Slow metabolism – Symptoms

slow metabolism

Many people have been counting calories meticulously, hitting the gym and get a lot of sleep, but they still cannot see the wanted results. This may not be your fault. The inability to shed those stubborn pounds can be a result of a slow metabolism. We know that the metabolism is a process by which the body is burning energy for basic bodily functions, such as breathing, brain function and heartbeat.

The metabolism burns food for fuel so people who have a fast metabolism can eat whatever they want and they will not gain weight compared to people who have sluggish metabolism who will have to work much harder to lose or maintain their weight.

Slow metabolism symptoms

slow metabolism

If you have some of the below mentioned symptoms of slow metabolism, you should visit your doctor to check your thyroid. You might have hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid which is ultimately responsible for your metabolism.

Here are the most symptoms which can be noticed in people who have slow metabolism

You have difficulty losing weight

The slow metabolism can make you to gain weight, but also, it can make supper difficult to lose weight even if you have been counting calories and exercising extremely diligently. There are some doctors who say that you have an inability to lose weight despite you eat balanced or restricted diet. [1]

You have gained weight

The unexplained weight gain is the biggest sign of a slow metabolism. If you are eating well and you are exercising, but you still get extra pounds, then this could be a sign that your metabolism is slow. In many cases, gaining weight goes unnoticed and it is blamed on a presumed sense of increased appetite, particularly among women. This is commonly associated with hypothyroidism which is slowing down the basal metabolic rate due to lack of a thyroid hormones that are essential to body’s metabolic activities. [2]

You are always tired

When your body is burning energy at a slower rate, this will cause you to feel fatigued more frequently. Fatigue is one of the most common signs of slow metabolism, apart from the weight troubles. [3]

Your nails are brittle

You can see changes in your nails due to lack of nutrients being absorbed by your body. Some of the most common changes include increased ridges to your nails and brittle nails.

You have dry skin

When your metabolism is slow, then your cells are not active as they should be and this means that you are not getting the proper blood supply. The skin fails to gain vital nutrients and it loses its luster. Also, the body tries to conserve heat and you do not sweat as much. This is impacting your ski and it leaves it dry and cracked. [4]

You get frequent headaches

When your thyroid hormones are out of whack (this is happening with an underactive thyroid), this can trigger headaches or even migraines.

You are losing your hair

It is noticed that the same processes which impact your skin and nails, also affect your hair. The slow metabolism can impact your hair’s ability to grow and regenerate. There is a lack of sufficient micronutrients from a slow metabolic rate which can cause your hair to fall out. [5]

You are always cold

The one of the main symptoms of hypothyroidism is being cold all the time and it can slow down your metabolism. If you are cold all the time, then your thyroid may is not active as it should be and neither your metabolism. We know that the heat is generated with the body’s metabolic activity. The slow metabolism can lead to a decreased core body temperature, which is another sign of hypothyroidism.

You keep forgetting things

When you have too little thyroid hormone, which regulates your metabolism, it can cause a poor memory and it can make you to be forgetful. [6]

You have lost your sex drive

The low levels of thyroid hormone can cause you to have low levels of sex hormones, such as testosterone, which can impact your ability to get in the mood.

Sugar cravings

If you have a constant crave for sugar and carbohydrates, then it can be a sign of insulin resistance which also slow down your metabolism. [7]


[1] Harvard Health Publishing. The truth about metabolism. 2021. Retrieved from

[2] Dokken BB, Tsao TS. The physiology of body weight regulation: Are we too efficient for our own good? Diabetes Spectrum. 2007;20(3):166-70.

[3] Gatorade Sports Science Institute. Metabolic factors in fatigue. Retrieved from

[4] Dumas SN, Ntambi JM. A discussion on the relationship between skin lipid metabolism and whole-body glucose and lipid metabolism: systematic review. Journal of Cell Signaling. 2018;3(3):189. doi:10.4172/2576-1471.1000189

[5] University of Helsinki. Hair loss might be prevented by regulating stem cell metabolism. Science Daily. 2020. Retrieved from

[6] Shalev D, Arbuckle MR. Metabolism and memory: Obesity, diabetes, and dementia. Biological Psychiatry. 2017;82(11):e81–3. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.09.025

[7] Stanhope KL. Sugar consumption, metabolic disease and obesity: The state of the controversy. Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences. 2016;53(1):52–67. doi:10.3109/10408363.2015.1084990


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