I first learned about Low-dose Naltrexone (LDN) when I was working on solving my thyroid issues. For a long time I believed my thyroid was the cause of all of all of my woes. Turns out it wasn’t, but I am still glad I found LDN. Even just a little bit of this drug can have a great effect on people suffering from ME/CFS.
Naltrexone is an FDA approved medication used to block the receptors in the brain from opioids and heroine. By blocking the receptors Naltrexone helps reduce cravings helping addicts recover from addiction faster. It has also been shown to reduce the rush from addictive drugs allowing addicts to return to a steady state of mind allowing them to balance life. Pretty cool right? When Naltrexone is being used for drug recovery it is typically given in a dosage of 50 mg/day.
The interesting thing is what happens in the body when it is given in very small doses. In smaller doses of 1.5-4.5mg/day Naltrexone has been shown to (according to Isabella Wentz PharmD, FASCP):
“…enhance immune function by increasing our endogenous adrenaline production, reducing inflammatory cytokines, promoting DNA synthesis, and slowing down motility in the GI tract to facilitate healing. LDN increases the number of T regulatory cytokines IL-1 and TGBF-b, leading to a reduction of TH17, the promoter of autoimmunity”
If you have brain fog like me, that was probably all gibberish. All you really need to know from that excerpt is that LDN helps reduce inflammation, promote healing, and reduce the autoimmune response in the body.
According to Cort Johnson from Health Rising, it also can prompt the brain to release more endorphins, and when we have more endorphins we feel less pain. (see resource below). Sounds good to me!
So how does it help ME/CFS’ers?
The exact reason it helps some people with ME/CFS is unknown, because there is no direct research to date. However, many of us suffer from inflammation, and co-morbid autoimmune responses like Fibromyalgia, Hashimotos, and Crohn’s. Taking something to reduce these things definitely has potential to improve our daily lives. Here are what some ME patients have said about taking LDN:
“I’ve only been on it for a couple of months so far, it has reduced my pain, and eliminated my constant feeling like I was coming down with a viral infection.”
“It reduces my pain to a more tolerable/cope-able level.”
“It took me from shooting pains in my arms/hands, flu-like body aches, sore throat, low grade fever, headaches, swollen glands, fatigue and extreme brain fog to almost normal and almost like I’m not sick until I overdo. I never want to be without it!”
“Helps with pain and inflammation, especially skull crushing headaches!”
“I’ve been taking it for over a year now. I no longer have chronic sinus infections, my pain has improved, and my immune system seems to be working better.”
“I started with 3mg, and didn’t notice much improvement, but went I went up to 5mg, I definitely noticed a difference in quality of life”
How to take LDN
Start with a low dose. .5mg or 1mg/day. Take it at night before you go to sleep. Gradually increase to 4.5mg/day. I prefer using the dropper because it makes it easier to get the right dose, and the body is better at absorbing liquids.
The only major side effect reported for the use of LDN is vivid dreams. And when I say vivid dreams, I mean really vivid dreams. ha. Drug trip anyone? Otherwise some people have reported becoming dizzy, having headaches, insomnia, anxiety, and nausea, but these symptoms are rare. This is a very low risk drug.
How to get it without a doctor
Getting LDN can be a challenge depending on where you live. The good news is, you don’t have to go to a doctor to get it anymore! You can buy it right online! What a relief, right? Doctors are such a pain. Here is a link to the exact one I use!
To learn more about LDN, find a doctor, and look at the research visit: https://www.ldnscience.org/
To learn more about LDN and ME/CFS from Cort Johnson at Health Rising visit: https://www.healthrising.org/treating-chronic-fatigue-syndrome/drugs/low-dose-naltrexone-ldn-fibromyalgia-chronic-fatigue-syndrom/
So, what do you think? Is it worth a shot? I would think so. Especially if you deal with chronic pain and autoimmune disorders along with your ME. It’s a low risk drug, so why not try?
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