Inborn errors of metabolism are rare genetic (inherited) disorders in which the body cannot properly turn food into energy. The disorders are usually caused by defects in specific proteins (enzymes) that help break down (metabolize) parts of food.
A food product that is not broken down into energy can build up in the body and cause a wide range of symptoms. Several inborn errors of metabolism cause developmental delays or other medical problems if they are not controlled.
There are many different types of inborn errors of metabolism.
A few of them are:
Newborn screening tests can identify some of these disorders.
Registered dietitians and other health care providers can help create a diet that is right for each specific disorder.
Metabolism - inborn errors of
Bodamer OA. Approach to inborn errors of metabolism. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 205.
Rezvani I, Rezvani G. An approach to inborn errors of metabolism. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 78.
Update Date 4/20/2015
Updated by: Chad Haldeman-Englert, MD, FACMG, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Section on Medical Genetics, Winston-Salem, NC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.