Ways to Boost Your Metabolism as You Age

A less desired aspect of maturing is that your metabolism may naturally slow down.  This can cause a gradual loss of muscle mass and the numbers on your scale to creep up.

One of the most effective ways to boost your metabolism is to exercise.  As we age, extreme exercise regimens may no longer be what is recommended for us.  However, lower-impact exercises such as walking or bike riding can really give your metabolism the jump start it needs.

Another good way to stay ahead of your metabolism is to eat small meals that are high in protein, healthy snacks, such as yogurt, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day.  Try not to skip a meal because, if you do, your metabolism will think you are starving and slow down further.

Another method of speeding up a sluggish metabolism is with spices.  Try sprinkling chili pepper, ginger or turmeric on your meals.  They have all been found to have a positive effect on the metabolism.

Of course, if you have tried all these remedies to boost your metabolism and are still experiencing a slower than normal response, there may be an underlying medical condition.

Some medical conditions that can slow metabolism are:

  • Cushing’s syndrome – this illness happens when your body makes too much cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal system, creating a slow metabolism.
  • Hypothyroidism – (Underactive thyroid) in disease of the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. This can cause body functions to slow down and result in weight gain, as well as fatigue, joint pain, and other symptoms.
  • Graves’ disease – (Overactive thyroid) this thyroid disease occurs when the body’s immune system makes antibodies that attach to thyroid cells, stimulating the body to make too much thyroid hormone.
  • Hashimoto’s disease – is also called autoimmune thyroiditis, this occurs when the thyroid gland becomes chronically inflamed, causing it to secrete insufficient amounts of thyroid hormone.
  • Low testosterone levels – if you’re a man with a lower level of testosterone, a male sex hormone, you might find your metabolism altered.

If you have tried ways to boost your metabolism and are not seeing any results, you may want to check in with your doctor.  If you’d like to schedule an appointment with an Endocrinologist at Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center, call 718-206-7001 for an appointment.

Anxiety, Fatigue, Heat Intolerance and Other Telltale Signs of Graves’ Disease

Graves’ disease, also referred to as Basedow’s disease is an immune system disorder that affects the thyroid gland.

The disease is caused by a malfunction in the body’s immune system that creates antibodies known as thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulins (TSI); which attach themselves to healthy thyroid cells and mimics the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).   This causes the affected cells to work overtime in overproducing and releasing thyroid hormones.

When the body produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism), it can have a negative impact and lead to symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, hand tremors, weight loss and anxiety. Many of these symptoms can be found in a person diagnosed with Graves’ disease along with the following common signs:

  • Enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • Changes or irregularities in menstrual cycles
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Fatigue
  • Bulging eyes (Graves’ ophthalmology)
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Thick, red skin (Graves’ dermopathy)

Although it is possible for anyone to develop Graves’ disease, some people are more at risk than others. Factors that could increase the risk of the disease include:

  • Age- Individuals under the age of 40
  • Pregnancy- Pregnancy or recent childbirth in women who are genetically susceptible
  • Smoking- Smokers have an increased  risk of Graves’ ophthalmology because the immune system is compromised
  • Gender- Women are seven to eight times more likely to develop the disease than men
  • Living with other autoimmune disorders- People with diseases such as type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis  that compromise the immune system are  more  at risk

If you are at risk or experiencing symptoms, an endocrinologist, a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the body’s hormone- secreting glands can assess your medical history and conduct an examination.  If it is determined that you do have Graves’ disease, your doctor may recommend a course of treatment that is best for you.

There are typically three options for treating patients with Graves’ disease that include: medication, radioiodine therapy or thyroid surgery. The most common approach for treatment is radioiodine therapy.   In addition to treatment, your doctor may also suggest making changes in your lifestyle such as improving your diet.

To schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call, 718 206 7001.