LDN 102: LDN for Fibromyalgia Pain
What is Low Dose Naltrexone and why is it so effective?
In this video we’ll review how Low Dose Naltrexone works, why it's so effective and the data supporting its effectiveness, and why you have probably never heard of it.
But first, what is fibromyalgia?
Muscular pain, fatigue, insomnia and headaches. These are just some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder that affects at least 5 million Americans. The 23andme survey of over a 1000 people ranked LDN as the #1 most helpful product for Fibromyalgia. A double blind placebo controlled trial at Stanford showed that LDN resulted in pain reduction and improved quality of life.
The reduction in daily pain seen in these trials supports the current consensus for the action of LDN; (i) Reducing microglia activation (ii) With a reduction in microglia activation this can lower inflammation in the brain. (iii) A reduction in inflammation negates pain hypersensitivity.
Naltrexone has been approved by the FDA for over 30 years. A typical dose of 50mg or more per day inhibits opioid receptors. In simple terms, that means it prevents the body from recognizing opioids.
What clinicians have discovered is that, in small doses, 1/10th or less of the conventional 50mg/day dose, Naltrexone impacts the body in other ways that can be beneficial for those suffering from fibromyalgia or other autoimmune inflammatory conditions.
Here’s what the science says. There are immune system cells in the brain called microglia. Microglia look for inflammation and help protect the brain from damage. They usually remain dormant until triggered for action. Once activated, these microglial cells release cytokines that make us feel sick. Think about if you get the flu: you likely feel horrible and sick. That's your immune system forcing you to stay in bed, so that your body can allocate all the resources to fighting off the infection.
In some people, these microglia have become chronically activated, and they release inflammatory chemicals which irritate the nerve cells around them, causing them to become hypersensitized to pain. This causes chronic inflammation, chronic pain, and fatigue.
One theory why LDN is effective is that it acts as an anti-inflammatory for the central nervous system. It acts on specific receptors on the microglial cells that, in simple terms, calms them down and reduces the release of proinflammatory cytokines. This allows the nerve cells to normalize the volume of pain signals and may serve as a therapeutic mechanism to alleviate the cause and symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Another scientific theory supporting LDN’s effectiveness surrounds its ability to modulate the immune system and lower chronic inflammation--which is what many medical theories believe to be the cause of Fibromyalgia and many other autoimmune conditions.
So to summarize the pharmacological impact of naltrexone seems to be dose dependent. While at high doses (~50 mg/day) naltrexone is effective at inhibiting the opioid receptors, at low doses (3-5 mg/day) it has different effects such as inhibition of microglia activity.
The current data shows LDN to be a safe and well tolerated drug. You can learn more by going to agelessrx.com.
If you’re suffering with symptoms of fibromyalgia, get in touch with AgelessRx today to see if LDN is right for you.