Metabolism is the process by which the body converts food into energy. It is a complex process that is influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, diet, exercise, and age. A healthy metabolism is essential for maintaining a healthy weight, energy levels, and overall health because metabolic processes relate to everything the body does to function and operate smoothly.
Metabolism testing and assessments are essential pieces of an endocrinologist’s toolkit to spot potential problems. Endocrinologists are “metabolism doctors” that specialize in hormones and metabolic disorders. They often conduct metabolic testing and then use the information to develop a personalized plan to improve your metabolism and overall health.
Why is metabolism testing important?
Metabolism testing can be used to measure your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and resting metabolic rate (RMR). Your BMR is the amount of energy that your body burns at rest, while your RMR is the amount of energy that your body burns while performing basic activities such as breathing and circulating blood. Knowing your metabolic rate can help you to set realistic weight loss or gain goals, as well as develop a personalized diet and exercise plan. It can also help the endocrinologist and care team spot potential problems, gauge overall health, and complete a full screening of the patient to enable the most data-driven decisions.
Doctors can track their patients’ progress with metabolism testing. They can review metabolism testing to see how a patient’s metabolic metrics might change through a weight loss regimen. This information can inform changes to the diet and exercise plan if needed.
What types of metabolism tests are available?
There are several different types of metabolism tests available:
- The most common type of metabolism test is the indirect calorimetry test. This test measures the amount of oxygen that you consume and the amount of carbon dioxide that you produce. This information can then be used to calculate your metabolic rate.
- Resting metabolic rate (RMR) test: This test measures the amount of energy that your body burns at rest.
- Exercise stress test: This test measures how your body responds to exercise. It can be used to assess your cardiovascular fitness and identify any potential problems with your heart or lungs.
- Body composition analysis: This test measures the amount of fat, muscle, and bone in your body. This information can be used to develop a personalized diet and exercise plan to help you reach your fitness goals.
There are often guidelines endocrinologists and other care team members will advise patients to do (or not do) before a metabolism test and health screening:
- Avoid eating or drinking for at least 12 hours before the test. This will help to ensure that your body is in a fasting state.
- Avoid strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours before the test.
- Wear comfortable clothing that you can easily move around in.
There are several benefits that can develop after metabolic testing completion:
- Improved weight loss: Metabolism testing can help you to set realistic weight loss goals and develop a personalized diet and exercise plan to help you reach your goals.
- Improved energy levels: Metabolism testing can identify any potential problems with your metabolism that may be causing fatigue or low energy levels.
- Improved overall health: Metabolism testing can help you to identify any potential health problems that may be related to your metabolism. This information can then be used to develop a personalized plan to improve your overall health.
If you are considering having metabolism testing done, talk to your doctor. They can help you to determine if metabolism testing is right for you and recommend a qualified testing facility. This type of test is best done in conjunction with an experienced endocrinologist like Dr. Brian Fertig. The noted doctor and author of “Metabolism & Medicine” utilizes metabolic testing to paint a picture of a patient’s health and to develop a roadmap for improving their health and reducing the impacts of disease.