Does LDN Really work for Autoimmune diseases?
LOW DOSE NALTREXONE (LDN)Low Dose Naltrexone has been very much discussed lately because the word is out that it really helps with autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases are associated with a malfunction of the immune system which causes the body to attack its own tissues instead of just foreign substances. WHAT ARE AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES?There are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases affecting more than 50 million Americans of whom 75% are women. Symptoms associated with the autoimmune disease include inflammation, fatigue, muscle aches, low fever, swelling, redness, rash, diarrhea, stomach disorders and many more. Some of the more common autoimmune diseases are: -Rheumatoid arthritis. The immune system attacks the joints causing pain and swelling.-Lupus. Autoimmune antibodies attach to tissues throughout the body.-Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The immune system attacks the lining of the intestines,-Ulcerative colitis. IBD disease affecting the large colon.-Crohn’s Dissease. IBD disease affecting the small intestines or entire GI tract.-Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). No inflammation but stomach pain, cramps, diarrhea.-Multiple Sclerosis MS). The immune system attacks nerve cells causing weakness, muscle spasm, and poor coordination.-Psoriasis. Immune attacks the skin producing scaly plaques on the skin.-Graves disease. Immune system produces antibodies that stimulate the thyroid gland to overproduce excess amounts of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism).-Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Immune system produces antibodies that attack the thyroid gland destroying the cells that produce thyroid hormone. (hypothyroidism).-And many more The diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune diseases are both complicated and difficult to treat. Most medications at best give temporary symptom relief. The good news is that Naltrexone in low doses has a proven track record of having very positive outcomes with most autoimmune diseases. SO WHAT IS NALTREXONE?Naltrexone is classified as an opiate antagonist that binds to the opioid receptor. This effectively blocks the receptor, preventing the body from responding to opioid drugs. It is used to treat addiction to opiate drugs. The prescription drug comes in a tablet of 50mg and is used in a dose of 50mg to 300mg daily to completely block the opioid receptor. In a low dose, usually 4.5mg a day, there is only temporary blockage of the opioid receptor.When the low dose wears off the body responds by producing thousands times more of the natural endorphins in the body. The increase in endorphins modulates the adverse immune response resulting in a dramatic improvement in autoimmune diseases. Studies and personal testimonials are proving that LDN may be the best answer to treating most autoimmune diseases. LDN has very few if any side effects, is relatively inexpensive, and easy to take at once a day dosing usually at bedtime. LDN does require a prescription from your physician and is available at most compounding pharmacies. Your physician will start you at a lower dose, usually 1.5 mg, and increase at biweekly intervals until the maintenance dose of 4.5mg is reached. Legacy Compounding has many patients taking LDN for autoimmune diseases with very favorable results. Refer to some of the testimonials on this website. If you have any questions or need more information please feel free to contact us.
Do You Need Hormone Replacement Therapy?
I hear it everyday: “My hormones are all out of whack, I just know it!” I would venture to guess that about 80% of women think that their hormones are out of balance. So how do you know if you are truly experiencing an imbalance?1. If you think you are out of balance, you are probably right. Hormones and the ways they affect your body are complicated and it doesn’t take much to get things “out of whack”, especially in today’s world of high-stress, fast food, and chemical overload.2. There are certain symptoms that are tell-tale signs like, irregular menstrual cycles, weight gain, mood swings, migraines, hot flashes and night sweats...just to name a few. There are some hormone abnormalities that we can detect based only on your symptoms (and can sometimes recommend helpful OTC medications or supplements).3. By far, the best way to find out if you have a hormonal abnormality is to take a hormone test. Which is our main topic today- because there are lots of different ways to get tested and people always ask me which way is best. Let’s talk about blood testing first.This is the MOST commonly used testing method, mainly because of the cost and convenience. But don’t be fooled; just because it is the most common method doesn’t mean it is the best. Some hormones in blood are protein bound, which makes them inactive and a blood test measures both the free and the bound hormone. Unfortunately, the amount of bound hormone can vary widely from one person to the next. So we need to look for a test that only measures the free/active hormone. For this reason, blood levels do not get my highest recommendation (although, there are some cases where blood levels are useful). My favorite testing method is the urine test. I use this test to evaluate almost all of my patients before they begin hormone replacement therapy. The first benefit is that it only measures “free” hormone levels, so you get a more clear picture of the hormone that is available for your body to use. Also, this test gives us some insight into hormone metabolism, methylation, breast cancer risk and so much more! It is a little more tedious than the blood test because you complete it at home by collecting 4-5 urine samples at specific time points during the day. Most of my patients agree that the data we get from this test is well worth the additional effort on your part. Finally, this test really helps me to tailor a treatment to your body’s needs because I have so much more information to work with.The last method I want to tell you about is saliva testing. This is the test we like to use after you have started HRT. Saliva testing is the best way to measure your free hormone levels once you start using medications because it most accurately measures how much of the medications are actually reaching your tissues, which is where all the action happens.If you are interested in having your hormones tested, email me at Catherine@legacycompounding.com and I can help you get started today!