Mitochondrial Disease - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of mitochondrial myopathies?

The symptoms of mitochondrial myopathies include muscle weakness or exercise intolerance, heart failure or rhythm disturbances, dementia, movement disorders, stroke-like episodes, deafness, blindness, droopy eyelids, limited mobility of the eyes, vomiting, and seizures. The prognosis for these disorders ranges in severity from progressive weakness to death. Most mitochondrial myopathies occur before the age of 20, and often begin with exercise intolerance or muscle weakness. During physical activity, muscles may become easily fatigued or weak. Muscle cramping is rare, but may occur. Nausea, headache, and breathlessness are also associated with these disorders.

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Comment from: Kat01, Female (Patient) Published: April 30

I have recently been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease. I have fibromyalgia and gave the constant fatigue symptoms pertaining to that. But lately, things have been feeling much different. I am much more fatigued. I have much more wide pain in my body. I also have osteoarthritis. Anyway, the last time I saw my specialist I told him how I was feeling. He took 6 vials of blood, and then I saw my primary care physician. He took four more vials of blood. A week later, my results came back positive for mitochondrial disease. I am devastated, frightened, and don't know what to expect. I also get migraines followed by a rash on my face and chest. I go and see the gastroenterologist next month. I have also recently had chest pain, and difficulty breathing. I have asthma, but it has intensified greatly. Now I wait to see yet another doctor and then await his/her results. In the meantime, I just suffer.

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Comment from: MARK F., 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: July 24

My husband has shown symptoms of mitochondrial disease since his early twenties, but it took 5 years to get the answer. His condition is multiple mitochondrial deletions POLG 1. He had to retire on ill health in his 30s and I have been his care giver ever since. His wheelchair confined swallowing is sometimes difficult so he is having a peg feed tube soon. He has no fine motor skills and has slurred speech sometimes. His needs are washing, bathing dressing, feeding and toileting. He suffers terribly from fatigue he has uncontrolled muscle spasms which drive him mad, he has tachycardia and high blood pressure, but apart from that he is fine.

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