What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that happen in living organisms to maintain life. These processes allow food to be converted into energy which allows organisms to grow, and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. The speed at which this happens is called metabolic rate. Specific proteins in the body control the chemical reactions of metabolism, and each chemical reaction is coordinated with other body functions. In fact, thousands of metabolic reactions happen at the same time — all regulated by the body — to keep our cells healthy and working. Metabolism is a constant process that begins when we're conceived and ends when we die. It is a vital process for all life forms — not just humans. If metabolism stops, a living thing dies.

Metabolism is usually broken
into two parts:
Catabolism, or destructive metabolism, is the process that produces the energy required for all activity in the cells. In this process, cells break down large molecules (mostly carbohydrates and fats) to release energy. This energy release provides fuel for anabolism, heats the body, and enables the muscles to contract and the body to move. As complex chemical units are broken down into more simple substances, the waste products released in the process of catabolism are removed from the body through the skin, kidneys, lungs, and intestines.

Anabolism, or constructive metabolism, is all about building and storing: It supports the growth of new cells, the maintenance of body tissues, and the storage of energy for use in the future. During anabolism, small molecules are changed into larger, more complex molecules of carbohydrate, protein, and fat.

MetabolismThis is a website to help you better understand Metabolism

How does Metabolism apply to Occupational Therapy?
A common disorder that we would see in our occupation would be Diabetes. We would address Nutrition Management and the benefits of increasing your metabolism. We would encourage regular exercise and discuss a Wellness Plan. We would also discuss Emotional Regulation Skills and Stress Management. For Emotional Regulation Skills and Stress Management we would talk about how to address your emotions in a positive way so it doesn't have negative effects on your health. It is important to keep negative thoughts limited and you can do this by exercising regularly and in return increasing your metabolism!!!