Why am I so tired?
Why does my body feel so achy?
Why does my brain seem so foggy and I can’t remember simple things anymore?
I guess I am just getting old!
Sometimes no matter how hard you work at caring for yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually, your energetic being simply isn’t in alignment.
How frustrating to be given this wonderful opportunity to be human, yet not feel that you are living up to your potential.
Have you thought about the magnificent body you inhabit and how it works to create energy day in and day out?
I marvel at our bodies capacity to keep us moving, to heal, to repair and to regenerate, yet I too get frustrated when I see it failing for myself and my patients.
We encounter insults every day that can damage our system and leave you feeling less than optimal. The insults I am referring to are not someone yelling at you with profanities (although that can surely be wearing too) but come from our environment such as bacteria, viruses, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, mold, yeast, sugary and nutrient depleted foods. We can also have a genetic single nucleotide polymorphisms called SNPs that add to the insult.
Our bodies are designed to take on many insults and balance oxidative stress by creating anti-oxidants, a ying and yang so to speak. However, when the insults become too great, we start to feel the failure.
The cells that are key to keeping us moving are called Mitochondria.
Mitochondria are ancient bacteria that were engulfed by an early cell and formed an endosymbiotic relationship with us, meaning we both benefit from working together. These living organelles are present inside all our cells (except our Red Blood Cells (RBC).
Does anyone remember learning about the Kreb Cycle? This citric acid cycle is made up of a series of chemical reactions to release stored energy through the oxidation of acetyl-CoA derived from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins (food), creating adenosine triphosphate “ATP” (energy) and carbon dioxide (from oxygen we breathe).
Mitochondrial ATP production and membrane potential require the universal cofactor nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). As an essential coenzyme, NAD gains two electrons and a proton from substrates at multiple cycle steps, being reduced to NADH
(I am going to stop there as it gets complicated). What is important to know is that you need an optimal balance of NAD/NADH ratio for efficient Mitochondrial metabolism.
The ATP we make in this process gets transported into the cytoplasm of our cells so it can work its magic and give us energy. If we don’t get the energy into our cells you can guess what happens, we don’t have our fuel!
Mitochondria allow us to think, breathe, digest and detoxify. Therefore, keeping your Mitochondria functioning optimally is key for feeling good now and for healthy aging!
Take our brain for example, our brain consumes 20% of the oxygen we breathe and is highly metabolic, so we need to make a lot of ATP to fuel our brain. Therefore, what happens if our Mitochondria are not working well, we get cognitive changes. As we get older our cells are more susceptible to damage, but it doesn’t have to be this way and we certainly don’t want to accelerate this.
Oxidative stress is part of our normal physiology. In fact, we need to create free radicals to kill foreign invaders using H202. We produce H202 inside the cell and it interacts with free iron (not stored iron which is ferritin) and this free iron reacts with oxygen and creates rust. If we don’t neutralize this “rust” with anti-oxidants, we get damaged cells which causes disease. We do protect our free iron by storing it as ferritin, which is why it’s so critical to get your ferritin levels optimized.
There are many diseases and disorders that are a direct result of Mitochondrial dysfunction, for example; is Aging, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Mood Disorders, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Autism, Cancer, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Chronic Lyme, to name a few.
For a more in-depth list visit click http://www.mitoaction.org/types-mitochondrial-diseases
If you have already worked to correct your Adrenal dysfunction, Anemia, B12 deficiency, balanced your hormones, you eat healthy and exercise regularly and yet you are still tired, you could be dealing with a Mitochondrial dysfunction. You don’t have to be the 1 in 5,000 humans with a genetic mutation for Mitochondrial Disease to have some level of dysfunction. In fact, many of us have Mitochondrial dysfunctionon some level.
What decreases our Mitochondria?
Infections both bacterial and viral such as Lyme, Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) and Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and many more
Mold & Mycotoxins
Heavy metals such as Aluminum, Lead, Mercury, Cadmium to name a few
Chemicals such as Atrazine, which is a Herbicide that is sprayed on sugarcane, lawns and foods like corn. Now you can think of one reason why high fructose corn syrup is so bad for us.
Alcoholconsumes a lot of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) which is needed to create ATP
Prescription and OTC Drugs(check out http://www.mitoaction.org)
Lack of B Vitamins and other nutrients
Magnesium deficiency and this is one of the most important nutrients in which most of us are deficient. Don’t forget to eat your green leafy veggies!
Low T3(thyroid hormone) function. Therefore, it’s critical not to just test the TSH but also Free T3, Free T4 and Reverse T3 (if RT3 is high it can compete for receptor sites so you cannot get T3 into the cell which causes Mitochondrial dysfunction).
CoQ10 deficiency (FYI Statin therapy will decrease CoQ10)
Carnitine deficiency, as it’s needed to metabolize fats which give us fuel
Glutathione deficiency, as this powerhouse combats oxidative stress (as well as Alpha Lipoic Acid as it can recycle Vitamin C and Glutathione)
Finding the reason “why” your mitochondria aren’t working is key to getting better!
Organic Acid testing is one of the best ways to evaluate your personal deficiencies or excesses that can help us determine which nutrients you may need to support your Mitochondria. Two of my favorite tests are the NutrEval by Genova Diagnostics and the Organic Acid Test “OATS” by Great Plains Laboratory (NutrEval is my personal favorite as you also get fatty acids, amino acids, heavy metals, RBC minerals and Oxidative Stress markers).
NutrEval- Through insurance your copay is $179 and if this test is not covered, you can be billed up to $201 for a max out of pocket $389 https://www.gdx.net/product/nutreval-fmv-nutritional-test-blood-urine
OATS Testing-Our Patient Price is $279 which saves you $30 when paid through our office https://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/organic-acids-test
Complete Thyroid testing
Chemical (non-metal) testing https://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/gpl-tox
Mold Mycotoin testinghttps://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/gplmycotox
Lyme(complicated regarding testing)
Infectious disease testing
Correct the imbalances with targeted nutrients
Remove the toxins, chemicals and heavy metals found on testing
And of course, always work to heal the GUT!
Key Supplements to refuel the Mitochondria
Magnesium Glycinate or Malate(dose based on tolerance but usually 10 x kg of weight)
Alpha Lipoic Acid3-400mg daily
NADH10mg 2x/day (NAD is a biologically active form of Niacin (Vit B3) which makes ATP
D Ribose 10-30 grams per day
Other noted supplements to support the Mitochondria are; PQQ, Rhodiola, Vitamin K2, Vitamin A, Fulvic and Humic acid and Melatonin.
FYI don’t take your anti-oxidants AFTER you exercise at it will negate the positive benefits of oxidative stress that exercise can provide. Take them early in the morning or skip that day all together if it’s a strenuous workout.
Avoid sugar as it turns brown fat into white fat which is less metabolically active
Dietary changes should include implementing intermittent fasting and /or a Ketogenic diet. Life use to be feast and famine and now we are eating 3 meals per day with snacking and we are significantly more sedentary. Calorie restriction and Fasting directly increases NAD levels. Implementing a Ketogenic Diet helps the body burn on ketones instead of glucose which are more efficient sources of fuel. (More to come on my next newsletter on the great benefits of caloric restriction “fasting”)
Exercise as much as you can tolerate and optimally 5 days per week as this can increase the Mitochondrial efficiency (avoiding strenuous exercise if you have adrenal “fatigue”)
Get plenty of sleep and make sure the room is dark. Melatonin is produced in darkness and it protects organelles against oxidative stress. If you are looking at electric devices at night make sure to wear blue blocker glasses.
Turn off your lights in and outside the home. Light pollution can be challenging when your neighbor has their lights on too.
Invest in an InfraRed Sauna as heat stimulates heat shock proteins which are protective
Take a cold shower and don’t get too comfortable in your home. We evolved from dealing with the elements where it was cold and hot and now we live in a thermoneutral environment. When we experience the swings in temperature, such as a cold shower, we can create adrenaline, which makes more brown fat, which makes more mitochondria which gives us more energy (little kids have more brown fat and guess who likes to run around without a jacket in the cold?)
May you fuel your cells to the vibrant resonance in which they are intended to function. I am blessed to be a part of your journey in seeking optimal health. My goal is to help you to feel energetic so that you can go out in this world and make it a brighter place for all!
Yours in health, Carrie
InfraRed Sauna therapy https://www.hightechhealth.com (tell Emery I sent you for an additional $500 off)
Cryotherapy “Cold Therapy” at Golden Biohack
Oprah & Deepak Meditation Series “Energy of Attraction” working on energy through meditation