Catabolism refers to a set of metabolic pathways that break down large molecules into smaller molecules. For example, these pathways break down proteins into amino acids and fats into fatty acids. This helps provide energy for the cells. But catabolism and the catabolic state are not the same thing, as well see later.
They include fatigue, weight gain, insomnia, brain fog, anxiety, mild depression, low libido, PMS, infertility, hair loss, dry skin, hypoglycemia, salt and sugar cravings, frequent colds and flu, food and drug sensitivities, dizziness, and an inability to handle stress. In the more advanced stages of AFS, you can end up in a catabolic state, and your symptoms will be much more obvious, constant, and severe.
Then you start to see the loss of muscle mass and subcutaneous fat, fatigue, low energy levels, exercise intolerance, and a reduction in your ability to handle any kind of stress. This is called cachexia, or catabolic wasting, and it entails a rapid loss of muscle tissue and subcutaneous fat. This happens when you have problems with your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, such as inflammation, injury, dysbiosis, cancer, or surgery.
Cytokines, which are the molecules involved in cell signaling during inflammation, trigger the release of cortisol and the neurotransmitters catecholamines. An inability to gain weight even after increasing caloric intake Unexplained weight loss Visible muscle mass loss Low energy Low body temperature and easily getting cold Getting easily fatigued Low exercise tolerance Insomnia Digestive issues, such as bloating and constipation Reduced stomach acid Increased sensitivities to certain foods Lack of enough energy to finish a meal in one sitting Feeling full very quickly, after just a few bites Hypoglycemia Muscle cramps Joint pain Shortness of breath Brain fog Skin pigmentation changes Age spots Wrinkles around the eyes and on the forehead Pain and discomfort in the liver area Weak urinary system Low libido Low blood pressure Dizziness and lightheadedness, especially when getting up Electrolyte imbalance Chronic stress Many of the symptoms of a catabolic state are shared by adrenal fatigue and the dysregulation of the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response.
So, a catabolic state that is the result of one of the causal factors listed above can lead to AFS and the dysregulation of the NEM. In the more advanced stages of AFS, the catabolic state is already well underway, even though cortisol levels have dropped significantly. These stages need to be handled with gentleness and care and take place under the guidance of a health professional with experience in these conditions.
You should put into place some stress management and sleep hygiene practices in order to give your body the rest it needs for recovery. With supplements, if you dont take them in the right dosage and at the right time, you might inadvertently increase the toxic load on your body.
How do you get into a catabolic state?
A catabolic state is a condition that is mainly caused by excessive training coupled with a lack of adequate nutrition, especially protein. It results in numerous undesirable side effects in the body, such as extreme fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and sleeplessness.
What is catabolic in simple words?
: degradative metabolism involving the release of energy and resulting in the breakdown of complex materials (such as proteins or lipids) within the organism — compare anabolism.
What is anabolic state?
The anabolic state is one where the body builds and repairs muscle tissue as opposed to a catabolic state that involves the process of breaking down tissue to replenish depleted energy levels of the body. So the catabolic process provides energy for anabolism to occur.
What comes after catabolic state?
Anabolism is the opposite of catabolism. For example, synthesizing glucose is an anabolic process, whereas the breaking down of glucose is a catabolic process. Anabolism requires the input of energy, described as an energy intake (“uphill”) process.
Catabolic and anabolic states indicate to us whether we are building or burning nutrients. These terms I mentioned briefly in our recent blog on metabolism. I would encourage you to read that blog first before reading this one.
Someone who is wired to favour a catabolic state will generally struggle to gain weight. Someone who achieves an anabolic state easily can gain weight easier.
One key difference between the pros and cons is the duration spent in either a catabolic or anabolic state. The longer you spend in either state the less you will experience the pros and the more profound the cons will become. This is why you cannot focus on losing body fat or building muscle for months on end.
You need to go through phases where you focus on reducing body fat followed by an increase in food and lean mass. If your body is anabolic from overeating, eating too many carbohydrates or lack of exercise, then you are more like to experience the cons and not the pros. If you are lifting weights , managing your carbohydrates and calories to favour muscle gain and improving your sleep, then you will likely experience the pros with minimal cons.
The goal is to be as anabolic as possible to retain or build new muscle tissue while being catabolic enough to burn body fat.