Dr. Harris Is joined by David Yeazel and Stephen Anderson of the LDN Health Center to discuss one of our favorite holistic treatments, Low Dose Naltrexone. We discuss the history of naltrexone, how it works, and why its uses have exploded recently. You’ve probably never heard of this medication, but it’s something that is helping people all over the US right now. Are you ready to boost your Health EQ and IQ regarding LDN?
Lifestyle Medicine with Dr. Harris
Dr. Richard Harris MD 00:00
Hello and welcome to the strive for great health podcast with your host, Dr. Richard Harris, a podcast where we empower you to take control of your health through lifestyle medicine, and the health mindset. And today we’re going to be talking about LDN or low dose Naltrexone. What if I told you that there was a cheap, effective prescription medication that works through a whole range of various conditions, autoimmune diseases, skin diseases, mental health, brain health,
Dr. Richard Harris MD 00:26
and it worked through your body’s own natural feel good chemicals. That’s what we’re gonna be talking about today. Are you ready to boost your health, EQ and IQ? Cue the music?
Dr. Richard Harris MD 00:49
Join me Dr. Richard Harris as we strive to unlock the secret to the human body. Strive for Wellness strive for great health. Follow the show on iTunes, Spotify, Google and Android.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 01:16
Let’s talk about CBD. Recently, I joined the clinical advisory board of a company called CBD health collection. Why I joined the advisory board is because this product is distinguished and really separates itself from the rest of the competitors in the market for several reasons. They prioritize quality it’s all over their homepage. It uses co2 extraction. Also, it undergoes rigorous third party testing to ensure you have the highest quality CBD that the potency is top in the market. And also this CBD company prioritizes education here at the strive for great health podcasts. We are big on education, and we’ll be contributing educational material. So people who use CBD health collection can learn more about the ECS the endocannabinoid system, and how CBD benefits them. Also, the products contain a unique terpene profile. terpenes are molecules that work synergistically with CBD, and the right profile can help accentuate why you use CBD. Use CBD for pain. There’s a terpene profile for that for relaxation. There’s a terpene profile for that. And they have products in edible form, and patch form and topical form. So check out CBD health collection via the link on our website. You can head to the GH wellness.com and click CBD at the top.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 02:45
Real quick before we get started, the strive for great health podcast is a lifestyle wellness and mindset podcast. But we can’t put everything about health, wellness and mindset into the podcast. There’s just not enough time. It’s such a complex subject. That’s why we created our lifestyle medicine and health mindset wellness courses. Now you may be asking Are these courses right for me, if you’re someone who wants to increase their health span longevity, how long we live without chronic disease, if you’re someone who has been told you have risk factors, if you’re someone that’s been told, there are some things that you need to watch out for some things you need to change. Otherwise you’re heading down a road that leads to disease. Or if you’re someone who has a chronic ailment, and you’re wanting a more holistic approach to fix your self to heal yourself, then the wellness courses are for you. If you’re not willing to invest in your health, if you’re not someone who is willing to do things in a sustainable manner. If you’re someone who’s looking for a quick fix, then the courses are not for you. The courses are designed to teach you everything that I have learned through reading hundreds of studies, hours of clinical practice, years of devotion to this lifestyle, medicine and the health mindset so you can live a life full of joy and purpose. If that sounds good to you, head to the G H wellness.com. And click courses at the top. Now to this week’s episode. Welcome to strive for great health Podcast with your hosts, Dr. Richard Harris. And this is the first time we’ve actually had two guests on the podcast. It’s 2022 New year new things. I have Steve and David with me of the LDN network. We’re gonna be talking about something that is very near and dear to my heart because of everything that this amazing therapy can do for people. So Steve, David, how are you guys doing today?
Stephen Anderson 04:47
Doing well. Thanks for having us.
Dr. David Yeazel 04:49
Enjoy the chance to be here.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 04:50
Thank you. Thank you. I always like to start off these conversations with a simple question. We don’t put you on the hot seat immediately. And that is how did you guys get interested in Alternative medicine because it’s not the traditional route. We don’t get exposed to this in school, but like hearing how people became the providers that they became, and how they got exposed to what is a different side of medicine,
Stephen Anderson 05:14
I started to have a realization after just a short time at pharmacy after I graduated from pharmacy school, working in the pharmacy and dispensing medications, and I started to think I realized that most of the medications don’t heal anything it appeared, or they’re just treating the symptoms, you know, and I was always kind of inquisitive. My thought was, well, you know, what is the reason why they have this scenario going on? And what can be looked at to understand how we could approach it and address it that lessen the likelihood of progressing on so I guess, kind of well, the first thing was, when I first started pharmacy was a long time ago as when Prozac first came out. And it was like, well, it helps depression because when people are depressed, they have low serotonin levels. So is that helps increase their serotonin levels, so they feel better? And my thought was, well, what is the issue with people? Why do they not have proper serotonin levels? What can you do to dress that situation? Without medications? Is there some defect somewhere those questions like that kind of led me down a path, I didn’t even know what I was looking for, I guess at the time, but looking for answers, not really knowing where to go, as I was kind of searching, I just started to come across what they call functional medicine. Now, some conferences that started addresses, like the underlying scenarios that lead to disease. And what we can do as people ourselves are practitioners to help people find a path to taking care of their Hill in that way. So they don’t progress to the point that they’re going to need these types of applications. What’s kind of the long story short is how I got in the path. And then once you get into it, it’s hard to get out of it.
Dr. David Yeazel 06:56
And for myself, I come from the biomedical research background, I spent a number of years to medical in an environment where I felt really fortunate to be exposed to I was in prep over neuroscience, where we were doing a lot of the basic initial mapping of neuronal pathways involved into dysfunction for schizophrenia. I really enjoyed what we were doing for Parkinson’s, that was really providing the basic science that was eventually going to lead to some of the clinical applications and medications similar to see I got exposed to people who were thinking outside of the box. Back at that time, which was some time ago, there were a number of people like Benson doing the relaxation response, Bernie Siegel, doing a lot of similar what I would consider the pioneers back there we go to mind body medicine, there was term that we kind of evolved to psychoneuroimmunology basically, the effects of the body on the mind and vice versa. And I found that incredibly fascinating and more rewarding than simple, basic science. And I started to attend lectures, I started to go to conferences, they gravitated ultimately to becoming exposed to LDN. And that just is, as we can discuss later. That’s the ultimate functional medicine medication.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 08:03
So this brings into the discussion, we’re going to talk about LDN. And what that is low dose naltrexone, but we need to talk about the opioid system, because most people think about opioid and they think pain, that’s the first thing they think about, that’s the top of mind awareness. But the opioid system in our body is much more in depth, we have our own endogenous opioids, and we have other things that bind to these receptors as well. But what else does the opioid system influence in our body?
Dr. David Yeazel 08:33
I can certainly start with that. That’s a perfect example of how we’re working towards a much more sophisticated understanding of both how the body can be so effective in healing itself, it can also cause its own problems, and how we need to look at therapeutics that can address that with a better understanding. Very briefly, I’m just because I think it helps inform the discussion. The opioid system has three basic and Well, interestingly enough, we think of it as paying, as I mentioned, what people aren’t necessarily aware of is that it’s also part of the the reward circuitry, that we have also addictive behaviors. So when we look at issues for why are there certain people are so prone to dysfunctional responses to alcohol, or why are some people more susceptible to binge eating? Why do people addictive behaviors of all kinds, we could actually look at the opioid endogenous system for the answers. This is really the interesting part of things. When we understand something on this level, give it enough time and handing it to other people, they can go on and do some amazing things with that. There are three basic receptors, the Mu Delta Kappa receptors within our opioid system, and they do different things. And so we may be used to thinking of it in a certain way. But I’m like the new receptor, we’ve noticed is that’s going to be behind some of the pain issues that we’re talking about. And as we talk about LDN now we can like some of the mechanisms of action, like why would that have that degree of effect? It’s interesting with delta, delta is more in charge of emotional reactions. It’s when we look at mood disorders when we look at things that might be helpful for, therapeutics dealing with anxiety and depression and even some of the things that we’ve discovered about autism that we now can link it to one of these three specific receptors. And that again allows us to get in more detail understand and more comprehensive answer to the idea of how our own bodies are continually regulating everything, that regulating mood that regulating what we call addictive behaviors, maladaptive behaviors, but we have a very sophisticated understanding of how that basic opioid system, as mentioned, is not simply pain.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 10:28
Yep. And there’s so many different things that when you use a holistic therapy that they work on, and you mentioned reward system, which is very dysregulated. In today’s day and age, everything from social media, to the foods we eat to our associations, the way we think about things, our entire reward and motivation systems are very dysregulated. And that’s something we’ve talked about on the podcast before. But the opioid system also is involved with cardiovascular health with our immune system with autonomic function, some of these functions that help us with basic life breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, and then also with inflammation and mediation of immune response. So there’s lots of different things that the system works on. And this is why you see things like addiction or mental health issues have other issues with them. Like we know mental health and cardiovascular health go together. We know mental health and susceptibility to infections and inflammation go together. And that’s because of the redundant and some of these pathways. Let’s talk about LDN. What is LDN? And how does LDN work to promote Holistic Health?
Dr. David Yeazel 11:39
I always think from a history of science standpoint to to kind of understand what to do originated and how it got to this point, because LDN is what we call a new use for an old medication. It’s been around for 40, 50 years. It said FDA approval long ago it’s actually has FDA approvals for people who may be interested you probably seen it in different forms and not realize it Contrave and one of the medications we use for FDA approved for weight loss has the substantial component of a lower dose of naltrexone. There’s a principle a medic principles where they call it in science, the best way to think of it is cut before the courts. We had all these clinical applications before we completely understood the mechanisms behind it. Fortunately, because of the person who discovered this was Dr. Bukhari, he was an amazing person out in New York City, it was originally working with the AIDS patients. And he had noticed research about endorphins. And that endorphins essentially helped modulate the immune system. So what you talked about previously, we think of endorphins, or you might think about Justin mood, he realized and through the review of research that endorphins actually helped to regulate the immune system up or down, the best way to think of it is optimizing the immune system. If you’re deficient in endorphins, by definition, you have a dysfunctional immune system. And we’ve looked at some of the autoimmune diseases and realize there are quotes, deficiencies in endorphins, we look at cause and effect. And we look at different ways that they’re related. It’s not exactly an accident. But it wasn’t to design the medication like we’re often used to we used to medications that we have a symptom.
Dr. David Yeazel 13:06
And then we have a drug that’s manufactured specifically to deal with that symptom. LDN works on an entirely different basis, it was working wonderfully well to help restore a more vigorous immune system in these aids patients we started looking at, well, how would that apply to autoimmune patients, and it grew, it grew and snowballed, and so well, from there. So one of the most interesting things that I find about LDN is, it is an amazingly good controller of pain. It has amazing mental health effects on depression and anxiety. Just as quick examples. It wasn’t designed to treat either one of those. And it is the equal or better of some of our standard medications that were specifically designed to treat a symptom. And and that gets back to what do we mean when we say functional medicine? What do we mean when we say integrative and holistic medicine, you’re really going after the root cause of disease. And so that’s the principle upon which LDN exists. That got everybody so excited. There are now what used to be a few $100 Golden so it’s now well over 1000 What used to be a few clinical indications, I think we’re up to 160 some different clinical indications. It is all based on this idea of when the body is performing optimally. How can that help deal with chronic disease?
Stephen Anderson 14:17
We’re talking about treating issues that people have with immune system pain, inflammation, mental health and such like that. So yes, as a treatment to but there’s a very strong case to be made for low dose Naltrexone just to be used as a health maintenance type medication or a disease prevention type approach to to as a prophylactic most conditions there’s inflammation or there’s an immune system aspect or a mental health aspect of all things. And if it’s helping to get its way normalize or optimize all these things, if you begin to add data to the system, prior to all these things occurring and degrading of the system to that you could just maintain your health and optimize it better. Stage hopefully lead to better longevity and health well later into life.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 15:05
And that is a key principle in holistic medicine. One of the reasons why I love CBD is because what CBD does is it makes our natural systems work better. And this is what LDN does. Because we think about now Trek’s own in the conventional sense as a reversal for opioid overdose because it blocks those opioid receptors. In medicine, we used to think that everything was linear dose response, the higher the dose, the bigger the response. But we found that that’s not necessarily the case, in certain physiology systems, when you use low doses of something, it actually potentially eights that system. And this is what happens with LDN. By blocking these receptors just a little bit, it actually causes them to work better. The body says, Oh, hey, what’s going on over here, we’re having an issue here. And we need the system to function.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 15:55
This is a very vital system, let’s improve the way this system works. And that is such a key. And one of the things that we’re doing in personalized medicine and precision medicine, is how do we optimize the wonderful systems that the body already has, because if I do them that there’s very low risk of toxicity, and very high risk of benefit across a multitude of systems, we’ve talked about this before, the body is not linear. It’s not our heart exists alone, our lungs exist alone. Everything is like overlapping Venn diagrams, it’s all connected. And so if you potentially ate one system in the body, you’re going to see multiple areas improve. And this is kind of what we’ve seen in the literature, and also listening to case reports and talking to people who have been on this therapy. And you guys already alluded to this briefly. But I want to actually mention specific conditions that we have seen LDN use successfully for so people listening to this, if they have one of these things can say hey, maybe this is a treatment option that would work for me,
Dr. David Yeazel 17:04
When Steve and I met that we realized this, why don’t we share a passion for the same type of medicine and healthcare that you do. And it was like, patient centered, it was really about there’s no set algorithm, you need to individualize care, you need to look up the whole person, even if your goal was just what is the most efficient, effective treatment protocols, it clearly is that methodology, you need to accomplish all of the needs of the patient and look at interacting systems. And what was so exciting about LDN is that we as a scientific community, started looking at it in a very narrow way, we started applying what we knew, but that it was very clear, in part because of who we’re talking about it was but in part because we kept having other successes outside of the traditional, here’s auto immune. And here’s the original thing, Steven, I I think can add a lot of value to the discussion sometimes, because between us, we’ve seen 1000s of patients who we have seen people come and there’s traditional dosing, and now we realized that we needed to adapt her dosing to be more individualized, we came in thinking there was a set range of conditions for which LDN might be appropriate. And that has more than quadrupled. In the span that I’ve been working with LDN it is something where we went from auto immune to metal, sort of the next one, we went to chronic pain.
Dr. David Yeazel 18:19
And now we’re on to things like dermatology, pediatrics, I would say that what’s interesting is that the way the science is working is it’s really driven by clinicians, clinicians, and to be honest, cut by the pharmacies, because you see it upfront, and then you understand the mechanisms you understand how safe a medication it is. And when we started exploring, we start using that idea of, I wonder if this would be a good application for it. So we started out with about five to six applications were well above 150 160. And maybe my last thing to say on that these are the most difficult to treat conditions in the paid world Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is one of the most devastating diagnoses you can receive LDN is phenomenal at it. There’s a good half dozen papers, case studies showing how some of the things that we may talk about in a little bit ultra low dose, and some of these other mechanisms are every bit as good or better than morphine. In fact, they present themselves with wireless complications. In the mental health world. It’s tremendous a treaty difficult to treat conditions such as autism. So this isn’t just a minor improvement. LDN represents a major shift in both in the approach and the success.
Stephen Anderson 19:24
We’re just seeing just such a broad range of applications for clinically to that it’s almost to the point where the question is, you know, kind of hell for this and it’s like why not? What other options are there would be something to consider and most of the people have run the gamut of all the treatments and medications that they are and they’re still suffering, be able to Safe Medication relatively to receive doesn’t interfere with other medications so you can slide it into their therapy, treatment therapy without any issues. on that end. We’re really seeing the mental health brain health aspects or we’re just really seeing the phenomenal improvement and that people with that too, and nobody’s upset about that, for certain that with the newer dosing protocols that have evolved some of the lower dose incivility and have had really significant impacts on the reports that the patients give to us on their mood and their anxiety and their focus and just overall sense of well being. I just have more energy, I just feel more like myself,
Dr. David Yeazel 20:23
Maybe a clarifying point for people who are interested in the more detailed science, what are the biggest questions that comes up? Is it one medication, you go to so many different things. And so we deal with that a lot dealing with patients we do when we’re Stephen, I do a lot of teaching of clinicians. And we’re used to that same paradigm of here’s a symptom, here’s a drug, I mean, we call it work manual medicine, there’s nothing particularly wrong, but it’s designed around a different paradigm. Now we’re talking about best description I’ve seen of LDN is it’s kind of like taking a baby aspirin, it’s only in your body for about four and a half hours, it is not the LDN that is having this direct effect. It’s your body’s activation of these other systems. And as you talked about earlier, the endogenous opioid system is chief among them, it’s really interesting to note that LDN is not 100% mixture of the same paradigm, it is a 50 50 mixture of different isomers. So you have a libo isomer, and you have a dextro isomer. And they perform very different. And so when we start looking at explanations for how it can be all the different clinical indications we just talked about, that’s part of the Internet is a very unusual thing in pharmacology to like an example the leawo forum, is what we started out understand that you would take it and you alluded to, you might take it before you go to bed, and by the time you wake up, the LDN is actually gone, it’s gone through several half flights, and you’re slightly gone.
Dr. David Yeazel 21:43
But you would wake up with triple the amount of endorphins you had before you went to bed. And that was the initial blockbuster finding, but we started looking at it occupied the opioid receptor in Edit continually bout it like it does at the 50 to 300 milligram range, you’re decreasing, you’re suppressing a darker production, if you do this brief regulation of and then your body up regulates and you increase production. And so it’s an amazing mechanism that nobody anticipated. I think we actually as a field equally or even more excited about the dextrose isomer that is the one that is doing so good at decreasing the inflammatory issues downstream, decreasing cytokines dhpp. It’s actually one of the things that we’re looking at for wider explain the reduction in cellular proliferation and cancer. Understanding the mechanisms is allowing us to feel more and more competent that we should continue to explore new clinical uses. It’s really an amazing medication from a primate college standpoint, as Steve has seen, and that it’s safe, it’s effective. And when you started applying the basic science to how that important dosage how will that help us personalize this to each and every patient.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 22:46
Yeah, and there’s a couple of key points here, number one, where you talk about Levo and Dextro, we’re talking about chirality, meaning that molecules exist in 3d, what happens is you basically have a left hand version and a right hand version, they’re mirror images of each other, but they’re not the exact same. If I have a keypad, and I need my left hand activate it, I can’t activate it with my right hand. Because see, they’re like we used to do with a turtle game. They’re mirror images of each other, but they’re not exactly the same. And this happens in physiology, there’s a little wiggle with things binding to receptors, there’s a little wiggle in the way the key fits the lock. And you might have a certain lock or a certain configuration. And that can change depending on your own individual genetics, where you have one of those right hand or left handed molecules that’s more effective. And because of that, you can have different activations our body doesn’t work and zero to 100, it works from zero to 100.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 23:42
Meaning that it’s like dimmer switches, when you activate a receptor, I can turn that receptor halfway up, I can turn it all the way up, I can turn it up 10%. And it depends on the fit of these molecules. That’s why you can see such a different response depending on was it the right hand molecules at the left hand molecule, and then when you combine the two together, you get a different response. And then this ties into personalized medicine with the adaptive dosing that you mentioned, where you look at a traditional medicine you like, okay, it’s five milligrams, 10 milligrams, that’s it. That’s the dosing schedule. But with this, it’s okay, we have low dose, we have ultra low dose, we start off low and slow, and kind of work our way up until we get to the ideal dosing for each person. When someone asked me what’s the dosage for LDN? I say, I don’t know. I have a starting point. And then I go from there, and it requires patient intervention. And one of the good things about this is as a patient, it gets you very involved with your care because your practitioner who prescribes this is going to be asking you a lot of questions about how are you feeling? How are you doing? How are things in your life? How’s your mood? How’s your energy levels? Are you feeling more inflamed? And so it is really a patient advocacy medication because I can’t just put you on a dose and say, Come back and see me in three months. Because I don’t know if that’s the ideal dosing for you. And so we have to work together. And it really strengthens that patient physician relationship, which we know is very, very important to healing.
Dr. David Yeazel 25:14
I know Steve can attest to it as well, that idea of a patient empowerment and how do you achieve that around LDN? So LDN has all this potential, we’ve seen it seen, I’ve seen so many cases of patients that were suffering chronically. And I often tell the story that for years, I did just free lectures for patients just to help inform them about LDN. And one of the questions we started with was, how many years have you been suffering? What’s your disease? How many years? Have you been suffering? How many medications have you tried? How many providers have you been seeking care through the day, the answers would break your heart the answers 25 years and 15 different medications, and I’m no better off. But there’s an aspect of suffering to chronic illness, that is frustrating for everyone, the patient and the providers and to be able to bite something like LDN, you can’t take it halfway, you have to go all the way and going all the way is really educating and engaging the patient, like as you said, in their own care, this isn’t take it and, you know, go through 10 days of penicillin. This is you’re going to be engaged over a series of months and years with your own care. But it’s so incredible the responses that can be achieved, it’s a really interesting medication to see the way that we’ve all seen it happen.
Stephen Anderson 26:21
Well, I was just gonna say as, you had mentioned before that given the patients involved with that, too, we’ve just found that the follow up protocol for this is so important. You just have to, as you’re tapering up the schedule and tracking the medications, getting the patient involved with the patient, you’re really deciding what your dose is, we just hope that we’re asking the right questions and providing the right information to you to help you get to that point.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 26:45
And that’s one of the things we always talk about and strive for great all the podcasts, our tagline is we empower you to take control of your health. Because one of the things I think that that I may lose some people on this, but there’s a massive accountability issue. And health people always think that someone else is supposed to solve their problems. Doctors don’t heal you doctors diagnose you. That’s our job. My job is to diagnose you accurately get you the right information. But I’m not with you 24/7. It’s up to you to start healing yourself and your beliefs and your mindsets and your actions. And that’s one of the things we talked about so strongly on this podcast. One of the things that you hear all the time, and this is not so much anymore. But when LDN first came out is well how do we use this in patients who are on prescription opioids? Because the worry was that a were blocking now this receptor that the opioids work on, they’re going to have pain crises, right? The opioids are not going to be as effective, their pain is going to spiral out of control. But we were talking offline about No, that’s not the case that you can actually use this in people on prescription opioids. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
Dr. David Yeazel 27:49
It is really interesting. Again, I think the pace of change and LDN so quick that because they’re going to LDN years, or six or seven regular medical sites. Here’s a as an example, we used to think of dosing as very linear. And it was this 1.5 3.5 progression. And pretty much the goal was everybody was on 4.5. And what you got was what you got, and there was an overall success rate 50 52%? Well, on one hand, it was wonderful, because for those people that were successful, they pretty much failed other therapies or not, but if if you’re as interested, as many patients were, in trying LDN, or even some of the practitioners that wanted to learn to apply for the patients, it’s because they’re not satisfied with the existing therapies. And if they were, they wouldn’t be there. But then LDN presented this really interesting paradigm. Why is it working so well, for some people, and not as well for others? And part of the answer we realized is that we need to what we call clinical education, specific dosing, you need to do two different things, you need to customize the dose to the disease to a certain extent, or at least have an advanced knowledge. There’s a point there’s a paper that Piper put out about depression, it was groundbreaking in many ways. One of it was that their dosing was up 4.5 milligrams, it was one milligram twice a day. And that created the series of explanatory ideas like, why does it have to be this dose?
Dr. David Yeazel 29:13
Why don’t we just go with a results oriented, evidence based kind of thing and the weapon dosing studies, fibromyalgia, an example peaks around 2.8 milligrams is seen over a fair number of patients to be the dose that’s most responsive. So you have a window of a dose were too low is ineffective, and too high is ineffective. And again, we’re used to, as you alluded to earlier, that more is better. And that’s simply not true often, and Steve can attest to this, if something isn’t working well in LDN will advocate starting over at a lower dose, or going down instead of up. So having the experience the clinical experience to inform like what to do next is hugely important. And that’s what led to this the original idea was okay, here’s is the set dosing, it’s fairly rigid. Now we’re away from that. I think Steve, Steve has been instrumental in developing some really good protocols that start as low as 0.25. And using twice a day dosing, because it was alluded to earlier, one of the examples we often use is something like 82% of people that have fibromyalgia also have a depression along with it, there’s a depletion of endorphins, we realize that there’s things that needed to be focused on. And so this idea of treating two different things at once with the same medication is very intriguing. You have an incredibly short half life with LDN.
Dr. David Yeazel 30:33
And one of the things you can do is do a very low dose in the morning, which is particularly effective for mental health, and then use a higher dose in the evening to address some of the other symptoms addressing fibromyalgia, but they may respond in different periods of time. Typically, like if you were at, say, one milligram, and you were treating depression, and you didn’t get a response, within 30 days, you’re likely at the wrong dose. If you were using that to treat pain and spasticity and some other things. That’s just a normal course, it may take three to six months. And so understanding ahead of time, there’s paths responding diseases, loggers finding diseases, lower dosing, higher dosing, it’s got much more complicated, but it’s also gotten much better. Our success rates are now in the mid 80s. Sore about because we understand how to apply it to the disease. He had the patient and as we alluded to earlier, the the ideal combination is knowing what disease you’re treating at a time.
Dr. David Yeazel 31:24
And working with the patient. Steve was very instrumental developing a system where every two weeks the patient reports back and they have an actual symptom questionnaire where they’re going through things and you can see when you’re at your peak, and then now we got to fire with a dose we need to we need to stop the titration it’s a very informed titration. About what we do. That’s actually what led to this idea about with opioids, because the original idea is that you can’t go there. That’s the one of the only things you can’t do with LDN. And then more and more there was exploratory issues, we understood the mechanisms, ultra low dose microgram dosing does not do the triggering that we were concerned about in the addicted patient and a seed seeking speak more to it, but we’ve developed what we call a cross taper, where we can simultaneously raise up this very, very low microgram dosing, and then bring down the opioid levels and hopefully, achieve a complete withdrawal,
Stephen Anderson 32:15
It’s led to some really interesting responses to the starting dose is typically one, one or two micrograms twice a day. And every week, though, go up a little bit over the course of time, the mental health aspect, even at that small microgram dose a people begin to say, God, I just feel better, I have a little more energy. And some actually do notice that they have some reduction at pain, even at these microscopic doses, on that they’re still on their opioid dose, and they start to notice benefits at that realm. And the goal is, as we keep going up, they’re working with a practitioner to get to the point where they start looking at tapering off, and they will be dois. If the patient is receptive, they’re saying I’m doing good, and I feel I’ve had improvements and stuff. So we’ll start a breakdown on the opioid dose after the first month or two, and then just continued move forward based on patient response and how they’re doing outside of the the dosing of the opioids that hopefully will completely off the opioids would be the ultimate goal. But many of us get to a much lower dose for the time being, and I guess overtime, you could still continue to move forward on that. And hopefully, in the end, move off the opioids at a later date.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 33:26
Awesome. I know that’s something that’s a lot of people struggle with chronic pain is a big problem. In fact, that’s one of the biggest reasons people go see primary care providers is chronic pain. And that’s something near and dear to my heart is someone who suffered from chronic pain since I was 13 years old. And having a range of alternative effective therapies for pain is essential because pain is a very complex process. It’s a mental process. It’s a physical process, and you have to address both. Now let’s say you’re a patient or a provider, and you love what you heard today, how do they learn more about what you guys are doing at the LDN network,
Stephen Anderson 34:05
Our venture, it’s the LDN Health Center. We’ll be launching the web platform here shortly. That too and our our goal is to bring patients looking for help and connect them with practitioners, providers that could prescribe it for bad cop putting pharmacists can prepare the medications accurately for them and also help in the process of them returning to better health. We just know that many patients are not having answers. Some are aware of low dose Naltrexone and some are not so we hope to educate those to bring them to the understanding that there might be some options for him. But the issue is there’s just not a high percentage of practitioners that are well versed in LDN that could help before it so that’s part of the vision and goal of the LDN Health Center is to find practitioners that are willing to look LDN and its wonderful aspects and become educated and get well versed at the dosing of it and prescribing of it to begin helping all these people looking for answers.
Dr. David Yeazel 35:10
It’s an area where Steve and I always talk about this we didn’t set out years ago to do this, we sort of felt like it had to be done, there was such a disconnect between all of the great science that was going on. And that may be worth just a moment for the time to discuss it, even among clinicians, that question needs to be answered, why didn’t I learn about this in medical school? Or why isn’t there a pharmaceutical rep knocking on my door? If this is as wonderful as it seems to be? Why does it need to be taught and addressed in this way. And that’s really just economics for two years after the patent expired, all these wonderful things were discovered, it is something where it’s very, almost impossible for the pharmaceutical companies to monetize it. And therefore, the usual mechanisms of how you would get the word out are not there. And so you have a difficult scenario of educating even clinicians, much less patients about medication that has the potential to help I think the last lesson I saw was about 20% of the US population suffers from chronic pain and mental illness issues and autoimmune disease, you’re talking about 60 to 70 million people in this country that could potentially benefit from LDN.
Dr. David Yeazel 36:14
And yet, Steve, and I’ve spent the last five, six years just addressing the several 100 practitioner audiences and seminars and teaching people in medical schools and helping doing different things. And it’s only a minority probably listened by percent of practitioners that are truly well versed in LDN. If a patient has example, is near you back to your house, then they’re in good shape. But I unfortunately, I would say the vast majority of people who have over 50% of patients country don’t have access to an educated practitioner. And so one of the things that can be done post COVID interestly. You know, it’s made it much easier, much more accepting online education, interactive online education, telemedicine, a lot of the things came together, where we can create this set of comprehensive, the most comprehensive set that we’re aware of educational tools that are just free to patients, they come on, they look, they want to engage, they have lupus, we have about 15 to 20 different resources for them.
Dr. David Yeazel 37:11
We’re not just LDN it’s talking about other healthcare partners, who can provide that complementary medicine aspects functionally, super functional medicine, a lot of the research reviews of supplementation, a lot of things that can be very, very helpful. We looked at it like what does it mean to be a successful patient, and you have to have an educated practitioner, an educated patient and, and the ability to really have access to high quality education. That’s really the goal is to make it fair, no matter where you live that everyone could access.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 37:38
Awesome. Well, thank you guys so much for coming on the show today and talking about something that you guys are very passionate about very informed about. You’re doing great work, helping people. So we will have links to all the available information once the podcast goes live. And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to myself. And thank you guys again for coming in talking with us. It’s all my listeners. Thank you for listening to the strive for great health podcast with your host Dr. Richard Harris. Have a blessed day.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 38:08
Thank you for listening in to strive for great health podcast with your host Dr. Richard Harris. It’s our mission and goal at the podcast to impact as many lives as possible to empower individuals to take control of their health, and live a life full of joy and purpose. You may help us achieve this mission by leaving a five star rating and review on your preferred podcast platform. And by sharing this podcast with anyone you think it may help. You can also support the podcast by making a donation to your favorite charity. If you do so and send us an email. We’ll give you a shout out on the podcast. Because here’s the strive for great health podcasts. We’re all about charitable giving and making the world a better place. Thank you for listening and God bless