Some providers may request metabolic testing for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It is helpful for individuals with ASD and their families to understand why this test may be requested.

Metabolic testing is a way to study the body’s chemistry in action. By measuring blood and urine samples at specific times in relation to fasting or meals, one can determine if a metabolic disorder is present that can contribute to autism. As an example, problems with energy production can result from insufficient activity of mitochondria, which are important parts of all cells and may function abnormally in as many as 20% of children with autism.