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First Impressions: Low-Dose Naltrexone as Immuno-Modulator 

re: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
re: low-dose Naltrexone

See this video by Dr Gary Foresman on low-dose Naltrexone for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and other auto-immune patients and sometimes cancer patients too.

Recommended book: The Paleo Thyroid Solution, by Elle Russ @AMAZON. Elle does consulting also, which might be very helpful to those with thyroid conditions. It was her suggestion that in my particular case that the Naltrexone option might be good to try first. You’ll still need to work with a doctor of course.

Background: see Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Low-Dose Naltrexone as Immuno-Modulator?

I refer below to shoulder pain, which is a rotator cuff problem not related to an injury; I deem it another aspect of auto-immune. It has caused me tremendous and variable but unrelenting pain for four months partially crippling one arm. I did not start the Naltrexone because of the shoulder, but for root cause, but bonus time it seems.

UPDATE, day 30: energy levels have slowly improved, with yesterday having the best on-bike energy in 2 months (though it fatigued). I am absolutely better on average, with increasing consistency and fewer and fewer half-awake half-alive days—none for a week now. On average, things are far better than one month ago. However, there is NO WAY to know if this is just one more remission, or real improvement. A significant pattern change will require at least 3 months to make a tentative conclusion. That said, the improvement has not been abrupt as it was in all prior remissions, so it is possible that this time I am seeing an effect from the Naltrexone—slight but steady improvement.

UPDATE: see my 30-day update on Low-Dose Naltrexone.

Six days in, things look very promising:

  • No side effects. None.
  • Improved sleep first 2 days (deeper, sounder). Sleep pattern change mid-week, but maybe that was the birthday cake and wine. It has settled down to pretty solid and as good as it gets for me.
  • 1st night 3mg, curious sensation in hands and feet (in a good way)— achy discomfort replaced by mildly pleasant sensation (absence of achiness feels a lot better than achy pain).
  • 2nd night and subsequent 6mg, shoulder pain dropped off dramatically and with the best mobility in four months. Really striking. First night of pain-free (or almost) sleep in 4 months.
  • 3rd day (2 nights dosing), noticeable afternoon bump-up in energy and no nap needed that day. Not a lot of upside, but absolutely noticeable. Very unusual relative to past 7 weeks.
  • 3rd/4th day energy level not improved but not worse, but diet was not friendly on 3rd day (birthday cake, wine, etc).
  • 5th day, power output on 16 min bike ride up 20% from previous 7 week average. Need for afternoon naps much reduced (no nap).
  • 6th day, power output still up, and like 5th day, the ride felt good and did not feel like a miserable chore and not tired-out afterwards. Again, this feeling and output is unlike and much improved over a miserable previous previous 7 weeks.
  • 7th day: shoulder holding with improved function but still far from resolved. Energy level not great, above but closer to the mean of past 7 weeks.
  • Days 8/9/10: reversion to mean, lousy existence.
  • Day 11: abrupt and unexpected rise in energy late in the day after a lousy morning and afternoon, similar to 5th day (same 205 watt power ouput on 14 minute ascent, felt good). Like muscles and brain all got switched back on. Was actually tempted to do a 2nd ascent, and that’s a good sign vs prior 3 days, where it was like swimming in mud both brain and body.

If low-dose Naltrexone is going to work, this is promising and disappointing, both. As of day 11, it’s not clear if a trend is yet emerging or if it is the same old with some variation.

Coincidence? Sure, could be, cannot rule it out.

Confounders? Possibly, supplementation and food: selenium, alpha lipoic acid, Vitamin D, and reduced carb intake. But I have take those supplements before to no apparent effect.

Some will rightfully call-out confounders including the placebo effect. Based on my own mental makeup and past experiences, I deem this highly unlikely, particularly since I had no expectation of efficacy. And the sudden improvements... quite a coincidence?

Of course, it could also be that my body had begun an uptrend out of the feel-bad shithole, and I just happened to start Naltrexone in perfect synchrony with that. Cannot rule that out.

The proof will be whether I can enter and stay in remission for more than 8 weeks, given past 6-8 week up cycles every 5-6 months (over 2+ years), where a relapse has always occurred within ~10 weeks of remission. And while there is improvement, I cannot yet make a clean call that I am back in remission—a few days more will tell that tale.

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