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My Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) for Fibromyalgia One Year Experiment

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It’s been a year since my giant experiment with low dose naltrexone (LDN) for fibromyalgia and chronic pain/chronic fatigue/insomnia. What a year it has been.
 See my post LDN, Fibromyalgia and Me for my last update. Also see Low Dose Naltrexone: An Experiment my first post introducing the experiment.
How Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) Changed My Life

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How Low Dose Naltrexone works in a nutshell

It works in the endocannabinoid system – it temporarily blocks the receptors encouraging the body to make more endorphins. There’s research and explanations in my introductory post here and in the chapter about LDN in my book Melissa vs Fibromyalgia. I also created a printable of the LDN chapter from my book with research list so that you can do some research and take it to your doctor in my Etsy shop here.
What I love most about this medicine is that it is not a typical medicine and does not have any of the nasty side effects that most medicines prescribed for Fibromyalgia have. The worst I experienced was vivid dreams when I was titrating up to find my ideal dose. It essentially tricks the body into producing more endorphins, there is research theorizing that people with Fibromyalgia suffer from endocannabinoid deficiency. I believe it took nine months for me to see effect because my body was slowly healing from a deep sleep deprivation behind the scenes. This leads me to believe that LDN may be the only way to address an insufficiency that currently has no other satisfactory treatment option. I certainly prefer it to pain killers that have many negative effects and few positive ones.
There is also plenty of research and patient evidence available – groups on Facebook about LDN and the LDN research trust have a wealth of knowledge.

So here are the five benefits I have noted from LDN:

Five ways LDN is changing my life

Benefit One Sleep

What it’s helped me with – first and foremost is sleep. For the ten years or so prior to LDN I had not slept in more than one hour blocks, that’s rarely completing a whole sleep cycle, therefore my body was in chronic deep sleep deprivation. Since LDN, I can sleep in two, three, four or even five hour blocks! I am so grateful for this, I can’t even tell you. I believe this is what has created the other benefits.
Please do note that I still have to take amitriptyline to get to sleep and enact my sleep hygiene list daily.

Benefit Two Pain

Since about nine months into treatment I have noticed a reduction in neck pain. Neck pain has been a 24/7 issue for over 10 years. In 2017, while starting LDN, I learnt that my neck issue is actually myofascial pain syndrome. After throwing the severe, recurring “muscle knots” (trigger points) into the fibro basket, I finally had an answer. The physiotherapist has been helping me to work on these trigger points through intramuscular needling  (gently inserting a tiny needle into the trigger point and letting it relax a little) and neck mobilisations. This and the sleep (potentially reducing the fibromyalgia worsening the issue) has helped. My pain levels were 6-8/10 with severe headaches (with dizziness and nausea) daily back in 2010 before I started this journey. Just prior to LDN they were approximately 4-6/10 with occasional severe headaches. In early 2018, after one year on LDN, the average is 3-4/10 with the occasional spike to 5/6 with a bad headache and it’s usually when I’ve overdone it.
I wrote the LDN mini eBook with the research summary, my experience, notes on pregnancy with a handy list of research you can take to your doctor if you’re considering trying low dose naltrexone. 
low dose naltrexone for fibromyalgia

Benefit Three Emotional

If you haven’t lived with pain that interrupts sleep, interferes with daily life all day, every day for over a decade or been unable to sleep for more than an hour at a time for about the same length of time – it’ll be hard to convey the depth of impact on my emotional well-being.
Not fighting to sleep at 3am, not swapping pillows, getting my heat pack, applying pain cream and basically not sleeping due to unrelenting pain is huge for me.
My quality if life is so much better. I never let myself lose hope, but it was dwindling. This was a necessary win.

Benefit Four Stamina

Slowly my stamina increased. Activities that used to wipe me out can be tolerated for longer. I can exercise slightly more. I can do slightly more.
Having had a baby with reflux, I feel I coped exceptionally well and that is down to LDN. The demands on a mama of two is much higher than a mama with one! It’s been a busy year.

Benefit Five Fatigue

Fatigue is the second of my two worst symptoms (neck pain being the first). Yes, that’s “is” not “was”. It’s improved but I still have a limited energy envelope. I can get through the day on a 15 minute meditation and a brief sit down with the heat pack. I still can’t physically stay up past 9pm and that’s a fair trade off to me.

A Note on Pregnancy

I did some research around the use of LDN in pregnancy for my book and found a fertility doctor who has been using it for years and it’s had benefits for mama and baby.
There isn’t a lot of literature around medicine use in pregnancy, but I took what I had and presented my choice to stay on it to my doctor. We decided for my context it was worth continuing. But that is individual and you need to take the research to your doctor if you are considering taking it during pregnancy – know your stuff in case your doctor doesn’t, they’ll hopefully appreciate the information.

Conclusion

LDN is not a miracle medicine nor standalone treatment option for me, but it is changing my life and I’m so thankful.

For more information join my newsletter list and get access to the You vs Fibromyalgia micro course and more printables, reports and workshops.

25 thoughts on “My Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) for Fibromyalgia One Year Experiment

  1. […] am just about to write up my one-year review of the experiment. It has changed my life. It is not a miracle cure – I still implement a lot […]

  2. […] My Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) for Fibromyalgia One Year Experiment […]

  3. […] have stepped up the fight. I am trying Low-Dose Naltrexone and an MSM supplement at the moment. I am using yoga as therapy (targeted poses to keep my body […]

  4. […] My Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) for Fibromyalgia One Year Experiment […]

  5. […] pubis disorder, it’s been a far better experience than my first two. It’s all thanks to low dose naltrexone improving my sleep, pain and fatigue levels. I started in a better condition and am continuing […]

  6. […] by 9.30/10pm in order to hope for enough sleep before my son wakes up, reducing night activities. Low Dose Naltrexone helps me a lot with sleep […]

  7. […] Why I’m Treating the Fibromyalgia as Naturally as Possible Free Printables from Melissa vs Fibromyalgia Book Spoonie Gifts – Birthday, Christmas, Anniversary? What to get a Friend with Fibromyalgia My Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) for Fibromyalgia One Year Experiment […]

  8. […] was only as the Low Dose Naltrexone started helping at the end of last year that I was able to start making my images myself (on Canva), […]

  9. […] Bonus add epsom salts Following on from the heat pack, a hot bath is my favourite time out and relaxation technique. When my lower body is very sore, this is the only way to release the cramps – for these times I have it rather hot. When I was in my third trimester with my second baby I’d end up in a hot bath that just covered my thighs just about every afternoon. Other posts you might like Why I’m Treating the Fibromyalgia as Naturally as Possible My Daily Log, Why I Track Fibromyalgia Symptoms My Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) for Fibromyalgia One Year Experiment […]

  10. […] often wake up at 4am (or every hour or two) with an incredibly stiff and sore neck. Since I began Low Dose Naltrexone in 2017, I have finally managed to sleep in blocks of more than an hour! I don’t sleep […]

  11. […] Move Every Day and Some Neck and Back Pain Yoga Links Why I’m Treating the Fibromyalgia as Naturally as Possible My Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) for Fibromyalgia One Year Experiment […]

  12. […] to be the same as everyone’s and even this pregnancy is different than my other two due to Low Dose Naltrexone. It is helping me sleep, even though it is still very broken by pain and bathroom stops, it is still […]

  13. […] My One Year Low Dose Naltrexone for Fibromyalgia Experiment […]

  14. […] illness for which insomnia is an issue or when you have tiny children partying through the night. Low Dose Naltrexone is the only way I have managed to sleep in more than one hour blocks. For others it increases […]

  15. […] wholly believe I am coping this well this time due to sleep – or the low dose naltrexone helping me sleep. It may be disrupted by pain and pee, but it is more restorative than before. […]

  16. […] I have written up my one year experiment conclusion about low dose naltrexone (LDN) and Fibromyalgia, I have developed a bit of an itch to share my knowledge. I want others with chronic pain, chronic […]

  17. […] My Top Three Treatments to Fight Fibromyalgia What Works for me: 9 Things to Fight Fibromyalgia My Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) for Fibromyalgia One Year Experiment […]

  18. […] I began low dose naltrexone I started to sleep in more than one hour blocks. Getting restful sleep has been the basis of all […]

  19. […] my Low Dose Naltrexone One Year Experiment post here. It includes a full write up of how it is changing my life with some links to further […]

  20. […] have found success with low dose naltrexone and write about that here. So when I found out that CBD oil can work synergistically with LDN, I put it on my mental […]

  21. […] in 2017 I began taking low dose naltrexone and it helped me to start sleeping in blocks of up to a few hours. This made such a difference on […]

  22. […] baby waking regularly in the night, since I have experienced the improvement in my symptoms from low dose naltrexone, I can’t bear not to indulge my love of […]

  23. […] have found success with low dose naltrexone and write about that here. So when I found out that CBD oil can work synergistically with LDN, I put it on my mental […]

  24. […] that this has been a much better pregnancy despite severe pelvis issues and it is all thanks to low dose naltrexone. You can check out my Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia playlist on YouTube for my honest pregnancy […]

  25. […] I have finally got a more successful story for you! After a much more comfortable pregnancy (even with severe pelvis issues that resulted in my being put off work at week 23 and on crutches and is still causing trouble at nine months postpartum) nursing was not such a kick in the pants. I had gotten my health into a much better place prior to pregnancy and reaped the rewards in pregnancy and nursing. This was due to low dose naltrexone and my ability to sleep in more than one hour blocks. You can find my post here about LDN. […]

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