04 Nov Do You Have Mitochondrial Dysfunction?
Are you always fatigued or tired?
Do you suffer from sleep issues and wake up exhausted?
Are experiencing hormone imbalances?
The role of the mitochondria is to provide energy to each cell – It’s the powerhouse of the cell. If your mitochondria are dysregulated, you can start to develop numerous chronic health issues, from infertility, chronic fatigue, autoimmune disorders, cancer, neurological breakdown and immune dysregulation.
Major causes of mitochondrial dysfunction
- Metabolic diseases – metabolic resistance, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol
- Environmental toxins – heavy metals, chemicals, infections and EMF exposure – people who work around chemicals, mechanics, hairdressers and miners have very high exposure, which eventually affects the way the cells function, leading to cell death.
- Nutrient deficiencies – lacking in micronutrients will affect the mitochondria.
- Gut dysbiosis – this drives inflammation and immune system activation such as autoimmunity, where the body begins to build antibodies against itself.
Patients who suffer from severe mitochondrial dysfunction
Here are some examples of patients who have been suffering from severe mitochondrial dysfunction.
Patient no 1
Susan is 38 year’s old. She owns her own hairdressing salon and works 6 days per week. Susan gets 8-9 hours sleep each night but complains of waking tired. Susan is lacking energy and is finding she is forgetting her customers’ names. Susan wakes up nauseous, so she skips breakfast and rarely eats lunch. When she does eat it usually is a sandwich, followed by something sweet to keep her going. To function during the day, she will start her day with 2 strong coffees and continue to drink coffee throughout the day. Some days Susan needs to leave work early and sleep for the afternoon. She has stopped going to social events and feels “exhausted all of the time”.
Her doctor has said she is pre-diabetic and has high blood pressure. Over the last few years, her abdominal weight has significantly increased, putting her in high risk for cardiovascular disease.
Micronutrients that support optimal mitochondrial function
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Co-Enzyme Q10
- Alpha Lipoic Acid
- Vit D -Inositol
By eating a diet rich in antioxidant-rich food such as organic fresh fruit and vegetables, avoiding processed foods and drinking filtered water will help to protect your mitochondria and provide the right building blocks.
Patient no 2
John, 40 years old, has worked in the mining industry for over 15 years. He has worked with iron ore, uranium and gas. John works 2 weeks on and 1 week off. John is struggling more and more to get through his swing. Johns boss has mentioned on several occasions that his productivity has reduced and he is “dropping the ball”. When John gets home, he sleeps the whole time and feels “wiped out”. To function at work he relies on caffeine, energy drinks and sugar.
John is married and has been trying for a baby with his wife for nearly 5 years. They have seen a fertility specialist and he has been now told he is infertile. John experience’s daily headaches, ongoing fatigue, brain fog and joint pain.
John was told by his doctor that he has depression and was prescribed anti-depressant and anti-inflammatories to manage his severe knee pain. Since commencing this medication, his weight has sky-rocketed and he has developed stomach ulcers.
Testing options to better understand the drivers of your mitochondria breakdown
- Hair Mineral Analysis – this measures mineral levels, toxic metals and nutrient ratio’s
- Genetic profile through DNA testing
- Gut functioning – CDSA/GI Mapping
- Hormones – oestrogen metabolites
- Organic Acids Test – this measure the markers of mitochondrial, nutrient requirements, glutathione, dysbiosis and neurotransmitters.
- Vitamin D
Routine blood tests can also help to better assess the break-down of the mitochondria.
The mitochondria are the powerhouses that feed our cells, preventing oxidative stress, ageing, chronic disease and provide our cells with adequate energy.
At NatMed Integrated Medicine Clinic, we have a team of highly qualified Naturopath’s who can help.
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