Metabolism is the process your body uses to get or make energy from the food you eat. Food is made up of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Chemicals in your digestive system break the food parts down into sugars and acids, your body’s fuel. Your body can use this fuel right away, or it can store the energy in your body tissues, such as your liver, muscles, and body fat.
A metabolic disorder occurs when abnormal chemical reactions in your body disrupt this process. When this happens, you might have too much of some substances or too little of other ones that you need to stay healthy. There are different groups of disorders. Some affect the breakdown of amino acids, carbohydrates, or lipids. Another group, mitochondrial diseases, affects the parts of the cells that produce the energy.
You can develop a metabolic disorder when some organs, such as your liver or pancreas, become diseased or do not function normally. Diabetes is an example.
Acatalasemia is a condition characterized by very low levels of an enzyme called catalase. Many people with acatalasemia never have any health problems related to the condition and are diagnosed because they have affected family members.Some of the first reported individuals with acatalasemia developed open sores (ulcers) inside the mouth that led to the death of soft tissue (gangrene). When mouth ulcers and gangrene occur with acatalasemia, the condition is known as Takahara disease. These complications are rarely seen in more recent cases of acatalasemia, probably because of improvements in oral hygiene.Studies suggest that people with acatalasemia have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of diabetes. A higher percentage of people with acatalasemia have type 2 diabetes than in the general population, and the disease tends to develop at an earlier age (in a person’s thirties or forties, on average). Researchers speculate that acatalasemia could also be a risk factor for other common, complex diseases; however, only a small number of cases have been studied.