Please take a few minutes to read the other posts in this series – Part 1: CFS – The Central Cause: Mitochondrial Failure and Part 2: Mitochondrial Failure: Testing For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Mitochondrial dysfunction can cause so many different problems within the body that I was never aware of. It isn’t any wonder those of us with CFS are as sick as we are. Mitochondrial dysfunction affects the skin, muscles, liver, stomach, brain, heart, lungs and kidneys.
- Effects On Skin
Dr. Myhill says that if you cut down the blood supply to the skin there are two major effects. The skin is responsible for controlling body temperature and when the body becomes too hot it can’t lose heat through the skin. This is because it has no blood supply and the core body temperature increases. Because of this, CFS patients are unable to tolerate heat. According to Dr. Myhill, “The only way the body can compensate for this is by switching off the thyroid gland (which is responsible for the level of metabolic activity in the body and hence heat generation) and so one gets a compensatory underactive thyroid. This alone worsens the problems of fatigue.”
The second problem is that CFS patients are unable to sweat (have you ever noticed this about yourself? I have this problem) because the micro-circulation in the skin has shut down. Toxins and heavy metals are excreted from the body through sweating and because CFS patients have problems sweating, the toxins remain in their body further causing damage to the mitochondria.
- Effects On Muscles
The muscles in CFS patients have little stamina because the mitochondria which supply them with energy are malfunctioning. According to Dr. Myhill, “If the blood supply to muscles is impaired, then muscles quickly run out of oxygen when one starts to exercise. With no oxygen in the muscles the cells switch over to anaerobic metabolism, which produces lactic acid and it is this that makes muscles ache so much.”
- Effects On Liver & Stomach
If the liver doesn’t have adequate circulation, toxins will not be released from the body appropriately. This also includes improper detoxification of heavy metals and pesticides which can further damage the mitochondria.
Poor blood supply to the stomach/gut can cause digestion problems and leaky gut syndrome. This further leads to allergies and malabsorption which complicates CFS even further.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 4: Effects on the brain, heart, lungs and kidneys.