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: Wendi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

I have always been unable to do what other kids did, for as long as I can remember. I hated gym because I could not keep up, and running or walking was so difficult. Now, at age 59, it is worse, but I do have bad days and good days. Some days I can walk farther than others, but going up any incline is deadly and stairs are just horrible! People have called me lazy and I just need to exercise more, but that doesn't work because it is so painful. I have been to so many doctors and no one could figure it out. But after finding a site on this disease I am sure that is what I have. I have so many of the symptoms. Trouble is, that testing is not 100% sure, and it's not covered by my insurance. So I go about my day, and when I get tired or my muscles hurt I just stop and take it easy until I can go on again. The muscles in my legs can hurt, some days, just walking across the house. Now, even when I was my hair in the shower, the muscles in my arms hurt. No one would believe me when I said my legs hurt, but now I feel vindicated.

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Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 18

After having my hips replaced in 2005 I found I was short of breath. It took over a year to get the diagnosis and a ton of tests. Now I realize its mitochondrial disease. I have always been fairly active, but I have found that lately I do not tolerate exercise as well, feel more fatigued, and recently I have been getting migraines once a month or so and I have nearly chronic pain in my abdomen. In the last few months I have also noticed I am getting more short of breath. Twice a day I take vitamin C, B1, B2, CoQ10, creatine and some sort of an amino acid supplement. I have also noticed that my eyesight is worse and I can no longer watch TV or drive without my glasses.

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