LDN, Endorphins, and the Brain
When it was introduced in the mid-1980s, naltrexone was used for blocking opioid receptors. These receptors are meant to be activated by hormones produced by the body called endorphins and enkephalins. However, opioid drugs also stimulate these receptors.
Large doses of naltrexone were originally used for treating drug addiction by blocking the body’s opioid receptors, and therefore the effects of opioid drugs, completely. In doing so, however, it completely blocked the body’s endorphins and enkephalins as well. This was ultimately harmful to health since these hormones play critical roles in myriad parts of the body, such as the immune system.
In contrast, low doses of naltrexone act by temporarily blocking opioid receptors. This causes the body to increase its production of endorphins and enkephalins. In turn, these hormones work to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and contribute to well-being while avoiding the adverse health effects associated with larger naltrexone doses.
Studies have shown that low-dose naltrexone (LDN) offers multiple health benefits. It has been used in a wide range of treatments for a variety of conditions, including:
- Hashimoto’s disease
- Chronic pain
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Sjögren’s Syndrome
- Dry Eye Syndrome
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LDN, Autoimmune Disorders, Cancer, Treating Pain, and More
The late Dr. Bernard Bihari discovered and developed the therapeutic use of low-dose naltrexone (LDN) in the mid-1980s while practicing internal medicine in New York City. He was treating drug addicts with a new drug, Naltrexone, which blocked the heroin “high.” Unfortunately, 50 milligrams daily had unpleasant side effects. When his addicts started dying from AIDS, he began to search for a drug that would help them.
Dr. Bihari knew that endorphins, small neurochemicals produced by the body, had pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory properties. Dr. Bihari and his colleagues hired a lab scientist to measure patient endorphin levels. He discovered that his HIV patients had sub-normal endorphin levels. His team determined that LDN doses ranging from 1.75 to 4.5 milligrams increased endorphin levels by two to three hundred percent. By blocking the body’s endorphin receptors, LDN caused an overproduction of endorphins.
Dr. Bihari then started a small foundation to study the use of LDN in HIV patients. After one year, he discovered that the patients who took LDN had an eight percent death rate while patients taking placebo had a thirty-three percent death rate. He and his colleagues went on to treat hundreds of patients with LDN.
Endorphins have a positive effect on the immune system by increasing T-helper and natural killer cells. Not only does LDN help people with autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), it also seems to be beneficial as an adjunct treatment for certain types of cancer. (See link for article)
For more articles by Women’s International Pharmacy on LDN: https://www.womensinternational.com/low-dose-naltrexone-resources/
If you are a Lyme/MSIDS patient and do not know about LDN, please learn about it and talk about it with your doctor. Many patients have benefitted from LDN which is an inexpensive, compounded drug that helps so many things patients struggle with. For more: