What is it: Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is a pharmaceutical drug that is slowly starting to gain popularity. It was originally developed years ago to help people kick addictions but has been pioneered by Dr. Bihari in treating Multiple Sclerosis and a numer of other conditions.
There is evidence to suggest that when taken in small doses (1/15th of the dose for treating addictions) it appears to halt or reverse a wide range of symptoms related to CFS/ME. Dr. Bihari has found that around 50% of people with CFS/ME benefit from the treatment. So it seems to be a case of the old Heads or Tails. Game to flip the coin?
Why take it: The idea is that taking LDN each night can help to regulate the immune system by causing the body to create more opioids. Ultimately this leads to you slowing feeling better over a period of time. People who have had success with LDN tend to stay on it for the long term and report much deeper and more refreshing sleep.
Here’s what a Finnish woman by the name of Majia Haavisto had to say about it ‘My fatigue and muscle weakness are a lot better, I don’t “crash” nearly as easily as I used to and the crashes are significantly milder (I used to get bedbound from very mild effort, like stirring a soup!). My cognitive problems have improved though not as much as my fatigue. My chronic fever and chronic urticaria, both among my most bothersome symptoms are 90-95% gone. My asthma is also a lot better. Most importantly, LDN seems to have stabilized my condition.’
How Much to Gulp Down: The recommended starting dose is at 1.5 grams building up slowly to 3.5 grams – 4 grams. There are slight differences of opinion around the issue but most people recommend taking the dose in the evening before bed.
My Experience: (10/9/11) I first found out about LDN over a year ago and was originally all Gung Ho to give it a try. I figured it was cheap, had few side effects with the potential to give me some great benefits. However my Doctor at the time was reluctant to give me a prescription as there a no published studies linking CFS/ME to LDN and he didn’t want to attract heat from the regulartory powers that be.
And so my LDN quest lost momentum even though I could have got it from my Doctor had I really wanted it. Right now it is of little interest as I’m exploring the use of only natural organic medicines and don’t like the idea of being on any drugs for the forseeable future. But I never say never…. Except just then, but that doesn’t count.
Links & more detailed information:
- Here is an link to an excellent article outlining the results of one mans application of LDN to his case of ME/CFS.
- Lowdosenaltrexone.com contains lots of information and the results from a number of different studies
- This is Majia Haavisto’s wesbite. She has been instrumental in raising awareness around the application of LDN in cases of CFS/ME
Had an experience with Low Dose Naltrexone?
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Where to Next?
Why not find out about another potential silver bullet?
Or balance out all those chemicals with a good old fashioned Green Smoothie?