Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is a vitamin found in small amounts in common foods. Humans require CoQ10 for proper functioning of the mitochondria, the subcellular structures that produce energy. People with a poor diet or certain diseases may suffer from a CoQ10 deficiency, a significant dietary problem that causes severe health problems.
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Assess your diet. Many nonvegetarians who do not take dietary supplements fail to get the additional vitamins necessary for natural CoQ10 production. Increasing your dietary intake of fruits and vegetables or taking a vitamin supplement may help symptoms of CoQ10 deficiency.
Examine your symptoms of CoQ10 deficiency before you speak to your physician about getting a blood test. People with CoQ10 deficiency often report being fatigued, having muscle weakness or experiencing seizures. Make a list of your symptoms to determine if they fit the profile of someone with CoQ10 deficiency.
Consult your doctor. She is a professional who can give you guidance on whether CoQ10 deficiency is responsible for symptoms or whether you have a more serious problem. If a doctor suspects that you have deficient CoQ10 levels, she can order a formal test.
Provide a blood sample. Usually, about one teaspoon of blood is required for a test of CoQ10 concentration. It may take several days before results are available, but a blood test is the only definitive method of diagnosing CoQ10 deficiency.
Tips and warnings
- Symptoms of CoQ10 deficiency may be caused by other serious medical problems. If your blood test reveals that you have normal CoQ10 levels, consult your doctor to determine what underlies your symptoms.
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