What Is EnergyNeeds®?
Many of the terms that are presented as “diagnoses” in medicine are actually simply descriptions based on symptoms and simple testing, and not based on the actual cause(s) of disease. This includes many conditions that are quite common, including:
• Anxiety disorder
• Autism spectrum disorders
• Chronic fatigue syndrome
• Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID)
• CRPS and other chronic pain disorders
• Cyclic vomiting syndrome
• Irritable bowel syndrome
All of the above-listed conditions are complex, with multiple causes across the population, and also many factors (components) in the cause of disease in each individual patient. All of these conditions are also related in some manner to mitochondrial dysfunction.
Mitochondria are present in almost all types of cells. Mitochondria are commonly known as the “powerhouse of the cell”, and they produce the vast majority of energy that cells use. Mitochondria serve many other purposes, but their main function is energy production. As cells of all kinds need energy for most of the things that they do, a deficit in energy metabolism, termed “mitochondrial dysfunction” can cause a wide variety of symptoms and conditions. This is why mitochondrial dysfunction has been found in so many different conditions, including all of those listed above.
While all cells need energy to do what they do, some cells require more energy than others, and thus mitochondrial dysfunction is more likely to affect these cells. The nervous system is electrical, and thus brain and other nerve cells are highly likely to be dysfunctional when energy is insufficient. Other cells with high-energy needs include muscle, endocrine glands, and immune cells. Thus, the symptoms and conditions associated with mitochondrial dysfunction generally involve these cell types, and that is why there is a link to the above-listed conditions, as well as many others. This does not mean that everyone with these conditions has a mitochondrial disease, although some do, and I have seen each of these conditions multiple times in my patients with proven mitochondrial disease. However, a substantial portion of people with any of these conditions has mitochondrial dysfunction as one factor leading to disease. Mitochondrial dysfunction is not the only cause of these conditions, but it is an important cause, because it is common and treatable.
While many people have just one of the disorders in the above list, many other people have two or more of these, or related, conditions, often several at once. In my experience, most of my patients with more than one condition in the above list have some degree of mitochondrial dysfunction based upon testing of their genetics, enzyme activity, and/or ultrastructure (electron microscope).