Mitochondrial disease is a disorder caused by failure of the mitochondria. Mitochondria are found within almost every cell in the human body. They help create usable energy in the cells to carry out many bodily functions, such as digestion, cognitive processes and heartbeat. Mitochondrial disease symptoms can develop at any age, and they are often mistaken for another illness. (1) Mitochondrial disease symptoms include fatigue, respiratory issues, loss of motor control and trouble seeing and hearing. The disease results from spontaneous mutations in mtDNA or nDNA, caused by gene defects, high levels of inflammation and underlying medical conditions. Mitochondrial disease treatment methods focus on slowing the progression of the disease and controlling symptoms. (2)

Mitochondrial Disease Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of motor control, balance and coordination
  • Trouble walking or talking
  • Muscle aches, weakness and pains
  • Digestive problems and gastrointestinal disorders
  • Trouble eating and swallowing
  • Stalled growth and development
  • Cardiovascular problems and heart disease
  • Liver disease or dysfunction
  • Diabetes and other hormonal disorders
  • Respiratory issues
  • Higher risk of strokes and seizures
  • Vision loss and other visual problems
  • Trouble hearing
  • Hormonal disorders including a lack of testosterone or estrogen
  • Higher susceptibility to infections

Mitochondrial disease baby

Mitochondrial Disease Treatment

1. See a Health Care Professional

An early diagnosis can help patients start mitochondrial disease treatment as soon as possible. While the disease is most common in children, it can also occur in adults. Mitochondrial disease treatment methods can help young children improve functions such as talking, walking eating and socializing. (3)

2. Rest

Mitochondrial disease symptoms include chronic fatigue. Daily tasks such as bathing, eating and working can become exhausting. To help your body recharge, it’s important to get enough sleep each night. Avoid fatigue by sticking to a regular eating, sleeping and waking schedule.

Mitochondrial disease sleep

3. Eat an Anti-inflammatory Diet

People with mitochondrial disease often experience digestive problems. Natural mitochondrial disease treatment includes eating an anti-inflammatory diet full of nutrients. Make sure your body is getting the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy and prevent fatigue, including iron, B vitamins, electrolytes and healthy fats. (4) Avoid packaged and processed foods, sugar, artificial ingredients, refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated fats. These foods cause your organs to work harder to get rid of toxic waste, which can lead to fatigue and digestive problems.

4. Lower Your Stress Levels

Stress can cause inflammation, fatigue and a weakened immune system. Participate in stress-relieving activities such as yoga, meditation, reading, journaling or spending time in nature to prevent inflammation and help control symptoms. Avoid stressful situations, including very hot or very cold temperatures.

mitochondrial disease relaxation

5. Strengthen Your Immune System

People who have mitochondrial disease are more susceptible to other illnesses and infections. To help strengthen your immune system and prevent infections:

  • Avoid fatigue
  • Spend time outdoors in a comfortable temperature and environment
  • Avoid exposure to germs, viruses and bacteria
  • Stay hydrated and eat a nutrient-dense diet
  • Take high-quality supplements such as a multivitamin and CoQ10 (5)