There is nothing worse than being in constant pain.
If you’ve never dealt with chronic pain, imagine smashing your big toe into the corner of a chair and as soon as the pain begins to subside, you do it again.
It sounds awful, doesn’t it?
It really is.
Chronic pain is debilitating. It can drive people into the pit of misery, into the arms of addiction, and can cause people to lose the will to live.
Truth be told, one of the driving factors behind the nation’s opioid addiction is the fact that so many people live with crushing pain that leaves them in agony and despondent that they’ll ever heal.
While opiates are fantastic at blocking pain, they’re terrible for prolonged use because after a while your body will begin to become dependent on them.
That’s why there’s been a renewed quest to find alternatives to opiates for pain management.
I wish I could say supplements like turmeric were strong enough to mediate some forms of chronic pain; sadly, most supplements aren’t up to that task.
Sure, they’ll help to alleviate the symptoms of a headache or bruising, but healing a person of whole-body pain that results from certain kinds of conditions is not something most supplements are capable of.
Enter low-dose naltrexone.
Low-dose naltrexone (LDN for short) is a novel therapy for helping manage certain kinds of brutal pain, without the dangerous side effects of opiates.
We offer LDN therapy at our clinic and are thrilled to say many of our patients who use it are on their way to feeling better than they’ve felt in years.
What Is Low-Dose Naltrexone?
Practitioners originally created naltrexone therapy to help drug addicts of their addictions.
Specifically, opiate addicts.
The difference between LDN for chronic pain, especially pain caused by fibromyalgia, and the way it was originally used to help drug addicts, is all in the dosing.
When Dr Bernard Bihari, M.D., a physician from New York, first started using the treatment in 1985, he was giving people 50mg – 300mg.
As Bihari’s observed, those levels of naltrexone were strong enough to block the subject’s opioid receptors.
That’s what drug addicts need to help kick their habit.
However, Bihari and his colleagues noticed that when he administered naltrexone in much lower doses, it had a different pharmacological effect that could help a person deal with pain.
Because LDN is an antagonist to a person’s opiate/endorphin receptors, when a person gets 1-5mg it actually increases the amount of endorphins released into the body.
As you may know already, endorphins are your body’s “feel good” hormones and when stimulated have an analgesic (pain-killing) property.
LDN exhibiting an analgesic property is terrific for anyone who’s in pain.
Even more exciting is as those endorphins surge through the body it actually has a beneficial effect on the immune system. This modulation of immune system performance has overwhelmingly positive effects on health, including reducing inflammation and keeping cells healthy and resistant to cell-mutation.
Now here’s where things get even better with LDN therapy.
An additional benefit of LDN is that clinical research seems to show as little as 1-5mg of this novel agent balances two immune cells called TH1 and TH2.
TH1 and TH2 are known as helper T-cells and are essential to proper immune function.
In most instances of disease, there’s an imbalance of TH1 and Th2 at play. When the two aren’t in stasis one or the other may dominate the other in an immune response and that can either lead to an auto-immune disorder, or, could lead to an ineffectual immune response that results in illness.
The application of LDN can help to resolve issues related to auto-immune attacks; I.E. it may help to resolve pain in – or – it could reestablish the immune system in such a way that it could finally rid itself of a chronic infection.
Though LDN isn’t yet approved by the FDA and most of the instances demonstrating its effectiveness have been experimental, we’ve been able to help dozens of patients use this therapy to bring vibrancy and healing back into their pain-racked lives.
Here’s Who May Benefit From LDN
LDN therapy isn’t for everyone.
It’s not necessarily for people who’ve had a recent surgery and it’s not for people who’ve injured themselves either.
That isn’t to say that it can’t/won’t work in these instances.
However, I believe LDN is best utilized as a highly specialized therapy meant to tackle unresolved pain/infections in those whose illness result from compromised immune function.
This is why we use it to help patients who suffer from conditions like Fibromyalgia, Crohn’s Disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia and more.
The LDN Research Trust has demonstrated that LDN therapy may be beneficial for as many as 30 different kinds of conditions, and while I agree, I always want to caution that this isn’t a silver bullet for all kinds of pain.
Just to give you an idea of how effective LDN is, take a look at an excerpt from what the System NeuroScience Pain Lab at Stanford University said about LDN for pain management.
“The FDA has currently approved three medications for the treatment of fibromyalgia, but they don’t work well for many people.
A few years ago we conducted a small study of a common medication called naltrexone and found that low doses provided significant pain relief in the many of the people tested. Therefore, we decided to conduct a larger study of low-dose naltrexone (LDN) for a longer period of time.
Naltrexone has been used safely for many years to treat people who are addicted to alcohol and narcotics because it blocks the effects of these drugs. When given in smaller doses, naltrexone may help to reduce pain associated with inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease. LDN is not FDA-approved for the treatment of pain, and is still experimental.
In our study, 28 women with fibromyalgia took one pill a day for 16 weeks. During that time, each woman took the LDN (4.5 mg) for 12 weeks and a sugar pill (placebo) for 4 weeks. The study was double-blind, meaning that neither the women participating in the study nor the healthcare team knew which pill they were taking at any time. Each woman was given a handheld computer to record their pain, fatigue, and other symptoms on a daily basis, and they continued to record their symptoms for 4 weeks after they stopped taking the capsules.”
What Stanford observed is typical of most research on LDN, and it’s why we’re raving about it (and so too are patients).
LDN Virtually Side Effect Free, Too
Another added benefit to LDN is that we believe it to be virtually side-effect free.
From what we’ve seen, the only things patients have to worry about are vivid or weird dreams, and potential problems falling asleep.
That much being true, if you deal with pain, chronic infections, or autoimmune disease this should be something to consider adding into the treatment plan.
If you believe you could benefit from LDN all you have to do is call the office to set up an appointment (first time patients call – 336-768-3335) or login to your online portal and set up an appointment there.