Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) In the Management of Autoimmune Conditions

Conventional Naltrexone

What is Naltrexone?
Naltrexone is a drug that is typically used at “full” dose for opioid addiction or overdose. When naltrexone is taken at a much lower dose, patients with autoimmune conditions may experience significant benefits in symptom reduction, improved lab markers, and slowed or reversed disease progression. The therapeutic dose of low-dose Naltrexone for autoimmune conditions is typically between 3.0mg – 4.5mg. Conditions that may benefit from LDN include: lupus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, MS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, celiac, psoriasis, Sjogren’s, scleroderma.

How does LDN work?
Low doses of Naltrexone taken at temporarily block your opioid receptors. This signals your brain that your levels are low, then your body responds by ramping up the production of endorphins. This surge of endorphins (and opiate receptors) can modulate your immune system and decrease autoimmune symptoms.

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A Functional Approach to Thyroid Health

Optimal thyroid hormone production is one of the most important factors to whole body health. In response to TSH signals from the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland produces the vital T4 and T3 hormones that set the basic metabolic rate for every cell in the body. This includes brain, heart, lung, bone, muscles, your immune system, digestion, liver and kidney function and everything else.

Sub-optimal thyroid function can cause a wide range of chronic or debilitating symptoms including: fatigue, depression, weight gain, brain fog, cold intolerance, hair loss, constipation, low bone density, and poor immune function.

With a system this important, you might think that conventional medicine would be completely up to date on how to keep track of this vital hormone. However, if you thought that conventional medicine had this well in hand, you’d be completely wrong.

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Medical Refugees & Navigating Conventional & Alternative Health Care

Complementary and alternative medical (CAM) clinics are serving as the de facto refugee camps for people with health conditions that are not addressed by “conventional” medicine. CAM clinics are staffed by licensed Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) and Integrative Medical providers who blend conventional healthcare with  alternative diagnostic and therapeutic techniques. The 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), found that 38 percent of US adults use CAM. The boundaries between CAM and conventional medicine are not absolute, and over time specific CAM practices may become widely accepted.

When medical refugees turn to alternative medicine, there are advantages and disadvantages. In this article, I’ll present my perspective on the strengths and limitations of both conventional and alternative medical approaches, and offer my navigational advice. First, lets cover some important definitions. Continue reading “Medical Refugees & Navigating Conventional & Alternative Health Care”