I was diagnosed with Graves Disease at the end of March 2007. In May I had radioactive Iodine treatment to kill my thyroid. I had just turned 35 years old and am considered morbidly obese. I weighed 218 lbs, and am 5'0" tall. Unfortunately, I was one of the few that didn't lose weight while experiencing hyperthyroidism.
Over the next 6 months, between May and November my thyroid died off quickly. On September 26, 2007, I became hypothyroid, and terribly symptomatic- I gained 20 pounds. The loss of hope, the terrible, debilitating depression, was more than I could stand.
A constant, complete exhaustion made my life a living hell. I knew at this point, that this was not how I was going to live. This is when I found a thyroid support group on yahoo, and where I learned of LDN.
Not much is known about Graves Disease, other than it is an autoimmune disease. When I first started reading about LDN, I knew without a doubt that this was the answer I was looking for. I tried to get several doctors to prescribe it to me. None had even heard of it, or were willing to learn or listen.
After all, I was just a patient with memory issues, and terrible brain fog. How could I teach THEM anything?
So, I took it upon myself to learn.
I admit that it took me a long time for the information to be absorbed, but I knew the quality of life I had was not going to change unless I did something about it myself.
On February 18, 2008 my TSH was 3.4.... 'within range'. I could only get a TSH, since once again, doctors down here in Southern Alabama really are behind the current research, and the effects of T3 and T4 on the body. I went through 3 different doctors before I realized none of them were going to test me properly. I was told my levels were 'perfect' and maybe I needed to see a psychiatrist. I know my own body, and I was not fine, much less perfect. I was on 100mcg of Synthroid (name brand) daily.
On March 1st 2008 I began taking Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN). I purchased it from Canada, from a respected, much used pharmacy. I get 50mg. tablets and dissolve them in 50ml. of distilled water. I started at 1.5mg per night. The first night I experienced terrible sleep disturbances. The next day, I had a racing heart and my blood pressure (BP) increased to 148/100 but I decided to just take it really easy, and ride it out.
The following day, my HR and blood pressure (BP) were once again elevated, but coming down. The sleep disturbance continued. By day 3, my HR and BP had stabilized, but sleep continued to be a problem. I decided there was no way I was going to go through this with each increase so within 2 weeks I had brought myself up to the maximum dose of 4.5 mg/night. The only time I experienced ANY sleep disturbance was those first couple of days.
It is April 2008 and it has now been 6 weeks since I started LDN. The changes in me are unbelievable!!! I feel like my old self. No, better than my old self. I have not felt this good since I was a teenager...before giving birth at 18 years old. I am certain that pregnancy was the beginning of my thyroid problems, and they just continued over the next 18 years.
Along with the Graves Disease, I had constant diarrhea. The beauty is that after several weeks on LDN, I was finally having normal bowel movements.
I now wake in the morning refreshed. My sleep has never been better. I still wake several times during the night, but the quality of sleep I am getting since starting LDN cannot compare with anything other than the sleep of a young child after being outside all day. I finally dream again, and I have not dreamt in 20 years.
Since starting LDN, I have lost 5 pounds in the last 6 weeks, with no effort. My appetite has decreased tremendously. My depression is completely gone, as is my anxiety. My energy levels have increased dramatically. I still have physical issues from being hypothyroid, eg; muscle cramps, and I still tire more easily than usual. I still do have the 'brain fog' but it has lessened dramatically.
I feel hopeful for the first time in 18 years. I no longer take any anti-anxiety medication. I had been using Cannabis to combat the anxiety symptoms and I also find I no longer want that. I am almost 'normal' and I contribute every bit of it to LDN.
I feel better than I have in over 20 years.
LDN is truly a 'miracle' drug. Please, don't let the pharmaceutical companies control the quality of life of those afflicted with autoimmune diseases. This drug needs to be mainstreamed. If someone would just step back, and consider what the world is missing by not allowing a good quality of life for us, maybe together, we could change the world. And I have already begun.
I will be getting a full-time job soon because of the positive results of LDN. This will allow my husband to finally go to college this fall, and become a high school history teacher. What better way to change the world, than to start with our youth!!
Sincerely hopeful, and it is all due to LDN.
Graves Disease - LDN-Better Health than past 20yrs-Saundra
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