You’re driving along a coastal highway, the wind in your hair, when suddenly you feel it—your car stalls—and all those warning signs on your dashboard that you’ve ignored until now glare brilliantly in hues of green, blue, orange, and red.
Like a car, your body needs regular maintenance and monitoring to stay in top shape. But, as you age, your body may start to show signs of slow metabolism, such as weight gain, fatigue, mobility issues, and even depression.
You may wonder what affects metabolism?While a slow metabolism may be due to changes in your age, diet, or exercise habits, it may also indicate an illness like diabetes, Graves’ disease, hypothyroidism, and Hashimoto’s disease.1 To tune up and track your metabolism, we’ve compiled this guide to help you understand 13 signs of a slow metabolism.
Before you start trying to figure out how to improve metabolic health, it’s worthwhile to first understand what metabolism is. Metabolism refers to the bodily process that transforms food and drink into energy. This energy then enables your body to execute vital functions like:
- Brain function
- Heart function
- Mobility and muscle movement
- New cell production
Metabolic energy is produced when your body infuses calories with oxygen. Remember that a calorie is a measurement of energy. As such, when it comes to food and drink, the calorie count refers to the amount of energy they contain.
Your metabolism involves a two-part process:
- Anabolism – Anabolism is the process by which simple molecules are built up into complex molecules. This is how your body builds lean muscle mass and produces certain hormones, among other necessary processes.
- Catabolism – Catabolism, on the other hand, breaks down complex molecules into simpler ones, which your body uses as energy to power anabolism.2
The speed of metabolism is measured by how quickly your body converts calories into energy and is expressed as your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). 3Your BMR refers to the rate at which your body burns calories while at rest—for example, while you’re sleeping or sitting on the couch.
Metabolism does not occur at the same rate from body to body and is largely determined by genetics, although certain lifestyle factors, like diet and exercise, can also play a part. Age is another factor, as your metabolic rate tends to slow down as you age.
Metabolism Warning Signs
Although metabolic rates vary, metabolism must happen quickly enough for your body to maintain the energy levels it needs to perform basic functions. A slow metabolism can pose a variety of risks to your physical and mental health, such as:
- Weight gain
- Circulation problems
- Respiratory issues
But what are the common signs of slow metabolism? Here are the 13 most common symptoms to look out for.
#1 Weight Gain or Difficulty Losing Weight
When it comes to signs of slow metabolism, your weight is an indicator. Your body weight is affected by a variety of factors, from genetics to diet to exercise, but your metabolism also plays an influential role.
When it comes to your weight, these conditions could be signs of a slow metabolism:
- Unexpected weight gain – A slow Basal Metabolic Rate means that your body can’t convert calories to energy as quickly as you’re introducing them to your system. As a result, your body stores more body fat.
- Difficulty losing weight – If your metabolism is slow, your body has a harder time performing functions that contribute to weight loss, like building muscle mass and burning body fat.
#2 Frequent Headaches
Frequent headaches and even migraines can also be signs of a slow metabolism. In some cases, your metabolism itself might be to blame. But in other cases, they may be linked to underlying issues.
- Thyroid issues – An underactive thyroid is commonly linked to slow metabolism. It can also lead to swelling in the brain that causes headaches.
- Imbalanced hormones – A slow metabolism can disrupt and slow the production of certain hormones, frequently resulting in headaches and migraines.
#3 Chronic Fatigue or Exhaustion
Chronic feelings of fatigue or exhaustion are common signs of a slow metabolism. When your metabolism slows, your body simply can’t make enough energy to power itself. If you find yourself taking frequent naps or feeling tired even after getting rest, your metabolism could be to blame.
At the same time, fatigue and a slow metabolism can both be signs of other health issues, like anemia or lack of vitamin B.
You might not immediately make the connection between your metabolism and your brain, but the truth is, a slow metabolism can greatly affect your mood.
The link between a slow metabolism and your mental health is mostly relational. For example, thyroid diseases like hypothyroidism can both slow your metabolism and cause:
An underactive thyroid is also a common cause of a slow metabolism. Frequently, an underactive thyroid also manifests in symptoms of depression.
#5 Reduced Brain Functions
Your metabolic rate has a tremendous impact on your brain’s ability to function properly. This is because metabolism isn’t only making energy your body needs to perform necessary physical functions—it’s also metabolizing vital nutrients that keep your brain active and healthy.
If you have a slow metabolism, you may experience:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty staying alert
- Impaired judgment
#6 Unusual Skin Conditions
If you’ve noticed that your skin is unusually dry or itchy, overly oily, or showing signs of discoloration, it could be the result of a slow metabolism. Here’s why:
- Hormone imbalance – A slow metabolism can often be linked to various hormone imbalances, particularly pertaining to those that contribute to healthy skin.
- Improper blood flow – To stay healthy, your skin needs a regular supply of blood that’s rich in oxygen and other nutrients. A slow metabolism can prevent the adequate flow of blood to all parts of your body, including your skin.
#7 Feeling Cold
One of the many things metabolism does is help regulate our body temperature. If you’re constantly feeling chilled or you’ve noticed that you can’t ever seem to warm up, the problem could be linked to your metabolism.
Metabolism is the process of producing energy inside the body, and what is heat if not energy? When your metabolism is slow, it can be hard for your body to generate enough energy to warm itself.
#8 Poor Fingernail Health
In some cases, cracked or brittle nails can be an indicator of a slow metabolism. This is because a slow metabolism can prevent your body from absorbing nutrients that keep your nails healthy, such as:
- Vitamin B
#9 Thinning Hair or Balding
A slow metabolism can often result in a lack of micronutrients that keep your hair healthy and strong. Without nutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and vitamin K, your hair can start to thin or fall out and lose its regenerative power. You may also notice incremental changes in your hair’s:
- Texture – Your hair may become brittle or coarse
- Moisture level – A lack of sufficient micronutrients can dry out your hair
- Coloration – Hair may become dull in appearance
#10 Cravings for Sugar
Unexplained cravings for sweet or carbohydrate-rich foods have often been associated with a slow metabolism, for two reasons:
- Cortisol production – Sugar cravings can be a sign that your blood sugar has dropped. This can be a result of a lack of cortisol, a stress hormone created in your adrenal glands that helps regulate your metabolism and keep your blood sugar balanced.
- Insulin resistance – Another hormone that affects your metabolism is insulin. Cravings for sugar or carbohydrates can indicate that your body is struggling to process insulin to make glucose.
#11 Mobility Issues
A slow metabolism can lower your body temperature, leaving you vulnerable to fluid retention. This fluid tends to accumulate around your muscles and joints, making mobility difficult or even painful.
Difficulty going to the bathroom can be another sign of a slow metabolism. When your metabolism is slow, many of your body’s natural processes take longer—including the process of converting food it doesn’t need for energy into waste. It can also take longer for your body to pass and expel that waste from the body.
#13 Sexual and Reproductive Issues
In some cases, issues surrounding sex and your body’s reproductive functions can be signs of a slow metabolism. Issues to be aware of include:
- Lower sex drive – If a thyroid issue is behind your metabolic problems, it could also be inhibiting the production of testosterone. This can lead to a decreased desire for sex.
- Menstrual problems – Thyroid issues can also prevent the production of other reproductive hormones, resulting in intense cramping, irregular periods, and other issues for women who menstruate.
Cymbiotika—Your Pathway to Longevity
A strong metabolism is crucial to a living longer, happier, and healthier life. So if your metabolism has stalled, take some time to tune up your body and return to the road at full speed—whether you’re changing your diet, exercising more, or treating a diagnosis.
You can also add Cymbiotika’s NMN + Trans-Resveratol to your tune-in, a supplement that can help speed your metabolism, aid in mitochondrial functions, and boost your energy.
NMN works together with polyphenols like resveratrol, apigenin, and other ingredients to set you on the path toward longevity. And like all of our products, NMN + Trans-Resveratol is:
- Sugar, gluten, soy, and cruelty-free
- Made in the U.S.A.
Apple cider vinegar also has properties that can help with metabolism. Our Apple Cider Vinegar capsules contain two essential ingredients: Chromium and Thiamine. Both help improve metabolic rate and control cravings. You can also try a zinc complex to maintain a strong immune system and metabolism.
Are you ready to discover your personal pathway to longevity? The time is now—try Cymbiotika today and explore our healthy aging supplements.
- Everyday Health. When a Slow Metabolism Signals Illness. https://www.everydayhealth.com/weight/when-slow-metabolism-signals-illness.aspx
- Healthline. Catabolism vs. Anabolism. https://www.healthline.com/health/catabolism-vs-anabolism
- Garnet Health. Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator. https://www.garnethealth.org/news/basal-metabolic-rate-calculator