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I am a wife and mother who also has cystic fibrosis and a mitochondrial disease.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mitochondrial Disease Awareness week

Yesterday was the start of mitochondrial disease awareness week! So I'm going to post every day with some information on what exactly this disease is and what it does to me personally. I am not doing this for sympathy or anything but rather so that people can read and see how mito effects me personally. So to start off, what is mitochondrial disease? According to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF.org) it is:

"A result from failures of the mitochondria, specialized compartments present in every cell of the body except red blood cells. Mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and support growth. When they fail, less and less energy is generated within the cell. Cell injury and even cell death. If this process is repeated throughout the body, whole systems begin to fail, and the life of the person in whom this is happening is severely compromised. The disease primarily affects children, but adult onset is becoming more and more common. Depending on which cells are affected, symptoms may include loss of motor control, muscle weakness and pain, gastro-intestinal disorders and swallowing difficulties, poor growth, cardiac disease, liver disease, diabetes, respiratory complications, seizures, visual/hearing problems, lactic acidosis, developmental delays and susceptibility to infection."

So technically:
"Mitochondrial diseases are the result of either inherited or spontaneous mutations in mtDNA or nDNA which lead to altered functions of the proteins or RNA molecules that normally reside in mitochondria. Problems with mitochondrial function, however, may only affect certain tissues as a result of factors occurring during development and growth that we do not yet understand. Even when tissue-specific isoforms of mitochondrial proteins are considered, it is difficult to explain the variable patterns of affected organ systems in the mitochondrial disease syndromes seen clinically."

Mito Action adds:
•Mitochondrial disease is a chronic, genetic disorder that occurs when the mitochondria of the cell fails to produce enough energy for cell or organ function.
•The incidence about 1:3000-4000 individuals in the US. This is similar to the incidence of cystic fibrosis of caucasian births in the U.S.
•There are many forms of mitochondrial disease.
•Mitochondrial disease is inherited in a number of different ways
•Mitochondrial disease presents very differently from individual to individual.
•There may be one individual in a family or many individuals affected over a number of generations.

There are many of them, which means there are many different symptoms. But the most common are:
•Poor Growth
•Loss of muscle coordination, muscle weakness
•Neurological problems, seizures
•Autism, autistic spectrum, autistic-like features
•Visual and/or hearing problems
•Developmental delays, learning disabilities
•Heart, liver or kidney disease
•Gastrointestinal disorders, severe constipation
•Increased risk of infection
•Thyroid and/or adrenal dysfunction
•Autonomic dysfunction
•Neuropsychological changes characterized by confusion, disorientation and memory loss.

My current symptoms:
•Loss of muscle coordination, muscle weakness, muscle cramps, muscle spasms
*Nerve Pain
*Joint Pain (Fingers, toes, knees hips)
*Poor absorption (result, several vitamin deficiencies) added complications due to CF
*Poor Digestion (added complications due to CF)
*Thyroid dysfunction
•Neuropsychological changes characterized by confusion, disorientation and memory loss.
*Liver (unsure if this is CF related or mito related or a combo)
•Fatigue - everyday
*bone pain

On a scale of 1 - 10 today my fatigue is an 8, muscle pain is 3, joint is 6, and nerve is 5. This numbers are my usual range. When I have a good day I still have my symptoms, they might all be below a 5 or I am hiding it. Which I do all too well, according to my husband.


  1. Hello, my name is Angie and I have Congenital Myopathy/Mitochondrial Myopathy. I've had it since birth and I'm turning 30 in October. It's been pretty hard not knowing anyone that has either close to what I have or around the same thing. Reading your blog has given me some hope. The funny thing is, I also have a best friend that has CF. She's turning 29 soon.

  2. Hi, my name is Danielle and I am 19. I live and struggle with Mito every day. I am in college now but the constant fatigue, muscle pain, migraines, and sickness has taken its toll on me and my grades. I was wondering if you would be willing to answer a few of my questions. There aren't many adults out there that I can find that live with Mito and I have so many questions. If you would be willing to answer some of them, can you please email me at jones.marie.danielle@gmail.com

    Thanks so much!