Addressing the Root Cause of Fatigue
Fatigue is a common complaint that affects many individuals and treatment for fatigue can be challening. As a naturopathic doctor, I believe in addressing the root causes of health concerns. One potential underlying factor catching many people’s attention lately, related to fatigue is mitochondrial dysfunction. But what are mitochondria? For many this word triggers memories of high school biology. How does mitochondria health play into fatigue? In this blog post, we will delve into the connection between fatigue and mitochondrial dysfunction, exploring its causes, symptoms, and how naturopathic approaches can help restore one’s mitochondrial health and combat fatigue.
Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells, responsible for producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary energy currency of our bodies. They are found in almost every cell of our body, including muscle cells, nerve cells and cells in our organs. Mitochondria’s most important job is to convert the food we eat into a form of energy that our cells can use. This is accomplished by the Krebs Cycle: a key metabolic pathway taking place in all of our mitochondria. During the Krebs Cycle, a series of chemical reactions occur which break down molecules derived from carbohydrates, fats and proteins. These molecules enter the cycle and with the help of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants produce ATP. Without mitochondria and a well-functioning Krebs Cycle, our cells wouldn’t have the energy they need to carry out their function.
When mitochondria become dysfunctional, energy production is compromised, leading to fatigue. There are many factors which can contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction, such as chronic stress, poor nutrition, environmental toxins, sedentary lifestyle, and different medications. Additionally, genetic factors and aging can also play a role in mitochondrial health. Symptomatically one may experience fatigue, brain fog, muscle weakness, exercise intolerance and general malaise. As energy production declines, other bodily systems may also be affected, potentially resulting in hormone imbalances, immune dysfunction, and increased oxidative stress.
Fatigue can significantly impact our daily lives, but by understanding the role of mitochondrial dysfunction, we can take proactive steps to restore our energy levels naturally. As a naturopathic doctor, I advocate for a holistic approach that encompasses proper nutrition, regular exercise, stress management, targeted supplementation, IV therapy and toxin reduction.
IV therapy is one of the most powerful and beneficial ways to support our mitochondria. Intravenous nutrient therapy delivers a potent combination of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system and ensuring maximum absorption. At Transformational Medicine our Power Myers contain Vitamin C, B Complex, B12, B6, B5, Magnesium, Selenium, and it could include glutathione. All of these vitamins play such an essential role in cellular metabolism and energy production.
- B vitamins are important cofactors in the Krebs cycle, facilitating the breakdown of nutrients for energy production, B vitamins aid in ATP production: B vitamins, particularly B1, B2, B3, B5, and B7, are involved in various steps of the energy production process. They act as coenzymes, assisting in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into usable energy in the form of ATP through the Krebs cycle. B-Vitamins also help protect against oxidative stress.
- Magnesium is involved in ATP production and helps regulate energy metabolism. Magnesium facilitates the transport of ions across mitochondrial membranes aiding in proper mitochondrial function.
- Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, protecting mitochondria from oxidative stress, and supporting their proper function. Vitamin C also enhances the activity of other enzymes involved in the production of energy and reduces oxidative stress which may cause fatigue.
- Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce oxidative damage in mitochondria, promoting their overall health. Glutathione supports the detoxification process within mitochondria by aiding in the removal of toxins and enhancing the recycling of other antioxidants. This helps to maintain balance within the cells and enhances energy production.
- Selenium acts as a cofactor for antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione and vitamin C, protecting mitochondria from oxidative damage. Selenium also assists in the elimination of toxins reducing the burden on mitochondria and enhancing energy production.
By addressing the root causes of mitochondrial dysfunction, we can optimize energy production, improve overall health, and regain vitality. Remember, with the right approach and guidance from a healthcare professional, you can optimize energy production, improve overall health, and regain vitality by addressing the root causes of fatigue and mitochondrial dysfunction.
Dr Emily Takeuchi Miller
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