Mitochontria of the cell
Each cell in our body has an ‘engine room’ where all the energy is produced. This room is called Mitochondria which is responsible for generating 90% of the energy that is needed to sustain life and to support each organ and its function. It does this by processing oxygen and convert substances from the foods we eat into energy.
It takes about 3000 of our genes to make each one of the mitochondrion. Each mitochondria contain special enzymes that are needed to make RNA and DNA, so our cells cannot even make the RNA and DNA they need to grow and function without mitochondria. The function of the mitochondria is so important that it can take up as much as 25% of the cell volume. Cells contain from 1000 to 2500 mitochondria.
When one had a mitochondrial disease, this is considered long term or chronic. It most likely is a genetic, often an inherited booboo that occur when the mitochondria fail to produce enough energy for the tissues and organs to work properly. A mitochondrial disease can present itself at birth or can show up at any age. Mitochondrial diseases can affect almost any part of the body, including the cells of the brain, nerves, muscles, kidneys, heart, liver, eyes, ears or pancreas.
Because the brain uses 70% of ATP (energy), this helps explain the strong tie between mitochondrial malfunction and neurodegeneration diseases.
The mitochondria are especially susceptible to nutrient deficiencies, environmental toxins, and oxidative damage.
Symptoms of mitochondrial diseases can include:
- Poor growth
- Muscle weakness, muscle pain, low muscle tone, exercise intolerance
- Vision and/or hearing problems
- Learning disabilities, delays in development, mental retardation
- Autism, autism-like features
- Heart, liver or kidney diseases
- Gastrointestinal disorders, swallowing difficulties, diarrhea or constipation, unexplained vomiting, cramping, refluxDiabetes
- Increased risk of infection
- Neurological problems, seizures, migraines, strokes
- Movement disorders
- Thyroid problems
- Respiratory (breathing) problems
- Lactic acidosis (a buildup of lactate)
Daily exposures associated with increased Mitochondrial damage…..
- Oxidants leak while ATP is being produced *usually caused by a lack of very important nutritional ingrediants
- Toxic metals built up in our bodies
- Persistent organic pollutants – pesticides, insecticides, and herbicide exposure
- Many of our prescription drugs
- Genomic susceptibility *inheritance from mother
- Aging (this is an accumulation of oxidative damage)
Treatments for mitochondrial disease may include:
- Conserving your energy. Pace yourself and forcast the things you need to get done, be smart and prioritize.
- Exercise – Try to include both cardio with resistance/strength training as tolerated
- Vitamins and supplements, including Coenzyme Q10; B complex vitamins, Alpha lipoic acid; L-carnitine (Carnitor); Creatine; and L-Arginine
- Watch your exposures – such as too hot or too cold, starvation, lack of sleep, high stressful life, use of alcohol, cigarettes, MSG *which is found in Chinese foods, canned soups and processed meats.
- Detoxify your body from the chemicals, heavy metals and other oxidative stressors
I find it very critical to discuss with you about Mitochondrial failure or dysfunction as it is playing a very important piece of the puzzle to helping you regain your health. So many of the ‘little things’ that you are allowing into your daily life may be contributing to your pre aging, chronic illness and even cancers. If our mitochondria is not functioning well for us, this puts each one of our cells at risk for early cell death, rapid aging, and chronic illness. There is really no test to know if you suffer from Mitochondrial failure, but is you tend to experience severe fatigue, chronic fibromyalgia, and or just feel sick all the time, you may benefit in sitting down to discuss our treatment options for Mitochondrial repair.