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How Mental Health Affects Metabolism

mental illness patient with therapistMental health affects your body in more ways than one. People who suffer from a mental illness such as depression, bipolar, or anxiety have an increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.

What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is how your body processes nutrients such as carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. Essentially, metabolism is what drives weight loss. The faster the metabolism, the more calories burned. If this system is slowed by poor nutrition, lack of sleep, medications, etc., you could experience serious, long-term side effects such as weight gain, digestive issues, and fatigue.

How Does Mental Health Affect Metabolism?

There are many different aspects of mental health – and any one of them can have a direct impact on how the body functions on a day-to-day basis.

Medications: If you currently take medication for mental illness, it's important to understand the possible side effects of each one. Make sure you know how your treatment plan could contribute to metabolic abnormalities or weight gain. Discuss with your doctor how you can combat those adverse reactions to avoid such side effects.

Diet and Nutrition: Overeating, not eating enough, or eating the wrong things can lead to a slowed down and sluggish metabolism, which only compounds other symptoms you might be experiencing.

Depression and Anxiety: Depression and anxiety make day-to-day activities extremely difficult such as maintaining a healthy diet, fitness, and social routine.

Searching for Answers 

Without functioning in these key areas of life, it's much more likely a person will become overweight and unhappy. There's no easy answer when treating mental illness and trying to lose weight at the same time. Every person is unique and requires a customized plan that fits their lifestyle and preferences. But there are some small steps you can take to start adopting healthy habits in your daily routine.

Creating Healthy Habits 

According to the Obesity Medical Association, there are four key factors when trying to achieve weight loss: nutrition, behavior, physical activity and medication. These factors work together to create the bigger picture of your complete health - mentally and physically.

And with recent advancements in telemedicine services, you no longer have to leave your house to get expert advice from a health professional. You’re able to receive virtual customized care, which can be an incredible comfort, especially for those suffering from mental illness.

Taking the Next Step 

Taking that first step towards success can be intimidating - but with the right support and encouragement, you can claim victory over your struggles with health, weight, and fitness. To learn more about Dr. Purcell's Telemedicine options, sign up here. To book an appointment, call today!

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