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What is Mitochondrial Disease?

Mitochondrial Disease is a chronic, genetic disorder that can be inherited in a number of ways. Because, there are many forms of mitochondrial disease and therefore Mitochondrial disease presents very differently from individual to individual.

When a person has Mitochondrial Disease the mitochondria in the cells are not producing enough energy. Sometimes they are not very efficient or they do not work at all. Depending on which Mitochondria are affected will depend on which organs are affected. Activities like running, swimming, cycling or even simple ones like walking or breathing can be difficult or completely impossible if you are suffering with Mitochondrial Disease.

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What are the Symptoms of Mitochondrial Disease?

The symptoms of Mitochondrial disease will be dependant on what type of Mitochondrial Disease you have and where in the body your Mitochondria are in "poor growth". Some common examples are shown below:

  • Poor growth
  • Loss of muscle coordination, muscle weakness and pain
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, severe constipation
  • Diabetes
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Thyroid and/or adrenal dysfunction
  • Neuropsychological changes characterised by confusion, disorientation, and memory loss.

  • Neurological problems, seizures
  • Autism, autistic spectrum, autistic-like features
  • Visual and/or hearing problems possibly even blindness and deafness
  • Developmental delays, learning disabilities
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Autonomic dysfunction