Is Your Slow Metabolism Actually a Metabolic Disorder?

Lindsey Metrus
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Urban Outfitters

Generally speaking, beginning in preteen years, metabolism becomes a topic of conversation. A lean boy or girl with a particularly large appetite is pegged as having a high metabolic rate—like it's a skillset. (It's assumed, then, that their peers who aren't as lithe aren't blessed with as high a metabolism.) Once we reach our late teens and twenties, metabolism becomes less about speculation and more about our own insecurities. If we can't shed weight, we blame our metabolism (or lack thereof). It's a tricky subject—especially since the definition of metabolism is often misunderstood. It's not an internal Bunsen burner that melts away fat as we'd like to think; it's the process our body uses to get or make energy from the food we eat. From there, the energy is either immediately used or stored within the body. However, in some cases, the body can't properly process essential components like fats, proteins, sugars or nucleic acids. When this happens, it's considered a metabolic disorder.

Here's the thing: There are  hundreds of metabolic disorders (just caused by genetics alone). There are also those that are brought on by a deficiency in a certain hormone or enzyme, consuming too much of certain foods, or various other factors. So perhaps you recently gained a bit of weight and can't lose it and are thinking a metabolic disorder could be to blame. Here's what you need to know:

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