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How do you treat metabolic disorders?

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Quick Answer

The treatment of a metabolic disorder is dependent on the specific condition, but it can include special diets that limit the intake of certain nutrients, enzyme replacement therapy and the removal of toxic substance from the blood caused by the disorder, as noted by WebMD. Some different types of metabolic disorders can include Gaucher's disease, phenylketonuria, galactosemia, maple syrup urine disease, Wilson disease, hereditary hemochromatosis and Zellweger syndrome. The treatment for phenylketonuria may be a diet that limits the amount of protein intake, while hereditary hemochromatosis can involve therapeutic phlebotomy or the withdrawal of blood from the body, notes Healthline.

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Full Answer

Metabolic disorders occur when the body is unable to metabolize or process substances, such a proteins, amino acids, sugars, fats, or carbohydrates. When this happens, there can be either too much or too little of a specific substance, which can cause health problems. A metabolic disorder may be due to a deficiency in an enzyme.

For example, the disorder maple syrup urine disease is due to a deficiency of the enzyme BCKD that is necessary for the break down of amino acids. The treatment for this condition is dietary restriction of nutrients that contain branch-chained amino acids, states Healthline. Similarly, Gaucher's disease occurs when a certain enzyme, which processes fat, does not function properly. The treatment for this inherited metabolic disorder is enzyme replacement therapy, as noted by WebMD. Many of these different metabolic disorders are the result of genetic mutations that involve different enzymes. For this reason, treatment of the various disorders often entails trying to restore or normalize the patient's metabolism through diet or enzyme replacement.

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