NATURAL MEDICINES & FAMILY PRACTICE
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Mitochondrial Decay, Syndrome or Disease
Mitochrondrial syndrome is where cells don’t work well or stop working, unless properly treated. The mitochrondria inside cells combine oxygen, glucose and specific nutrients to form cellular energy (ATP) and process DNA into RNA operational codes leading to normal cellular, organ or system functioning.
Mitochondrial syndrome means slow, silent progressive mitochrondial decay with cellular dysfunction, contributing to many degenerative disorders. Children are more apt to have mitochondrial disease, a genetic disorder with hundreds of subtypes, from mild to severe. Adults are more prone to subtle overlapping medical conditions.
Common symptoms include weakness, fatigue, disordered glucose or insulin, neurological or psychological problems, immune dysfunction, digestive dysfunction, muscle problems or atrophy, hearing or vision problems, hormone problems and more, confusing clinicians. Two million Americans have been diagnosed, but researchers suspect the number is much higher.
Since the mitochrondria convert food into ATP and RNA, havoc occurs when the cells malfunction. Depending upon which types of overlapping cells malfunction, problems can include circulation impairments, heart disease, brain dysfunction, pre-diabetes or problems in any body systems. Seemingly unrelated problems, from head to toes, are linked by malfunctioning cells.
Mitochondria malfunction because of poor lifestyle, nutritional deficiencies, free radical oxidative damage and genetic defects. In addition, dysfunctional mitochondria generate free radicals or reactive oxygen ions, both known as oxidative damage, that damage cellular operations. As cells age, oxidative damage silently accumulates, weakening mitochondria irreversibly and harming organs or the whole body. Lifestyle changes with nutritional supplements supports mitochondrial function and treats degenerative disorders and oxidation, gaining control of mitochondrial decay, damage and disease.
The mitochondria have their own DNA, inherited solely from their mother. Research has linked specific disorders to mitochondrial defects. The mitochondrial encodes 13 proteins (operational codes) but more than 1500 cell nuclear proteins are also used by the mitochondria to run cells and organs. This makes for an exponential number of potential cellular defects and helps explain the wide range of symptoms, making diagnosis difficult or confusing.
Nutritional supplements are the mainstay of treatments. However, treating any condition that impairs or poisons mitochondria is the better treatment to prevent lapses and keep mitochondria and cells functioning better. Many of the causes of mitochondrial dysfunction can usually be found without genetic testing.
David Overton, PA-C works under the supervision of Dr. Richard Faiola, MD ABFM, providing integrated conventional and alternative solutions and treatments.