Metabolism refers to all the chemical reactions taking place in the body to convert or use energy such as:
 

  • Breaking down the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in food to release energy.
  • Transforming excess nitrogen into waste products excreted in urine.
  • Breaking down or converting chemicals into other substances and transporting them inside cells.

 
A metabolic disorder can happen when abnormal chemical reactions in the body alter the normal metabolic process. It can also be defined as inherited single gene anomaly, most of which are autosomal recessive.
 
The principal classes of metabolic disorders are
 

  • Acid base imbalance
  • Metabolic brain diseases
  • Calcium metabolism disorders
  • DNA repair-deficiency disorders
  • Glucose metabolism disorders
  • Hyperlactatemia
  • Iron metabolism disorders
  • Lipid metabolism disorders

 
Metabolic disorders can be present at birth, and many can be identified by routine screening. If a metabolic disorder is not identified early, then it may be diagnosed later in life, when symptoms appear. Specific blood and DNA tests can be done to diagnose genetic metabolic disorders.
 

Metabolic disorders can be treatable by nutrition management, especially if detected early. It is important for dieticians to have knowledge of the genotype to therefore create a treatment that will be more effective for the individual.