Pediatric Metabolism Disorders

How your body turns your food into energy is called metabolism. It does this through chemical reactions. When these chemical reactions aren’t happening properly, it is call a metabolism disorder.

What are pediatric metabolism disorders?

Pediatric metabolic disorders happen when the child’s body is not appropriately processing nutrients such as fats, proteins, or sugars. Often, when young children have a metabolism disorder, it is a genetic condition that is passed down in families. When older children develop a metabolism disorder, it is often due to obesity. This puts the child at a higher risk for diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Pediatric metabolism disorder symptoms

Pediatric metabolic disorder symptoms include:

  • Apnea (short periods without breathing)
  • Lethargy (extreme tiredness)
  • Not eating much
  • Tachypnea (unusually fast breathing)
  • Vomiting 

Blood tests can determine metabolic disorders. Additional tests may be ordered depending on the type of disorder suspected.

Metabolism Clinic at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital

The Metabolism Clinic at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital offers evaluation, diagnosis and treatment for a range of metabolic disorders. Services include:

  • Nutritional counseling
  • Genetic counseling
  • Education resources
  • Laboratory follow-up
  • Conditions treated include:
  • Biotinidase deficiency
  • Galactosemia
  • Glycogen storage disorders
  • Homocystinuria
  • Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD)
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Fatty acid oxidation disorders (including MCAD, LCHAD, VLCAD)
  • Organic acid disorders (including propionic acidemia and isovaleric acidemia)
  • Amino acid disorders (such as tyrosinemia)
  • Urea cycle disorders