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?
These chemicals damage cells and tissues both by direct toxic effect as well as by interfering with the function of important nutrient metals including calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and copper. Although toxicity from a single exposure is quite rare the toxic effect of gradual low levels of exposure is now appreciated to be a common occurrence in many individuals. Diagnosis of heavy metal toxicity is somewhat controversial. Blood testing misses many cases not associated with high level recent exposure. The heavy metals often accumulate in tissues like the brain, liver, kidneys, and immune system. A more sensitive method to detect the presence of heavy metals involves the measurement of heavy metals in urine following the administration of a chelating agent designed to transiently increase mobilization and clearance.
Although it is important to learn to recognize the symptoms of heavy metal toxicity, tissue levels are often quite high before symptoms are appreciated. Symptoms include cramps, numbness, tingling, tremors, muscle tics and twitches, memory loss, confusion, impaired language skills, loss of coordination, abnormality of gait, anxiety, depression, headache, digestive problems, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, fatigue, night sweats, deteriorating vision, unexplained weight gain or loss, aching joints, body aches and pains, hair loss, impaired blood sugar regulation, frequent colds and flus, unexplained skin rashes, insomnia, low body temperature, bleeding gums, sensitivity to chemicals and odors, menstrual irregularity, infertility, and miscarriage. Diseases associated with heavy metals include peripheral neuropathy, Parkinson’s, dementia, epilepsy, autism, kidney failure, liver cirrhosis, diabetes, alopecia, pulmonary fibrosis, and vitiligo.
Start reading labels of personal skin and hair care products and avoid products known to contain aluminum and other harmful chemicals. Drink lots of purified or mountain spring water. Avoid cooking with aluminum and teflon. Certain hobbies and vocations are known to be associated with a marked increase in toxic metal exposure like hair-dressers, welders, potters, farmers, stained glass workers, and painters.
If you suspect symptoms of heavy metal toxicity or have been diagnosed with elevated and potentially toxic levels of these metals it is important to take active steps to support detoxification metals designed to assist the body in elimination of them in order to avoid and even reverse their toxic effects. At Texas Integrative Medicine we are very aware of the role that toxic heavy metals play in chronic disease and we have protocols that are designed to diagnose and treat this frequently seen problem. Call today to schedule an evaluation at 512-420-9300.
Are you tired of putting a band-aid on your headache?
Do you want to find the root cause of your recurrent headaches?
Chronic recurrent headache which frequently runs in families may be triggered by inflammation involving brain structures which can be triggered by stress, head injury, brain infection, brain response to environmental toxins and allergic reactions. There are genetic markers that are associated with increased likelihood of recurrent headache which can now be measured. There are laboratory markers to assess inflammation and allergy that can help identify the triggers and in many cases take steps to reduce or eliminate them. Taking a headache relieving medicine like aspirin or ibuprofen may provide short-term symptoms relief yet does little to deal with the underlying cause or prevent future headaches. At Texas Integrative Medicine we are headache detectives and explore to find and eliminate the triggering causes of recurrent headaches.
The causes of inflammation that trigger headaches are often very similar if not identical to the triggers of many other chronic inflammation-based symptoms including brain fog, depression, chronic fatigue, joint pain, irritable bowel and insomnia.
A medical evaluation at Texas Integrative Medicine will assess your headaches in order to identify the likely causes and we will then take steps to eliminate the root causes. Often nutrient deficiencies and diet triggers are at fault. If you need answers, come see us. Call 512-420-9300 for your appointment.