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Understanding and Treating Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Considering the tempo of modern living, it’s no wonder so many of us consider feeling tired a normal state. Whether you don’t get enough sleep once or twice, or you’re overworked, that sense of tiredness that comes with it is something you might overlook as natural. But when exhaustion accumulates and becomes a chronic issue in your life, you might need to think about an underlying culprit.

One such culprit is known as mitochondrial dysfunction: the inability of your mitochondria, your cells’ energy factories, to produce energy. But it’s crucial to understand that the culprit is also a consequence of unhealthy habits. Here’s what you need to know and how you can make a difference.


Common causes to keep in mind

In certain patients, mitochondrial disease in its numerous forms can be passed on genetically. However, aside from inherited mitochondrial diseases and spontaneous genetic mutations, mitochondrial dysfunction is also often caused by a range of lifestyle and environmental factors.

  • Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation triggered by your body’s attempt to produce too much energy when you overstrain yourself over a prolonged period of time.
  • Air pollution, water pollution, and soil pollution that contribute to the stress we put on our bodies.
  • Unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol or sugar consumption.
  • Nutrient deficiencies preventing your mitochondria from producing energy properly.

Sometimes people start off with a milder form of spring fatigue or general lack of energy only to end up with mitochondrial dysfunction if they persist with their unhealthy lifestyle.


Adrenal fatigue vs. mitochondrial dysfunction

Since fatigue is so common for most people, it’s easy to confuse and misdiagnose different conditions. While you’re not meant to self-diagnose, and it’s ideal to consult a medical professional you trust to make the call, it’s good to understand the basics.

There are many overlaps in symptoms and health issues in both adrenal fatigue and mitochondrial fatigue. The former comes about when your body is under chronic stress and producing abnormally high levels of cortisol, until your adrenal glands stop being able to meet your body’s cortisol demand.

The latter, on the other hand, might come about when your cells cannot produce enough ATP, a chemical that carries energy throughout your body. Keep in mind that sometimes adrenal fatigue can lead to mitochondrial dysfunction, as overwhelming stress can be a contributing factor for disrupting your mitochondria.


Fortify your nutrition

Once you have a confirmed issue with your mitochondria, there are several steps you can take to help reverse their dysfunction and heal your body in time. For starters, you need to help your body restore its ability to produce optimal energy levels, and a supplement such as Mitocore is designed specifically to accomplish that goal.

Containing acetyl-L-carnitine to help stop cell damage and elevate your energy, as well as N-acetyl cysteine to aid proper cell repair, Mitocore can help reinforce your healthy diet to make sure you’re on the right path to recovering from mitochondrial dysfunction.


Detox your lifestyle

While there’s little you can immediately do to completely eliminate environmental pollution, you can certainly do much to adapt your habits and detox your body and mind to produce more energy.

  • Phase out and eliminate unhealthy habits such as smoking, alcohol, and sugar.
  • Choose nutrient-dense ingredients over empty calories that cannot fuel your cells properly. Veggies, fruits, lean protein, and diversity should be your go-to ideas for a balanced diet.
  • Drink plenty of water to help your body flush out toxins naturally.
  • Create a consistent sleep schedule to recharge your cells, but make sure that you also have a bedtime routine that improves the quality of your sleep – that means no screen time before bed.
  • Introduce regular workouts to help your body produce more energy and detox properly.


Energize in healthy ways

While you’re still recovering from this issue, you may feel the need to reach for a cup of coffee several times per day, or load up on sugary snacks to keep going. Do your best to stay disciplined and to opt for smarter, less damaging energizers instead.

Fresh fruit, a lemonade, a glass of water, a cup of tea, and a handful of nuts and seeds can do wonders for you without stressing your body with unhealthy ingredients and high levels of sugar.

What may begin as an occasional state of mild tiredness can over time escalate into mitochondrial dysfunction if not treated and prevented with care. For best results, feel free to get in touch with us and get a consultation with a functional medicine professional to optimize your nutrition and your lifestyle needs for this particular condition.