​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. 

More...

Low Dose Naltrexone and Weight Loss

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

First:

Naltrexone was created as an opioid antagonist (1) and most Doctors are aware of its use in this setting. 

It's commonly used to treat opioid-induced constipation and to block the effects of opioids at the cellular level. 

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: ​

#1. Naltrexone Reduces Insulin Resistance

Studies have shown (2) 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. 

First:

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

Second:

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 (3) 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 (4), but it also helps to increase fat burning (5) 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.

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 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 (6). 

I will put this into context on how this may be beneficial but first, we need to 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 (7) 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 caused 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 settles 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 (8). 

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 (13) and weight gain (14), 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 (15) - 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 (16). 

In addition, some studies have shown that Naltrexone helps improve sleep in patients with complex regional pain syndrome (17) and other chronic pain syndromes as well. 

thyroid metabolism reset poster for side bar

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 (18).

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 (19) have shown that the use of LDN can help to improve the immune system and reduce autoantibodies in some autoimmune conditions. 

The combination of increasing thyroid hormone levels 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 over time which creates a situation of hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism combined with autoantibodies to thyroid glandular tissue results in weight gain and weight loss resistance. 

Even from a subjective standpoint (I will discuss 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. ​

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 interested 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 then 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 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 widespread 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 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.

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

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 postmenopausal 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 questions comments below to help other patients! 

References (Click to Expand)

This post was most recently updated on February 8th, 2019

Dr. Westin Childs

Dr. Westin Childs is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. He provides well-researched actionable information about hormone-related disorders and formulates supplements to treat these disorders.He is trained in Internal Medicine, Functional Medicine, and Integrative Medicine. His focus is on managing thyroid disorders, weight loss resistance, and other sex hormone imbalances.You can read more about his own personal journey here.

144 thoughts on “​6 Ways Naltrexone (LDN) Helps with Weight Loss + Who Should use it”

  1. 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.

    Sincerely
    Melissa Roberts

    • 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.

    • 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!

      Tora

      • Thanks, Tora. I’m in the same boat as you and Melissa. Right down to Hashimoto’s and no Gall Bladder. My GP is trying to help, as in she will order whatever labs I need. Still, my weight continues to creep up and all the diets in the world are not the fix. Best of luck to all and thanks for the references.

  2. 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?
    Jill

    • 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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 ?

    • 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.

  5. Hello,

    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…

    • 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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! 🙂

    • Hey Shelbi,

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

    • Naltrexone is available without an Rx from All Day Chemist. It’s perfectly legal to buy it from overseas. I have used it for about 8 years. The pills are 50 mg, so just dissolve in water and measure out the 3-5 mg with a syringe into some juice or water. Buy a few packs at a time to minimize the shipping charges and it keeps just fine.

      Unfortunately I have not had weight loss with LDN but it keeps a chronic infection (I don’t know what it is, just something where my lymph nodes blow up every month or so) under control. I haven’t really been sick since I started using it. If I skip it for a night or two my lymph nodes start to get sore.

      I also have Hashimoto’s and my antibodies did decrease after starting LDN, however this did not effect my TSH or T3 or any other thyroid lab.

      I take 3 mg/night. Maybe I’ll increase to 4.5 or 5 and see if I have any weight loss 🙂

      • Hi Tierney,

        Oversea pharmacies aren’t necessarily known for their purity. It’s entirely possible that you are getting a watered down medication which may explain why it isn’t working very well for you. It’s also possible that you are a non-responder, but it’s important to at least consider all possibilities.

      • If I bought 50mg pills how do I measure out 4.5mg dose. You said melt capsule in water and measure out 3 or 4.5mg in a syringe. How does that work. What amount of water to you dissolve a 50mg tablet?

        • My doctor prescribed Naltrexone 50 mg. to me for weight loss and instructed me to start with 1/4 pill. I still think that’s too much. I mistakingly took the whole 50 mg. Instead of 1/4. It caused me severe constant anxiety and panic attacks and restless legs and body. It lasted 5 hours of this torment. I forgot to read the bottle and took too much. But now I’m afraid to even take 25 mg. as instructed. And I also on Wellbutrin for depression and Adderall 20 mg. But my doctor knows all my medications.
          Any suggestions to help me get past my fear of trying this again at the correct dosage?

          • Hi Mreed,

            The best thing to do would be to have your doctor prescribe the correct dose through a compounding pharmacy! That’s the easiest and safest thing to do.

  8. Hello!

    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.

    • 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.

  9. 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.

    • Hi Tj,

      I’m glad it’s working well for you so far and thanks for sharing your story. Given your brief history it doesn’t sound like it will likely be the only thing you will need, however. Once you get into the realm of 50+ pounds overweight your hormones drive your appetite, metabolism and can make weight loss very difficult unless you address those hormone imbalances. You can find more information about my approach here: https://www.restartmed.com/hormone-mastery/

  10. 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

    • I know this is late but someone else may find this. You can compound it yourself. It’s way cheaper and almost as good as getting compounded at a pharmacy. Brown glass bottle in the fridge 50 mls of DI water and one 50mg pill will make a 1mg/ml solution. I leave it in the water for 2 hours and then shake it up before taking it. It stays good in the fridge for 2 months. Use a syringe or dropper and take it out at the desired dose. It does have a bitter taste, but it’s not as bad as some medicines I’ve tasted over the years.

      I currently take 1 ml but am going to scale up to 3-4.5mg. I don’t take LDN specifically for weight loss, but that would be a nice side effect. I’m optimistic that LDN will help reset my setpoint, but I’m taking it for auto-immune so my biggest hope is that it helps with that.

  11. 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

    • Hi Laura,

      If weight loss is your goal it’s probably best to avoid alcohol 100% anyway as it will help reduce insulin resistance.

  12. 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.

    • Hi Kristin,

      In terms of medications I would generally consider this a low risk potentially high reward medication. Generally it either works or it doesn’t and most people don’t experience any negative side effects while taking it.

  13. 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…

      • 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!

        • 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.

    • Dr. Child’s,
      I have a prescription for Low Dose Naltrexone that I have not started taking yet. I have been dealing with chronic intestinal Candida for 20 years from antibiotics and Accutane. I have read that LDN can make it worse. I was given it by my functional med doc to help Candida. What has your experience been?

  14. l am taking 50mg of naltrexone for alcohol dependance. lt is working very well and l have not touched a drop of alcohol since l started. l do have weight issues since going through menopause and l also have hyperthyroidism and take 50 micrograms of thyroxine per day. l am finding my weight stubborn to move, however l have upped my exercise.l naturally have a low appetite which would suggest slow metabolism. l am also on 350 mg of quetiapine for bipolar 1, 2mg of clonazapam and 25 mg of sertraline. Any advice ? l do have nasty gut pain and gas on the naltrexone.

  15. Hi Dr. Westin, My endocrinologist suggested that I am insulin resistant and started me on Metformin 1000mg daily. Is it safe to take Metformin and LDN at the same time without becoming hypoglycemic?

    Thank you for your time,
    Allison

    • Hi Allison,

      These medications should not cause hypoglycemia but each person is different so make sure to follow up with your physician or check your blood glucose if necessary.

  16. I took LDN for close to a year for FM/CFS, I also have Type 1.5/LADA diabetes. I took doses ranges from 0.5mg-6mg trying to find the “right” dose for me , where I felt the best, I tried am vs. pm dosing. Sadly I recently stopped taking the LDN as I never felt any benefit to my pain , fatigue , or decease in insulin need. Was also hope by for weight loss , appetite suppression , craving control, but saw none of those benefits either.

  17. I’ve been taking 50mg Naltrexone as needed for the Sinclair Method/alcohol abuse for 3 Months. I’ve also just realized that I lost 27 pounds over that 3 months and am sleeping better. Still waiting for alcohol cravings to stop, which I believe takes 4-6 months on average.

    • Hi Dave,

      That’s great! Congrats on your journey so far, your weight is also likely due to a reduction in insulin from reducing your alcohol intake.

  18. I have Hashimoto’s, am menopausal, and am 45 pounds overweight. I’ve been on various diets, including low-carb and HCG (lost and regained), so I am sure I have metabolic damage. I have struggled with inflammation, sleep issues and Leptin resistance. I have a “spare tire” around my middle, which likely means insulin resistance, too. I take thyroid medicines (T3 and T4) and bio-identical estrogen and progesterone. I’ve been working out (weights and HIIT training 3x per week, walking other days) but the scale has only budged about five pounds. Is it safe to take LDN while these hormones? Thanks

  19. Hello,
    I have 7of the 8 keypoints you mention above. I don’t (think) I have hormone imbalances like Insulin and Leptin resistance.
    Seeing dr regularly for blood work.
    I have been on Contrave for five weeks. I need to lose fifty lbs. Have lost four pounds then gained two. I stay away from fats as much as I can because I have very high cholorestoral (275). Dr has had to give me a stronger statin.

    My question is regarding the side affects of Contrave. I am on fifth week. They can be debilitatingand have I missed a day of work. Some days are ok, others I feel fatigued, or very dizzy, foggy, seasick and force myself to function through the day. But my ears have been ringing for almost two weeks and feel like my voice and when I hear is muffled.
    I have read that these may clear up in 8-10 weeks. I sure would like to feel good again on this med because even though I eat regular I don’t even think about food as often as I did and I know this can help.

    Thank you!

  20. I have used Contrave for 2 and 1/2 months. I have lost 22 pounds. I am menopausal. Nothing else worked for me. I love this medication and recomend it to anyone struggling with weight loss. It does take time to get your body used to it. You can have some side effects as headaches, nausea and dizzy. Some experience constipation. However I did not. The benefits far out weighed the side effects for me. Also as a bonus. My back no longer hurts plus I sleep so good at night. After menopause that’s a rare thing.

  21. I’ve been following you on YouTube for a few months and just so happen to come across this article. I’m currently taking LDN, I’ve worked myself up to 2.5mg after starting at .5mg. I have Hashimoto’s, a total thyroidectomy 2 years ago, I’m taking Naturethroid and also just received Bioidentical Testosterone pellets. Prior to this I suffered for 10 years without being diagnosed because my TSH level was always in normal range even though I had a nodule the size of an egg in my left thyroid gland, gained a total of 75lbs and had all symptoms of Hashimoto’s. Since starting with my new Hormone Specialist who switched my old Endocrinologists prescription of Synthroid to Naturethroid, LDN and pellets I have lost 5lbs in the first month without changes to my diet (it’s pretty clean and has been for 10 years). I feel so much better on Naturethroid than Synthroid. I just got my testosterone pellets so they haven’t had time to kick in but I’m hoping it helps with my night sweats which is why I’m up at 4am typing this now. I just wanted to say thank you for all of the information you give to people online, it’s very encouraging.

  22. I have been using LDN for almost a year and swear by it. I was hospitalized 4 years ago with sudden onset hasimoto’s encephalopathy which left me with a variety of side effects, most disturbing to me was confusion and a tendency to get overwhelmed. I also take thyroid meds for Hasimoto’s as well as Predisone 4.5 mg for COPD. I have experimented with different dosages of LDN but for me 1.0 mg works like a charm. Any higher and it conflicts with the Predisone and causes skin problems. My mental clarity is so much better and I’ve even lost weight to boot. I have more energy during the day, also. My son who suffers from irritable bowel is now at 3.5 mg LDN and is slowing working his way up to 4.5. He has had only 1 flare but it was mild and lasted just one day. It has truly changed both of our lives.

  23. I just asked my GP about Naltroxen. He would not perscibe because he had never heard of it or its use for weight loss. He also didn’t know how it would react with other meds i take . No opiods or other painkilers . I find this very frustrating .

  24. I went to a few doctors before I found one to prescribe ldn. I printed out the information on site ldninfo.org, and the doctor read it. I got the meds. Just started a week ago. Feeling good. Losing weight. 5lbs effortlessly. That never happens for me…I am hopeful this will help the insulin resistance. I think it has. I will check my fasting insulin in a few weeks.

  25. Dear Doc,
    Based on your article, I believe I am the perfect candidate for the meds. I am 1,60m, weigh in at 90kg. Hypothyroid, insulin reistant, metabolic syndrome and battling binge eating disorder. My question is I have high blood pressure due to the added weight. I know if I lose the weight, the blood pressure will normalise. (BP not treated currently). Will this be a problem if I start the meds?

  26. Hi Dr Childs,

    What an amazing article!! You are an absolute subject matter expert, you are incredible! Thank you for the good work you do. Please can you give me some guidance. I recently started with 25mg Naltrexone and will up to 50mg soon for severe binge eating disorder and insulin resistance. It worked immediately, little to no side effects. I have hope and I feel incredible. The only problem is that this medication is not well known in my country, the doctor was not able to give me much guidance on anything. What I’ve learned is what I got here. My question is how long would typical treatment for binge eating be? The meds are quite expensive and my doctor could not answer this. 6 months? A year? 2 years? Indefinitely? Will my brain reset or will I go back to binge eating as soon as I stop the meds? Sorry for all the questions, I’ve been battling binge eating disorder for almost 20 years so I’m in 7th heaven for this wonderful opportunity to heal. (I decided against contrave as I don’t react well with Welbutrin). Looking forward to hearing from you!

  27. Hey there, I am not much of a blogger but I came across your website and am having thyroid issues and thought I would seek you advice. I recently went to my endocrinologist and had a battery of tests done. I had my free T3 and free T4 checked. I also had my TSH, RT3 and TPO levels checked. My TSH was normal. My free T4 and T3 were low. RT3 was low and TPO was high. I emailed my endo to start me on a T3 medication. I am already on levothyroxine 50 mg. I also asked to be put on LDN. My endo then called me and told me he was not sure how to treat me! He prescribed me T3 medication but said he does not prescribe LDN. What is your opinion of my treatment considering my lad results? Thank you.

  28. I have Hashimotos . My TSH is 7.9 (high) with T3 and T4 being normal and Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Ab is 203 IU/mL (high). I have been on Synthroid 125 MCG for many years. I am 63 years old and have been riding this autoimmune roller coaster for years. My symptoms vary, I am carrying approximately 25 extra pounds for the past 3 years. I have endogenous/exogenous corticosteroid allergy. My doctor precribed LDN today. Found your site looking for information about it. Looking forward to trying it.

  29. I was prescribed Naltrexone 50mg today in place of Contrave since I already take 450mg of Wellbutrin daily. I currently have PCOS and am obese, and was referred to this doctor by an reproductive endocrinologist to help in my journey to conceive. I am concerned that my doctor may inadvertently be over-prescribing my Naltrexone dosage based on Contrave containing 8mg and your recommendation of 1.5-4.5mg. I have given her the name of a local compounding pharmacy in hopes that we can reduce the dosage for weight-loss/insulin resistance effectiveness. If she does not reduce this, what are the potential side effects of using the 50mg on a daily basis for insulin resistance/weight-loss?

  30. I am waiting for my LDN 4mg to come from the compounding pharmacy. Got the script from my naturopath who says it’s great for people like me with hashimotos. I do take 65mg naturethroid 2x daily. I also have 2 kinds of sleep apenea (untreated) and fibromyalgia.
    I’m just wondering if in your patients you find one 4mg dose is adequate to help with weight loss as I seem to have hit a set point months ago and can’t get past it.
    Thanks

  31. I found it very interesting that you had mentioned that LDN can help modulate appetite and help sustain weight loss because of this. My wife and I have been looking for ways to lose some weight and since we both have very busy schedules we just don’t have time to go to the gym. I’ll have to look into getting some LDN because of its weight loss benefits that it can help with, those would be great to have.

  32. I do not have any addiction issues, my Dr. has me on LDN for Hashimotos ( I also have Lyme). Just curious, is it okay to have a rare occasional glass of red wine with LDN? Thank-you, my first dosage was today. As a side note, I’m looking forward to a possible 10 lb weight loss as a side effect! Thank-you for your response.

  33. Hi Doc,
    Just wanted to know what the rules were of copying your work, if I could use it as is and cite it. I am busy writing a handbook to help people that find themselves in a similar situation like myself and found your information to be invaluable. The book might be published.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    • Hi Michelle,

      We are glad you find this information helpful!

      All of the work here including blog posts is copyrighted. You are welcome to use excerpts or send people back to our content through links but we don’t allow direct copying of our material. If you have any other questions please email us here: [email protected]

  34. This article helped me decide to start LDN. I’m hypothyroid, have PCOS and insulin resistant. I’m 56 and using bio identical hormones and on naturthroid. I eat low carb, high fat diet. One or two meals a day. Started on LDN 20 days ago at .50, just upped to 1.0 mg. Am I on the right track?

    • Hi Una,

      It’s very difficult for me to say if you are on the right track with limited information. I usually spend at least 60 minutes with each patient and look at a comprehensive set of labs before making any suggestions. Based on what you’ve given me here it does seem reasonable, however.

  35. I couldn’t fit the description outlined in this blog any more perfectly. What are the long term implications of using naltrexone as you briefly mentioned?

  36. Hi Dr. Childs,

    I have Hashimoto’s and have been bouncing around between thyroid meds for the past couple of years. A year ago my TPO antibodies (on the meds) were 1200. When I decided to stop taking the meds for a month this past December my TPO antibodies went down to 550 and of course my TSH went back to up to 7. I have been taking Nature Throid for a month now and of course my TSH is now very low but my TPO antibodies are back up to 1550. I have been lucky enough to get an rx for Naltrexone which I am going to try. Im just wondering if I should try the Naltrexone alone or in conjunction with the mNature Throid and if theres a possibility of any of the thyroid meds making my TPO antibodies go up. Thank you so much!

  37. Hi Dr. Childs,

    Thanks so much for your reply. I really do appreciate it. I’m torn between making my Tpo Abs stable and my TSH stable..in my case both haven’t coincided with the meds or without. In my situation would you recommend then taking the LDN with or without the other meds for a trial run? I am on a super low dose of LDN starting at 1.5 and then graduating to 3.5.. Can this low of an amount also help with weight loss if my TSH is lets say at 4? lol.. My weight is the same with a TSH of .88 (with meds) and at 7(without meds) so just wondering if my TSH needs to be at a certain level for it to work or if it’s better to not take the thyroid meds for a brief time so my Tpos don’t go haywire again.. sorry for all of the questions.. but appreciate any feedback you have.. your articles are amazing and very helpful..thank you

  38. I stumbled on this article by mistake, I was diagnosed with CRPS last April after a major hand surgery in March. Long story short, because of the CRPS, in October I was prescribed LDN 4.5mg before bed time, and I was prescribed Welbutrin for the short term memory loss and depression that comes with the CRPS. I have lost over 20 lbs since October and don’t have much of an appetite (because of CRPS haven’t had an appetite since June but was not losing weight) so I had began to worry about why I was losing so much weight, not that I couldn’t stand to lose some weight but for someone who has always struggled to lose weight even on a healthy diet and exercise plan, I was startled by my sudden weight loss.

    Thank you for your article, it has helped me understand that the combination of Wellbutrin and LDN are probably allowing me to lose weight.

  39. I am a lifelong calorie-restricting person. I had a near death episode as a pre-teen where I did not eat for two months and became skeletal and stopped urinating (due to hepatitis, very very ill). I began to have a negative relationship with food when people praised my “new look” after I finally recovered. (I was normal BMI prior to illness). Anyway, since then I have pretty much always been on a diet and feeling bad about myself when I returned to normal BMI. So I completely fit the yoyo scenario. After children, I went to “upper range normal” BMI and fought harder as my BMI flirted with “overweight.” More yoyo dieting and lots of exercise. No matter how little I ate and how much I went to the gym, I was always “a big girl” so I tried harder. Fast forward to menopause. I will not be joking at all when I say that I SUDDENLY gained 30 lbs with no change to my diet. This took about 3 months. I went to a 20 g carbohydrate, 1,200 calorie diet and did not lose any weight. I started to cry with anger when my husband insisted that I was “miscounting” calories. I was not miscounting. After that episode, I gave up. I continued to gain weight and have horrible carbohydrate cravings that I could not control. I don’t keep bread or snacks in the house so I literally ate sugar. Like right out of the pantry! I also craved alcohol, even though I was never a drinker. I had no idea why I craved alcohol, but a glass of wine could be the same as a carbohydrate fix, and I started having a glass before bed most nights. So finally the BMI was in the obesity range, at 32 and I could not wear any of my clothing. I became frustrated and had all of my hormones checked. My testosterone was half of the lower limit of normal for a menopausal woman. I had a lowish morning cortisol. My TSH was okay, I am on a small dose of synthroid. Although the synthroid did not really cure my symptoms it did give me a TSH of around 1 or 2. Also, I have fibromyalgia and could not move my neck, and had difficulty with severe fatigue which the rheumatologist said was likely due to not sleeping well. ANYWAY here is my testimony: Last week I started taking contrave just the one pill in the am and I feel SIGNIFICANTLY better. I feel alert, I can move my neck, and I do not have any sugar cravings or alcohol cravings AT ALL. I finally felt able to tell people that I can do what I want to do. The contrave has 8mg of naltrexone in it. I am wondering do you see people just staying on the one pill a day and doing a lot better? I have always had a healthy diet with lots of quinoa and vegetables but now there is no carb craving. Would it be worse to go “up” on the dose to 16mg naltrexone? My gyn gave me the contrave and she had to look up how to prescribe it. To say it has helped a lot is an understatement. I am thinking of maybe just getting more wellbutrin and keeping the one dose of naltrexone to keep the dose low. I know that this is an experiment. Just wondering if you have had patients who have done something similar. Also wondering if it is too late to repair the metabolism at this point or will I always need to eat very little to stay even?

    • Hi Nora,

      Generally when I prescribe it I play around with the Wellbutrin and the LDN dosing individually. So yes some patients need more wellbutrin and less naltrexone or vice versa, it just depends on that person.

      Thanks for sharing your story and I’m glad it is helping you!

  40. Hi, I have been using Contrave for about 5 months and while it hasn’t done much for controlling my cravings, I have had an unusual experience-my lifelong habit of hair pulling stopped. I have done some research and do believe that it has been the naltrexone component of the contrave that has brought me this miracle cure. I don’t want to be on Contrave anymore (the Wellbutrin messes with my memory and speech), but everytime I start to go off of it, the hair pulling returns and like immediately returns. Am I a candidate for Revia?

  41. Hi Dr. Childs.

    I have been doing a lot of research on LDN and started taking it five months ago. I have been titrating up to 4.5 mg and have been at this dose for almost three months. I understand from all of my research that it takes a good deal of time to see results but you are the first professional I have had an opportunity to speak with who is familiar with the treatment.

    A quick background. I have a severe form of the connective tissue disease, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I have dislocations and tissue injuries daily. I am nearly completely disabled due to this and have very limited mobility.
    In addition, I have Hoshimoto’s, PSOS, Dysautonomia, Asthma, peripheral neuropathy, migraines and chronic pain/ chronic fatigue.
    I have struggled with my weight all of my life. At one point my weight was up to 320lbs. I had a gastric lap-band performed 15 years ago and lost down to a healthy 140 lbs. and maintained that weight within 10 pounds since then.

    To manage my pain, I was taking very high doses of both extended release and immediate release morphine. I took it for over eight years. I was at a point, where as you will probably guess, I was plagued by side effects and it was doing less and less to manage to pain. I was also taking Lyrica 300 mg daily.

    So, After a lot of research, I concluded I was doing more harm than good to my body and needed to find another solution. I researched LDN and decided to withdrawal from the morphine and work on getting healthy. That was eight months ago. (3 months before starting the LDN). In that time I have gained 35 pounds. I have been on a strictly monitored low calorie diet (700-1000 calories a day) for two months without losing a single pound. In fact I have gained 2 more pounds this month. My Dr. think the weight gain is a stress response to the withdrawal from opioids. I am also still having insomnia attributed to post accuse withdrawal. I do feel like my chronic pain levels have improved but my weight is out of control. I had my hormones levels tested and was told they were borderline low and that I was only slightly insulin resistant. Basically just off from middle of normal range.

    So my question is, do you think any of the other medications I am taking could be interfering with the benefits of LDN or do I just need to give it more time?

    My current meds are as follows:
    Synthroid 75mcg daily
    LDN 4.5 mg daily
    Xanax 1 mg daily
    Ambian ER 12 mg daily
    Vitamin D3 50,000 units weekly
    Zyrtec daily
    Flonase daily
    Cyclibenzapar 10 mg several times weekly
    Rizatriptan 10mg a few times monthly

    In addition I take multivitamin, magnesium, probiotics,prebiotic.

    As I mentioned I am eight moths off of the morphine and one month off of lyrica 300 mg daily.

    I am also, like several others have mentioned, very very sensitive to hormonal changes or supplements. Contraceptive pills and injections wreaked havoc on my body. Several years ago a Dr tried prescribing HGH injections and progesterone. I reacted terribly and had to discontinue.

    • P.S

      I am considering purchasing your program. I am just uncertain as to whether I am a good candidate based on my very imited ability to exercise coupled with my medical issues. I completely believe you should be paid for your time and I don’t have a problem with doing so. I just want to get a better idea of whether this program will benefit me.

      I also forgot to mention in the above book I wrote that I am gluten intolerant with 3 genetic markers for celiac so I already eat a paleo based diet.

      On days when my hips and or knees have not dislocated, the most I can do as for exercise is walking short distancesand I use an infrared sauna. More days than not I am confined to a wheelchair or bed.

  42. Westin, I am exceedingly impressed with what you say on here plus I am impressed that you are just helping people without asking for money as another site does.
    My husband who has been a teacher/School Principal for 50 years and I have helped parents with their educational challenges with their children, plus later when the ASD syndrome emerged we also helped parents with their homeschooling of their children, and until we retired we did not ask for money, now we ask enough to cover expenses.

    Well, I am 72 going on 50, have not been on tablets until now, have never had flu immunizations and after reading what is in them I avoid immunizations like the plague. BUT now I am on LDN.
    In my life I had been on many diets, many were low cal ones, which we all know now, causes problems anyway. For about 20 years before I had a hysterectomy, my estrogen levels were sky high and I was sometimes emotionally low but kept myself good using music, entertaining visitors, helping others and happy things, and of course, I put on much weight, (luckily I am tall and no one realized).
    My get up and go, got up and went over 40 years ago, it seemed/seems as though every cell has stopped holding hands. I have all of the above but just kept going and as I am a positive person I was happy doing that.
    A few weeks ago, they found suspicious lumps in what was left of my thyroid, and wanted to do a biopsy, and being scared of cancer seeding from that, I said no. So next choice was to take it out or watch it for another two months and I chose the latter.
    Now my first week on the 4.5 LDN is up tomorrow, and so far NO problems, but the good things to happen is that within two days my hair stopped falling out. I would comb out the dislodged hairs into the basin in the morning so as I did not leave a massive trail everywhere I went and even then I left a bit of a trail, and I think one of the lumps in my throat which seemed to be on top of an enlarged gland has gone right down maybe completely, plus I am not collecting phlegm in my throat so much, BUT my weight has gone up perhaps because I have eaten too many nuts..,

  43. Hi,

    I am a thin and very muscular 46 year old woman with hypothyroidism which is being treated by t3/t4 desiccated thyroid hormone. I am currently on 3mg for LDN and have found the opposite effect, I have become ravenous and very much struggle to stop eating even once I am stuffed. This is a totally new phenomenon to me as I have always controlled my weight very well, and very healthily. I like the effects of the LDN on my condition, but the weight gain/appetite increase may be enough to make me stop. Have you heard of this before?

  44. Hi Dr. Childs,
    I have been taking LDN 1.5mg at night x 1 week then 3mg at night for almost 2 weeks. I was supposed to increase to 4.5mg at bedtime on week 3 but I have been having ridiculous dreams! I can’t remember ever having so many vivid dreams and some scary. Is this a normal side-effect? Would you agree that I should stick with the 3mg? I have Hashimotos, gluten intolerance (possibly celiac), leaky gut and high inflammatory markers. I do feel great overall, too soon to notice weight loss but hopeful! Thanks!

  45. I am a 54 y/o Black male and have been a typeII diabetic for a bit more than 15 years. I have had very low success over those years controlling my A1C. Of course my diabetic condition was directly related my weight. Last year April/2017 I asked my doctor if I could try Contrave to see if it would offer me any benefit for managing my weight. My doctor was absolutely adamant that my weight control solution could not be found in a bottle. After, a very long and persistent discussion, he (my doctor) wrote the prescription, so long as he could monitor me and, any progress if any, closely. Within 3 months I was down 20lbs in weight with improving A1C and my doctor was absolutely stunned at my success. Within 6 months I was down nearly 50lbs in total, and have remained stable at that weight with an A1C of 5.8 (it was previously between a pitiful 8-9), and I was no longer a typeII diabetic. This was more than a marginal improvement for my life… it was LIFE ALTERING FOR THE BETTER!

    While all was going well, I switched insurance companies in January and my new insurance health provider (GEHA) does not see the health benefit I have obtained by my use of Contrave (unlike my prior insurance company), and they refused to pay for it any further because they think of it only as a weightless drug and cannot see the health benefit for a now cured; formerly long term typeII diabetic (I could never figure out why some health insurance companies would rather see their clients ill and suffering with poor health conditions than supporting the solutions that help their client to remain healthy… it absolutely perplexes me). Anyway, the Contrave prescription without insurance is cost prohibitive for me and, to further add insult to injury, ripping me off the Wellbutrin was simply awful. I also quickly began to add a pound here and there and my appetite was increasing by the day. I was direly afraid than my insurance company would be responsible for returning back to a diabetic condition that I desperately did not want to go back to.

    My doctor chose to write me two prescriptions- 50mg Naltrexone once a day and 150mg Bupropion (Welbutrin) twice a day. I am now back on track.

    There now is no question in either my doctors mind, nor mine, that Contrave absolutely works and I am more enjoying the beautiful health benefit of live a typeII diabetic free life (no thanks to my health insurance company). I have not felt this good in at least 15years.

  46. Dr Childs,

    I am blessed to have an excellent Dr who stays up to date and informed. I Have within the past year been diagnosed with Adult Onset Stills DIsease, I also have DIabetes, HBP, FIBRO, Thyroid disease and PCOS. I was diagnosed for many years with insulin resistance aways being told that it was a shock I did not have diabetes, then about 5 yrs ago I was told I did have it! After several years knowing something was very wrong,I finally was referred to my Rheumatologist Dr David Dansdill by my Oncologist. and he diagnosed me with AOSD (Stills) I am now on the Biologic, Kineret, Metformin and HBP meds. I had some luck with Savella but it only lasted 2 years and went on to the three other Fibro meds gaining more weight and still having all of the pain! I just this week started on LDN I am taking 4.5 mg and have not felt results as of yet but know that is expected. I also have had Pancreatitis. (side note) This article has given me hope.. I feel like I am in excellent hands and completely trust in my Dr. I just wanted to thank you for this article and ask if there is someplace I can keep up to date on any changes or studied using LDN..

    Thank you,

    Mechelle Gagliano Clark

  47. Hi Dr. Westin,

    Why do you prefer naltrexone formulations under 4.5mg? Does efficacy decrease the higher the dose? Or do you recommend lower doses to decrease a side effect profile? My weight loss physician placed me on naltrexone 12.5mg BID along with bupropion sr 100 mg BID.

    Thank you,
    Nicole

  48. Hi Dr. Childs,

    I am an RN researching the possibility of starting LDN. Long story short, at 36 I was slender, healthy, strong. Seemingly out of the blue, several issues occurred at the same time at age 37. Gallbladder and digestive symptoms, severe heartburn, crippling fatigue, 60lb weight gain, hair loss, acne. Testing by PCP and endocrinology revealed elevated cholesterol, elevated CRP, esophageal lesions from reflux, “one cyst on left ovary” and a multinodular goiter. One nodule over 1 cm biopsied (negative). Was told all thyroid numbers normal in spite of having hypothyroid type symptoms. Normal fasting blood sugar. I saw 3 different endocrinologists and multiple other specialists before I went to a functional medicine MD who tested all hormones. Everything looked good except very low pregnenolone and low a.m. cortisol. I’m taking a pregnenolone supplement and adrenal support supplement. Tested for Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune markers and all were negative. 4 years later I still have very few answers, still fat, sick, and exhausted. Recently informed that gallbladder is so full of stones it must come out. I tried to avoid this with various gallbladder cleanse remedies to no avail. As to the thyroid, the one thing I remember changing before all these health issues started is that I quit using iodinated salt because I began using the pink Himalayan salt. Could a chronic iodine deficiency be to blame for thyroid enlargement and nodules? I tend to think that all the other downward spiral of issues are related to the thyroid. I am not asking for specific medical advice, just your general opinion on these issues. Thank you!

  49. Addendum: all these doctors have told me “there is nothing wrong with your thyroid function, we don’t know why the thyroid enlarges and becomes nodular” I have a hard time believing that the gland is changing if there is nothing wrong. Obviously, it is responding to some stimulus causing the changes?

  50. I’ve taken LDN before with Nature Throid. I’m also on Qsymia. I started it before finding out about my thyroid problem and now I’m afraid to stop the Qsymia. Anyway, it seemed like the LDN made me hungry. Have you heard of this or do you think it was more likely coincidence? I’ve thought about trying again.

  51. Hello.

    My name is Christine. I’m 46. I may be peri-menopausal, but that isn’t clear because I had an IUD inserted years ago and haven’t had a period since.

    I have been obese my entire life. I was on phen/fen circa 1997 and lost 50 lbs in 3 months. Just as I was developing tolerance to those meds, the heart valve news broke, and I had to go off of it. I gained more weight and hit my high of 320 lbs in 2001 when I finally had gastric bypass surgery at age 29. Fast forward to today, and I am nearly back to my highest weight and hating myself for it.

    I do have binge eating disorder, and I just got back on 50mg of Vyvanse after being off of it for 6 months. I can see that this medication will keep me from bingeing on tons of carbs. I’m eating much better now, but I don’t think I will lose weight on it.

    I’m a social worker in the addictions field, and I see many similarities between myself and my clients. I’ve always said that if alcohol or heroin were my drugs of choice, I would be the person who would need the naltrexone or suboxone to stay clean because I really do believe my brain chemistry is messed up. So it’s interesting to me that Naltrexone is now being prescribed for obesity; however, I’m not diabetic, and my thyroid labs look fine. Does that mean that I wouldn’t be the person you would typically recommend Naltrexone for?

    Is there anything that you think I should ask my doctors to look for that may be leading me to keep the weight on?

    Thanks in advance for your insights!
    –Christine

    • Hi Christine,

      In terms of an effective weight loss drug by itself, LDN is not very effective. It’s better if used as a third or fourth line medication when combined with diet, exercise and supplements.

  52. I’ve added 4.5 mg to my daily PCOS drug regime and have had no changes in symptoms or weight. I plan to add Ozempic or victoza after my next medical visit and perhaps the combo will help. I have stubbornly high insulin. Is going high dose or higher than 4.5 mg something you’d encourage pressing with my MD? Thanks for the great info.

    • Hi Lauren,

      Adding a GLP-1 agonist to your regimen may be a good idea especially with PCOS. Increasing your dose of LDN further likely won’t yield significant results if it didn’t work at the lower dose.

  53. Hi Dr. Childs,

    I just started taking LDN last week for Graves Disease. Since my diagnosis in 2011 my weight has fluctuated for my frame/height. I am only 5″3″ and have gone from 130 lbs (initial onset of Graves) to as high as 183 lbs. Before diagnosed with Graves, I was always a very fit and healthy 145-150 lbs.
    I am now sitting at just over 170 lbs and cannot lose anymore weight. I don’t eat fodmaps, nightshades, diary, grain or gluten. I should weigh 100 lbs.
    Having said that, will the LDN help me to lose weight finally? I’m hoping it will help with Graves Antibodies and in turn I can possibly come off my antithyroid meds (which I believe hinders my weight loss). I hear tons about LDN helping Hashimotos but too often not about Graves. My FT3 and FT4 are in very normal ranges but TSH is at .01

    Thanks
    Chris

  54. Hi there, my doctor just prescribed me naltrexone to help with weight loss, but she gave 50mg a day. Can you explain why it works better at low doses rather than the recommended 50mg?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Lindsay,

      In terms of safety, it’s preferable to use a low dose and still achieve the same results whenever possible. Also, it seems that lower doses of naltrexone impact the body differently than larger doses.

  55. I have had genesight testing done and had been prescribed LDN; however after having Genesight done (and not having started LDN yet), the Genesight report came back and classified Naltrexone as a “yellow” category with the notation “genotype may impact drug mechanism of action and result in reduced efficacy”.

    My own LDN doctor really didn’t have any insight. Another said the same. no idea, no familiarity with gene testing and drug responsiveness. Another said that it might just mean that you need higher than typical “Low dose” doses.

    Your thoughts?

    It would be GREAT if you could respond as GeneSight testing is becoming more popular particularly for administration of Opioids and AntiDepressants and if you google GeneSight and LDN like NOTHING comes up whatsoever.

    • Hi Dawn,

      Genesight tests for the relative activity of various enzymes in the liver which are used to metabolize medications. Certain genes impact how quickly (or slowly) your body eliminates the medications which mean they may stay in your system longer or shorter depending on the activity. The yellow/red simply indicates that your genes will impact this metabolism. They use a proprietary system so you don’t really know if that means you will be a fast metabolizer or a slow metabolizer. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the medication it just means you will probably need less (or more) than the average person.

  56. Hi Dr. Childs. So here’s my deal. Alcoholic and quite a chunky monkey. Poor sleeping habits and I think if I didn’t love my cats I’d eat them. With that said. I just started Naltrexone yesterday. I get my medicine from the VA which is great as they send it right to my door. I figured I would let you know where I’m at right now and let you know how it’s going and that if it’s something you’d like to share go for it.

    Day 1: took the medicine felt alittle drowsy and when I went to bed I slept all night (I never do that), woke up at my regular hour, but was able to lay back down and get alittle more rest. No desire for alcohol at all. Which in itself is amazing. I keep thinking “shouldn’t I have had 6 beers by now?” I’m so happy about that.

    Day 2: sleepy, really sleepy…But when I get moving around and doing my day I’m calm and content. Still nothing causing me to feel the need for a drink. Literally nothing, but me being confused as to why don’t I think about beer like I’m supposed to :). Soon I’ll be going to bed at a NORMAL hour instead of 3 in the morning. I’ll let you know how it goes here in a couple weeks if you’d like.

    Blessing to you and to all Dr.’s I’m thankful to live in a time where you guys are so smart know so much more and that medicine has come around so amazingly fast and getting better all the time.

    Kristine

  57. I was floxed by Cipro Antibiotic 6+ years ago and was left with Peripheral Neuropathy in both feet, shins and calves. Over the years since, I developed chronic pain issues that are a daily challenge. I used to be a very serious recreational athlete, but that was all taken away after this toxic reaction. The list of treatments I have tried from Electric Signal Treatment, to sitting under a Reif Lamp, to Himalayan Salt Baths, to all of the prescription drugs, Gabapentin, Nortriptyline, Amytriptylene, Lyrica were all horrible experiences, none of which offered any relief from the PN and Chronic Pain 24/7. I have been experimenting with CBD Hemp Extract, which I have been using for over 7 months now. Helps with the depression and anxiety, but cannot say absolutely, that it has offered pain relief or lessened my PN symptoms. I started LDN 35 days ago. Being so sensitive to anything I introduce into my body, I started at .5mg for 7 days and have increased every 7 days by another .5mg. I am presently at 2.5mg and when I get to 3.0mg, my restorative, rehabilitative MD wants me to stay at 3.0mg for 30 days, before moving toward the 4.5mg target. I do take prescription meds for depression and anxiety and take a lot of supplements, also prescribed by this MD. At 2.5mg for two days, I have felt kind of weird in my head, spacey. Again, it is hard to separate what I take everyday and actually knowing if the combination of one or more is creating such feelings. I follow a health diet. I have been through a detox diet regimen. Elimination diet regimen. Mitochondrial Diet Regiem. I am Gluten free, Diary free and follow a Paleo based diet. My MD is introducing some new supplements, targeted at my small intestines and trying to improve my absorption of what I eat. I hope and pray that one of these days, I will get to a better place. I am not looking for perfect, that is not going to happen. But living with PN and Chronic Pain is very wearing. I appreciate the opportunity to share and hope that what I have shared is of value to those who take the time to read it. StuTaz in NJ

  58. I have been doing some research based on your post referencing LDN. I find it utterly amazing what LDN can do above helping thyroid patients (MS, CFS and many, many more conditions). I found one site that is incredible and provides so much relevant current information on LDN and its many uses. A U.K. nonprofit site! The “LDN Research Trust” https://www.ldnresearchtrust.org/
    I hope this is of benefit to all.

  59. That was a very succinct and well-written blog. It makes total sense why Ldn helped me lose so much weight. You explained things well from many angles. I started taking it for Epstein Barr, other viruses and coinfections, with CFS/fibro. But, this also started with the perfect storm of stress, adrenaline and the likely cascading effect on the thyroid, HPA axis. Wish more doctors understood the amazing anti-inflammatory effects of ldn.

  60. Great article. I’m a 28 year old male who, in the past 2 & 1/2 years gained about 70 lbs due to primarily my overindulgence of alcohol and general lack of motivation to exercise. I currently weigh 270 at 71′ tall. My doctor has prescribed me Naltrexone at the strength of 50mg, once per day. Today is my first day taking it and I must say that it is working quite well with staving off the craving to drink. I understand this article is referring to Low-dose Naltrexone and its benefits. My question to you is “is there any issue with taking this higher dose in regards to its efficacy for weight loss and alcohol addiction? Thanks

  61. Hi Dr. Childs,
    I come here in desperation for advice on weight loss. First a little background. Gaining weight has been a problem as long as I can remember but always to some extent been able to maintain (loss and gain). As far as food my biggest problem is cravings for carbs, particularly bread. 6 years ago (in 2012) I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 and put Lamotrigine which at first did help for depression and some months after on Seroquel because of severe sleeping problems and anxiety. Ever since I’ve been on Seroquel gaining weight has been a big issue. I have worked hard including trying varies diets (latest one Keto). I have been able to lose weight but it always comes back. Currently, I’m at 216 Lbs from the lowest of 187 lbs 2.5 years ago. My all-time high was 236 lbs in late 2015 when I went on a low calorie diet (counting calories). I was keeping it at about 1400 calories a day for 6 months when I was down to 187 lbs. I found myself always being hungry. Since then I have been gaining and losing weight. My last major attempt was this summer when in June I started biking 20 km a day with no weight loss during the month of June when I was at 215 lbs. Then in July I started fasting 3 times a week for 24 hour periods and in total biked for 600 km or so. I was down to 204 lbs by the end of July but since then I’m back to 216 lbs. Doing exercise is not that difficult for me. If I added up all the incremental weight gains (after losing weight) I would be at about 260-280 lbs. I’m 41 years old male and it scares the hell out me thinking of having a big “beer belly” for the rest of my life, not only where it is at now but it keeping on getting bigger. I came across your website while researching Naltrexone. Recently my Psychiatrist increased my Seroquel from 200 mg to 300 mg because I tend to be on the depressive side more often than not. I expect that my weight gain will probably get worse as I understand the higher dose the risk of gaining weight is higher as well. So far after the dose increase, my depression is less so that is good but just thinking about losing weight makes me depressed. Do you think your program could help me? If so how do you think it could help? If I were to ask my psychiatrist for Naltrexone I’m sure he would prescribe for me. Also, what kind of blood test or other test do you think I should ask for to determine where I’m at in terms of metabolism and Insulin Resistance?

  62. Hi Dr. Childs, I have the exact same problems as most that have left a comment. I have two questions I hope you can answer for me. One, I spoke to a “health coach” about trying Naltrexone and explained that I wanted to give it a try to see if that would actually help me because I feel my metabolism is totally ruined from many low calorie diets and now my weight won’t budge or if it does come right back when though I’m doing everything right. I know it’s my harmones, but keep getting told nothing is wrong. She told me that Naltrexone isn’t recommended for people with a BMI over 30. My BMI is 37. I just want to know if that’s true? If so, why not? She recommended I start taking Contrave. But I read what you said about that medication not being the best one if you’ve already had issues with your matabolism because of low calorie diets. Could you shed some light on this? My second question is what type of doctor would you recommend that could help me the way you help your patients? I have yet to find a doctor that will work with me without making me feel that I’m wrong about the way I feel.

  63. Dr. Childs
    I am a 265/270lb male 6′ tall is this type of therapy only effective on women or will this work for men as well. I haven’t see any post from men. I am on Adderall for ADD and it seems to make me hungry when I take it. I seem gain weight or at the very least lose nothing at all, could I possibly benefit from LDN therapy? Thanks Ken

  64. I took the drug Contrave for about a week or two but stopped because it seemed to effect my memory. I noticed that it helped my wrestless leg syndrome and I was able to sleep for the first time in a long while. Not sure which drug helped but I sure would like to take it without the memory [email protected]

  65. Hi, my name is Linda. I’ve been told by my endocrinologist that I have a “weird” case and not a typical hyperthyroid case. I was diagnosed with low thyroid, hypothyroidism, in my early 30’s. I was on Synthroid for 13+ years for it. About 2 years ago my primary care doctor discontinued my Synthroid because I was on a very low dose and all of my labs had returned to normal. I was off all thyroid meds for about a year and a half when I started having issues. I am 47 now. Last summer (about 7 months ago) I started to have a lot of symptoms which I thought were possibly related to menopause. I was extremely hot all the time, I couldn’t concentrate at work, I was felt shaky and had trembly hands, I was a nervous wreck to the point where I would have panic attacks talking in front of people at work (which I never ever had problems with before), my heart was racing and I had high blood pressure, I had problems sleeping. In August, I got shingles. Doctor’s are not telling my if the shingles are related to my thyroid, but I still wonder if it was. In September, 4 months ago, I found a lump at the base of my neck that was very noticeable when swallowing. I didn’t think much of it, but at the persistance of my family I went to the doctor in October and my PCP ordered thyroid tests on me, the results of which were very abnormal and showed me to be hyperthyroid. I was then referred to an endocrinologist who has since started me on Methimazole. I had a nuclear medicine study of my thyroid as well as an ultrasound which all lead to the diagnosis of Graves disease. The Methimazole has improved my symptoms of shakiness and trembling hands and I am not nearly as hot all the time, but my biggest concern right now is my appetite and my weight gain. I still don’t feel like my old self. Everything I read says with hyperthyroidism I should have a high metabolism and I should be losing weight, but I am gaining weight like crazy. Over the past 2 years I have gone from 180 pounds to 219 pounds, with a weight gain of 15 pounds within just the last month and a half! I am frustrated and tired of feeling like this. I realize there are some dietary changes I can make in my life, but my appetite seems to be out of control. How do I get my brain back to a “normal” metabolic state with a normal appetite? For years my weight has fluctuated. I go on a diet and lose weight but then I get right back up to 190 pounds and get stuck again. Now I’m well over 200 pounds and I hate feeling like this. I feel like something in my body wants me to be at this heavier weight, I know it sounds crazy, but that’s how it feels. Will I ever be “normal” again with a normal metabolism?

    • Hi Linda,

      Yes, it is certainly possible to get back to a normal metabolism and weight but I honestly don’t think it’s possible with standard conventional medicine (most endocrinologists and primary care providers do not understand weight gain or how to help people lose weight long-term).

  66. I am 55 years old. I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. For the first year I took the diet lifestyle approach without much success. I have been taking nature-throid since July 2018. I have increased my dosage to 32. 5mg 2 times a week and 48.75 mg the other 5 days a week. I recently started LDN 2 weeks ago. I will be at 4.5 mg in 2 weeks. I am hopeful to see weight loss. I am about 10 pounds from my goal. Even with a healthy diet & exercise I have struggled. I was wondering how long before one will feel & see changes when taking LDN.?

  67. Does it matter what time of day you take LDN? I’ve just started taking 1.5mg at night but it is interfering with sleep. If I take it in the morning will it lessen its effectiveness?
    Thank you!

    • Kate- I had the circus dreams too when I started with LDN and they went away by the time I had titrated to 4.5mg. Definitely better after 2 weeks. DOn’t worry! The crazy dreams didn’t last long and it was entirely worth it.

  68. Dr. Childs…..my deepest thanks for this blog and the work you have done. I have been fortunate enough to see a functional medicine doctor for over a decade and she’s extraordinary (Debbie Judd in Spokane, Washington for those of you searching).

    It wasn’t until I started reading your blog that I’ve been able to tweak my supplements and really understand the massive pile of labs and advocate for myself to tweak things more.

    1. I got on Saxenda and I’ve lost almost 50lbs. Leptin droppepd from 23 to 11. I’ve been doing keto for years and the weight just barely comes off. .5 a week if I’m really strict. Saxenda has been a standard 2lbs a week. It’s amazing. I’ve still got about 30-40lbs to go but I alreay feel like a new person.

    2. I’ve been on a compounded liothyronine for over a decade, but I started advocating for more based on your articles and I’ve had a nearly 40mcg increase and I am finally feeling this sense of well being I had forgotten was possible.

    3. I was on low dose opioids for years after I broke my back. I never felt addicted but I took them nearly every day. I had a horrendous acetaminophen withdrawal with months of headaches. Debbie put me on LDN. I didn’t think it was working very much until I ran out and I could barely walk. LDN is an amazing miracle for me. My inflammatory markers have never been high, but my pain levels have gone from a daily 7 to a 2. I was getting steroid shots every two weeks and I’ve only had two in the last six months. I’m the unoffical spokeswoman for LDN. I once jumped out of a car and ran across a park to tell a friend who is in chronic pain about LDN.

    4. I’ve increased my calcium d-glucarate and every time I’ve increased my dose by one tab I’ve shorted my cycle 7-10 days. This month I am going to have a 35-day cycle, down from 55 days!!!

    5. My testosterone is still high (but has come down) but I’m going to double my dose of saw palmetto with nettle and pygeum. Free is normal, total is high. Dihydrotestosterone is really low though. Thank you for helping me understand these labs.

    6. Violet iodine has massively helped with my luteal phase breast tenderness, but I also think balancing my hormones played a major role so thank you for your help there.

    Thank you so much for helping me understand all of this. I just got a huge batch back from Quest and this was the first place I came to understand what everything meant.

    I would love it if you would do a series on optimizing fertility. I’m taking PPQ and Cq10 and inositol and everything else I can think of for top mitochondrial function. I’m not quite ready to have kids but I’m close. Would love to hear your take on it. You have such a great way of making things clear and digestible.

    I’d also love to to hear your take on peptide therapies. I’ve been thiking about going on Ipamorelin and CJC 1295 and BPC-1577 with TB-500. Apparently, my doctor can get them from Tailor Made Compounding. I’m thinking I’m willing to be a guinea pig.

    You work has really helped me say that I feel good in my body for the first time in years. Even though I’m in my late 30’s kids still feel possible.

    Thank you very much. There aren’t words to express my gratitude.

    • Hi Catniss,

      Thanks for sharing and I’m so glad the therapies are working for you. It would be a waste if I spent all this time writing articles to have no one actually benefit from them! And I will add your requests to my current queue of articles.

  69. Dr. Childs,

    Thank you for all the information you have published over the years. Being able to access this information has improved my quality of life tremendously. I had a strange side effect with LDN and I wonder if you have encountered it during your research. I have hashimotos and take 195 of naturethroid per day. I started LDN 5mg (capsule) in February 2019. I can’t tell you how much better I have felt. Energy, no more insomnia, fog lifted, reduced pain. LDN is amazing! I began having diarrhea so I switched to an LDN 5mg sublingual. Since that time I began to gain weight. I was 205 and am now 217. I also take biest/progesterone 10/100mg/ml cream. Is weight gain normal? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Mspano,

      I’ve seen a lot of strange things and reactions to medications over the years but I’ve never had anyone gain weight on LDN. I would look into other causes including thyroid function via lab testing.

  70. Hi Dr. Childs, thanks as always for such a comprehensive post. My doctor wants me to try LDN primarily to help balance hormones/leptin/insulin resistance since my weight is stuck despite all of the things we have tried.
    My question for you is what is your experience with using LDN as a shorter-term tool to help with metabolic set point and then stopping it once results have been reached? Or, do you generally have to stay on it for the long-term to achieve and maintain balance and results? Thank you!

  71. Thank you for a very informative article. My doctor just prescribed LDN in combination with an increase in my Metformin which I have been on for about a year.

    Although prescribed for cravings I have several of the other conditions that may improve as a result of this prescription.

    I’ll keep you posted.

Leave a Comment

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00