Inborn Errors Of Metabolism

Inborn errors of metabolism are defects that people have from birth. The body cannot break down food into energy owing to this condition. Thus, the body cannot absorb the food that the person eats, which can cause various diseases in the person.


There can be several types of errors in metabolism. While some are very common, some can also be rare. Here are some of the disorders most commonly found in individuals.

Fructose intolerance: In this condition, the person's body lacks the enzyme used to break down fructose. Fructose is a sugar compound that comes from fruits. People facing this condition might have difficulty digesting foods containing fructose.

Galactosemia: This is a condition where the individual cannot digest galactose, a sugar compound. It is mostly a genetic condition, which means people might inherit the disease from their parents.

Maple syrup urine disease: In this condition, the person's body cannot break down certain kinds of proteins. Thus, he might face digestive issues, and the proteins might be excreted through urine.


The condition can have several symptoms. Here are some of them:

  1. Sudden weight loss: People might suffer from sudden weight loss in this disease.
  2. Digestion problems: Most people having this disease can have serious digestive problems.
  3. Tiredness: Since the body's metabolism is affected by this disease, it can cause tiredness. People can also feel lethargic in this condition.
  4. Low blood sugar: Since the body cannot digest sugar compounds or absorb them, the disease can cause low blood sugar in patients.


Inborn errors of metabolism are defects present in individuals since birth. Most of the conditions caused by this disease are hereditary. This means that the genes in the parents can transmit this disease to their babies.

When to see a doctor?

If you have issues digesting food, it might mean you are suffering from the disease. It would be best to visit a doctor if you vomit after eating or face constant indigestion. You must also consider visiting the doctor if you have any other symptoms like tiredness, sudden weight loss, etc.

If you are looking for the best doctor for consultation, Apollo Cradle, Koramangala can help you detect and treat the condition. 

Risk factors

Inborn errors of metabolism can have several risk factors. Some of the most common risk factors are given below:

  1. Parents having the disease: This disease is transmitted through genes. Thus, a person might acquire the disease if their parents have it.
  2. Women planning to be mothers at a mature age: Women planning to have babies at a mature age can increase the chances of the disease. The babies might not be as fit and healthy owing to the mother having a weaker womb. In such cases, the chances of the disease are higher.
  3. Parents having blood sugar or other conditions: Parents don't need to have the disease. Instead, other conditions like high blood sugar can also cause this disease in children.

Possible complications

Inborn errors of metabolism can lead to several kinds of complications. It can cause indigestion and vomiting in patients. They might also feel very weak or tired due to the lack of nutrients in their bodies.

Remedies / Treatment

The treatment for inborn errors of metabolism depends on the nature of the disease. In most cases, the doctor might suggest alternative diets to supplement their diet. In other cases, people might also have to go through cell transplantation and other treatments. In very serious cases, doctors might also suggest organ transplantation.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru - Koramangala. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. Which nutrient causes inborn errors of metabolism?

Inborn errors of metabolism affect carbohydrate and glucose intake. In most cases, the body cannot absorb these nutrients.

2. What are the most common symptoms of inborn errors of metabolism?

People suffering from this disease might feel dizzy or lethargic. They might also experience sudden weight loss or indigestion.

3. Can I inherit the disease from my mother?

Yes, you can inherit this disease from either of your parents. The disease can be carried through genes.

4. Do I have to undergo a surgery in this disease?

The treatment for this disease might vary. The doctor might suggest an alternative diet in minor cases. However, you might need an organ transplant in very serious cases.

5. Can I eat a normal diet in this disease?

Your diet might depend on the kind of inborn errors of metabolism you have. In most cases, you would need food supplements to have a balanced diet.

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