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Metabolic Disorders: Types, Causes And Symptoms

Metabolic disorders.

by Ashok Raina
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Overwhelmed black man discussing with a lady.

The condition that impairs any one of the biochemical processes that allow you to grow, reproduce, repair, and respond to the environment is termed a Metabolic disorder. It is a condition that affects the metabolic disorders.

For example: Bile juice which is secreted from the liver is used for the digestion of fats in the body. If it is not secreted in the required amounts, will affect the digestive system. It will cause different symptoms and complications within the body.

These days every third person is suffering from any one or more than one metabolic disorder. Some of the most common among them are:

6 Most Common Metabolic Disorders.

1. Diabetes.

2. Gaucher’s disease.

3. Hemochromatosis.

4. Phenylketonuria ( PKU ).

5. Mitochondrial disorders.

6. High uric acid.

The National Centre For Advancing Translational Sciences has listed more than 500 metabolic disorders. Let’s explain the most common among them:

1. Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition when the body cannot regulate sugar levels and hence the excess sugar enters the blood. This all happens because of less or no secretion of insulin from the pancreatic gland. The American Diabetes Association revealed that more than 35 million Americans had diabetes in 2019. It showed that nearly 12% of the Americans were diabetic in 2019.

Types Of Diabetes

a. Type 1

b. Type 2

c. Gestational Diabetes

a. Type 1 Diabetes

In this type of diabetes, the production of insulin is limited. The immune system mistakenly attacks the pancreatic cells and upsets the production of insulin. Such patients require daily insulin medications to keep the glucose levels in the blood under control.

b. Type 2 Diabetes

This type of diabetes is not connected with the abnormal production of insulin but with the abnormal use of insulin. The body is not able to utilize insulin properly. This type of diabetes can even be noticed in children. Certain lifestyle factors including poor diet can be one of the factors behind this type of diabetes.

c. Gestational Diabetes

Some women may suffer from this type of diabetes during pregnancy. Usually, it disappears after the birth of a child. Remember, such women are more prone to type 2 diabetes in the future.

2. Gaucher’s Disease

It is caused due to genetic mutation which results in the low production of the enzyme GLUCOCEREBROSIDASE. Because of the less production of this enzyme, the fatty substances ( Lipids ) start accumulating inside the body. These fats generally accumulate in the spleen or liver. The early symptoms of Gaucher mostly include tiredness and bruising. This disease is very rarely found. In the USA nearly 6,700 people are suffering from this disease.

3. Hemochromatosis

This disorder is the result of irregular absorption of iron in the body. Other reasons may include mutation in the HFE gene or during blood transfusions. The result is that iron buildups can be noticed in such patients along with symptoms like:

* Darkening of the skin.

* Stomach pain.

* Sexual disorders.

* Joint pains.

* Weakness.

4. Phenylketonuria ( PKU )

Phenylalanine hydroxylase is the enzyme secreted inside the body and is important for processing amino acids. Amino acids build proteins which are important for the growth and development of the body. This disorder is mostly an inborn disease in which the body has no ability or less ability to produce phenylalanine hydroxylase. People suffering from this disorder aren’t able to process excess amino acids which may result in brain damage

5. Mitochondrial Disorders

In this type of disorder, mitochondria are prevented from producing sufficient energy for the proper functioning of cells. The main reason behind this disorder is a genetic mutation that passes from generation to generation. This malfunctioning may affect any part of the body. It can affect muscle growth and may cause diabetes.

6. High Uric Acid

Hyperuricaemia is the most common metabolic disorder found these days. This disorder is caused by the increase in formation or reduced serum uric acid ( SUA ) excretion. Changes in SUA homeostasis have been related to several diseases such as gout, hypertension, kidney diseases, and diabetes. Causes of high uric acid levels in the blood include drinking too much alcohol, drinking too much soda, or consuming foods that contain fructose, a type of sugar.

Causes Of These Disorders

Metabolism is a complex process beyond our imagination, involving many cells, tissues, organs, and chemical processes. If anything goes wrong with any of the functions, these disorders can appear in the body depending on the malfunctioning of a particular, cell, tissue, or organ. However, some of the main causes of these disorders are:

* Genetics.

* Organ dysfunction.

* Mitochondrial dysfunction.

It hasn’t been clear till now what causes a metabolic disorder. One perception is that something goes wrong with the immune system. Even medical professionals are not sure what causes the problem with the immune system.

Common Symptoms

Metabolic disorders can affect many parts of the body. The most commonly found symptoms in such sufferers are:

* Weakness in a particular muscle or body.

* Tiredness.

* Weight gain/loss.

* Change in the color of skin.

* Stomach pain.

* Nausea or vomiting.

* Reduced appetite.

* Developmental problems in children.

Diagnosis

Proper diagnosis plays an important part in controlling it. The doctor will ask you about the symptoms you are facing. He will check your medical and family history. Family history plays an important role in the diagnosis of such disorders.

Metabolic disorders may have different impacts on different bodies. Doctors may prescribe you to get your blood tested before reaching any conclusion. Disease like Gaucher’s disease has a wide range of symptoms which may take some time to get diagnosed. Blood glucose levels will also be tested to check the level of glucose in your blood.

Treatment

Metabolic disorders that are caused by genetic disorders are still without any cure. Moreover, these disorders have a wide range of treatments. You may need lifelong medications or lifestyle changes to manage these disorders.

For example, People suffering from type1 diabetes need insulin daily whereas people suffering from type2 diabetes need medication along with lifestyle changes.

When To Consult A Doctor

Metabolic disorders may prove to be fatal if ignored for a longer period. One should consult a doctor if one finds any of the symptoms:

* Develop yellow skin.

* Lose or gain weight.

* Feel hungry or thirsty even after eating and drinking.

* Feel fatigued.

* Nausea or vomiting.

Summary

Generally, these disorders arise because of the low or high secretion of some enzymes. Genetic mutations in chemical processes inside the body can also cause such disorders. Symptoms, if ignored may lead to serious complications. So, you are advised not to ignore such symptoms and consult a doctor.

Hope, you will enjoy reading this article. Stay connected to read my next articles. Till then Bye! God bless you.

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