Written by: Hailey Peckat | Program Manager at Fitness at SPS Tower | AdvantageHealth Corporation
Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell. The mitochondria are considered this because their main function is to break down energy from food in a process known as cellular respiration. In fact, they supply 90% of the energy our body needs, making these little organelles essential to body function. So, what happens when they aren’t working properly? You get mitochondrial dysfunction or, in more severe cases, mitochondrial disease.
September 18 – 24th is World Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week. A week to bring awareness to these genetic diseases that most people have never heard of until you or a loved one are personally effected. Mitochondrial diseases can be extremely challenging to diagnose due to symptoms ranging from mild to severe and symptom onset being from birth to 60+. The main symptoms associated with mitochondrial disease are muscle weakness, muscle pain, low muscle tone, and low exercise tolerance.
However, symptoms can manifest in any, or all, organ systems.
There is no cure for mitochondrial diseases and no specific treatment plan, either. Treatment is individualized to the person and finding supportive therapies tailored to the symptoms present. These treatments and therapies may include a “mito cocktail,” (which is a mix of vitamins and amino acid supplements) physical, occupational, speech or behavioral therapies, and nutrition management. Head over to www.mitoaction.org to learn more!