A few weeks ago, I began taking a very low dose of LDN. I had three reasons for this - it has been documented to help lyme disease sufferers in addition to thyroiditis and other autoimmune conditions. I figured it was worth a try, and my LLMD/ND agreed.
For those who have never heard of LDN before, it is low dose naltrexone. If you google it you will find a lot of information about its off-label use for many chronic conditions including Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn's Disease, cancer and other autoimmune problems... even HIV/AIDS. LDN has been in use since the mid-1980s and is becoming better recognized studies are being run to see how it affects many kinds of conditions.
From my understanding, LDN is an opiate receptor inhibitor and immune system booster. Here is a link to the site that can best explain more.
My experience so far with this low dose drug has been nothing short of a miracle.
Although I have a wide variety of lyme-induced symptoms ranging from thyroid and adrenal problems to interstitial cystitis and GERD, the problem that has recently been most debilitating for me has been pain, aching and severe inflammation from spinal injuries that I have had for a few years. Recently my L4-5 disc herniation has been very inflamed, making it difficult for me to bend forward or walk without pain. I have also (thanks to a recent fall and lots of stroller lifting in and out of the car) managed to injure my mid-thoracic spine and it has been a source of great pain.
I did not have much expectation surrounding LDN in fact I was quite nervous about taking it, especially after having a bad initial reaction to 1.5mg which is considered a low dose.
My LLMD encouraged me not to give up on the LDN after my first bad experience but to wait a week and try again at a lower dose, then gradually build up. I started again at .5mg which went much better, and have now built up to .75mg a night with no problems.
After taking the LDN for about four nights, I woke one day to discover that I had literally no pain anywhere in my body. Zero. My spine felt amazing and I felt about fifteen years younger. I thought it was a fluke but since that time I am happy to report that the absence of pain is real. I can function with great stamina and even a spring in my step upon occasion. I have to remind myself about the back injuries so that I will not overdo it, since the injuries are real and diagnosed by MRI. If I didn't know they were there though, I would never guess. The LDN has given me a lot of joy back. I just hope that throughout the rest of my life there will always be a physician willing to prescribe it in such a low dose to me for this off-label use. I worry about the government banning off-label prescription of medications now... something I never would have imagined worrying about before.
If you suffer from an autoimmune or rheumatic condition, I can only say that in my case it has been absolutely amazing. I am telling everyone I know that suffers from chronic pain just how much it has helped me. I am also sleeping better than I have in years.
I am excited to see what the future will hold for me, and can honestly say that I am feeling so much better. I feel very lucky and blessed to be on this path back to wellness. I am starting to genuinely believe that I will be around to watch my children grow into adulthood and maybe even meet my own grandchildren someday. This kind of genuine hope is such a blessing.
May this post bring you hope and perhaps insight into a new mode of treatment.