Your metabolism uses chemicals to break down food you eat into sugars and acids. These sugars and acids can provide you with immediate energy, or this energy can be stored in your tissues. Metabolic disorders damage your body by hurting your ability to get energy from food. Your metabolism is also involved in eliminating waste from your body, circulating blood and controlling body temperature. Metabolic disorders are caused by defective genes, often inherited, that disrupt metabolism. Early diagnosis is helpful in most effectively treating a metabolic disorder. There have been advances in the diagnosis and treatment of metabolic disorders. There are thousands of metabolic disorders with a wide array of symptoms and treatments. See your doctor with any questions about metabolic disorders.