Are you suffering from a lack of energy, unexplained chronic disease, cancer or autism? Why, and what can you do about it? Knowledge is power, so I am sharing this information with you to help you understand the latest medical breakthroughs on what is commonly known as mitochondrial dysfunction or disease. I also hope to share my extensive research on my personal approach to healing myself, with the help of conventional and alternative medicines, mostly with food, and as natural as possible.
What Are Mitochondria?
There are mitochondria in every cell of your body. These mitochondria provide energy for your body from the food you eat by converting it into ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) in a biosynthesis known as oxidative phosphorylation. That’s what the mitochondria use to generate energy in the form of ATP. I’ve included a short video that should make it easier to explain.
How This Impacts Your Health
Mitochondrial dysfunction is at the root of almost all diseases. God created the human body with an innate ability to heal itself. Many factors can inhibit this healing process and cause the breakdown of this metabolic process and ultimately disease and often death.
In my case, I experienced a sudden cardiac arrest in December of 2014. I now have cardiomyopathy (heart disease) that has resulted in being diagnosed with congestive heart failure. How did that happen? It’s a long story, but I’ll try to keep to the facts and make it as straight and simple as I can.
I believe it all starts in your gut. Why do you think they call it the central nervous system? Central on the human body is the abdominal region. This is where I made the connection to my heart and my ongoing IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) that has plaque me for most, if not all, of my life. I was born with pyloric stenosis and I had gallbladder surgery, which gives me a slippery slope with regards to GI issues. However, there are other factors to consider, the use of antibiotics in medicine, agriculture and livestock management. Who hasn’t taken at least one antibiotic in their life? The more you take, the more damage to the “good guys” it does. More on that later.
The over use in antibiotics has been going on for decades. The miracle of penicillin has created a false sense of a pill for every ill, namely antibiotics. Over prescribed medications, antibiotic soaps that have recently been banned since they aren’t any more effective in killing germs, but they are adding to the antibiotic overuse.
In the 1990’s our agricultural system introduced the first GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) which were created to do one of two things: resists the weed killer RoundUp (an herbicide) or contain a toxin known as Bt to kill pests eating the corn. The main ingredient of RoundUp is glyphosate, which is registered with the US Patent office as a antimicrobial. The GMOs that include the Bt toxin (Bacillus thuringiensis) is comprised of Cry proteins, which are crystal like structures like shards of glass, and effectively designed to break holes in the bugs intestinal system. The bug has holes in it’s digestive tract, the bug stops eating and the bug starves, killing the bug. This Bt toxin is genetically designed to be in every cell of the plant, including the part that you eat. Most of the corn is now genetically modified and contains this Bt toxin in every single bite…yum? I don’t think so. What do you think these crops are doing to your digestive system?
The second factor is what we don’t digest when we eat, goes through the digestive tract and destroys the lining of the bowel. This one cell thick layer of epethilial tissue is what supports the villi and microvilli that break down the food into nutrients that are small enough to pass through the junctions of the cell into your bloodstream. Remember the Bt toxins in GMOs that break holes in the insects GI tract? Well, what do you think it does to humans? When the walls of your GI tract are damaged and inflamed, not only the nutrients can’t be digested but food particles can break through the cell junctions, “leaky gut” and end up in your bloodstream. These so called “leaks” in the gut are how the immune system works. These cell walls are only supposed to open for responses to provide a defense for infection. However, when the mucosal lining with the microvilli are destroyed these cell junctions no longer open and close how they should. These openings stay open and don’t close back up, which allows food particles to enter the blood stream. This is how food allergies become a problem. Dr. Allesio Fasano believes that this is key in the onset of autism.
My theory is that Wi-Fi in our environment is acting on the calcium channels in our body, specifically between the cells and causing the junctions to operate in ways they wouldn’t ordinarily do. For this reason I have avoided using a cell phone, microwave or other radio frequency technology to close to my body or being bombarded by this electromagnetic frequency.
Good Gut Gone Bad
Did you know that your digestive system contains bacteria? If it didn’t have the bacteria, it wouldn’t work. If your GI tract harbors the wrong kind of bacteria it doesn’t work either, or not as efficiently. Enter all the digestive problems such as IBS, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, Gluten sensitivities, GERD (gastric reflux) also known as indigestion. If glyphosate in RoundUp, used on GMO crops, is a antimicrobial then what is it doing to the bacteria in your gut? Killing it. So are the antibiotics you’ve taken over the course of your life. The word “anti” means against, “biotics” is life….against life.
Don’t get me wrong, antibiotics are necessary in bacterial infections and we don’t want antibiotic resistance to interfere with the ability to depend on these drugs when we need them, but we are in real danger of to much of a good thing. You need those bacteria to survive….at least the good ones. But these antibiotics and antimicrobials are killing the good bacteria along with the bad. Why is that important?
What Happens When the Bad Guys Win?
When there are to many assaults on the good microbes (bacteria) in your digestive system, the bad bacteria and fungi take a foothold. Overgrowth of yeast, such as Candida happens. You may know this as thrush (in the mouth, especially babies), feminine yeast infections, toenail fungus, and GI issues to name a few. These bad guys are opportunists and move in to our GI tracts eventually. Guess what they eat and thrive on? Sugar. If you’ve ever made bread from scratch that uses yeast or made homemade beer, you know that one ingredient that is necessary for the yeast to grow is sugar. Guess what the standard diet is comprised of in the western cultures? Yep…sugar.
Sugar isn’t the only food the bacteria likes. Starchy foods break down into sugar, alcohol breaks down into sugar and of course sugar is plentiful in our diet, often hiding as ingredients in most of our foods. Sugar is known by many names: glucose, sucrose, fructose, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup (GMOs) and I could go on and on.
One thing you should do is replace all the vegetable oils, corn oil and canola oil in your pantry to either olive oil or coconut oil for cooking. Did you know that coconut oil is made of caprylic acid which pokes holes in the yeast cell walls and kills the yeast cells? The good bacteria once established and growing strong, kills the yeast and other nasty bacteria, but the good guys have to outnumber the bad in order to win the war. Probiotics help build up the populations of good bacteria, and it is suggested that you start small with the amount of probiotics initially, to avoid discomfort from “die off” which happens when the bad bacteria bite the dust. They give off endotoxins that can cause flu-like symptoms for a few days. Drink LOTS of water and get some exercise to help your body’s lymphatic system mount a strong defense and get your immune system in top order.
What Do the Bacteria Have to Do With It?
The bacteria in your body outnumber your other cells by 10 to 1. So don’t think you can kill them all. Our society, thanks to marketing, is convinced us that all bacteria are evil. Not true. The good bacteria break down our food in the digestive process to make vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids. But if the good guys are outnumbered by the bad bacteria, they can’t do their job efficiently. When an imbalance occurs we become nutrient deficient, especially in the B vitamins. These B vitamins are very important for energy, as co-factors for other vitamins and minerals to get where they need to go. B6 deficiency is an important co-factor for magnesium to be bioavailable for your body to use. Magnesium is important for hundreds, if not thousands, of processes in your body, including regulating the heart rhythm. My heart condition is due to an electrical issue with the heart. Magnesium plays a critical role in regulating the hormones and controlling anxiety levels. The B vitamins are essential in making the various chemicals you hear about in depression, like serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters.
How Your Mitochondria Affects Your Health an article by Dr. Mercola
What Can You Do About It?
Keep the energy flowing by supporting your body and your cells nutritional needs until you fix the root problem. I am able to keep functioning well enough to exercise and work on the real problem. I supplement my diet with nutritional supplements in the form of all B vitamins, magnesium, omega-3 fat, CoQ10, acetyl L-carnitine, D-ribose, and alpha-lipoic acid.
I have a genetic disorder known as MTHFR that I inherited from both of my parents that makes getting the B vitamins out of my bloodstream and into my cells very compromised (50% deficient). Therefore, I supplement with a special methylated form of B vitamins to provide the B vitamins my body can use. When I started taking these special B vitamins that have folate and NOT folic acid, my body stopped shutting down after my sudden cardiac arrest. I started to actually feel the energy return to my body. It was as if my “life’s blood” was pumping into my veins and restoring the energy to all my muscles, including my heart. My husband witnessed the “spark of life” return to my eyes. It was a miracle.
I also include several supplements that include digestive enzymes to help my GI tract to breakdown my food until I heal the problems and get everything working properly again. As we age our body doesn’t make the same amount of digestive enzymes. Anyone who has taken medications for acid reflux or used anti-acids are actually making the problem worse. If the stomach doesn’t have enough acid to break down the food and start the digestive process the food begins to ferment. What happens when things ferment? Gas. The pressure of the gas gets so great it builds up pressure and forces the esophageal sphincter to open and allows the acid to splash into your throat causing the sensation known as heartburn. You need MORE acid not less. Drink a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, like Braggs, in an ounce of water about 20 minutes before your meal. This will give your body the extra acid it needs to digest your food. If you have heartburn after you eat try using digestive enzymes (available at most health food stores) to help aide your wounded GI system to digest the food you just consumed. If all of the above don’t take care of your indigestion, then you can try using a teaspoon of baking soda in a 4 ounce glass of warm water for relief.
Getting to the Root of the Problem and Fixing the GI Issues
The ultimate way to heal the body is to heal the gut. If your digestive system can’t break down your food properly to get the nutrients, the fuel for the body will never get to the cells and the cells will die. Eventually your organs begin to fail or cancer sets in…and you know the ending. Yes, death.
I have a lot more living left to do, so I knew I needed to figure this out. In the past when I complained of GI issues to a doctor they would do one of three things: ignore me or tell me it was “psychosomatic” (IBS) or they would prescribe antibiotics (and kill my beneficial bacteria along with the bad ones), or suggest surgery to remove the diseased section of the bowel. The first choice insulted my intelligence and frankly pissed me off, the second one sent me further into illness, and the third option was not going to happen. I knew I needed to figure this out. The doctors weren’t doing a very good job. So what did I come up with? Prayer, meditation and a lot of research.
Heal the Gut and the Gut will Heal the Heart
Multi-pronged approach of kill the bad guys with herbal antimicrobial supplements, starve the bad guys (no more sugar or anything that turned into sugar) and feed the good guys so they can wage war and kill off the bad guys. I’m dealing with SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) now, where the bad guys are winning and causing me a great deal of gastrointestinal distress of gas, bloating, cramps and irregular bowel movements (alternating between diarrhea and constipation). I am going to an acupuncturist who is helping with the gastroparesis I’ve been experiencing. Mine is caused by scar tissues and adhesions from my previous surgeries, that were okay until I was prescribed the cardio drugs for heart failure which slows the motility of the GI tract down.
I’m starting on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) to restore my gastrointestinal health, so the good guys can win the war against the bad guys and get back to their job of making me healthy again. I’m looking forward to sharing more about the SCD diet in future posts. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, I’m watching a really good movie that shows that love is a key ingredient to healing. So reach out and touch someone, you’ll never know what a difference you can make. Giving helps the giver more than it does the recipient. Positive thoughts, attitudes and actions translate into good biochemical processes in our body. The key to healing is more than you would have thought.