First of all there is a lot of information on the Internet about LDN and how it works but I want to explain it in more simple terms as I have always tried to do. Keep in mind that I'm not a doctor nor am I an expert in any way shape or form: I am simply sharing what knowledge I have obtained from my own personal research in hopes of spreading knowledge and information. There are without a doubt many more people out there who know much more about this subject than I do but I am simply trying to promote the subject because I find great interest in it and think that this medication could help many people including myself.
LDN Stands for low dose Naltrexone: Naltrexone was a drug approved by the FDA in the 1980's to help heroin addicts quit their drug use. The drug worked by blocking opioid receptors preventing heroin addicts from being able to get high off of heroin. This drug was usually administered in doses around 100 mg a day to keep those opioid receptors blocked keeping heroine out for good.
It was later discovered (or hypothesized) that using a low dose of Naltrexone could be beneficial to people with autoimmune diseases such as MS and other diseases such as AIDS, cancer, or Crohn's disease. For the sake of this article we will just touch on how LDN is believed to help patients with Multiple Sclerosis.
MS patients who take LDN are taking a very low dose of Naltrexone before they go to bed, usually around 3-5 mg, which is a pretty low amount in comparison to the 100 mg a heroin addict would take everyday. What this does is temporarily blocks the opioid receptors for just a few hours tricking the body into producing more endorphins. Endorphins are hormones produced by the body that carry out various functions including the regulation of the immune system. Because endorphins must combine with the opioid receptors an excess amount of endorphins are produced when these receptors are blocked by the drug Naltrexone because the receptors are not detecting any endorphins causing the body to think no endorphins are being produced. Once the drug wears off the opioid receptors are much more sensitive and the body has produced an excessive amount of endorphins which can now gain easier access to the opioid receptors thanks to their increased sensitivity.
Now the body has ample endorphins to help regulate the immune system. Since MS is believed to be an autoimmune disease this theory makes quite a lot of sense: the immune system of a patient with Multiple Sclerosis is malfunctioning causing it to attack the myelin sheath. LDN works by helping the body produce extra endorphins to help better regulate the immune system so that it does not attack the myelin sheath.
I really like the idea of how this supposedly works because currently all the treatments that are available to MS patients treat the after affects of demyelination whereas LDN more or less prevents demyelination eliminating much need for pharmaceuticals. Though many claim this is a wonder pill I don't believe it is a cure because logically speaking there is still something triggering the immune system to act irregularly, LDN simply brings things back into balance.
I have not taken LDN yet but am eager to do so to see what effect it has on myself. Many people claim that it is the best thing that has ever happened to them and some claim that it has done absolutely nothing for them. Unfortunately there is a lack of proper funding to start clinical trials on the use of Naltrexone in low doses for the use of treating autoimmune diseases and other various illnesses so success rates are based mostly on user accounts.
Please visit LowDoseNaltrexone.org for more information!
I will have more details on this matter as my knowledge and experience with this medication expands overtime. I hope this has sparked some interest in LDN for you!