Low Dose Naltrexone, also known as LDN, is becoming widely used among the medical community to treat infection and modulate the body’s immune system. At Holtorf Medical Group, LDN is commonly used as a treatment option for our patients suffering from chronic infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, central nervous system disorders, any immune disease and thyroid-related conditions. LDN is a prescription medication that works to reactivate cells and normalize your body’s immune system.
What does that mean for people with autoimmune disease?
Naltrexone was once known for treating drug and alcohol addiction. However, in low doses (LDN), it now has a much wider use and holds great promise for the millions of people worldwide who suffer from immune deficient or inflammatory illnesses. Numerous studies and research shows that autoimmune diseases result from immunodeficiency, which means the immune system’s ability to fight infectious disease is compromised or, in severe cases, entirely absent. LDN is known to normalize or modulate the immune system and is becoming a viable treatment option for these debilitating conditions.
How Does LDN Work?
LDN balances your immune system by turning off the cells that cause autoimmunity and diminishing the release of inflammatory and neurotoxic chemicals in the brain. By boosting the immune system, it activates the body’s own natural defenses, thereby stimulating immune function in patients with immunodeficiency and reducing antibody production in patients with excessive antibody production, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease.
LDN is known to improve the abnormal inflammation and immune dysfunction seen with conditions, such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Graves’ disease. It actually works to improve the reduced tissue T3 levels, thyroid resistance, thyroid transport and leptin resistance in these disorders, particularly autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s).
LDN also works with your body’s immune system through its interactions with your body’s endorphins – peptides produced in the brain and adrenal glands that act as the body’s natural painkiller. The major role of LDN is to block the body’s opioid receptors for just a very few hours. Those are the same receptors used by the body’s endorphins. The body responds to this by greatly increasing its endorphin production, and those higher levels last all day – far after the blockade by LDN has ended. Endorphins turn out to be the major normalizer of your immune system.
Though most commonly referenced in relation to you mood, endorphins also play a role in pain relief, growth of cells and angiogenesis (the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor). As LDN inhibits endorphin production and allows your body to naturally produce more, stimulation of the immune system occurs, pain reduces, and overall sense of well-being is improved. Higher doses can also aid in weight loss.
At these lower doses, LDN has been prescribed as a treatment for a variety of conditions and abnormalities, including:
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Graves’ disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Poor memory
- Weight loss
- Lyme disease
- Celiac disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Crohn’s disease
- Sjögren’s syndrome
- Alopecia areata
- Autoimmune urticaria
- Ménière’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Pernicious anemia
- Raynaud’s disease
How can one substance impact so many different diseases?
The disorders listed above all share a particular feature – in all of them, the immune system plays a central role. Low blood levels of endorphins are generally present, contributing to the disease-associated immune deficiencies.
Results You Can Expect
The experience of people who have autoimmune diseases and who have begun LDN treatment has been remarkable. Many of our patients with autoimmune conditions report significant improvements in their symptoms – particularly fatigue, pain, mood and spasm – after they start taking LDN. LDN is inexpensive, easy to administer, and virtually free of side effects.
In most autoimmune diseases the disease progression halts and symptoms are reduced. While you are sleeping LDN blocks the production of endorphins for several hours. The brain then thinks that there is a shortage of endorphins and signals for the production of many more. The resulting increase in available endorphins will modulate the immune system and results in the reduction of both inflammation and thyroid antibodies. In general, people with diseases that are largely triggered by a deficiency of endorphins or are accelerated by a deficiency of endorphins, experience major therapeutic action of LDN.
Additionally, patients experiencing fatigue, pain, muscle weakness and cognitive dysfunction show vast improvements – up to 90%. LDN has also been shown to reduce symptoms associated with fibromyalgia by 30%. In many of our patients, treatment with LDN has also shown improvement in overall satisfaction with life and improvement in mood.
LDN also offers protective benefits against neurodegenerative diseases, where chronic inflammation is often the underlying cause. With LDN’s antioxidant properties, it reduces the effects of free radicals throughout your body, thereby reducing chronic inflammation and reducing disease progression. The body’s cells and systems then begin to work together to help the body heal itself and often times patients experience remission in signs and symptoms of their condition.
Because LDN is a prescription drug that is made by compounding pharmacies, and because there is a rather high rate of error in compounding the occasional drug, we strongly recommend using only compounders that are recognized for their expertise in compounding effective supplies of LDN or contact Holtorf Medical Group for more information.
To see if LDN is right for you or for more information, speak to our Patient Representative at 877-508-1177.