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Reference Guide
Metabolic Function

Metabolic Function

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The brain accounts for only 2% of the body organs but it consumes around 20% of the metabolic energy. Without metabolic health, the human body can’t get the energy it needs to function optimally, even the brain.

Metabolic function includes all the chemical processes that are continuously ongoing in the human body to transform nutrients (food, drink, supplements) into energy and substances needed to power different body functions so the human body can heal and regulate itself by keeping normal level of breathing, blood circulation, food digestion, cell growth and repair, hormone level homeostasis, and temperature. 

The main metabolic organs involved in metabolism are the liver, gut, adipose tissue, pancreas, kidney and muscles. These organs, with different hormones controlling the intricate chemical processes, work together to break down the nutrient intake and turn them into the appropriate amount of energy the human body needs.

Diabetes is known to be the most common metabolic disease with Type 1 where the cause is unknown, and Type 2 which can be acquired or be linked to a genetic factor. About 9.4 percent of the US population have diabetes, including children and adults as noted by the American Diabetes Association. 

Some common symptoms for metabolic disorders that may manifest include:

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Unexpected weight gain
  • Fatigue, lethargy
  • Skin changes
  • Gut pain and vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Constant hunger and thirst

Testing for metabolic function is helpful in determining potential disorders such as those that impact the breakdown of amino acids, carbohydrates, or lipids, or when an organ is not functioning optimally such as diabetes.

What do metabolic function tests measure?

Metabolic function tests measure various substances in the body to determine the balance of chemicals and how well the body is performing in converting food to energy and eliminating waste such as glucose, calcium, sodium,potassium, carbon dioxide, chloride, albumin, total protein, liver enzymes, bilirubin and BUN.

A wide variety of metabolic function tests and panels are available through Rupa Health utilizing blood and urine samples.

Some metabolic function tests available in this category include:

In addition to the metabolic function tests, a physical examination and a health history including symptoms and family health are helpful to determining diagnosis. As many metabolic disorders are genetic or have an autoimmune focus, additional genetic, autoimmune, and adrenal and stress testing can be beneficial.

Treatment Plans

The choice of treatment for a metabolic disorder is dependent on the disorder. If a disorder involves certain types of food, treatment would include avoiding that food type. With the disorders that have a genetic factor, prevention may be difficult, but certain lifestyle changes or supplementation may improve prognosis. 

Some treatment plans may include:

  • Supplements to aid with missing enzymes or dysfunction of certain organs.
  • Lifestyle changes to reduce stress, and include exercise, healthy diet, and quality sleep
  • Improving gut function.


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