Mitochondrial Disease can have a range of symptoms, often mistaken for other conditions. Some of these symptoms may include, vision problems or loss, hearing loss, cognitive issues, seizures, strokes, swallowing difficulties, problems with balance and walking, respiratory issues, severe muscle weakness, severe fatigue, migraines, and problems with growth.
Any, or all, of the body's organs, and functions, can be affected by Mitochondrial Disease. Even the digestive system, resulting in constipation, diarrhoea, reflux and severe vomiting.
So what does this mean for an individual who has Mitochondrial Disease? Well, every person can be affected in a different way, showing some, or all, of the symptoms that are usually associated with Mitochondrial Disease. There may even be more symptoms that arise as time goes on, some leading to further diagnosis of certain conditions, such as Chronic Progressive External Ophthalmoplegia (CPEO).
As Mitochondria are responsible for 90% of the energy created to fuel the body, and sustain organ function, their dysfunction and failure ultimately leads to cell injury, and death, meaning that organs can begin to fail.
Whilst there are various outcomes for someone who has Mitochondrial Disease, these again, are hard to define, with it all depending on what type of Mitochondrial Disease a person is diagnosed with.
Whilst Mitochondrial Disease can be life limiting, and of course in some cases, children may not live past infancy, or teenage years, others, however, may be able to live relatively normal lifestyles. Adults may notice a dramatic, and often debilitating, change in their lifestyle, again, with some facing a life limiting prognosis.