How are metabolic disorders treated?

Treatment for metabolic disorders begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. The treatment approach for metabolic disorders depends on the specific disorder. Inborn errors of metabolism (inherited metabolic disorders) are often treated with nutritional counseling and support, periodic assessment, physical therapy, and other supportive care options. Acquired metabolic disorder treatment will include normalizing the metabolic balance by both reversing the cause and administering medications.

Treatment options for inherited metabolic disorders

Multiple treatment options are available for inherited metabolic disorders. Examples include:

  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Enzyme replacement therapy in selected patients
  • Gene therapy in selected patients
  • Medications to reduce symptoms, such as pain or low blood sugar
  • Mineral supplementation
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery to relieve pain or symptoms
  • Vitamin supplementation

    What are the potential complications of metabolic disorders?

    Complications of untreated metabolic disorders can be serious, even life threatening in some cases. You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you. Complications of metabolic disorders include:

    • Organ failure or dysfunction
    • Seizures and tremors
    • Unconsciousness and coma

    References:

    1. Metabolic disorders. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/metabolicdisorders.html.
    2. Metabolic conditions. Genetics Education Center, University of Kansas Medical Center. http://www.kumc.edu/gec/support/metaboli.html.
    3. Bope ET, Kellerman RD (Eds.) Conn’s Current Therapy. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2013.
    4. Domino FJ (Ed.) Five Minute Clinical Consult. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013.
    5. Tierney LM Jr., Saint S, Whooley MA (Eds.) Current Essentials of Medicine (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.
    INTRODUCTION

    What are metabolic disorders?

    Metabolism is the breaking down of food to its simpler components: proteins, carbohydrates (or sugars), and fats. Metabolic disorders occur when these normal processes become disrupted. Disorders in metabolism can be inherited, in which case they are also known as inborn errors of metabolism, or they may be acquired during your lifetime. Many metabolic disorders exist, and they are common in th... Read more about metabolic disordersintroduction

    SYMPTOMS

    What are the symptoms of metabolic disorders?

    Metabolic disorders cause disturbances in the normal chemical processes in the body and will result in different symptoms, depending on the particular disorder. The symptoms can vary in intensity among individuals.

    Symptoms of inherited metabolic disorders

    Symptoms of metabolic disorders that run in families include:

    CAUSES

    What causes metabolic disorders?

    Metabolic disorders develop when normal metabolic processes are disturbed. Normally, food is broken down by the body into simpler components (proteins, fats and sugars) in a highly regulated manner. Metabolic disorders are defined by a breakdown in any one of the steps of this complex process. Disorders in metabolism can be inherited, in which case they are known as inborn errors of metabolism,... Read more about metabolic disorderscauses

    Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 20, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

    This Article is Filed Under: Metabolic System