Low-dose Naltrexone a Remarkable Tool Used in Functional Medicine

Did you know that almost half of all Americans have at least one chronic disease? That number continues to rise, and not only that, once you have one chronic disease, you have a much higher risk of developing more.

In our Functional Medicine practice, we see many patients with autoimmune disease, cancer, depression, and more. Many of our patients are not satisfied with the current medical model in our culture, and are looking to find answers to why they are suffering. We pursue the underlying root causes of disease, and address the whole person by looking at stress, sleep, digestion, diet, environmental toxins, relationships, etc. Our Primary Care and Naturopathic providers work in partnership with the patient to seek healing of chronic disease by addressing these underlying dysfunctions.

One of the many tools we use is a compounded medication called Low-Dose Naltrexone or LDN. This remarkable therapy was discovered in the 1980s by a physician in New York City, Dr. Bahari. Naltrexone was originally developed and FDA approved for use in alcohol and drug addiction. Dr. Bahari understood its therapeutic affects, and started using the medication in much smaller doses with his HIV/AIDS and cancer patients, with remarkable results. This treatment modality is now used to treat a wide-variety of inflammatory conditions (i.e. lupus, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, Hashimotos hypothyroidism, depression/anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, and more). It works as an opioid antagonist, and among other mechanisms, works to boosts the body’s endorphins and enkephalins. This rise in feel-good hormones contributes to the reduction of inflammation and an improvement of immune function, and often minimizes the symptoms and progression of chronic disease.  It also works to promote healing, inhibit abnormal cell growth, and provide relief of pain. The side effects are minimal and often transient, and the cost is reasonable. It is only available by prescription through a compounding pharmacy.

If you’d like to learn more, you can read more at www.ldnresearchtrust.orgwww.ldnscience.org, and schedule a consult at our office. NPR recently did a short piece on LDN, you can check it out here:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/09/23/741783834/in-tiny-doses-an-addiction-medication-moonlights-as-a-treatment-for-chronic-pain

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