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Metabolism is the process your body uses to make energy from the food you eat. Food is made up of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Chemicals in your digestive system (enzymes) 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. If you have a metabolic disorder, something goes wrong with this process.
Carbohydrate metabolism disorders are a group of metabolic disorders. Normally your enzymes break carbohydrates down into glucose (a type of sugar). If you have one of these disorders, you may not have enough enzymes to break down the carbohydrates. Or the enzymes may not work properly. This causes a harmful amount of sugar to build up in your body. That can lead to health problems, some of which can be serious. Some of the disorders are fatal.
These disorders are inherited. Newborn babies get screened for many of them, using blood tests. If there is a family history of one of these disorders, parents can get genetic testing to see whether they carry the gene. Other genetic tests can tell whether the fetus has the disorder or carries the gene for the disorder.
Treatments may include special diets, supplements, and medicines. Some babies may also need additional treatments, if there are complications. For some disorders, there is no cure, but treatments may help with symptoms.
Glycogen storage disease type V (also known as GSDV or McArdle disease) is an inherited disorder caused by an inability to break down a complex sugar called glycogen in muscle cells. A lack of glycogen breakdown interferes with the function of muscle cells.People with GSDV typically experience fatigue, muscle pain, and cramps during the first few minutes of exercise (exercise intolerance). Exercise such as weight lifting or jogging usually triggers these symptoms in affected individuals. The discomfort is generally alleviated with rest. If individuals rest after brief exercise and wait for their pain to go away, they can usually resume exercising with little or no discomfort (a characteristic phenomenon known as “second wind”).Prolonged or intense exercise can cause muscle damage in people with GSDV. About half of people with GSDV experience breakdown of muscle tissue (rhabdomyolysis). In severe episodes, the destruction of muscle tissue releases a protein called myoglobin, which is filtered through the kidneys and released in the urine (myoglobinuria). Myoglobin causes the urine to be red or brown. This protein can also damage the kidneys, and it is estimated that half of those individuals with GSDV who have myoglobinuria will develop life-threatening kidney failure.The signs and symptoms of GSDV can vary significantly in affected individuals. The features of this condition typically begin in a person’s teens or twenties, but they can appear anytime from infancy to adulthood. In most people with GSDV, the muscle weakness worsens over time; however, in about one-third of affected individuals, the muscle weakness is stable. Some people with GSDV experience mild symptoms such as poor stamina; others do not experience any symptoms.