We all know the feeling of sluggishness, of not feeling “quite right”, of fatigue and even restlessness at certain times in our lives. As we get older, that feeling can increase or even take over our lives. Unfortunately, with the onslaught of chemical exposure, and exorbitant amount of stress, and a less than optimal diet even younger people can feel the same symptoms of not being at the top of their game.
Chronic stress, poor diet (or a fad diet which eliminates all forms of sugar), PUFA exposure and chemical and other environmental onslaughts all accelerate aging. This process of accelerated aging exposes the cells to PUFAs (as they are released from where they are stored in fat cells) due to the fact that aging causes the burning of fat over glucose as fuel.
While this may sound like a dream for dieters, solely burning fat as fuel causes tissue damage and degeneration of the body as well as age spots (lipofuscin when combined with estrogen dominance and iron overload) sagging, wrinkly skin, and even melasma. Accelerated aging (and remember, this can happen in your 20’s!) also slows down your metabolism grinding it to a screeching halt. This creates a lack of ability to “take out the trash” meaning the lack of ability to detox the body of excess used hormones, byproducts of cellular respiration such as inactive cells and other cellular debris, and endotoxin.
This overload begins a vicious cycle which causes a progression of slower and slower metabolism and, eventually, a failure to regenerate and even cell death.
(Incidentally, when you avoid sugar you are starving your body of glucose which means the body must rely on fat as fuel, essentially mimicking the aging process.)
How can you tell if your metabolism is slowing down?
- Muscle aches, muscle fatigue and weakness.
- Low body temperature (cold hands and feet or sensitivity to cold)
- Impaired digestion i.e, bloating after meals, feeling full for extended periods of time after meals, constipation or slow bowels.
- Insomnia or frequent waking at night, inability to get to sleep or stay asleep.
- Dry skin, notably on knees, lower legs, elbows, and hands.
- Fatigue, sluggishness, feeling sleepy even after adequate sleep, weakness.
- Frequent urination.
- Increased depression, anxiety or other mood disorders.
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair
- Thinning outer third of the eyebrow
- Low libido or other sexual dysfunction (vaginal dryness, or erectile dysfunction)
- Irregular or absent menstrual cycles or difficulties during such as heavy, painful, severe clotting, or abnormally long.
- Infertility or other fertility issues
- Severe PMS symptoms.
- Diagnosed endometriosis or PCOS.
- Edema or puffiness especially in the face and neck.
These are just some of the laundry list of a declining metabolism. The good news is through nutrition and occasionally well placed supplements as well as some lifestyle adjustments, metabolism can, generally, be revved up and accelerated aging halted!