Metabolic Disorders: Definition, History, and Further Reading

Metabolic disorders are a broad group of medical conditions that are caused by an imbalance in the body’s ability to effectively use or produce certain metabolic processes. Metabolic disorders can include problems with how the body breaks down food, stores energy, and uses energy. These disorders can affect many different body systems and can be caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors.


Metabolic disorders are medical conditions caused by a disruption in the body’s ability to process food and other biological substances. This disruption can result from a variety of genetic and environmental factors, including the inability to produce or absorb a particular enzyme or vitamin. These disorders can occur in the digestive, endocrine, and metabolic systems and can cause symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, and muscle weakness.


Metabolic disorders have been documented and studied since Ancient Greece, when Hippocrates first described a condition known as “gout.” By the 19th century, metabolic disorders were more widely understood and their etiology was being studied. In the 1920s, the discovery of vitamins and their importance in metabolic processes further advanced the understanding of metabolic disorders. By the 1950s, scientists had discovered the cause of several metabolic disorders and had identified genetic and environmental factors that can contribute to the development of these conditions.

Further Reading

Souza, D. P., & Zoppi, C. C. (2013). Metabolic disorders: An overview. Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo, 55(3), 191-195.

Huang, E. S., & Chou, S. Y. (2004). Metabolic and endocrine disorders. In K. M. Fauci, A. S. Fauci, & D. L. Kasper (Eds.), Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine (17th ed., pp. 2257-2272). McGraw Hill.

Vargas, A. G., & Sapin, V. (2017). Metabolic disorders: An update. Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, 30(2), 149-162.

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