Low Dose Naltrexone
Originally, the drug Naltrexone in a full dose was an FDA-approved medication from the mid-1980’s created to help alcoholics and drug addicts free themselves from their addiction. It worked by raising their serotonin levels so they didn’t miss the alcohol and drugs they once derived pleasure from, thus helped withdrawal symptoms at a dose of 50 mg per day.
With a year after its creation, it was discovered that a low dose, called Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN), could boost the function of one’s immune function, or balance out an over-reactive immune system by lowering the overreactive Th-17 cells, which promote your autoimmunity issues.
It became known as beneficial for those with cancer, autoimmune diseases (like Hashimoto’s Disease, Hashitoxicosis (the combination of Graves and Hashi’s) MS, Crohn’s, Lupus) as well as HIV/AIDS and central nervous system disorders. Besides improving endorphin production, LDN can also help reduce inflammation and decrease the contraction of the muscles in your GI tract, thus improving healing.
HOW DO THYROID PATIENTS USE LDN?
Many Hashimoto’s thyroid patients are now successfully using LDN to reduce their stubbornly high antibodies, i.e. it modulates that overreactive immune function! Additionally, LDN is especially helpful for those who have both Graves and Hashi’s antibodies, called Hashitoxicosis. It’s not normally used by patients for plain hypothyroidism, but there may be some who feel they need that immune boost.
Usually when a patient starts LDN, especially with Hashi’s, they will find they need to slightly reduce their thyroid hormone medications. It was once thought that they could eliminate needing any thyroid medication at all, but that hasn’t been the case for most.
If you would like to learn more about taking LDN, there’s a Facebook group for those using it (or considering using it) called “Got Endorphins”. They advise starting low at 1.5 mg for several weeks and slowly raising to 4.5 mg, taken before bedtime. However, some patients have found they have to hold at a lower amount like 3 mg to feel well–it’s individual. You can get LDN by prescription from your doctor via a compounding pharmacy or make your own liquid version (explained below on youtube link).
HOW DO I MAKE LOW DOSE NALTREXONE?
Here’s a video on to use the 50 mg Naltrexone tablet and turn it into Low Dose Naltrexone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOekLFlvR7l Or via a prescription from your doctor, there are now many local pharmacies which can compound it for you, but you do want to underscore that you do NOT want slow-release. If you scroll down 2/3rds of this page, you can see a boxed list of a few pharmacies which the LDN website says are very reliable.
WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF USING LDN?
Most literature will underscore the side effects are few to nil. Some patients report they have very vivid dreaming the first week or so, then they go away. If they continue, patients start taking their LDN in the morning rather than before bedtime. Some literature reports there might be insomnia, headaches, dizziness, anxiety or others, but they don’t appear to be common when patients talk about their LDN use. Work with your doctor.
CAN I TAKE IT WHILE PREGNANT?
There do not appear to be any problems with taking it while pregnant nor when breast feeding. The LDN Research Trust even states that “LDN exposed babies are often healthier than those whose mothers did not take LDN during pregnancy.”.
DO I HAVE TO BE ON IT FOR LIFE?
Informed patients with a tendency to have autoimmune issues have chosen to do so.
A VIDEO ABOUT LDN:
WHAT DO OTHERS SAY ABOUT LDN?
From Dr. Mercola:
In the case of systemic infections such as HIV/AIDS or Lyme, LDN boosts the immune system, helping the body fight off the invading pathogens.
In the case of cancers such as multiple myeloma and neuroblastoma, LDN inhibits proliferation of malignant cells.
In the case of autoimmune diseases such a Multiple Sclerosis, LDN takes an aberrant immune system and helps restore it to normalcy.
DISEASES THAT LDN IS USEFUL FOR
MORE LDN RESOURCES:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3962576/ This article talks about LDN use for inflammation.
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