WebMD
Font Size

Metabolism

Metabolism refers to all of the chemical processes that take place in the body, such as the burning of sugars (glucose) for energy and the release of digestive enzymes to break down food. Metabolism results in growth, the elimination of waste products (in urine and stool), healing of wounds, and other necessary activities of the body.

Many things can affect the rate of metabolism, including exercise, diet, temperature, and hormones.

When problems occur with any of the normal metabolic processes, changes in the body can occur (such as diabetes or thyroid disease). Changes in metabolism can affect the entire body.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Last RevisedJune 20, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 20, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.