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The Hunger Project Bolen Report
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Hypometabolism Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Hypometabolism is not an illness in itself. It would better be termed a "condition" and behind this condition a variety of illnesses may lurk. The characteristic of hypometabolism is that the biochemical processes of the body are not going as fast as they are designed to go. Since the biochemical reactions of the body are exothermic, that is they give off heat, hypometabolism results in hypothermia, a lowered body temperature. While the enzymatic reactions of the body give off heat, the enzymes themselves are also dependent on body heat to have their most efficient action. When body temperature is below 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit, enzymes are not functioning at their best efficiency.

This enzymatic dysfunction produces a variety of symptoms which are common to all hypometabolic conditions. Here is a partial list of the most common:

  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Cold Intolerance
  • Depression
  • Dry Skin and Hair
  • Easy Weight Gain
  • Fatigue
  • Fluid Retention
  • Hair Loss
  • Headaches
  • Heat Intolerance
  • Hives
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Low Ambition
  • Low Motivation
  • Low Sex Drive
  • Poor Concentration
  • Poor Memory
  • Unhealthy Nails

In addition degenerative diseases are stongly associated with hypometabolism, particulary arthritis and vascular disease. Also, hypometabolism decreases the vitality of the immune system and makes one more vulnerable to bacterial, fungal and viral infections. It is my guess that hypometabolism also increases the riskof cancer.

If you have unexplained symptoms, take your temperature. But, I am not asking you to look for an elevated temperature, rather a depressed one. A temperature which averages below 98.2 orally reflects hypometabolism which should be corrected for maximal health and longevity. The symptoms which can alert you to this condition are great in number because hypometabolism affects all the enzyme systems of the body. Enzymes are specialized proteins which regulate all aspects of the life process. All biochemical reactions in the body are regulated by enzymes. Enzymes are designed to run optimally at 98.6. The symptoms you experience tell you which systems are the weak links in your overall genetic constitutional makeup. The most common experience is cold hands and/or feet and cold intolerance. You may prefer the house warmer than your family likes it. You may have headaches. The next most common disturbance is generalized weight gain which does not localize itself to one part of the body. Dry skin and fatigue are common in hypometabolism.

There are many causes of hypometabolism. In my clinical experience, in the order of frequency, excluding simple aging (which is number one in the over 50 population), the causes are:

  • mercury toxicity combined with gut wall infection
  • generalized toxicity
  • hypopituitarism (growth hormone deficiency)
  • hypotestosteronism
  • hypothyroidism
  • hypoadrenalism

    It is very important to remember that a person can have more than one cause of hypometabolism and until all causes are addressed, full vitality will not be restored.

    The major mistake made by practitioners of mainstream medicine is to not recognize the presence of hypometabolism in the first place. The diagnosis is incredibly simple. The body temperature is consistently below normal. Unfortunately, medical school physical diagnosis courses ignore the importance of body temperature unless it is elevated. This is a huge blind spot in medicine. By far the more common finding is a depressed body temperature.

    While many doctors who practice alternative medicine recognize the importance of hypometabolism, the major mistake made by these doctors is to treat all cases of hypometabolism as if they were hypothyroid. While adding extra thyroid hormone can compensate to some degree for hypometabolism from other causes, a full clinical response will not occur until the actual causes are recognized and dealt with.



  • The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice. Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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