What is Metabolic Health, and Why is it Important?
Metabolic health, simply put, is the absence of metabolic diseases. Here's how you can figure out about your metabolic health.
You might have seen numerous diet plans across the internet insisting you boost your metabolism with certain foods and consistently lose weight. This metabolism that they are referring to is the life-sustaining ability of your body to absorb nutrients and energy from digested food. This process serves the purpose of initiating growth and various body functions. When your metabolic processes are in flow, there is little risk of developing diseases that might hinder your overall health.
This article would help you understand the meaning of metabolic health and inform you of signs of a not so great metabolism. You will also learn how you could improve your metabolic health and benefit from it.
Metabolic Health: An Introduction
A healthy metabolism ensures that your body processes your food without negatively affecting your sugar levels, cholesterol, insulin and inflammation. In addition, it prevents you from developing lifelong conditions that can alter your body’s functions and relationship with food.
Metabolic health, simply put, is the absence of metabolic diseases. A proper functioning metabolic health prevents you from health concerns like high blood sugar, high blood pressure, obesity, fatty liver, kidney issues, cholesterol, etc.
Several factors affect your metabolic health. Some among them are genetics, age group, sex, food habits, physical activity, sleep quality, habits like alcohol consumption or smoking, stress and mental health concerns. There is no fixed solution to improving your metabolic health as each one’s metabolic health is unique to them. However, there are personalised things you could do to suit your body.
Importance of Metabolic Health
Your metabolic health is of utmost priority to help you maintain a sustainable life. It prevents you from the risk of metabolic diseases and improves your quality of life.
Metabolic disorders are diseases that impact the body’s ability to metabolise specific nutrients or enzymes. In addition, the function of the cell to complete necessary biochemical reactions involving the synthesis of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids is also affected by metabolic disorders.
Metabolic health is like what a shell is to a tortoise. The shell protects the tortoise from its predators, like your metabolic health protects you from metabolic disorders like diabetes. Therefore, a proper diet and care are essential to keep the shell growing and healthy.
Similarly, assessing your metabolic patterns, eating the food that benefits you, and personalised physical activity to suit you would all contribute to properly managed metabolic health. But, again, as you can make out here, personalisation is the key.
Can Metabolic Syndrome Define Metabolic Health?
Metabolic syndrome and metabolic health have a direct correlation. Metabolic syndrome is a set of conditions that raise the risk of cardiovascular diseases and other ailments. It is especially common in people above the age of 50 years. However, with stress and irregular lifestyles being the order of the day, metabolic syndrome is no longer limited to older adults.
It is often associated with any previous family history. It could last from a few years to a lifetime. Its treatment requires continuous monitoring and repeated pathological tests. Unfortunately, there may be no complete cure yet, but managing such conditions is very much possible.
Most signs of metabolic syndrome are usually not taken seriously. Some of those include:
- Increased glucose level, other symptoms of diabetes or borderline diabetes.
- High blood pressure
- High levels of triglyceride and bad cholesterol
- Being overweight or obese
- Enlargement of waistline
The symptoms of metabolic syndrome in themselves will disturb metabolic functioning and make your body vulnerable to metabolic diseases like diabetes, mitochondrial dysfunction, and Gaucher’s disease, to name a few. All in all, this would leave your metabolic health on haywire.
It is natural for your glucose levels, blood pressure and fat content to rise after taking a meal to complete digestion and absorption. However, accumulating these spikes for a long time is not healthy. Since everybody’s metabolism is different, it can go haywire in different and specific ways. Some people’s bodies may produce an excess of glucose, while some would have excessive blood fat. None of which should be a regular occurrence.
Consequences of Poor Metabolic Health
- The first and foremost sign of poor metabolic health is unhealthy body weight. It shows that the food intake is more than what the body can burn. It may indicate the cause as irregular food and lifestyle choices. Obesity is a global epidemic. At the root of this lies poor metabolic health.
- You may develop severe blood sugar, blood pressure, PCOS and some cancer. Furthermore, research suggests poor metabolic health can be a determinant of diabetes.
- You could experience dietary inflammation, which comes along with oxidative stress.
Common Metabolic Disorders
- Diabetes results from the misregulation of insulin and blood glucose by the body. There are three types, Diabetes type 1, Diabetes type 2 and Gestational diabetes.
- Phenylketonuria or PKU is a condition when a person is born without or has a diminished ability to manufacture phenylalanine hydroxylase. This enzyme aids in the digestion of amino acids necessary for growth and development.
- Mitochondrial dysfunction happens when the mitochondria fail to provide enough energy for the cells to function properly. It can impair muscular growth and function or cause diabetes.
- Hemochromatosis is a disorder that inhibits the body’s ability to absorb iron. It can occur by a genetic mutation in the HFE gene coding, too much iron in one’s diet, or blood transfusions.
Health Experts Who Can Help You Improve Your Metabolic Health
- The Healthify Pro is a 360-degree approach that helps you take control of your health. It contains a smart scale, metabolic panel, CGM, and several trackers. A metabolic panel evaluates your blood as per 80 parameters routinely. It assesses your health parameters to the T. Therefore; weight loss becomes a subsidiary of better health. The weight automatically starts improving when your metabolic health improves with the proper dietary and exercise interventions.
- A metabolic specialist is a physician who specialises in the field and treatment of metabolic diseases such as diabetes, excessive cholesterol, and other ailments. Diagnosing patients, measuring their blood pressure and sugar, administering medicine, and proposing methods to live sustainably is a part of their professional responsibilities.
- Endocrinologists get specially trained in the field of diabetes. They are doctors who specialise in hormones and the glands that make them. An endocrinologist usually provides most of the medical care for people with diabetes.
- Metabolic cardiology is a relatively young speciality of medicine that focuses on preventing, controlling, and managing cardiovascular diseases. All of this is taken care of at the cellular level using metabolic interventions that are naturally occurring in the human body.
Improving Your Metabolic Health with HealthifyPro
Maintaining your metabolic health would require you to know your health parameters thoroughly and regularly. For example, it requires checking your glucose level, weight, body mass and fat content. Technology helps monitor your health parameters and gives you a space to discuss with your health coach and trainer.
Using the HealthifyPro Smart Scale, you can get to know your body weight, but the good news is that it is a connected scale. You get to know your weight, muscle mass, fat percentage and other health indicators. The metabolic panel tells you what your diet lacks by looking at 80 parameters. In addition, you could track your sleep, blood pressure, and glucose all in a slim patch-like device which you don’t even have to wear all the time.
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Ways to Improve Your Metabolic Health
- Knowing your metabolic health can help you figure out where you need to make changes. An RMR test will provide you with the knowledge to provide your body with what it needs specifically.
- Cutting down on refined sugar, processed and packaged foods, and preserved food items would help to stabilise unnecessary glucose fluctuations. Instead, consume enough fibre-rich plant-based products like seeds, vegetables, and whole grains. In addition, drink sufficient water and fluids, and consume enough protein, healthy fats and fibre.
- Avoid skipping meals, consuming fad diets or staying empty stomach for long hours. It would make you have unnecessary cravings and put your glucose levels out of order.
- You could eat foods rich in probiotics or gut microbes like yoghurt for good gut health and help with dietary inflammation. You could discuss this with your diet coach keeping in mind other parameters.
- Exercise or any sort of physical activity for around 30 minutes a day would help you manage your weight and prevent increases in your waistline. Strength training may help. It would help regulate blood glucose and blood pressure and keep your heart healthy. If you have a certain condition or specific goals in your mind, you could talk about them to your fitness trainer and personalise the exercise routine.
- A lack of sleep or excess sleep is harmful to your blood glucose levels. Having a sleep schedule that is not regular could mess up your sugar and create problems in metabolism functioning. Make sure to get at least 7-8 hours of night sleep. Research shows that sleep disruption, which includes short, poor-quality, and irregular sleep, raises the risk of metabolic disorders, particularly obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Health is a conscious choice. We all know what is right for us. However, we simply do not always understand the fundamentals of how our metabolic health affects our weight, activity levels, and long-term health. With technology and a wealth of knowledge around us, our approach to health has undergone a paradigm shift. We are moving from generic weight loss plans to specific health goals. In addition, we are looking beyond weight and looking at overall health.
Innovations like HealthifyPro help us rationally achieve our health goals. We get to know our metabolic health and learn to eliminate the food and lifestyle factors causing this.
The future of fitness is here, wherein, for the first time, you are working with coaches and advanced technology to literally get to the bottom of your metabolic health.