Do Your Mitochondria Need a Tune-Up?

Dr. Sarah Myhill is the author of several publications ("Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Mitochondrial Dysfunction”, “Mitochondrial dysfunction and the pathophysiology of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)”, and "Targeting mitochondrial dysfunction in the treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) – a clinical audit") that explore Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) as a symptom of mitochondrial failure.

Based on her extensive research and clinical experience with over 5,000 patients suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Dr. Myhill believes the central mechanism in CFS is mitochondrial dysfunction. To help illustrate her point, she often uses the analogy that the body functions like an automobile.

Similar to the car engine that burns fuel for energy, the mitochondria are essential for creating energy from fuel. They are the little engines that exist in every cell in the body, and in every cell in every living organism. Without them, none of our bodily systems or processes would function. We could not be alive without them.

“What mitochondria do is they take fuel from the bloodstream derived from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and burn them in the presence of oxygen to produce ATP. Think of ATP as a molecule with which you can do any function in the body,” describes Myhill.

Like the car’s accelerator pedal, the endocrine system allows the body to regulate and adjust energy demand by way of hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, and DHEA. The thyroid gland determines how fast the mitochondria go when generating energy throughout the body.

Just like all cars need regular service to run smoothly, Myhill recommends the body needs regular rest, when metabolic processes shut down, to allow healing and repair to take place. And as important as using the proper fuel for your vehicle, Myhill also prescribes healthy diet and micronutrients for the upkeep of you mitochondria.

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