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.