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Treatment for Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Mitochondria are cellular structures that produce the energy our bodies need to thrive. When the mitochondria are not able to function efficiently, you may be at an increased risk of chronic fatigue and low energy symptoms.

The mitochondria in your body are highly influenced by free radical damage. In many situations, reducing exposure to free radicals and increasing antioxidant consumption can protect the mitochondria and offer some relief from mitochondrial dysfunction.

Diagnosing Mitochondrial Dysfunction

According to anti-aging specialist Dr. Catherine Waller, there isn’t a truly good test for mitochondrial dysfunction, and it is most useful to measure levels of the nutrients that mitochondria require, such as CoQ10 and Carnitine. If these levels are low, providing supplements can repair mitochondrial function and improve symptoms.

In some situations, the following tests are used to rule out other problems with similar symptoms to mitochondrial dysfunction:

  • Cardio metabolic stress test. This test measures the rate at which you consume oxygen. It is typically performed by an exercise physiologist.
  • Organic acids-urinary test. This test measures the byproducts of metabolism, nutritional deficiencies, free radical & CoQ 10 levels and more. However, such tests are only available from a few specialized labs and are difficult to interpret.

Functional Medicine for Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Functional medicine therapy improves the health of the mitochondria by incorporating a collection of wellness practices, including anti-aging therapy, medical weight loss methods and other holistic treatments.

Treatment for mitochondrial dysfunction may include:

  • Correcting thyroid hormone problems
  • Finding and treating infections
  • Discontinuing medications like statins
  • Detoxification
  • Lifestyle and dietary changes

Genetic testing, heavy metal testing and measuring detoxification enzymes can be used to test the effectiveness of your body’s detoxification system in relation to your mitochondria health.

Reducing Environmental Exposure to Toxins and Radiation

Often, the best way to reduce mitochondrial dysfunction is to take preventative steps to reduce exposure to free radicals, which may cause further damage to the mitochondria.

This may require making lifestyle changes:

  • Changing your diet
  • Drinking six to eight glasses of water each day
  • Exercising regularly

You can minimize your exposure to toxins in your home by airing out dry cleaning, using HEPA/ULPA air filters, cleaning and monitoring heating systems and reducing your use of toxic household and personal care products. It may also help to keep plants in your home and regularly vacuum and dust to remove allergens.

It may also help to avoid exposure to garden chemicals, car exhaust, secondhand smoke and other petrochemicals.