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Disorders affecting metabolism

Disorders affecting metabolism

Metabolic disorders affect food digestion. Although very rare, some infants born with one of these disorders are not able to breast-feed. Most babies are screened at birth for these problems, which may include:

  • Galactosemia, a condition that prevents an infant from digesting galactose, a sugar found in milk.
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU), which prevents the digestion of phenylalanine, a component common to many proteins. Breast-feeding sometimes is possible, since breast milk has low levels of phenylalanine. However, the baby will need extra feedings with low-phenylalanine formula and frequent monitoring. If you want to breast-feed your baby who has PKU, talk with your doctor.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Anne Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDeborah A. Penava, BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last RevisedMay 4, 2009

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