Babies with galactosaemia become unwell in the first few days or weeks after birth. Symptoms include:
- feeding difficulties
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes due to build-up of a substance called bilirubin)
- liver and kidney disease
- poor weight gain
If the disorder is not treated promptly there is a risk of death due to liver failure, bleeding or infection.
Older children, even with treatment, usually have some difficulties with learning and speech development. Most girls with galactosaemia have a delay in their pubertal development and as women are infertile.