Your metabolism plays a significant role in the ability of your body to turn food into energy and probably you loved and hated it at different times in your life. But while your metabolism will probably be obvious if it works well, you can really feel off if it isn't. Your metabolism is normal to decrease as you get older, so you will gain weight more likely when you don't eat well and have to work harder to maintain weight loss. But it might mean that something unusual is taking place if you experience any of the following symptoms.
1. You have dry skin.
“As the skin fails to gain vital nutrients, the skin loses its luster. Also as your body tries to conserve heat, you don’t sweat as much. This can impact your skin, leaving it feeling dry and cracked,” says Dr. Mashfika N. Alam, MBBS, a general practitioner at Icliniq.
2. You crave for sugar and starchy foods
“Cravings are often your body’s way of asking for an energy pick-me-up. If you’re eating well and sleeping enough, but still have really intense cravings, it could be that your metabolism isn’t effectively converting the foods you've already eaten into the energy your body needs,” says Lisa Moskovitz, R.D. and CEO of NY Nutrition Group.
3. You're Really Tired
“If you often feel tired, it could be a sign that your metabolism is a little slower as your body is not doing a great job at converting your food intake into energy quickly enough,” says Lisa Moskovitz, R.D. and CEO of NY Nutrition Group.
4. Headaches that persist.
When your thyroid hormones are out of whack, which happens with an underactive thyroid, this can trigger headaches or even migraines.
5. You Always Have To Pee
A slow metabolism can influence other body processes, including the number of times you get into the toilet.
6. You Have a Decreased Pulse Rate
It could be because of a slower metabolism if you noticed that your heartbeat slows down. “The pulse rate is directly proportional to the metabolic rate and therefore delayed pulsation happens when the basal metabolism rate is slowed down,” suggests Dr. Alam.
7. Your Nails Are Brittle
Similar to the effect on your skin owing to a slow metabolism, changes in your nails may be noticed because your body does not absorb nutrients. Susan Besser, MD, says some prevalent changes include more broken nails and greater ridges.
8. Your Moods Are Up & Down
“This isn’t necessarily caused directly by a slower-than-usual metabolism, but feeling tired when your metabolism isn’t up to par can make you feel rundown—and that can make you moody,” says Lisa Moskovitz, R.D. and CEO of NY Nutrition Group.
9. You feel cold all the time.
Your metabolism also helps generate heat, and if it’s slow, you might be extra chilly. As a result, you may find yourself layering up and throwing extra blankets on your bed,” says Scott Keatley, R.D., of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy.
10. You're constipated
“With a slower metabolism, the bowel transit time is slower too,” Dr. Besser explains. “It takes longer for food to travel through the GI tract and be properly digested, thus constipation occurs.”
11. You’ve experienced unexplained weight gain.
“If you’re eating well, and watching your caloric intake, and still gaining weight, it’s worth talking to a doctor or dietitian to see what’s going on,” says Scott Keatley, R.D., of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy.
12. You're losing hair
“When your metabolism isn’t working well, your body doesn’t turn over cells as quickly as it should to maintain your skin and hair,” says Scott Keatley, R.D., of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy.