About Mito

What are Mitochondria?

  • Mitochondria  or mito are composed of tiny packages of enzymes that turn nutrients into cellular energy.
  • The body needs mitochondria (mito) to sustain life and support growth.
  • Mitochondrial failure causes cell injury that leads to cell death. When multiple cells die there is organ failure.

Symptoms can include:

  • muscle pain
  • weakness
  • eye problems

    Mitochondria picture

    The Mitochondrion (Mito) Organelle

  • stroke-like episodes
  • seizures
  • developmental delays
  • depression
  • migraine
  • heat/cold intolerance
  • tremors
  • hearing loss
  • heart failure and irregular heart rhythms
  • diabetes
  • hypothyroidism
  • constipation/diarrhea
  • failure to grow
  • liver and kidney failure

Symptoms can appear anytime in life.

The severity of symptoms vary significantly and affects everyone differently.


 What causes Mitochondrial Disease (Mito)?

For many patients,  Mito is an inherited condition that runs in families. An unknown number of patients acquire symptoms due to other factors, including mitochondrial toxins.

It is important to determine how the Mito developed, through inheritance or toxin to determine risk to future children.

1 in 4000 people is impacted by Mitochondrial Disease. It is estimated that less than 10% of them are diagnosed.

Mitochondrial diseases are inherited from either the mother through Mitochondrial (mt-DNA) or Nuclear n-DNA (from both parents) or caused by a mutation before birth.

Mitochondrial disease affects both children and adults.

Research has determined strong links between mitochondrial dysfunction and other common diseases, such as Autism, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS, Diabetes, Cancer and others.

This disease can be fatal and there is no cure.

What are the challenges of living with Mito?

  •  It affects multiple organs,  family members, and generations.
  • Lack of awareness and understanding of the disease is very frustrating.
  • Families are continuously forced to expend precious limited energy explaining their disease, advocating  for services and themselves.
  • Mitochondrial disease is often an ” invisible disease.”
    • On a good day – patients look fine and healthy. They have more energy and appear rested.
    • On a bad day – – patients appear tired to very ill. They are obviously fatigued and/or have severe illness. Repeated “bad days” can lead to serious complications.
  • Mitochondrial disease is unpredictable. Day to day, hour to hour patients can develop symptoms and have their lives threatened.
  • Difficulties establishing a diagnosis interfere with a patient’s ability to get medical care,  insurance coverage, healthcare supports and disability services.
  • Lack of understanding and misinterpretation of symptoms can lead to misdiagnosis.
  • Further progression of symptoms can occur if the symptoms are missed and opportunities for treatment and support are not recognized.
  • It is extremely difficult and expensive to diagnose.

How is Mito treated?

  • Treatment consists of vitamin cocktail.
  • Adequate food and water.
  • The goal is to improve symptoms and slow disease progression.
  • Conserve energy by pacing activities.
  • Maintain appropriate environmental temperatures.
  • Avoid exposure to viral illnesses.

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