The LDN Book
edited by Linda Elsegood
Chelsea Green Publishing
The introduction gives a very telling glimpse into the world of medical practice. Dr. Cottel of California found that several years into her practice, her days were filled with insurance paperwork, phone calls, chart reviews and unfinished progress notes. She spent more time at a computer than with patients. That would have been acceptable if she felt she was helping people, but she wasn’t. Her schedule was filled with patients suffering from various chronic diseases who never got better. Our drug-based approach to healthcare has hit a wall.
Everything changed when she discovered low dose Naltrexone (LDN). What is that? Well, it’s a drug. She found out about it from one of those dreaded patients who come into the office carrying something they printed off the internet. She did her best to ignore it but it came up a few years later when another patient talked her into trying it with him. After two years of treatment, his preliminary symptoms of MS completely disappeared. After treating over one hundred patients she is convinced that she is seeing results way beyond a placebo effect.
Each chapter of the book (with one exception) is written by a different author. The first chapter covers the history of LDN. The second chapter talks about multiple sclerosis (MS) and lupus, which LDN seems to improve most. I’ve known several people suffering from MS, and there seems to be a wide range of severity. The preface of this book gives a very good firsthand account of what it is like to be incapacitated by the disease. Fortunately in this case, the victim was able to resume her life after treatment with LDN.
Other conditions discussed in other chapters are inflammatory bowel disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, thyroid disorders, restless legs syndrome, depression, autism and cancer. Fifty million Americans suffer from some form of autoimmune disease. At least one of the authors explains the theory of how LDN boosts immune system effectiveness. Environmental toxicity, gut bacteria balance, epigenetics and diet are also mentioned by various authors, although I don’t recommend this book for dietary advice.
More insight into the medical system comes from another doctor later in the book. Insurance companies only reimburse for visits that are ten or twenty minutes long, so doctors who spend any more time than that with the average patient will go broke sooner or later. Even on television, the heroes usually get one hour minus commercial time or about forty-five minutes to solve the latest world crisis. That same doctor refers to some interesting studies on diet and exercise. Those studies say that anything more than moderate exercise counteracts many positive effects including weight loss. After several rounds of dieting, weight loss occurs at half the rate and weight gain triples. That might explain why airplanes need bigger seats.
This book is very clear that LDN doesn’t work for everybody. An FAQ section in the back includes important details like common side-effects. The most common is sleep disturbance which almost always was temporary. That has only occurred in eight percent of patients. I suspect any long-term effects will be discovered by the usual guinea pigs—the general public, but as drugs go, this one seems fairly benign. I personally still consider drugs a very last resort when nothing else works, and the situation is dire. For people in that situation, this might be something to consider. My thumb is UP.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2016