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Low Dose Naltrexone: Update 16 Weeks

My major experiment post- baby is Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN), you can read about the beginning of my experiment here.

Varying information will agree on anything between 8 weeks and one year to experience the full effects of LDN. And a dose of between 3 and 4.5mg depending on the illness.

At 15 weeks into the experiment, after six months of sleep deprivation from the baby on a grand scale (read: wake ups of between 2-10 times a night), I had a flare up. My neck was so sore I was extremely nauseas and had a severe headache for days. The doctor I saw told me it was my C3 and C4 vertebra that were causing me trouble. The pain was actually spasms. He suggested a muscle relaxant and slow release Brufen.

Feeling like I was taking a lot of pills, I skipped a dose of LDN for a night. A lot of people note needing to skip a night occasionally to clear the receptors as a way to increase effectiveness. There were no changes noted.

Two nights later I went on my first date with my husband since the baby. We had a glass of wine. I decided I’d better not take the LDN (full dose Naltrexone is for alcohol and drug withdrawal, it can cause vomiting when mixed).

The next day I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. The fatigue sky rocketed. I was at 6-7/10 levels, hardly functioning, needed two rests and craved sugar like mad.

Taking my 3mg dose as usual that night I went to sleep hoping to feel better when I woke.

I did feel a bit better! The fatigue was about 3/10 and the filmy fog on my brain had descended a level or two. My neck came down a point, that could be related or not.

This is proof to me that it’s making a difference. At 3-3.5mg LDN is helping my fatigue.

I patiently continue for my maximum benefit. One woman in an LDN group told me of feeling progressively better over a year to approximately 90% function at one year! It gives me such hope. So I shall continue on for my one year experiment.

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Low Dose Naltrexone: An Experiment

There are three little letters that are causing a craze in the world of Fibromyalgia at the moment – LDN (low dose naltrexone). This is the last (for now) major experiment I can engage in.

Research has been showing promising results. Dr Jared Younger started with a tiny study and found positive results, approximately 65% of patients included experienced clinically significant results. He’s doing a bigger study this year.

How LDN works is well explained in this article, which includes many links to research.

It is meant to help with so many issues, including Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, gastrointestinal troubles and more.

If I could experience a 30% (this is considered clinically significant and therefore as success) decrease in pain and fatigue, my life would change! I could be a mama, a wife, do my work and have some form of a life outside that and not pay with such significant levels of pain, fatigue and other side effects of the Fibromyalgia.

I can only share research and what works or doesn’t work for me. We are all unique and react differently. If you’re interested in LDN then read the research/information and then discuss it with your doctor.

Key things I learnt:

  • It works best for me when taken at 9 (not earlier).
  • My main side effect was vivid, crazy dreams.
  • Titrating up 0.5mg at a time with four day gaps between increases, until 2.5mg when it was beneficial to wait a week or more.

I’ll update on this experiment when I’m closer to the four month mark – this is when most people I’ve read about in the LDN groups on Facebook find it shows the best effects.

Have you tried LDN? Any success?

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Fibro Soothe: A Review

I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. 

I was so excited to be given a chance to review Fibro Soothe because I have heard many great things about the ingredients and because I hadn’t yet tried fibro specific supplements like this.

When I was first diagnosed these sorts of things were just not available, especially here in New Zealand. So I have really enjoyed the proliferation of options.

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I was so happy to receive this, that I posted this picture on Twitter immediately!

Fibro Soothe contains Boswellia serrata Wokvel®, Turmeric Longvida®, DL-Phenylalanine, Ginger, Devils Claw, Ashwagandha, Bromelain, Papain, and Turmeric Powder. It is supposed to help with inflammation, pain and sleep.

Curcumin, the active ingredient in tumeric has long been known as a potent antiinflammatory, along with ginger. Perhaps less known, dl-phenylalanine, devils claw, ashwaghanda, bromelain and papain are also useful to promote pain relief and energy.

I have taken Curamin before (also sold by ProHealth), which contains Curcumin and a couple of other overlapping ingredients and found it to be quite useful for my neck, which is the pain I most struggle with. My neck is always tight and sore, and gets very stiff in the night and if I try to sit still for too long. It responds to ibuprofen, when none of my other pain does – which I think is why anti inflammatory supplements help.

There has been a lot going on for me, physically, with having a small baby. So it was both a good time and a rough time for trying a new treatment.

Having a baby, developing symphisis pubis disorder and a Fibromyalgia flare up all at once (all interrelated), I’ve been on more medicine than I’d like. Fibro Soothe helped me cut out the morning dose of ibuprofen, which removes the extra stress on my stomach.

The only negative I found from taking Fibro Soothe was trying to swallow three capsules in the morning, I found it difficult. So I now take my daily dose around lunchtime when it’s easier to take them. There isn’t a strong smell or taste, so that really helps.

I have found that supplements usually take six to eight weeks to truly see if it will work for you, so make sure you give it a good amount of time when trying new supplements.

I’ve been on it for about five weeks and will continue taking it. The effect on my neck alone solidifies this in my daily regimen. It’s important to remember that fighting Fibromyalgia requires an amalgamation of solutions, rather than one miraculous one.

Getting as much good sleep as I can, nutritious food, supplements, gentle exercise and rest are all part of my key lifestyle changes.

Some of the key supplements I love are:

Another thing to note, is that Pro Health has a wealth of articles about Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome available, so it’s worth spending some time going through their site.

Have you tried Fibro Soothe before? Did it help you? Is there any other supplements that really help you?