MedlinePlus – Metabolic Problems

MedlinePlus - Metabolic Problems is a good starting place for those interested in learning about disorders of the bodies metabolism. The section includes a medical encyclopedia and links to a variety outside resources that discuss many of these rare disorders. This MedlinePlus section is recommended for information provided by some of the most authoritative and reputable sources in the medical field.

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Review Date: 4/15/2019


Ease of Use

The section has intuitive navigation by A-Z topic list. Each listed topic leads to a page with a brief summary of the disease and numerous links to additional information. There are also right-hand lists that allow access to the medical encyclopedia and other topics related to the condition. Because the unique nature of MedlinePlus, with its many links to outside resources, users must constantly jump from this site to others and then back again; the resulting navigation can be tedious.

Visual Design

The home page is visually dull with only a simple list of topics, without any images or other infographics to spruce it up.


Users will find sufficient depth and breadth of information to provide a basic understanding of the disorders listed. Inconsistent referencing make the veracity of each MedlinePlus page for a disease or condition variable. Topics found in the medical encyclopedia are well referenced, while this is inconsistent for disease summaries and information from linked sites. However, most links go to respected federal or speciality organization sites.


MedlinePlus clearly identifies the organizations responsible for the content, which include the National Institutes of Health, National Human Genome Research Institute, and Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. Users will find that the medical encyclopedia topics have the highest reliability by listing reviewers and date of last review. Although MedlinePlus does a great job updating it's pages regularly, the currency of linked sites varies, and individual authors/editors of each topic page are not identified & only occasionally on the linked sites.


  1. Extensive Medical Encyclopedia with information about & related to metabolic disorders and many links to a variety of information about the more common conditions and many of the rare ones
  2. Most sources present enough reliable and up-to-date information to provide a good understanding of the condition
  3. Highly credible website with backing from the U.S. government and supplemented with materials generated by authoritative organizations


  1. The sheer volume of metabolic diseases represented can be overwhelming, including some conditions found in other sections, such as diabetes
  2. User-friendliness of materials vary depending on the external website referenced
  3. Users will have to spend significant time navigating and reading in order to get helpful information


Sponsors / Affiliations: The U.S. National Library of Medicine, The National Institutes of Health

Accreditations: None

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