​6 Ways Naltrexone (LDN) Helps with Weight Loss + Who Should use it

Naltrexone, especially in low doses, can actually help the body lose weight in various ways. 

This doesn't mean it's a miracle weight loss medication.

In fact, it's far from it.

And only certain patients should even consider using this medication for weight loss.

I have found that certain patients tend to benefit more than others, especially hypothyroid patients with damaged metabolisms. 

In this article I will go over the various ways that Naltrexone might help to cause weight loss, who should consider using it and how to use it effectively. 


Low Dose Naltrexone and Weight Loss

It's important to discuss some basics about this medication before we dive into how it actually works. 


Naltrexone was created as an opioid antagonist and most Doctors are aware of its use in this setting. 

Basically if patients overdose on narcotics or other drugs they can be given Naltrexone to block the receptors and reduce the symptoms of an overdose.

But this is in high doses.

In smaller doses the medication has some very interesting side effects that can be helpful in treating various conditions like chronic pain, autoimmune disease and even metabolic damage and weight loss resistance. 

In low doses it's known as Low Dose Naltrexone or LDN for short. 

Throughout this article, whenever I refer to Naltrexone I am also referring to LDN. 

We will talk about dosing later on, but as a primer the therapeutic dosing range for this medication in low doses varies between 3.0-4.5mg or so (depending on the person). 

So the main question is this:

Does Naltrexone (AKA LDN) actually work for weight loss?

It turns out that the answer isn't very clear.

Studies have shown that some patients tend to do well and lose weight when using this medication, and others have shown that it isn't very effective and shouldn't be used. 

The answer is somewhere in between. 

Certain patients tend to benefit more than others (we will talk about which ones those are later), but for now let's focus on how this medication works. 

If we know how it helps with weight loss then we can easily figure out who should be taking it...

​How LDN Helps with Weight Loss

As I mentioned previously we don't know exactly how Naltrexone works to help with weight loss, but we can pick apart various studies to determine how it might be helping. 

This is where things get interesting: ​

6 Ways Naltrexone Helps with Weight Loss pinterest graphic

#1. Naltrexone Reduces Insulin Resistance

​Studies have shown that using Naltrexone (in this study 75mg) actually helped to lower fasting insulin levels by up to 40%. 

If you've been reading my blog posts then you know that one of the primary causes of weight gain in many people (especially hypothyroid patients) is insulin resistance.

This condition is missed by many providers and patients who focus solely on blood glucose levels as a means to diagnose insulin related problems.

So obviously any therapy that leads to a decrease in insulin levels will help with weight loss, but there is even more to it than that. 

​What's even more interesting is that this study focused on women who have high testosterone levels (AKA high androgens) in addition to the insulin resistance. 

These patients commonly fall on the PCOS spectrum and the increased androgens contribute to excessive coarse hair growth, depression, weight gain, etc.

​Naltrexone modulates cellular resistance to insulin (decreased insulin resistance), and since insulin resistance plays a direct role in high testosterone levels in females - this medication may have multiple benefits in this particular patient group. 


It may help lower insulin levels which may lead to weight loss. 


It may help lower insulin levels which indirectly leads to a reduction in androgen levels and a reduction in androgen related symptoms in certain women. ​

  • Bottom line: Women with PCOS, high fasting insulin and high testosterone levels may benefit from taking Naltrexone. 

#2. Naltrexone May Increase Growth Hormone in Certain patients

Some studies have shown that Naltrexone may help to increase Growth hormone levels. 

This is important because growth hormone helps to not only build and maintain lean muscle mass, but it also helps to increase fat burning both of which can help with weight loss. 

​It is well known that as weight increases growth hormone decreases. 

This is yet another indicator that weight gain (and weight loss) is mediated by hormonal factors and not just simply related to calories consumed.

What's also interesting is the relationship between growth hormone and insulin.

As insulin increases growth hormone decreases.

thyroid metabolism reset poster for side bar

So the more weight you gain the lower your growth hormone will be and the higher your insulin will be.

Naltrexone helps to decrease insulin levels which may improve growth hormone levels.

  • Bottom line: Naltrexone may help to increase growth hormone in obese patients which may lead to improved lean muscle mass and an improved metabolism. 

#3. Naltrexone Modulates Appetite

​We have to dive into this for a deeper understanding, but yes Naltrexone can help modulate and reduce your appetite

I will put this into context on how this may be beneficial but first we need establish some basics about weight loss and weight gain: 

  • Chronic calorie restriction fails 99% of the time in sustaining weight loss
  • Chronic calorie restriction results in increased leptin levels and decreased free T3 levels + other hormone changes which lead to weight gain over time
  • Chronic calorie restriction leads to a compensatory metabolic change which results in a damaged metabolism that may persist for years (see the biggest loser study for more info)
  • Generally prescription weight loss medications target either appetite or metabolism and yet they really don't work that well long term
  • Reducing appetite may lead to metabolic damage long term as is seen in chronic phentermine use (once patients stop taking it they gain their weight back)

Some of these changes might sound scary but there are ways to use certain medications to avoid these effects or to boost hormone changes that can lead to weight loss long term. 

The way Naltrexone works on appetite may be similar. ​

​First we have to realize what your appetite really means...

Under normal physiologic influence your body tries to match the amount of food you eat with your resting energy expenditure A.K.A your metabolism. 

​Put into simple terms:

If your body is burning 2,000 calories per day your brain will send signals to the body to help you consume as close to 2,000 calories per day.

If you only consume 1,500 calories then your brain will tell you that you are hungry.

It does this to try and match the caloric burn to food intake.

​But this is under normal circumstances, what happens to patients who have hormone imbalances or who are overweight? 

​If you have a history of chronic calorie restriction or a history of yo-yo dieting then the above circumstances don't apply to you. 

Chronic calorie restriction leads to metabolic damage which lowers your metabolic rate (A.K.A metabolism).

So instead of burning 2,000 calories per day, you are now burning 1,200 calories per day (again please see the biggest loser study which shows that calorie restriction results in metabolic damage for YEARS). 

​But there's an even bigger problem:

​Weight gain leads to hormonal changes (especially increased leptin levels) which alter your subjective sense of hunger. 

​So even though you are only burning 1,200 calories per day, your brain tells your body that you need to be eating 1,600 calories every day. 

This mismatch is cause by compensatory hormonal changes, and the changes are very powerful.

​So where does Naltrexone fit in?

Naltrexone may help to "normalize" this mismatch between calories burned and appetite.

So instead of asking for 1,600 calories per day, your brain settle back down to the 1,200 calories that you are burning.

By matching the 1,200 calories your burn to the 1,200 calories your body seeks you have a reduction in appetite overall - but not in the "traditional" sense.

As a side note, Naltrexone won't necessarily heal your metabolism (that can take a long time depending on how much damage you have) but it's a step in the right direction. 

  • Bottom line: Naltrexone may help to normalize appetite in patients with damaged metabolism which helps to match appetite to resting energy expenditure. 

#4. Naltrexone Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory Agent

​This may be more well known than the other benefits listed, but Naltrexone helps to reduce inflammation and studies have shown that it can be used as a novel anti-inflammatory agent

As you probably know inflammation is involved in the pathophysiology of many diseases and disease states.

Inflammation is also an important factor when it comes to weight gain and weight loss resistance. 

​Inflammation may lead to the following:

​High levels of inflammation cause several hormonal changes which all lead to conditions where weight is gained more easily while simultaneously being more difficult to lose. 

Not a situation you want to be in.

So how does Naltrexone help?

Studies have shown that Naltrexone may help to reduce inflammation (especially in chronic pain).

By relieving inflammatory cytokines and markers of inflammation hormone levels become more regulated and balanced which may allow easier weight loss.

Certain patients seem to be more sensitive to weight changes, especially patients with chronic pain. 

Constant and chronic pain itself may change neurotransmitters, alter appetite, lead to a decreased appetite and result in inflammation.

In addition patients with Chronic pain also have some component of tissue level hypothyroidism contributing to their pain.

​Many of these patients are also using Narcotics which have been shown to reduce metabolism and blunt thyroid conversion (more info below). 

The use of Naltrexone in patients with chronic pain may allow them to come off of Narcotics which improves metabolism and inflammation overall. ​

  • Bottom line: Naltrexone may help to reduce inflammation which may make weight loss easier in certain patients. 

#5. Naltrexone May Help Improve Sleep & Sleeping Patterns

The importance of sleep when it comes to weight loss can't be overstated. 

Lack of sleep leads to inflammation and weight gain, the studies are quite clear.

​You probably also know that sleep apnea can lead to increased weight gain, but also weight gain can lead to sleep apnea - creating a chicken and the egg like scenario. 

​This is where Naltrexone comes into play. 

Naltrexone has been shown to ​help improve sleeping patterns significantly in patients with sleep apnea

​In addition some studies have shown that Naltrexone helps improve sleep in patients with complex regional pain syndrome and other chronic pain syndromes as well. 

​On a more subjective note many of my current patients also report an improvement in sleep after starting low doses of naltrexone (on the order of 1.5-4.5mg per night). 

For this reason I generally recommend that patients take LDN at night.

This indicates to me that there is likely some other way that naltrexone is improving sleep ​either through modulation of neurotransmitter levels or through melatonin precursors. 

​In either even Naltrexone can be used to help improve sleeping patterns in individuals with chronic pain, sleep apnea, CPRS and at least seems to subjectively help somewhat in patients with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's (my patient population). 

  • Bottom line: Naltrexone may help to improve sleeping patterns. Lack of sleep has been associated with weight gain and inflammation, so improving sleep can help improve weight loss. 

#6. Naltrexone ​& Thyroid Function (Including Hashimoto's Thyroiditis)

​This is another very important consideration for many patients who are struggling to lose weight and who also have Hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's thyroiditis. 

Some studies have shown that Naltrexone can help to increase total T3 levels and improve T4 to T3 conversion.

If you aren't familiar with how thyroid function modulates the metabolism you can check out this post for more information (thyroid hormone is critical to weight loss and hormonal regulation). 

​In addition to the benefits listed above some studies have shown that the use of LDN can help to improve the immune system and reduce auto antibodies in some autoimmune conditions. 

​The combination of increasing thyroid hormone levels, conversion while possibly improving and/or reducing Thyrogloblulin antibodies is of special consideration for those with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. 

This autoimmune disease results in thyroidal gland destruction overtime which creates a situation of hypothyroidism.

​Hypothyroidism combined with auto antibodies to thyroid glandular tissue results in weight gain and weight loss resistance. 

​Even from a subjective stand point (I will discus this below), I've found that many patients with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's stand to benefit from the use of LDN (naltrexone) in small doses of 3.0-4.5mg. 

I have successfully used Naltrexone in both hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's for weight loss. ​

Thyroid diet 4 week plan side bar

It's important to realize that just because it might improve thyroid function doesn't necessarily mean that it will. 

Due to a variety of factors it seems that upwards of 50% of patients seem to benefit from using Naltrexone and LDN, despite what the research may or may not show.

This indicates to me that we still have a lot to understand about the use of this medication, especially considering the multiple mechanisms of action listed above. ​

  • Bottom line: In patients with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Naltrexone may help to improve total T3 and improve T4 to T3 conversion in addition to reducing inflammation and autoimmunity. 

Who Should Consider using LDN + Naltrexone? 

​As I've mentioned above Naltrexone certainly won't work for every patient and shouldn't be considered a miracle weight loss drug. 

Having said that there are certainly patients who stand to benefit from this medication more than others.

Through a combination of research and personal experience I've created a list of patients who generally benefit the most from Naltrexone use.

It's important to realize that ​when I use Naltrexone and LDN I almost always use it in combination with supplements, other medications and hormones for the most benefit. 

I recommend if you are interesting in this medication after reading this article that you find someone who can monitor all of these factors. This will help you get the results you are looking for.

You can see an example of a patient who lost ​40+ pounds using the combination of Victoza + LDN in this case study

If you aren't sure if Naltrexone is right for you consider these guidelines...

Who should consider using LDN and Naltrexone for weight loss:​

  • Patients with Weight gain and Autoimmune disorders
  • Patients with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
  • Patients with Sleep disorders and REM sleep disorders
  • Patients with Chronic pain (avoid taking this medication if you are on narcotics)
  • Patients with known inflammatory conditions (even non specific inflammation)
  • Patients with low resting energy expenditure (or a slow/low metabolism)
  • Patients with ravenous appetites and a mismatch between energy consumption and appetite
  • Patients with hormone imbalances like Insulin and Leptin resistance

Again if you fall into any of these categories it doesn't necessarily mean that Naltrexone will work for you, instead it means that you have a high chance of this medication helping you with weight loss. 

The weight loss effect is most likely mediated through indirect changes to hormones, appetite and other pathways.

​Weight loss from Naltrexone by itself is generally modest (probably on the order of 5-10 pounds), but when combined with hormone therapy and other medications it can be quite powerful. 

​In my clinical practice I've started to notice some other benefits of using Naltrexone, and in particular low dose naltrexone in certain patients. 

These are benefits that I've personally noticed in my patients and they don't necessarily have studies to show wide spread effectiveness, but I have still found it to be of benefit. ​

I've found that patients with damaged metabolisms ​and what I refer to as "body set point malfunction" seem to benefit from using LDN concurrently with other therapies. 

Certain patients have difficulty in not only losing weight but also in maintaining the weight loss. 

When the metabolism is severely damaged it's as if the brain has set a "switch" that says the body is going to be this weight no matter what therapies are started. 

This results in temporary weight loss, but the weight is usually regained in a matter of weeks. 

Naltrexone in low doses seems to attenuate this response and help lower this set point. 

I suspect this is primarily mediated through hypothalamic function (somehow). ​

I've also found the combination of Symlin + LDN to be particularly effective in helping some post menopausal women lose the last 10-20 pounds of weight that they've gained as a result of menopause. 

​The symlin appears to help with weight reduction but the LDN seems to help maintain lower weights, suggesting to me that it may influence the hypothalamic set point in the body. 

I will come up with some case studies later to show you how this can be used in combination for maximum benefit. ​

Wellbutrin + LDN as a combination weight loss medication

This combination of medication is known as Contrave

​I don't typically recommend medications targeted specifically for the use of "weight loss" and this medication is no different. 

The target of this medication is to reduce appetite to reduce total calories consumed.

It sounds good on the surface but the chronic calorie restriction tends to lead to metabolic damage long term.

In addition the dosing of naltrexone in contrave is higher than I generally recommend.

I also don't recommend the use of neurotransmitter modulating medication unless absolutely necessary.

These medications do have long term implications on neurotransmitter levels (and while they do help some) have the chance to cause considerable issues for other patients.

It's far better to approach weight loss in a targeted manner instead of a "spray and pray" approach. ​

Bottom Line + Recap

Naltrexone is a little known medication that can help certain patients lose weight by modulating certain hormone imbalances, improving/normalizing hypothalamic function, improving sleep, improving thyroid production/conversion and potentially reducing inflammatory levels. 

Special interest should be given to Naltrexone if you have hypothyroidism and/or Hashimoto's thyroiditis because it may improve T4 to T3 conversion and improve total T3 levels. 

Naltrexone, particularly in smaller doses (1.5-4.5mg per day) may help patients with these medical conditions lose weight.

Make sure you use Naltrexone as part of an overall treatment plan, for best results please consider using it in combination with hormone therapies, nutrients/supplements and dietary/lifestyle changes. ​

More recently I have also found success in treating patients with low resting energy expenditure and in combination with symlin for reducing weight in post menopausal women.

​Now I want to hear from you:

Have you used Naltrexone or LDN previously?

Did it help you lose weight? Why or why not?

Leave your comments below to help other patients! ​

Dr. Westin Childs

I'm Dr. Childs and I write these posts. I'm a physician that specializes helping patients lose weight, have more energy and FEEL better. My practice focuses on hormone imbalances, thyroid issues and weight loss resistance. My goal is to provide the BEST information out there on the internet that is both actionable and trustworthy. Get my free ebook: Hashimoto's Diet Guide here. You can also find more about my personal journey back to health here.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 32 comments
Melissa Roberts - December 21, 2016

Hi Dr Childs
I am in great need of your help. I dont know how else to contact you but through this comment feed.
Im hoping you will have an opportunity to read this.
Im 34 yrs old 171cm tall and currently 187kg, married 11yrs and have 4 beautiful children.
As long as I can remember I have always had a problem with my weight going up and down however never to this degree.
It really hit home for me from 20-23 yrs old.
I Had fluctuated over the years and after going on contraception before my 1st child in 2006 is where it all began. I was 24 and being on contraception I still fell pregnant with our 1st child. I also gained 20kg of weight and immesnse water retention in less than
2 months of being on the pill and my Doctor had no answers, from 97kg going on the pill I was 125kg and fell pregnant. I ended up with a very troubled pregnacy had suffered Pre-Eclampsia in my pregnancy which I then suffered renal failure and delivered my bay prematurely. 6 weeks later I lost my gallbladder as it was full of stones causing me horrific pain throughout the pregnancy and post so it was removed.
2008 my 2nd child and continued weight gain even though have always been conscientious of my diet and calorie intake. Post pregnancy 140kg. 3rd child 2010 started at 171kg post pregnancy 150kg. 4th child 2015 175kg post was found to have severe underactive thyroid diagnosed hypothyroid. Positive for autoimmune hashimotos put on thyroxine for duration of pregnancy from 6weeks onward. Ultinating 50mcg/ 3 days, 100mcg 4 days. Post pregnancy got down to 150kg it was working for me during pregnancy but now 16months on… I am currently 187kg have not been monitored correctly all this time have kust stayed on the thyroxine of 100mcg until 2 months ago!
I was put on 100mcg daily for th past 16months and have now tried 3 different Endocrinologists who have not listened to me.
I Have had bloods read by GP and I continue to be told my blood levels are fine. No one has requested a full panel read of all levels including reverse T3 when I suggest this they say its bollocks that its not important. How can this be? Im being told they dont believe it’s my thyroid. Rather that its my calorie consumption.
I have suffered substantially and continue to, with many symptoms of hypothyroidism and yet am also showing normal T4 T3 levels or as I was recently told borderline so therefore I must just stay on 100mcg and basically hope for the best.
I also have a goitre nodule on the lower left guadrant of my throid gland but again have had an ultrasound to measure size 1.5 cm but the 3 endos I’ve seen so far, dont see it of great concern!
Recently I did a Glucose fasting test to see if im diabetic but that came back negative and was told I have a high level of insulin. I asked what that means and was told im basically insulin resistent! The Endo then proceeded by putting me on an 1000 calorie per day diet. I am still breastfeeding and have been suffeirng such fatigue… I have been insulted numerously by the 3 endos I have seen saying for that for me to have gotten to this size and weight, I have obviously eaten myself there! That my perception of portions must be completely off and that I need to cut down my portions and watch my intake of calories… cut out all sugar softdrinks sweets…DAH! I ahve done that for years! These itwms dont reside in my home… especially as I have 4 young children and a husband whom are all not over weight and with good reason. Its not what we eat! How HURTFUL this has been! NO ONE IS LISTENING TO ME! I know exactly what I intake I have always been very health conscious of definitely what I consume and how much this is no joke. My entire Family can support me on this also I have tried numerous methods… and at the very beginning my ultimate goal has always been to not gain futher weight, however my body does excatly that and stores my fat no matter what I do. After 3 weeks of 1000 calories daily I lost 1.5kg… My endo was unsatisfied to say the least and again insulted me saying I have to watch what I eat seriously … or I will have to have gastric banding surgery!!! Well thats the limit! Im not a person who needs this Dr Childs, I ate tuna salad for 3 weeks snacked on pear and drank water only… everyday to stick religiously as he put it to his schedule… 1.5kg and he believes I must be eating by the truck load indulging!!!! HOW WRONG HE IS! I want even hungry on this routine evem though he believes I must have cheated… what I was, was exhausted! And still am!
Something is not right with my body and No one is able to help me or is listening to me.
I keep rising in weight and fret for my life, im suffering with my mobility. I cant carry myself and be damned im not going down like this! I have lower back disc compression and cant walk long before sitting down because of carrying this weight! I want to be here for my 4 children who are 16months, 6, 8, and 10 yrs old…I have other problems too… I have been suffering pain in the liver area amd have expressed thia to to get no where. I have been bleeding from the bowel now and then also over the last couple of years… with this weight im concerned about lining myslef up with Cancer also.
I have been doing substantial reading and all the facts I find about converting t4 to t3 and acknowledging differnt methods like desiccated t3 hormone if straight thyroxine t4 isnt helping asking questions about the things I read im told its not always good to Dr.Google your symptoms… well Lord help me… as no one else seems to be!
I was told a straight No! Amour hormone affects the heart, end of story! Whether it could be helpful or not doesn’t matter! Meanwhile no endo and the 3 I have seen want to hear of it. I have been on levothyroxine for 2yrs and it has not helped me much at all but made my situation much worse and Im at a point of despair! I was told I have to go back on 100mcg of thyroxine daily after I took myself off it 2 months ago and did this just to prove it doesnt help. My bloods came back last week as fairly normal borderline so I was told, advised to go back on. But again it was just a test for FT3 FT4 and thats it! No further investigation no full panel request and the best I got was “No your not diabetic to my surprise!”
Im so tired of the lack of treatment and knowledge of my doctors here.
After reading this article about Naltrexone Im desperate to know if you can help me please.
I was supposidly seeing a well World renowned Professor of Endocrinology here in Australia…and yet all I leave his office with is 1000 cal diet, 100mg of thyroxine and an appointment to see him in 4months!… no care! And this is killing me! Emotionally, mentally, physically.
Would me going back on thyroxine be of any help? Could I do the thyroxine and naltrezone? Would that be a good combination… What else would you suggest that I do?
Please Help me Dr Childs.

Melissa Roberts

    Dr. Westin Childs - December 21, 2016

    Hey Melissa,

    Unfortunately I can’t provide medical advice to you over this forum but I can offer some guidelines:

    – In order to get the kind of care and treatment you see on this blog you will most likely need to search outside of the “conventional” or “traditional” medical model. Generally all endocrinologists and primary care providers will treat you the same – based off of your TSH and with levothyroxine or T4 only medication.
    – I’ve heard from other people that the general care for thyroid patients is somewhat limited in Australia though I can’t speak to this personally
    – The best thing you can do is find someone who understands this approach to medicine to help guide you through the process
    – On this blog there are several case studies which show before/after pictures with near complete treatment plans – you can look through these to get an idea of what will likely be required

    I hope this helps get you started.

    Tora - March 30, 2017

    Hi Melissa

    I understand your story and know exactly what your going through as I somewhat have a similar story of yours in which I have gone through 3 endo here in Canada which are completely useless. I got feed up and went to America to seek help from a doctor just like Dr. Childs.

    What I can say is to research Metformin on treating Insulin Resistance, read the blog and book called, Stop the Thyroid Madness and read this study called “Thyroid Issues May Really Be Hypothalamic” on medpagetoday.com

    I pray all the best for you!


Jill - December 21, 2016

I have had fabulous results with LDN. I started taking it 18 months ago (starting at 1mg and moving up 1mg per month to the current dosage of 4.5 mg). By the time I was at 4 mg, I started losing weight, ultimately losing 55 pounds. I have also noticed that I don’t get sick as often or as severe as my friends and family. In addition, my pain in my back and my hip have reduced significantly. It truly is an amazing medication used in this way. My struggle lately, is that I have put back on 10 pounds in the last 3 months. I take a pretty high dosage of Nature Throid, but I am really struggling to keep the weight off that I lost. I am gluten free and avoid processed foods whenever possible. I feel like I am eating less and less all the time to not gain weight, which I know isn’t right. Any suggestions?

    Dr. Westin Childs - December 22, 2016

    Hey Jill,

    Thanks for sharing your story, I’m glad it has worked out well for you thus far. I would consider evaluating your fasting insulin levels and looking at your reverse T3 levels. Alternatively you can check out the case studies I have on my site for more info.

Jo - December 23, 2016

Thanks for the great article , so helpful would someone start out at 1 mg move up slowly or just start right up on 4.5 mg?

Traci McCauley - December 24, 2016

Hi Dr.Childs,
I am 44 years old and I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 3months ago after three years of suffering not knowing what was wrong with me. I also had a nodule removed from my parathyroid a year ago, I have gained 50 pounds I am fatigued 24/7 and feel horrible. I’m just trying to find someone that can help me .. Thank you Traci

Susan Fonlupt - December 24, 2016

Is LDN a prescription only medication?

Maria - January 8, 2017

I was diagnosed as being hypothyroid . Is it true that I will always have to take medication that there is no cure for hypothyroidism regardless of going gluten / dairy /free ?

    Dr. Westin Childs - January 8, 2017

    Hey Maria,

    Thanks for dropping by. Unfortunately the “cure” for hypothyroidism depends on what causes it to begin with. Your suggestion that going gluten free and dairy free is really only helpful if you have allergies/sensitivities to those foods and if your hypothyroidism is due to an autoimmune component. While changing your diet may be important in your case (I don’t know because I don’t have any information), it’s also possible that your decreased thyroid function may be due to something as simple as an iodine deficiency or other nutrient deficiency. In cases such as these, simply repleting the nutrient deficiency is often enough to experience significant improvement in your thyroid function.

    On the other hand, if your low thyroid is due to an autoimmune component and has gone untreated for many years, then it’s possible you have some irreversible glandular damage which may necessitate long term thyroid hormone replacement.

    So to answer your question: no, going gluten and dairy free, is not necessarily a “cure” for hypothyroidism.

Lisa - January 14, 2017


I am so grateful I found your site! I am literally at my wits end. I am 51, menopausal and my TSH levels are at 5.09. I have gained 50 pounds over the past 5 months. I am miserable, tired, moody, and in pain. I was given LDN one month ago. I take 3 mg’s at night could take up to 4.5 but haven’t’ yet started out on just 1.5 and moved up slowly. I was finally diagnosed with lymes disease in 2011 after battling symptoms that went misdiagnosed since 2006. I feel worse now than ever however my cystitis is better. I have gained 10 pounds on the LDN. I abused amphetamines for years and smoked cigarettes. I quit smoking 6 months ago and literally blew up. My legs hurt they are swollen and in pain. I feel like a swollen cow. Any and all suggestions on how to improve my health greatly appreciated. I am looking at doing the anti inflammatory diet. Thanks again and best regards…

    Dr. Westin Childs - January 14, 2017

    Hey Lisa,

    It sounds like you need a comprehensive hormone evaluation. As you suggest changing your diet if you haven’t already would also be a great place to start.

JAN MARIE WALL - January 18, 2017

Hi – I have used LDN with fabulous success. I am currently diligently working on my complicated taxes for this year. When I am through I would be so happy to share my store on this format. I have had so many things that it has helped: insomnia and hair regrowth after AA namely.

I will wrote more after taxes are done. I am VERY excited about the prospect of this wonderful compounded drug helping others.

Jan Marie Wall

Shelbi Cannon - February 1, 2017

Hey Dr. Childs!

I’m curious as to whether there are any notable effects from taking LDN long- term? If you are patient with Hashimoto’s and begin LDN as a part of your treatment plan, while simultaneously working to improve other lifestyle factors that my be triggering the immune response and/or suppressing thyroid function, how do you know if it’s the LDN working or the lifestyle changes? Have you had any successes in helping patients change their lifestyles (while using LDN) and eventually be able to come off of it? This stuff is so exciting! Thank you for the GREAT post! 🙂

    Dr. Westin Childs - February 5, 2017

    Hey Shelbi,

    Yes, as long as diet and lifestyle issues are taken care of many patients can ultimately reduce/remove some of the therapies.

Melissa - February 22, 2017

I am wondering how to get ldn if pharmacies dont carry it?

Julie - February 25, 2017


Thank you for this article, it’s extremely helpful! I’m curious if you have any input about my situation.. I am on Welbutrin XLR 300 and was taking Topamax (mood disorder). I lost weight with Topamax, about 30lbs. But my hair started falling out, so I asked about an alternative. Doc prescribed Naltrexone 50mgs and said it would help with weight loss. I’ve been on it for 2 months and have gained 15lbs. Since finding your article, I realize I should probably be taking LDN. What would happen since I’ve been on such a high doses, would it help to drop it to 4.5me? I also have Hashimotos Disease and Graves (although thyroid function is close to normal atm and being monitored.

    Dr. Westin Childs - February 27, 2017

    Hey Julie,

    Gaining weight on naltrexone likely indicates some other hormone imbalance. Lowering your dose will likely not result in significant weight loss by itself.

tj - March 6, 2017

I just started. Today is Day 3 of LDN. I have a history of HypoThyroid but haven’t had any treatments in 20 years, just yearly bloodwork that always comes back “normal” whatever that means. ~ I Went straight in at a compounded dose of 4.5mg. I am a 340 pound female. I practically had to FORCE my Dr. to prescribe this to me, I requested it based on a 9 hour documentary I watched by Dr. Izabella Wentz. I feel HAPPIER. My sleep seems deeper. When I take the dose about 9-10pm, I feel little pin prick pains shoot from knee, to wrist, to ankle, weird, all the places I have pain. When I wake up, I feel sleepy. Not the fatigue that I am used to, but genuinely sleepy/tired, like when I was a teenager. Like “just another hour please mom” kind of tired! LOL I feel less hungry already, brain fog reduced, sense of well being has increased. Strange fleeting moments of elation/laughter. (which is certainly something I am not used to experiencing) God I hope I am on the right path. I take Vit B, C, D, Probiotic, Fish Oil, Selenium, Magnesium, Ashwaganda Root and a tea called “heal all tea” that is supposed to be helping with swelling/edema/inflammation and I steer clear of processed foods and gluten. Plenty of fruits and veggies, but still love dairy. I am dying to lose weight and feel better. Any insight appreciated.

Jacqui C - March 8, 2017

Hi Dr Child’s.
I too was put on to LDN via Isabelle Weinz and have researched as much as I can. However my GP had not heard about it so could not prescribe it. I also cannot find anyone in Western Australia that does prescribe. I also cannot swallow tablets/capsules etc and am aware that Naltrexone 50mg can come as implants, is there anywhere that I can get LDN implants in Western Australia?

Kind regards
Jacqui C Perth WA

Laura - March 10, 2017

Dr. Childs,
Thank you for the informative article. I appreciated your insights on how Naltrexone may cause weight loss. I just began taking this medication for weight loss today. I certainly have a stubborn set point of 254 lbs. pre and post menopausal. It would be nice to lower that.
My question has to do with alcohol consumption. I cannot find and clear answer on what to be concerned about when taking this drug. I know it is also used to reduce cravings for alcoholics and opiod users. I think it blocks the high, right? So is the fear that one would keep drinking and not know how intoxicated one was? My real question is – is having one drink a problem? for the taste, e.g. wine with dinner, not for the the buzz.
Best, Laura

Kristin Rizo - March 27, 2017

Hi Dr. Childs, thank you for an amazing article.

Little background for you. I’ve done a NutrEval test by Genova that has revealed several nutrient deficiencies despite taking those supplements. I’ve done a comprehensive stool analysis test by Genova as well and I have gut disbiosis. Not enough mixture of overall good bacteria. My Dr felt I have siBo (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) so I’m on xifaxan day 11. Then I’m supposed to take 2 supplements to ensure I don’t get candida again, restart probiotics and go back to Dr in a month. My fasting insulin level was 19. I have had insulin resistance since I was 22 years old and I’m now 32. My husband and I would love to have children as well, but I don’t have normal cycles not ovulate possibly bc of my insulin being so high.

My point to all of this is I’ve been wondering if LDN may be right for me?? I’m hypothyroid as well and I have the T4 to T3 conversion issues.

Sb - April 12, 2017

I have been prescribed 50 mg of naltrexone for weight loss. Is this too much? I take it in addition to 50 mg of vyvanse daily…

    Dr. Westin Childs - April 12, 2017

    Hi Sb,

    Not necessarily, though it is much higher than I use.

      SB - April 16, 2017

      How is the proper dosage for each patient determined? And does LDN act differently than normal dosage amounts?

      Here is a quick overview of my health:
      -35 year old female, 170 lbs and 5’7″. 140 – 150lbs is my “set point” weight.
      -severe Binge eating disorder for 10+ years. Causes anxiety and depression.
      -Low egg reserve, AMH levels under 1. currently balancing hormones with standard process products.
      -high testosterone levels (facial hair growth, cystic acne)
      -I have one gene mutation of the MTFHR gene
      -Constantly b12 deficient – supplement with Thorne Methyl Guard Plus
      -Migraines 2-5x per month

      I’m trying to determine what a good dosage would be for me.
      I take vyvanse 50g for binge eating and wellbutrin 300mg.

      So essentially i am taking contrave? how is contrave different than naltrexone. Wouldn’t you just get the added benefit from the wellbutrin?

      Thank you!

        Dr. Westin Childs - April 17, 2017

        Hi SB,

        Low dose naltrexone is just naltrexone but at smaller doses, so there is no difference between contrave and LDN (except in absolute dosing). In regards to your situation, I have treated patients with eating disorders and they are notoriously very difficult to help lose weight.


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