This is part 1 in our series on autoimmunity. As with many of the conditions treated at Bio Energy there is not one straightforward path to wellness. Autoimmune conditions have to be managed from many angles. Over the next several months we will present these different approaches in our blog series. First in the series is a discussion about the use of Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) for autoimmunity.
Autoimmune conditions can manifest in many ways throughout the body. Some of the most common include - autoimmune thyroid disorders like Grave's and Hashimoto's, lupus, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Other digestive related autoimmune conditions include Celiac disease, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). This list is not inclusive of every autoimmune disorder, as there are more than 100 that have been identified
Naltrexone was originally developed for the treatment of alcohol and opiate addiction, with doses ranging from 50mg-150mg. Dr. Bernard Bihari, MD is the physician who first started researching and prescribing Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN). He proposed adjusting the dosage of naltrexone to determine the lowest dose that would cause an endorphin stimulus, as well as upregulate the immune response.
This new research was a turning point in his career and directed his research towards AIDS instead of addiction.
LDN provides benefit by stimulating the bodies endogenous (internal) opioid system and improving immune response. This in turn leads to a reduction in inflammation - including inflammatory blood markers, reduction in pain, improved sleep, reduction in autoimmune antibodies and improvement in neurological function - reduced anxiety, improved mobility, less brain fog, less headaches, etc. Patient response varies from experiencing all of those positive benefits, a few of the benefits, to experiencing no response at all. LDN is the type of medication that has to be trialed and if no benefit is seen, it is then discontinued.
If you are interested in learning more about LDN check out the website www.lowdosenaltrexone.org
. If you would like more information about incorporating this into your plan of care, feel free to make an appointment with your provider at Bio Energy. If you are not currently a patient, consider becoming an established patient to explore LDN as a treatment for your autoimmune disease.
Schopick, J. (2013). Bernard Bihari, MD: Low-dose naltrexone for normalizing immune system function. Alternative Therapies Health Medicine, 19