Individuals suffering from chronic complex illness like chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, chemical sensitivity, brain fog, joint pain, chronic pain, headache, anxiety, depression and sleep disorder caused by the effects of exposure to environmental toxins like mold, viruses, Lyme spirochetes and chemicals have substantial mitochondrial dysfunction in essentially every case that I have seen. Research has shown that mitochondria react to these toxins in what has been termed by Robert Naviaux MD of the mitochondrial laboratory at the University of California San Diego to be the Mitochondrial Cell Danger Response. This means that the mitochondria have ceased to function in a normal way to make our critical energy currency molecule called adenosine triphosphate or ATP for short.
Restoration of normal mitochondrial oxygen utilization and ATP production is fundamental to the reversal of this group of chronic illnesses. I have found that elimination of exposure to toxins and taking steps to clear toxins from the body can be helpful in restoring mitochondrial function.
I have also found that administration of critical nutrients needed by mitochondria can also result in substantial resolution of mitochondrial dysfunction. IV Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) and IV Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD), which we provide in our nutrient infusion center at Texas Integrative Medicine, are two vital nutrients that are particularly useful in this endeavor.
ALA also known as thioctic acid is a sulfur-containing fatty acid that has been called “the Master Antioxidant” due to its role of maintaining active levels of other critical antioxidants like glutathione and Vitamin E. ALA is both water soluble and fat soluble so it can easily move throughout both the intracellular and extracellular spaces. It is a critical nutrient for mitochondrial ATP production as it is needed for the enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase, an essential coenzyme in the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl co-enzyme A. ALA quenches damaging free radicals that destroy the body’s proteins, cell membranes and DNA leading to cell death, aging, even cancer, and it plays a vital role in liver health. Moreover it reduces the body’s resistance to insulin which may slow the onset or progression of diabetes.
NAD or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, an essential cofactor made from Vitamin B3 niacin, is necessary in the mitochondria for its role of carrying electrons derived from metabolizing fats and sugars to generate ATP, the body’s energy molecule and our body heat. The electron transport chain of enzymes in the mitochondria cannot function to produce ATP without an ample supply of NAD+. Without NAD we would be cold all the time. Intravenous NAD has been shown to take away cravings for drugs and alcohol and is being used in clinics around the world to treat addiction. It has also been shown to protect our DNA from damage which is a major cause of aging.
Administration of vitamins and cofactors like ALA and NAD by the intravenous or IV route delivers them quicker and in higher levels to the cells and mitochondria of our vital organs where they are needed than does the oral route. Taken orally, these nutrients might not be absorbed well or they might be used up by the bacteria in our intestines (the microbiome). When absorbed from the intestines, nutrients travel directly to the liver (porto-hepatic circulation) where they may be stored leaving less available to cells in the brain, heart, kidneys and other vital organs.
At Texas Integrative Medicine we provide IV infusions of ALA and NAD along with other vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential lipids to individuals who are in need of them. Our infusion nurse (RN) is highly trained and experienced and under the direct supervision of our medical staff. Why not call today for an evaluation to see if you might benefit from these essential nutrients?
SOME CHRONIC ILLNESS SYMPTOMS CAUSED BY FAULTY BRAIN SIGNALS
Some absolutely amazing findings coming from recent neurobehavioral and psychology research are unraveling a fabric of mystery which is demonstrating that a number of symptoms of “mystery Illnesses” like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity and electromagnetic frequency sensitivity may be significantly generated by faulty brain messages being generated from a Limbic System that has been injured by a variety of toxic insults including mold toxins, Lyme and associated persistent infections, toxic chemicals in air, food and water, psychological trauma and physical head injury.
The amazingly wonderful associated discovery is that our brains are quite capable to “rewire” and recover using the principle of NeuroPlasticity. This literally means that the brain can learn to reroute and reprogram the damaged areas allowing the associated symptoms to lessen and in many cases disappear. This is not really different from the mechanism that allows the victim of a stroke to relearn to walk or talk.
Since the limbic system (which is made up of the cingulate gyrus, the amygdala, the hippocampus and the hypothalamus) acts as a control center for the autonomic nervous system, the immune system, the endocrine system and the digestive system, many physical signs, symptoms and abnormal lab findings may be directly caused by false or inappropriate limbic system messages to the rest of the body.
At Texas Integrative Medicine our goal is to identify the environmental toxic triggers that have led to limbic system disorder sometimes referred to as a Limbic System Trauma Loop. First priority is to stop further exposure to the toxins. For example, we might find that there is toxic indoor mold in a person’s home, school or workplace and we would make every attempt to stop further exposure. Perhaps a person’s drinking water is tainted with lead or pesticides. Again we try to eliminate these exposures. Next, it is necessary to use the body’s natural means of toxin elimination (kidneys, liver, sweat glands, bowel elimination, immune system) to clear the body’s stored toxins and harmful germs as best we can.
We are learning that even once toxins have been significantly reduced, the limbic system may still remain “stuck in a rut”. A good analogy would be when a circuit breaker breaks from too much current demand. You can unplug the excessive appliances, but the system doesn’t work until the circuit breaker is RESET.
There are two successful ways to reset or reprogram the damaged limbic system that we have been working with at Texas Integrative Medicine.
Annie Hopper from Victoria, Canada has developed a system of behavioral training which she has named the Dynamic Neural Retraining System. You can find out more about it at her website- www.retrainingthebrain.com. Her system has helped many people recover from complex “mystery” illness. Please check out some of the Success Stories on her webpage.
Neurobiofeedback scientists and clinicians are perfecting modalities that combine monitoring brain electromagnetic waves (EEG) with reward systems such as using brain signals to alter the color and sound loudness of a movie DVD. In Austin, Lynda Kirk and associates at Austin Biofeedback and EEG Neurofeedback Center offer the most advanced devices and protocols to retrain the limbic system in a way that leads to resolution of symptoms and improvement in brain function. You can learn more about their approach at https://www.austinbiofeedback.com