset acute symptoms, progressive general symptoms and permanent symptoms. Cooccurring symptoms are fatigue and lethargy, weight loss, amongst others.

There are two main types of metabolic disorders:

Inherited Metabolic Disorder

These disorders are hereditary and passed down in families. Individuals with a family history of metabolic disorders are more likely to inherit them from family members.

Acquired Metabolic Disorder

These types of disorders usually happen during a person’s lifetime, they may be because of an individual’s lifestyle.

What Are The Symptoms Of Metabolic Stress

The most common indicators of metabolic stress are weight management issues, extreme tiredness, and low energy levels. The following are symptoms associated with metabolic disorders. They may not be because of this disorder, however, they arise from low metabolic energy.

General symptoms of low energy levels include:


Getting tired easily might not be because of underlying medical conditions. It can also occur without doing specific strenuous exercises or from over-stressing your body’s metabolism.

Body Temperature

Coldness and low body temperature are also likely to occur.

Weight loss

Metabolism controls not only energy levels, macronutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fat also regulate your body’s weight, and a decline in these nutrients can lead to loss of body weight.

Slow body healing

when you lack certain nutrients required for your body’s natural process, it makes you susceptible to injuries and infections that prolong the body healing process.

Immune system

Your immune automatically gets weakened, causing frequent under reactive or over-reactive infections such as skin problems, yeast infections, and bowel issues

Sexual Activity

You may likely experience loss of libido, menstrual disorders along with other sexual related issues.

Other symptoms associated with metabolic disorders include:

  • Headache
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Shortness of breath and rapid breathing
  • Diarrhoea that may be chronic
  • Irritability
  • Medications
  • Seizures
  • Frequent infections
  • Memory problems which include thinking, talking, reading, writing, and comprehension difficulties
  • Heart, liver, kidney, or spleen medical conditions

What Are The Causes Of Metabolic Stress

Factors that result in poor metabolism may be self-induced or hereditary. Common factors include a combination of detrimental lifestyle habits and medication use.

Certain medications and side effects result in medical complications, aggravate underlying medical conditions and also cause disruption in your metabolism. Always seek a doctor’s prescription before taking medications and go through medication leaflets to understand the side effects associated with them.

Eating disorders

Poor eating habits such as not eating enough, constantly starving yourself, not eating healthy can cause metabolism imbalances.


One of the most common effects of smoking is lung and liver damage. While this is prevalent in smoking, other effects on your health, including metabolic stress, are not uncommon.


Constantly mounting pressure on your physical, mental, and psychological health is bound to have negative effects on you. Metabolic disorders might not occur from stress, however, there are certain habits linked to stress that can induce metabolic stress.

Drug Use

Drugs are also likely to cause disruption to your body’s natural process.

Risk Factors For Metabolic Stress

These factors increase the risk of you having or experiencing bouts of metabolic disorders. It may be inherited or environmentally related issues such as.

  • Certain medical conditions
  • Kidney or Lung problems
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Genetics
  • Pneumonia
  • Excess use of medications
  • Ingestion of toxins
  • Kidney failure

How To Prevent Metabolic Stress

Discard unhealthy lifestyle habits

Quit smoking, drug use, self-medicating. Create and develop healthy lifestyle choices, and stick to healthy habits. Know and understand your bodily functions and embrace habits for a healthier well being.


Many people overlook regular exercises, such as a jog or stroll down the street, cycling with friends, or hitting the gym. All these and more do not just keep you in shape, it affects your body’s overall functionality, leading to a healthier, more self-aware physical, mental well-being.

Eat Better

Eating better does not mean you have to eat more. What are you adding to your diet? Does it include healthy foods? Food in the right portion? Eat more foods rich in whole grains, vegetables, low fats or dietary products without fat, limit saturated foods, processed foods, reduce eating of red meats and added sugar.

Weight loss

Balance healthy eating with a healthy workout routine. Lose weight to reduce your risks for cardiovascular diseases. Learn your body’s calorie use in activities and balance it with your intake of calories.

Active living

Discard being idle all the time, practice activities such as strolling, walking that impact your heart rate and balance it.


Changing certain lifestyle influences may balance or prevent your metabolic stress. But this alone might not be enough. Visit your doctor for a diagnosis and prescription if you still feel signs of metabolic stress and disorders.

Treatment Of Metabolic Stress

Treatment for metabolic stress and disorders varies for both inherited metabolic disorders and gained metabolic disorders.

An inherited or hereditary metabolic disorder uses a treatment approach that focuses on supportive care options such as counselling, assessments, and physical therapy. Treatment methods involve vitamins supplements, nutritional counselling, gene therapy, mineral supplements, and surgery.

The acquired metabolic disorders treatment approach focuses on balancing metabolism stress with medications to reverse the condition.

Series of complications can arise from untreated metabolic stress, self-treatment or not completing your medication plan. However, this can be averted by seeking diagnosis and the right treatment plan.


Metabolism is the basis of your body’s function and it affects your health and wellbeing more than you can imagine. A slight disruption inflow of its function can cause mild conditions, or chronic issues if left untreated.

This disorder may originate from or be aggravated by continually stressing your body or living an unhealthy lifestyle. Coupled with this, the metabolic disorder can be inherited from family members, where it is much more complicated and requires a careful process for treatment.

Self-acquired metabolic disorders are easier to manage and treat because treatment options focus on the root causes and expose them to counteract and reverse imbalances.

While this disorder is treatable, it can also be prevented, develop healthy and positive lifestyle habits, be active, exercise regularly, take a stroll, or a walk, do not just be overly relaxed as this sometimes reduces heartbeat rate, eat more vegetables, whole grains and avoid or limit saturated or processed foods, red meat, excess sugar.

Go for a diagnosis if you notice symptoms of metabolic disorders, do not use self-created remedies as it may not be the right treatment plan for you. Do not self medicate, and always scrutinize meditations before use.

[lightweight-accordion title=”Article Sources”]
1. Healthgrades: Metabolic Disorders
2. MedlinePlus: Metabolic Disorders
3. PriorityYouMD: 10 Signs of Metabolic Distress


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