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What You Need to Know About Mitochondrial Disease

New to the world of mitochondrial disease (“mito” for short)? Continue reading for key facts and figures about what this disease is, its symptoms, and how it works.  

  • It is estimated that one in every 5,000 individuals have mitochondrial disease — a chronic, and typically genetic disorder that occurs when the mitochondria cannot produce enough energy (ATP) to keep the cell alive and healthy (NCBI).   
  • Mitochondrial disease is classified as both rare and progressive. 
  • It is also considered a metabolic disorder – meaning that the body cannot effectively turn food into energy and get rid of waste. 
  • Iarguably isn’t a single disease but more like a collection of conditions that can negatively impact a person’s perception, motor skills, organ function, and energy over time. 
  • Symptoms of mitochondrial diseases depend on which cells of the body are affected. They can range from mild to severe, involve one or more organs, and can occur at any age. Even patients within the same family who have the same mitochondrial disease can have differences in symptoms, severity, and age of onset (Cleveland Clinic) 
  • Symptoms may include:  
    • Muscle weakness or muscle pain 
    • Movement disorders 
    • Neurological problems
    • Vision and/or hearing problems 
    • Learning disabilities 
    • Unexplained vomiting, cramping, reflux 
    • Increased risk of infection 
    • Thyroid problems 
    • Respiratory (breathing) problems 
    • Dementia
  • With the number and type of symptoms and organ systems involved, mitochondrial diseases are often mistaken for other, more common, diseases (Cleveland Clinic). 
  • Here is a list of symptoms that are associated with specific organs that are affected by mito. 
  • Mitochondrial Disease should be suspected when three or more organ systems are involved (UMDF). 
  • Having mito can be like having a cell phone that is very close to running out of battery. Some apps may run for just a short amount of time before the phone turns off completely. 
  • Mitochondrial disorders are typically caused by mutations (acquired or inherited) in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Mitochondrial dysfunction may also be acquired as a result of drug use, infections, or other environmental causes (NIH). 
  • The first pathogenic mutation in mitochondrial DNA was identified in 1988. There have since been 275 other disease-causing mutations identified (National Academy of Sciences). 
  • Mito is very difficult to diagnose because it’s often invisible. It can take over 7 years to reach a proper diagnosis (Mito Action). 
  • Mitochondria are known as the “powerhouse of the cell”, and they are responsible for producing about 90% of cellular energy. 
  • When a cell requires more energy, the mitochondria inside of that cell can reproduce by growing larger, and then dividing themselves. When cells require less energy, mitochondria can become dormant and inactive. Mitochondria can also die due to lack of use. 
  • There are secondary illnesses that have been linked to mitochondrial diseases, including: 
    • Diabetes 
    • Autism 
    • Parkinson’s disease 
    • Alzheimer’s disease 
    • Heart, liver, or kidney diseases 
  • Your mitochondria become weaker and decline in number as you age. Ultimately, all the things we associate with aging – fatigue, excess fat, and a decrease in muscle mass and cognitive ability – are all symptoms of weakening mitochondria (Bulletproof). 
  • There are currently no known cures for mitochondrial disease. 
  • Supportive therapy is one treatment option that can be used to help delay the progression of mitochondrial dysfunction. This therapy may include nutritional management, exercise and/or vitamin or amino acid supplements. 
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Healthy Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

Get Mom something that will make her feel appreciated, and healthy too!

Moms sacrifice a lot — sleep, time, money, and clean carpets. What’s the best way to say thanks? Give her a gift that lets her know that her efforts haven’t gone unnoticed and that you care about her well-being.

Here are some of our top picks for Mother’s Day gifts that we think your mom will love:

Midnight Shift Overnight Facial Oil
By Moonlit Skincare

This facial oil uses powerful ingredients — including ginseng and jojoba — to moisturize, plump, soften, and smoothen uneven skin tones. It also has a calming lavender scent that helps induce calming and rejuvenating beauty sleep!

 

How it works:

  • Ginseng: tones and brightens
  • Papaya: maximizes cell turnover
  • Green Tea: neutralizes free radicals
  • Jojoba: antibacterial, moisturizing, softens skin
  • Lavender: calms the nervous system

Why Mom will love it: The lavender helps induce a calming effect before bedtime. And who doesn’t want to wake up with smoother, moisturized skin in the morning?!


Sleep Crown Over-The-Head Pillow, Pillow Mist

By Sleep Crown

This is the world’s first over-the-head relaxation pillow, designed to block light and disruptive ambient noise while sleeping. This pillow is handmade with premium Bamboo Jersey and Vegan Down. It gently hugs the face with just the right amount of pressure, making you feel super cozy in bed.

The Pillow Mist that pairs with the Over-The-Head Pillow is comprised of Lavender, Sandalwood, Roman Chamomile and Lime. Ther aromatherapy blend will cue your systems to prepare for sleep.

How it Works:

  • Bamboo jersey knit is a super-soft, natural, sustainable fabric with wicking and cooling capabilities
  • Hypo-allergenic and Vegan
  • Aromatherapy promotes a sense of calm

Why Mom will love it: The Over-The-Head Sleep Crown Pillow is made out of premium ingredients that are sourced in the United States. Better rest at night means a better, more refreshed mood during the day.


Blue Light-Blocking and Sleep-Hacking Glasses

By TrueDark

Overexposure to artificial blue light can seriously disrupt your mom’s circadian rhythm. By blocking the proper amount of “junk” light at different times of day, your mom will be able to prevent eye strain, improve sleep, and maintain peak energy levels.

How they work:

TrueDark Daywalkers come in two flavors: clear or yellow lenses. The clear lenses block 40% of blue light, and the yellow lenses block 75% of blue light. These glasses are intended to be worn while using digital devices and, or while exposed to artificial light (think: fluorescents and LEDs) for extended periods of time during the day. If your mom works in an office setting and sits in front of the computer for 8-10 hours a day, help her protect her eyes, mind and body!


TrueDark Sleep-Hacking Glasses have red lenses and comparatively block 98-100% of blue, green and violet light, depending on which style you get. They are designed to help induce deep sleep quickly at night — even if you are staring at screens on digital devices in bed 🙂

Why Mom will love it: By taking more control over the light in her environment, your mom will be able to better align her natural body clock to the rise and fall of the sun, and subsequently live healthier. Better sleep at night will help her feel better and have a more productive day tomorrow!


Instant Radiant Package

By Alitura

Not enough time to schedule a spa day? Bring the spa to Mom! Alitura offers a full line of natural skincare products that help nourish and rejuvenate skin.

 

The Instant Radiant Package includes a Derma Roller,  Gold Serum, and a Clay Mask.

How It Works:

  • The Alitura Derma Roller helps:
    • boost collagen production
    • reduce the visibility of scarring & premature skin aging
    • combat stretch marks & cellulite
    • reduce the appearance of large pores
    • minimize the appearance of bags & dark circles under eyes
  • The Alitura Gold serum includes:
    • Vitanol to combat fine lines and wrinkles
    • Copper Tripeptide-1 to improve skin elasticity and density
    • Astaxanthin (an antioxidant) to reduce inflammation and wrinkles
    • Marine Collagen to reduce fine lines
    • Co Q10 to improve the health of your skin at a cellular level
  • The Alitura Clay Mask includes:
    • Freshwater Pearl Powder to reduce redness and irritation
    • 6-hour Grass-fed Colostrum to help regenerate skin cells
    • American Ginseng to eliminate blood impurities
    • 10% L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) to brighten the appearance of skin
    • Rhassoul Clay to detoxify the skin
    • Calcium Bentonite Clay (Green Desert Clay) to extract acne-producing toxins and metals
    • Kaolin Clay to help purify, nourish and heal the skin
    • Organic Kelp Powder to promote a radiant complexion

Why Mom will love it: This ‘all-in-one’ spa-day treatment can be used in the comfort of her own home and for a fraction of the cost of going to a real spa!  Visit them at alituranaturals.com and use code BIOHACKED20 at checkout!


TrueLight Energy Square

By TrueDark

There is scientific evidence that shows Yellow, Red, and Near-Infrared light spectrums have a biological impact on our bodies.  The red and near-infrared spectrums have a much deeper penetration level than other light spectrums, which allows them to reach the hypodermis and have benefits that are so far-reaching.

The TrueLight Energy Square uses a patent-pending combination of light, including deep red, red, near-infrared and yellow light to help the skin and body heal better and faster.

How it works:

  • Red 660nm and 630nm wavelengths can:
    • enhance blood circulation
    • have anti-inflammatory effects
    • quick muscle recovery
    • increased collagen production
    • Improve the appearance of skin
    • reduces scars, wrinkles, & fine lines
    • Speed up wound healing
    • decreases pain
  • NIR 850nm wavelength can:
    • penetrate all the way through skin and bone
    • helps prompt tissue and deep wound healing
  • Yellow 580nm wavelength can:
    • be a drug-free alternative for skin redness and flushing
    • reduce skin irritation and rosacea
    • heal UV damage
    • help flush waste from the skin
    • boost lymphatic flow
    • reduce the appearance of tiny blood vessels on the nose/face
  • Steady or Pulsating modes can be used:
    • Steady for help reducing pain
    • Pulsating to assist with cellular healing

Why Mom will love it: The TrueLight product line is designed with cost, size, and transportability in mind. Compared to most light therapy products on the market, TrueLight is extremely affordable, and the Energy Square, in particular, is a great solution for targeted healing (e.g. the face, shoulder, knee, etc.)

From our family to yours, Happy Mother’s Day!

    –  Your Biohacked Team