Health Topics

Metabolic problems

Metabolic Disorders
National Library of Medicine
Mucolipidoses

Metabolism is the process your body uses to get or make energy from the food you eat. Food is made up of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Chemicals in your digestive system break the food parts down into sugars and acids, your body's fuel. Your body can use this fuel right away, or it can store the energy in your body tissues, such as your liver, muscles, and body fat.

A metabolic disorder occurs when abnormal chemical reactions in your body disrupt this process. When this happens, you might have too much of some substances or too little of other ones that you need to stay healthy. There are different groups of disorders. Some affect the breakdown of amino acids, carbohydrates, or lipids. Another group, mitochondrial diseases, affects the parts of the cells that produce the energy.

You can develop a metabolic disorder when some organs, such as your liver or pancreas, become diseased or do not function normally. Diabetes is an example.


Metabolic Diseases
Genetics/Birth Defects
Metabolic Problems
Metabolism is the process your body uses to get or make energy from the food you eat. Food is made up of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Chemicals in your digestive ...
Genetic Brain Disorders
National Library of Medicine
Brain Disorders, Inborn Genetic
Maple Syrup Urine Disease
Niemann-Pick Disease
Inborn genetic brain disorders

A genetic brain disorder is caused by a variation or a mutation in a gene. A variation is a different form of a gene. A mutation is a change in a gene. Genetic brain disorders affect the development and function of the brain.

Some genetic brain disorders are due to random gene mutations or mutations caused by environmental exposure, such as cigarette smoke. Other disorders are inherited, which means that a mutated gene or group of genes is passed down through a family. They can also be due to a combination of both genetic changes and other outside factors.

Some examples of genetic brain disorders include

  • Leukodystrophies
  • Phenylketonuria
  • Tay-Sachs disease
  • Wilson disease

Many people with genetic brain disorders fail to produce enough of certain proteins that influence brain development and function. These brain disorders can cause serious problems that affect the nervous system. Some have treatments to control symptoms. Some are life-threatening.


Brain Diseases, Metabolic, Inborn
Brain and Nerves
Genetics/Birth Defects
Metabolic Problems
A genetic brain disorder is caused by a variation or a mutation in a gene. A variation is a different form of a gene. A mutation is a change in a gene. ...
Metabolic Syndrome
National Library of Medicine
Insulin Resistance
Syndrome X (Metabolic)
Insulin resistance syndrome
Metabolic syndrome X

Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that put you at risk for heart disease and diabetes. These conditions are

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels
  • High levels of triglycerides, a type of fat, in your blood
  • Low levels of HDL, the good cholesterol, in your blood
  • Too much fat around your waist

Not all doctors agree on the definition or cause of metabolic syndrome. The cause might be insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone your body produces to help you turn sugar from food into energy for your body. If you are insulin resistant, too much sugar builds up in your blood, setting the stage for disease.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Metabolic Syndrome
Blood, Heart and Circulation
Endocrine System
Metabolic Problems
Diabetes Mellitus
Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that put you at risk for heart disease and diabetes. These conditions are High blood pressure High blood glucose, or ...
Body Weight
National Library of Medicine
BMI
Overweight
Underweight

Do you know if your current weight is healthy? "Underweight", "normal", "overweight", and "obese" are all labels for ranges of weight. Obese and overweight mean that your weight is greater than it should be for your health. Underweight means that it is lower than it should be for your health. Your healthy body weight depends on your sex and height. For children, it also depends on your age.

A sudden, unexpected change in weight can be a sign of a medical problem. Causes for sudden weight loss can include

  • Thyroid problems
  • Cancer
  • Infectious diseases
  • Digestive diseases
  • Certain medicines

Sudden weight gain can be due to medicines, thyroid problems, heart failure, and kidney disease.

Good nutrition and exercise can help in losing weight. Eating extra calories within a well-balanced diet and treating any underlying medical problems can help to add weight.


Body Weight Changes
Body Weight
Food and Nutrition
Metabolic Problems
Do you know if your current weight is healthy? "Underweight", "normal", "overweight", and "obese" are all labels for ranges of weight. Obese and overweight ...
Hyperglycemia
National Library of Medicine
High Blood Glucose
High Blood Sugar

Hyperglycemia means high blood sugar or glucose. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that moves glucose into your cells to give them energy. Hyperglycemia happens when your body doesn't make enough insulin or can't use it the right way.

People with diabetes can get hyperglycemia from not eating the right foods or not taking medicines correctly. Other problems that can raise blood sugar include infections, certain medicines, hormone imbalances, or severe illnesses.


Hyperglycemia
Endocrine System
Metabolic Problems
Diabetes Mellitus
Hyperglycemia means high blood sugar or glucose. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that moves glucose into your cells to give them energy. ...
Diabetes Insipidus
National Library of Medicine
DI

Diabetes insipidus (DI) causes frequent urination. You become extremely thirsty, so you drink. Then you urinate. This cycle can keep you from sleeping or even make you wet the bed. Your body produces lots of urine that is almost all water.

DI is different from diabetes mellitus (DM), which involves insulin problems and high blood sugar. The symptoms can be similar. However, DI is related to how your kidneys handle fluids. It's much less common than DM. Urine and blood tests can show which one you have.

Usually, DI is caused by a problem with your pituitary gland or your kidneys. Treatment depends on the cause of the problem. Medicines can often help.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Diabetes Insipidus
Kidneys and Urinary System
Endocrine System
Metabolic Problems
Diabetes insipidus (DI) causes frequent urination. You become extremely thirsty, so you drink. Then you urinate. This cycle can keep you from sleeping or even ...
Carbohydrate Metabolism Disorders
National Library of Medicine
Mucopolysaccharidoses

Metabolism is the process your body uses to make energy from the food you eat. Food is made up of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Chemicals in your digestive system (enzymes) break the food parts down into sugars and acids, your body's fuel. Your body can use this fuel right away, or it can store the energy in your body tissues. If you have a metabolic disorder, something goes wrong with this process.

Carbohydrate metabolism disorders are a group of metabolic disorders. Normally your enzymes break carbohydrates down into glucose (a type of sugar). If you have one of these disorders, you may not have enough enzymes to break down the carbohydrates. Or the enzymes may not work properly. This causes a harmful amount of sugar to build up in your body. That can lead to health problems, some of which can be serious. Some of the disorders are fatal.

These disorders are inherited. Newborn babies get screened for many of them, using blood tests. If there is a family history of one of these disorders, parents can get genetic testing to see whether they carry the gene. Other genetic tests can tell whether the fetus has the disorder or carries the gene for the disorder.

Treatments may include special diets, supplements, and medicines. Some babies may also need additional treatments, if there are complications. For some disorders, there is no cure, but treatments may help with symptoms.


Carbohydrate Metabolism, Inborn Errors
Metabolic Problems
... process. Carbohydrate metabolism disorders are a group of metabolic ... That can lead to health problems, some of which can be serious. Some of ...
Amino Acid Metabolism Disorders
National Library of Medicine

Metabolism is the process your body uses to make energy from the food you eat. Food is made up of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Your digestive system breaks the food parts down into sugars and acids, your body's fuel. Your body can use this fuel right away, or it can store the energy in your body. If you have a metabolic disorder, something goes wrong with this process.

One group of these disorders is amino acid metabolism disorders. They include phenylketonuria (PKU) and maple syrup urine disease. Amino acids are "building blocks" that join together to form proteins. If you have one of these disorders, your body may have trouble breaking down certain amino acids. Or there may be a problem getting the amino acids into your cells. These problems cause a buildup of harmful substances in your body. That can lead to serious, sometimes life-threatening, health problems.

These disorders are usually inherited. A baby who is born with one may not have any symptoms right away. Because the disorders can be so serious, early diagnosis and treatment are critical. Newborn babies get screened for many of them, using blood tests.

Treatments may include special diets, medicines, and supplements. Some babies may also need additional treatments if there are complications.


Amino Acid Metabolism, Inborn Errors
Metabolic Problems
... energy in your body. If you have a metabolic disorder, something goes wrong ... Or there may be a problem getting the amino acids into your cells. These ...
Amyloidosis
National Library of Medicine

Amyloidosis occurs when abnormal proteins called amyloids build up and form deposits. The deposits can collect in organs such as the kidney and heart. This can cause the organs to become stiff and unable to work the way they should.

There are three main types of amyloidosis:

  • Primary - with no known cause
  • Secondary - caused by another disease, including some types of cancer
  • Familial - passed down through genes

Symptoms can vary, depending upon which organs are affected. Treatment depends on the type of amyloidosis you have. The goal is to help with symptoms and limit the production of proteins. If another disease is the cause, it needs to be treated.


Amyloidosis
Metabolic Problems
Amyloidosis occurs when abnormal proteins called amyloids build up and form deposits. The deposits can collect in organs such as the kidney and heart. This can cause ...
Blood Sugar
National Library of Medicine
Blood Glucose
Glucose

Blood sugar, or glucose, is the main sugar found in your blood. It comes from the food you eat, and is your body's main source of energy. Your blood carries glucose to all of your body's cells to use for energy.

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar levels are too high. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause serious problems. Even if you don't have diabetes, sometimes you may have problems with blood sugar that is too low or too high. Keeping a regular schedule of eating, activity, and taking any medicines you need can help.

If you do have diabetes, it is very important to keep your blood sugar numbers in your target range. You may need to check your blood sugar several times each day. Your health care provider will also do a blood test called an A1C. It checks your average blood sugar level over the past three months. If your blood sugar is too high, you may need to take medicines and/or follow a special diet.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Blood Glucose
Endocrine System
Metabolic Problems
Diabetes Mellitus
Blood sugar, or glucose, is the main sugar found in your blood. It comes from the food you eat, and is your body's main source of energy. Your blood carries ...