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Signs That Your Client Has Metabolic Disorders
Metabolic problems and their associated symptoms develop when normal metabolic processes are disturbed. Usually, food is broken down by the body into its simpler components (proteins into amino acids, fats into fatty acids, and carbohydrates into simple sugars) in a highly regulated manner. Metabolic disorders are determined by violating any of the stages of this complex process.
Signs of slow metabolism include:
- deterioration of the skin, hair, and nails;
- weight fluctuation;
- increased sweating;
- change in complexion;
- sleep disturbance;
- unsatisfactory condition of the teeth;
- pain in the back, neck, muscles, and joints.
During a workout, you notice something is wrong – the training program has already helped more than one of your clients, but now it seems useless. Perhaps the reason is the client’s metabolic problem? Our article dots the i’s and crosses the t’s!
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Common metabolic dysfunctions
Here are typical examples of metabolic dysfunctions:
- Phenylketonuria is a prime example of a hereditary metabolic disorder characterized by an inability to break down one of the building blocks of a protein, the amino acid phenylalanine;
- Type 1 diabetes, a hereditary disease in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to maintain a balanced blood sugar level, is a disorder of carbohydrate metabolism;
- Gaucher disease is also an example of a metabolic disorder affecting fat metabolism, which is characterized by the absence of the enzyme glucocerebrosidase.
Various metabolic chains or pathways and enzyme systems can be disrupted in the body. They can affect only carbohydrate metabolism or only fat and protein metabolism. But, several links of metabolism often suffer at once, including water-salt homeostasis and hormonal levels, which provoke complex hormonal-metabolic pathologies.
The problem may have an innate form when specific metabolic pathways are not initially formed in the genes or turned off due to a breakdown, or they are formed throughout life. However, originally, metabolic features were acquired from the parents.
Metabolic disorders can also be complications of serious diseases or pathological conditions, including liver or respiratory failure, various types of cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and HIV/AIDS.
Metabolic disorders can be caused by other factors, such as hereditary and environmental factors. Typical examples of conditions that can cause metabolic problems include:
- alcohol abuse, which can cause liver problems, a drop in blood sugar, or impaired lipid metabolism;
- abuse of diuretics (diuretics);
- gout – a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the joints
- ingestion of poison or toxins, including excessive amounts of aspirin, bicarbonate, alkali, ethylene glycol, or methanol (methyl alcohol);
- kidney failure;
- pneumonia, respiratory failure, or collapse of the lung, which causes hypoxia and disruption of oxygen-dependent metabolic pathways;
- sepsis, which is a life-threatening bacterial infection of the blood.
Symptoms of metabolic dysfunction in your clients
Symptoms of metabolic disorders vary from person to person depending on gender, age, region of residence, external factors, and the type of disease.
Some metabolic disorders result in mild symptoms that can be controlled with medication and lifestyle changes (activity, diet, walking, etc.).In contrast, others can cause severe and life-threatening symptoms such as breathing problems, convulsions, multiple organ failure, shock, or a coma.
Some hereditary metabolic disorders may require long-term nutritional supplements, vitamins, drugs, and medication, while metabolic disorders result from another disease or condition (e.g., problems with carbohydrate and fat metabolism in iodine deficiency due to endemic goiter) often disappear after treatment of the underlying disease.
Symptoms of metabolic imbalances that run in families and have hereditary roots include:
- bone abnormalities occur, such as osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of the bones);
- difficulty with memory, thinking, speaking, understanding speech, writing, or reading;
- an enlarged liver, heart, kidneys, or spleen;
- inability to fully develop in infants and children;
- frequent infections, including atypical ones – fungal, viral, caused by opportunistic flora;
- hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) – this type of disorder has really spread during Covid.
- loss of vision or its substantial decrease, problems with the optic nerve;
- muscle twitching, spasms, or cramps;
- muscle weakness, up to the inability to walk, stand, or move;
- paralysis or paresis (partial paralysis).
Symptoms of metabolic imbalance that may occur during life include:
- chronic or persistent diarrhea;
- constant and pronounced fatigue;
- irritability and mood swings;
- muscle spasms, twitching of individual muscle groups on the face or body;
- nausea with or without vomiting;
- rapid breathing (tachypnea) or shortness of breath.
More severe symptoms include:
- severely difficult breathing;
- the bluish tint of lips or nails;
- a change in the level of consciousness or orientation in space, for example, loss of consciousness or lack of reactions to light, sound, or tactile stimuli (skin tingling, slaps on the cheeks, etc.).
How can you help your client solve the metabolic problem?
Treating metabolic disorders begins with seeking medical attention from a doctor or hospitalization if the problem occurs suddenly. The approach to the treatment of metabolic disorders depends on the specific disease.
Congenital metabolic disorders (inherited metabolic disorders) are often treated with expensive medications and dietary, lifestyle, periodic medical check-ups, physical therapy, and other supportive care options.
Several options are available for metabolic disorders treatment:
- normalize the diet;
- reduce sugar and salt intake;
- lead a moderately active lifestyle;
- refuse bad habits;
- take vitamin supplements;
- sleep at least seven hours a day;
- drink enough water;
- be on the street more often, soak up the sun’s rays.
More complex ways to change metabolism imbalance include:
- bone marrow transplant;
- enzyme replacement therapy in selected patients;
- hormone replacement therapy in people with insufficiency of endocrine organs (thyroid gland, pituitary gland, adrenal glands);
- medicines to reduce symptoms such as pain or low blood sugar;
- mineral supplements (calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus or chlorine, sodium);
- surgery to relieve pain or symptoms.
Treatment of an acquired metabolic disorder will include normalizing the metabolic balance by eliminating the cause of the disorder, taking medications, and administering certain solutions and metabolites (plasma, proteins, vitamins, enzymes, hormones).
There are 3 stages of metabolism:
- Glycolysis for glucose, β-oxidation for fatty acids, or amino acid catabolism.
- Citric Acid Cycle (or Kreb cycle)
- Electron Transport Chain and ATP synthesis.
People with a fast metabolism spend more energy on vital functions (such as heart and brain function) than those with a slow metabolism. It helps to lose weight faster, but at the same time, too high metabolism prevents rapid muscle mass gain.
Metabolism in women is also slower due to less mass (including muscle) and not because of gender. Their muscles are usually less than about 1/3, and unevenly – the top is behind the bottom more.
Normal metabolism is one that provides all the body’s needs for energy and nutrients without symptoms of health problems. With the right exchange, all tissues are renewed at a normal rate.