Metabolic Disorders and How Smoking Affects Metabolism

In this article we are going to be looking at Metabolic Disorders and how people blame their excess weight on physical problems.  We are also going to be examining how smoking affects your metabolism.

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Metabolic Disorders – A lot of people like to blame their excess weight on physical problems but the truth is that very few people actually have a metabolic disorder that would cause them to gain excessive weight. In most cases, people that are overweight are that way because they simply eat more calories than they burn. Below are some metabolic disorders that could affect the way your metabolism functions.

Your thyroid is related to your metabolism

The function of your thyroid is directly related to your metabolism which is why you always hear a lot of people say they have a thyroid problem when they are overweight. While a lot of times as maybe just an excuse, there are two thyroid problems that can affect metabolism.

One of these is hyperthyroidism. This happens when you’re thyroid is overactive and it actually increases your metabolism. What’s happening is your thyroid is producing too much of the hormone thyroxine which causes your metabolism to get out of whack. In fact, you burn a lot more calories than you normally should for your size and body type and this can result in weight loss, high blood pressure and increased heart rate. While the weight loss may seem like a positive effect, it usually isn’t because in this case you will have trouble maintaining your weight no matter what you eat and that’s quite unhealthy.

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is the opposite and happens when you’re thyroid is under active and does not produce enough of the hormone. This is usually a problem with the thyroid gland itself but in rare cases it could be caused by an iodine deficiency or a problem with the pituitary gland. Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain, loss of energy and a slow heart rate.

Phenylketonuria is a genetic disorder which causes a deficiency in the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase which is used to metabolize certain amino acids. This occurs mainly in newborns and, since this enzyme is critical to growth, if it is left untreated it can cause severe damage.

A deficiency in the liver enzyme…

Another genetic disorder is Galactosemia which is a deficiency in the liver enzyme used to break down a byproduct of lactose. Again, this happens in infants and if left untreated can have severe results.

Another enzyme deficiency is called G6PD deficiency and is an inherent condition where the body doesn’t make enough glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD). This enzyme is necessary for the normal metabolic processes that have to do with red blood cells. It also helps the body metabolize carbohydrates and turn them into energy.

While metabolic disorders can be serious, most of the time they’re no excuse for being overweight. However, if you feel that you have the disorder you should see your health care professional right away to get an accurate diagnosis.

How Smoking Affects Metabolism

Chances are you know someone who quit smoking and then gained a ton of weight. This is not uncommon and, in fact, smoking itself actually increases your metabolism so when you stop smoking your metabolic rate is decreased. However, blaming the weight gain on quitting smoking may just be a convenient excuse.

Smoking increases your heart rate which makes your metabolic rate go up.

One of the things that smoking does is increase your heart rate which enforces your metabolic rate to go up. All this may sound appealing when you’re focused on losing weight but it is extremely bad for your heart as well as the rest of your body. Another thing that smoking does is curb your hunger. When you smoke, you’re less apt to eat as much. Plus the food doesn’t really taste as good so you’re less apt to want to eat in the first place.

Smoking, of course, can send you to an early grave and is not a recommended way of raising your metabolism. If you already smoke however, quitting, while essential to your health, may cause you to gain extra pounds. But, unlike a lot of former smokers may claim, the slowdown of your metabolism from quitting smoking really isn’t that significant in that we gain is probably more from the additional food you are eating to placate yourself instead of reaching for that cigarette.

Smoking is an addiction and when many people kick the habit they tend to replace lighting up with something else. In many cases this is food. So instead of reaching for that morning cigarette, you’re now eating a doughnut. You can imagine, if you do this every time the urge for a cigarette came upon you, how many extra calories you would eat.

The other bad thing about smoking is that it is a habit. You become accustomed to having a cigarette after you eat, having cigarette with your coffee, having cigarette after your boss reprimands you, having a cigarette on the way home. Now when you take that away, you feel deprived and what do you do to make yourself feel better? You eat.

But you shouldn’t use the fear of gaining weight to stop you from quitting smoking. What you need to do, instead, is have a good plan for replacing your bad habit with some good ones.

Add exercise to your daily routine

One thing you might want to consider is beefing up your exercise program. Just adding a little bit of exercise each day will more than offset the slowdown of your metabolism and, since you will probably be able to actually breathe better without cigarettes, it could actually be quite enjoyable. Not only that, but adding exercise to your daily regimen will help offset any extra calories you eat in place of that cigarette.

Speaking of which, you also want to have some low-calorie, nutritious food set aside as a cigarette substitute. Think about carrot sticks, apples even gum as a way to satisfy that urge. Additionally, you could consider nonfood things such as meditation, going for a walk, having a massage or treating yourself to that new outfit at the mall. Anything you can do to stop smoking a cigarette without resorting to eating unhealthy food!

While smoking does speed up your metabolism, quitting doesn’t have to be a sentence for weight gain. Smoking is probably one of the worst things you can do for your health, so quitting should be done at all costs even if you do gain a few pounds. But, if you’re smart about it you have nothing to gain but improved health!

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