Low Dose Naltrexone and the Cortisol Connection
I wrote a blog post a few months ago introducing a very benign drug called low dose naltrexone (LDN) and here is the link to this post for those that don't know what LDN is: http://recoveringwitht3.com/blog/could-low-dose-naltrexone-ldn-be-helpful-hashimotos-thyroiditis-patients
I have since experimented with LDN myself and found that it had some positive effects and some negative ones.
I have also talked to many patients who have used LDN themselves.
Some patients on LDN experience lower autoimmune reactions (which is obviously good). Others can experience alterations in other neurotransmitters (like serotonin and dopamine balance - which may be good or bad). Some can get better HPA axis response which can mean improved cortisol levels. I have seen cortisol levels improve in some people when they began to use LDN.
LDN is not a sure fire way of improving Hashis or cortisol. It can have unpredictable results. It can be very helpful for some people, do nothing for others and make some feel emotional and cause more problems dosing thyroid hormone than existed to begin with.
LDN is a useful tool in the toolbox. It is one I really recommend is left until the last, after all other things have been tried, as it can have unpredictable results.
I prefer to see autoimmune issues addressed through diet, supplements, toxicity removal, the correction of nutrient imbalances, an the good use of thyroid hormone.
I have tried to use LDN as I have mentioned above. My own experience is that LDN is definitely potent. It caused emotional changes that were not good in my case and I've seen this in others also. I do think it helped to raise my cortisol levels but the other side effects weren't acceptable to me. Some people may not experience any side effects.
I am just one person. My experience with LDN is not extensive and neither have I made a large study of it. I have talked to many LDN users but even this is not really extensive. So, my experience is anecdotal.
So, anyone considering LDN use should do their own research.
Circadian T3 Method (CT3M) and LDN
However, I believe that there is potential in the combination of the CT3M and LDN for those people who really have very low cortisol and cannot improve it sufficienctly using CT3M alone.
More will be discovered about this over time and considerably more research is needed.
(Updated in January 2019)