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Low-Dose Naltrexone and Adrenal Function

Discussion in 'Adrenal Dysfunction' started by CBS64, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. CBS64

    CBS64

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    About a month ago, I started taking .5mg of low-dose naltrexone (LDN), once every 3 days. After several weeks, my adrenals started to feel much weaker and it almost felt like they (and my kidneys) were sore or inflammed. Since I have stage 7 adrenal fatigue, my cortisol and DHEA levels are already extremely low. I can't afford to take anything that makes the adrenals weaker, but I really wanted to give the LDN a try. I noticed that I was sleeping better while on it (sometimes it would interfere with my sleep on the day I took it, but then I would sleep better on subsequent nights). I also seemed to just feel a little better on it -- at least until the adrenals started crashing.

    I've been trying to find information about the effects of LDN on the adrenals and whether others with CFS have had this reaction to it. I saw one comment that said LDN causes the body to release cortisol. But there was another comment that said cortisol production may go down because LDN stimulates the body to make endorphins from the same biochemicals that are used to make ACTH, which signals the pituitary to stimulate the adrenals to make cortisol. So I'm confused as to what kind of effect the LDN is having on the adrenals.

    Unfortunately, I can't just take some cortisol, Cortef or DHEA to boost my adrenal function since I have a paradoxical reaction to those and they actually suppress my adrenal function. If anyone has any thoughts as to what may be happening here with the adrenals or what I can do or take to alleviate this side effect, I would be very grateful to hear it.

    Thank you
     
  2. Xandoff

    Xandoff Michael

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    Northern Vermont
     
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  3. garcia

    garcia Aristocrat Extraordinaire

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    Endorphins, or at least LDN anyway is anti-cortisol. I've had cortisol flares in the past where cortisol would spike uncontrollably, and the only thing that would bring it down would be LDN. I can't tolerate LDN either other than on a short term basis (due to other side effects rather than cortisol per se).

    I'm like you, at stage 7 of adrenal exhaustion (low cortisol & dhea).
     
  4. CBS64

    CBS64

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    Thanks Garcia,

    That makes sense about the LDN lowering cortisol, since it helps me sleep at night. I think my cortisol is highest at night, which is why I've had chronic insomnia.

    Is there anything you've been taking to help with the low cortisol and DHEA?
     
  5. garcia

    garcia Aristocrat Extraordinaire

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    Hi CBS, I haven't found anything to help with the adrenals/cortisol/dhea unfortunately. The HPA-axis really is my bte noire!
    But if you want an alternative way to lower cortisol at night then I recommend taurine. I take it at night (about 3g) specifically to lower cortisol and it works a treat. I haven't noticed any negative effects on cortisol during the day. Be warned though don't start on a big dose right away. Work up to it slowly as there is the potential for it to cause adrenal problems if you take too much. I seem to do ok with it, but obviously your mileage may vary.
     
  6. CBS64

    CBS64

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    Thanks for the tip about Taurine. I will give it a try once my adrenal function returns to "normal." It still feels depressed from the LDN, even though I haven't taken any for over a week. I'm hoping that it DOES eventually return to normal!
     
  7. scott45242

    scott45242

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    I just started 1 MG of LDN at night and I am having the same feeling. i am only on my third dose, my adrenals are weak, but I do not know anything about "levels" of adrenals. But it sure does seem to be making me feel very weak. i wonder if this will subside?
     
  8. Cindi

    Cindi Senior Member

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    Hi,
    I am also at low cortisol low DHEA stage . Also have rheumatoid arthritis. was considering starting LDN for my RA. Any more information on this naltrexone-cortisol issue? Thanks,
     
  9. drob31

    drob31 Senior Member

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    I suspect in many cases their is an underlying cause for the autoimmune and HPA-axis dysfunction, such as viral, lyme or other pathogen.
     

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