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Q. About Metabolism can it be permanently damaged?


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Hi, just wondering if your metabolism has been slowed down over many years is it possible for it to be permanently damaged as a result?

I'll say right off that I have never been under weight! my problem seems to be that I never feel hungry so I forget to eat as a result of this for many years I have been living on 600 - 1100 a day until I found CC (thank you all Laughing) and realised that I was eating way too little. I have improved this but still occasionally slip up. I'm eating more now than I have ever done 1500-2000+ but I am still very lethargic all the time and although I don't have a lot of weight to lose I am trying to get back to the 140's currently 150 but nothing is moving. A few years back I had an odd thing happen where I gained a lot of weight in just one year couldn't get it off for love nor money then without changing anything I lost most of it again in just three months? 

All answers appreciated

Ann 

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Most of the decrease in metabolism as we age is attributed to loss of muscle mass. If you want your metabolism to increase, you would need to increase your intake of calories and start some resistance training.

Awe OK...so I'm still not eating enough? having never done the training thing I'm a bit thick when it comes to that.....resistance training...that's like using bands and wrist weights etc? "muscle building". This is an on going learning curve for me until CC I'd never counted calories or trained. Takes me a while but I get there. Smile

Thank you Ann

I do not think you can permanently "hurt" your metabolism...

An individuals metabolism tends to slow down as they age. Also, after years of forcing your metabolism into constant starvation mode it could take several months for it to "heal" itself... or get back to normal.

The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn throughout the day. If you are interested in working out, and increasing the amount of calories you burn a day I would definitely gain muscle mass.

Also, if you google basal metabolic rate you can calculate a rough estimate of the amount of calories you should be burning a day to gain, maintain and lose.

Goodluck!
I actually think it is ridiculous to consider a slow efficient metabolism as hurt or damaged. During 99.999% of the history of humans a good metabolism was one that was capable of being efficient, that didn't require too much food to function, and that could survive droughts, food shortages and sieges. Any body who had a fast inefficient metabolism would not have survived these things, and died.

Your metabolism is what has kept your body alive while you (unknowningly it seems) starved it. It has done its job by slowing down, if it hadn't you would be dead. It hasn't been "damaged" it has been working perfectly. (if you have never eaten much, or been hungry, this might also just be because you are just one of these super efficient people who don't need much food to stay alive, and the slow metabolism came first)

I've heard of people who have "permanentl damaged" their metaboisms (in EDUs), but I don't think it's true. I hought mine was permenantly damaged, then I jumped from about 400-800 (wasn't counting) to over 3000 in one day. I gained some weight, then started losing. So it definitely was "fixed".

Thank you for the replies and I am taking in what has been said.

I am aware that my metabolism must be good in that it's kept me alive this long but what I was trying to ask and some have answered is having being kept at that rate for so long is there a chance that it just won't speed up? I'm talking 20+ plus years. I have been eating a lot better for 3mths now but I still have the lethargy and very little weight loss.

All of you have made some very interesting points and I will certainly be looking into those a bit further.

Thanks again

Ann

 

No, it can't.

Here's a good article on metabolism and how to boost it.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0846/i s_1_23/ai_107488078

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It almost sounds like your problems could be related to your thyroid.  Hypothyroidism (when you thyroid doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone) is often associated with lethargy, a slow metabolism, and the gaining or inability to lose weight (not being able to stand the cold is another common symptom).  Do some research, look at other common symptoms, and talk to your doctor if you think you might have it (although you should probably be talking to your doctor about your concerns anyway).  Hypothyroidism is usually easily diagnosed and treated (so don't go into an immediate panic if the symptoms sound familiar).  Hope this helps

I suffered from a damaged metabolism as well.  For about 1 year, I ate between 600-1000 calories per day.  As a teen, I now realize how unsafe this was.  I increased slowly and DID gain weight.  However, once I got to 105 lbs, I think my weight stabilized as I can basically eat what ever I want and not gain anything!  I realize that I am a lot younger and only had poor eating habits for a year but I still required time to recover.  Good luck!

ajturner....Thanks I think you have a very good point and believe me I have had it checked out I have a good number of the symptoms even down to last year I developed 5 goiters and I'm always cold but my Dr is adamant that my thyroid is fine???? I even went as far as paying to speak to a Dr in the States and without saying anything other than my symptoms and the goiter development he was very sure that I had thyroid problems, but mine say nope. Which is why I asked what some may think as a silly Q. but I've just hit a brick wall with everything I've tried so far! being constantly lethargic is no fun. 

runswithdonuts....love the name by the way....I have checked out some sites about boosting your metabolism and followed the advice they gave but still nothing. I'm not into taking pills and potions that haven't been prescribed so I drew the line there. I will check out your article thanks.

xpbowling...that's maybe the case with me perhaps I just need to give it time. I'm pleased for you that yours is now working as it should be. And yes I agree with you eating so little hasn't been the smartest thing I've ever done but I find it very difficult to eat when I don't feel hungry these days I set a little alarm clock to remind me that it's time to eat which is working really well for me.

Thank you for your thoughts on my problem.

Ann

This is going to sound strange but I was reading a book about boxing and there was a particular boxer who was told by a doctor that his metabolism was severely screwed up and he went from being a middleweight to a heavyweight. Nothing could be done about fixing his metabolism, he just had to keep fighting at heavyweight and they couldn't explain why his metabolism wasn't working efficiently.

So I believe it could permanently be damaged although something tells me there was an underlying medical problem.
It's definitely not possible to permanently screw up your metabolism.

The body is a very strong and resilient force.

Think about it.
All the pizza people eat. All that fat and grease. All the unhealthy stuff we put into our bodies.

You don't see people dropping like flies. The body and our organs are able to take care of you(up to a certain point).

You can damage your metabolism from long-term "abuse" but eventually it will regulate itself again.
"No, it can't. Here's a good article on metabolism and how to boost it.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0846/i s_1_23/ai_10748 8078"

That's a really good article. I'm especially surpised that the metabolism only drops 5-10 percent when you "significantly reduce your calories". For some reason I thought it would be much more than that

Actually... I have to disagree with everyone.

You CAN Permanently hurt your metabolism. I have a friend, someone on CC, who seems to have done just that by eating badly for a good long time. She's about 15 years older and she's going through holy hell trying to lose some of the fat that's accrued.

I'm not saying it happens to everyone, and I think for most, your metabolism will eventually wake up, but... I know one person who never got back to normal, ever.

anndjoe

I'd go see an endocrinologist re: your thyroid. Your symptoms do suggest that it could be - I myself am hypothyroid since I was 20. At first my Dr said it was because I ate too much..college gain etc - but when I finally convinced him to do the testing it came back that I did need thyroid replacement.

When I started on this site, wanting to lose about 8 pounds, I too was only eating about 900 - 1100 calories a day - small appetite, don't get hungry, forgot to eat and reflux - not intentional. I slowly increased my calories  and gained about 4 pounds which has been stubborn to lose. I started increasing my calories 3/08(6 weeks) and this is the first week I have actually lost weight SO I do think your metabolism may return to normal but it does take time ( it's very discouraging to gain especially when I was exercising 5x/wk cardio and weight lifting). I have found that increasing my calories has given me more of an appetite as I actually get hungry now. I try to eat small mini meals/snacks and space out my calories as I just cannot eat a large meal. Trying to stick to 40-30-30 ratio of carbs, proteins and fats but some days I'm more like 50-25-25.

I was beginning to think my metabolism was not going to come back either but some success this week - hope it continues and hope this helps you a little.

You should keep in mind that it didnt get that way over night, so it is going to take some time to repair it. Im talking MONTHS.

I was dealing with a slowed metabolism due to undereating and over exercising. It took me 7 months of eating the corrrect amount of calories AND gaining 20 lbs to get things going again. for 7 months I have watched the scale go up and up and up.....then finally last week, BAM, it starts to go down again. I lost 3 lbs. I incorporated weight training about 7 weeks ago also. I think this did me wonders.

I dont know what your exercise program looks like but it would be a good idea to lift weights. AND LIFT HEAVY.

Just remember that this is something that is going to take time and patience. Dont give up either.

This is all making for very interesting reading for me.

speedy it doesn't sound strange at all.

hkellick...really!! I feel some of their pain...also a bit of a concern for me.

bonton...you seem to have experienced most of the same and it's a bit of a relief to read that it's finally seems to be coming back for you I wish you all good luck that it has. I am going to go and see someone because yesterday was just terrible.....fuzzy head, cold, and feeling like I was carrying around the weight of a brick with me all day I hardly even had energy to talk, it was actually quite scary....if the Dr still says it's not my thyroid then it's got to be something else because this is just not normal and I ate well yesterday lots of slow release energy foods...... Like you I can't eat a large meal so your advice is appreciated and I will be starting with that today.

Thank you to everyone for taking time to try and help me if I haven't mentioned you by name please don't think that I haven't noted your advice I'm taking it all in.

Ann

Original Post by kristinedaqueen:

You should keep in mind that it didnt get that way over night, so it is going to take some time to repair it. Im talking MONTHS.

I was dealing with a slowed metabolism due to undereating and over exercising. It took me 7 months of eating the corrrect amount of calories AND gaining 20 lbs to get things going again. for 7 months I have watched the scale go up and up and up.....then finally last week, BAM, it starts to go down again. I lost 3 lbs. I incorporated weight training about 7 weeks ago also. I think this did me wonders.

I dont know what your exercise program looks like but it would be a good idea to lift weights. AND LIFT HEAVY.

Just remember that this is something that is going to take time and patience. Dont give up either.

 Wow 7mths.....that's a long time! how long had you been under eating? I'm very pleased for you that you are now losing agian.

I was undereating for 9-10 months. It wasnt drastic like either, I was undereating by a few hundred.

If you stick to it til the end you will lose again. It may take you several more months or even a few more weeks. It really stinks because you feel really helpless through the whole thing.

Good Luck and keep us posted on your progress.

Ann, I second the advice to see an endocrinologist. Definitely sounds like a thyroid problem.

Are you getting enough iodine in your diet? Where do you live? (Iodine is added to salt in most of the developed world). Iodine deficiency can cause thyroid problems but since the thyroid itself is working fine, maybe it wouldn't have been picked up by your doctor (?).
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