Annette Johnson, MD, LDN Prescriber from Germany 2019

Linda: Today, my guest is Dr Annette Johnson from Germany. Thank you for joining us today. 

Annette Johnson, MD: Thank you for having me. 

Linda: Could you tell us how you got into medicine? Was it something you wanted to do as a child? 

Annette Johnson, MD: As a child, I wanted to go to Africa to help children that are not in a wonderful position as we are here in Europe, in Western countries. In the beginning, I thought it's only in Africa where they have problems and we don't really have problems in Europe, only luxury problems. Then I found out that's not true. We have lots of problems in Western countries, such as chronic diseases and the suffering that nobody cares about anymore because we tell our patients they are not curable at all. I wanted to help and change things.

Linda: When did you hear about LDN? 

Annette Johnson, MD: Actually I was so much into fibromyalgia and other patients that I was searching all over the world to find solutions for my patients. I am caring for about 700 fibromyalgia and around 600 Berlioz's patients and around 500 Hashimoto patients. 

I was very happy to hear about your radio show and your book. To start with, some other doctors in the area are pain specialists and who were experienced in this therapy.  

Linda: How long ago was that? 

Annette Johnson, MD: I think this is three years going by now but already I would say I can see success after some weeks, sometimes after the first week also. I also found a good psychological effect on the mood of my patients. So I'm really very positive about using this on patients who are so chronic. Sometimes I find them to improve very fast.

Linda: All right. You said that you have 700 patients with fibromyalgia. How many of those have you now got on LDN? 

Annette Johnson, MD: I don't want to disappoint anyone but I would say around 50 patients on LDN. Some patients do well only with diet changes with meditation techniques, plus therapy and private practical interventions. So I'm sort of doing my worst cases and that is why it's only around 50 from 700 because it's such a good help in the hard cases, in the difficult cases. 

Linda: Okay, so from those 50 patients, what have the outcomes been in the percentage?

Annette Johnson, MD: I did some research before our interview. I think it would be a 90% success. I'm separating my patients to those who best fit the criteria, which may be why my success rate is higher.

Linda: How do you prescribe LDN? Are you using capsules, or sublingual or cream? And how do you titrate the dose up? What is the starting dose? 

Annette Johnson, MD: Yes. I use a compound pharmacy that you recommended in Ireland off into South of Germany, and my first recipe is a 0.5 milligram, one milligram and two-milligram capsule on one recipe.

That means that the patients only have to come to me twice and then can proceed through. After they ask all their questions after they have understood the system, after they have read your book and then we keep in contact every two weeks by telephone or personally and then they increase.

The dosage until the four or 5.5 milligrams, if they use it if they need it, or they can stop if they don't need such high doses. Many of the myalgia patients only need very low doses to get a quick improvement. I have found with speaking to fibromyalgia patients and LDN prescribers that people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, are very sensitive to all medication and LDN, even though it's a very low dose, is still a prescription drug.

Linda: Do you find you have to start very low and do you find they react to it negatively initially?

Annette Johnson, MD: I think they react very well if we start with 0.5 milligrams and I remember two cases who couldn't even tolerate that. So we made them buy empty capsules and divided into two pieces so they could start with 0.25 milligrams. This worked out very well. In the end, when they started it and then they increased the dosage over four weeks instead of two weeks, they could in the end or come to two around two milligrams. That's really interesting because we have some patients who want to give up, saying the side effects are a problem. Pharmacists and prescribers who say that they can get success with all patients, providing you use a very low dose and increase it very slowly. Some people need a longer gap to let the body get used to that dose before you increase it further.

Linda: Some people never have a higher dose than say, two milligrams. It's really individual to each patient, don't you think? 

Annette Johnson, MD: Yes. 

That's so wonderful, isn't it? We can give them the confirmation that in the end they'll find their individual doses and they can increase it if they just take their time. Also,  I tell about 10% say it didn't work well, then later say it did work and I didn't notice because  I did so many other things.  I didn't notice that I was so well, and this is a new effect and we want to go back on the medication. Isn't that interesting?

Linda:  It is very interesting. When I was really ill and every week I had a new symptom, I knew I had a new symptom. The numbness went from my toes to my ankle, to my hip, to my shoulder, and you noticed every single thing that was going wrong. But when things start to improve, it's certainly a case of, oh, my left side isn't as numb as it was before. The pins and needles aren't this bad, but you don't remember it daily like you do when things go wrong, and I think you probably think I'm okay now and you don't think about it.

Annette Johnson, MD: It’s just something that happens. It's only when you stop, as you say, and all these things come back that you remember. That's why I encourage them to have a little book, where they write down their everyday symptoms in a good way. We don't call this a pain book, but we call these recurrent feelings.

We'll see. Then they can go and read how bad they were years before or months, or even weeks before. Because patients with fibromyalgia and fatigue syndrome are often not very good at remembering things. So it's really necessary to write things down and then to go back and look at how many symptoms have already resolved.

Linda: We do have an LDN app for those people who are English speaking. You can have a journal, but you can also record sleep, mood, diets, supplements, exercise, set alarms, do graphs and charts and printouts. It's amazing, but it's in English. So if you have any members who are English speaking, they might find that as a value and help. It's on our website so they could look into that. 

Annette Johnson, MD: In these days where we cannot use medical cannabis or things like this. It's wonderful to have the LDN to have a very similar effect directly on our pain. I think this is why people are so interested in LDN in the end because they know about the cannabis receptors and about pain physiology. Much more than they used to when they believed only what the doctor said. 

These days, they want to take their health in their own hands and they come with ideas.  I just had a patient who was suffering from fibromyalgia for 30 years. She had to do the suggestions to her doctors, what they could do to help her. This is so wonderful that we now understand pain and psychology effects much better than we used to.

Linda: You were talking about medical cannabis there. Do you have CBD oil in Germany? Is that allowed? Because it hasn't got any narcotic effect in it. I'm really recommending it. 

Annette Johnson, MD: It would be even more helpful to have a little bit of THMC in it. In Germany, there has been some research and doctors are using both together and it seems to work extremely well for patients who still have quite a bit of pain with LDN by introducing the CBD oil

As a doctor, you always need some patients that bring you on the way. You need nice colleagues that support you and give the support that you will manage and they will happen. There will be nothing difficult or illegal behind it and the doctors are very busy.

They don't have the time to look at everything themselves and to find out. If you have a doctor who's willing to listen to the patient, giving them new information, that is the way to educate them, isn't it? The busy doctors, when they don't have to search for it to be given the information is a big help.

This is so wonderful and I'm always asking the patients once they'll be better if it's allowed to then call their old doctors. That's what I do once they are better.

I go and call very nicely. They're all doctors and just tell them in a very collegial way how we managed to bring the patients back. It's the insurances that send me patients because they notice they don't have to pay for them anymore because they're going back to work after months or weeks.

So this is wonderful to see that in Germany. That government insurance ascends patients to my office because they know they'll be helped with LDN or other methods. I'm in close contact to Amin who also did lectures at the conferences for Augsburg for calming labs, and it's around 80% of my fibromyalgia patients who actually are triggered.

Bolio's saw tick-associated diseases. So astonishing if isn't that bad that we are not finding the Berlioz if we don't use the right tests.

Linda: So would you say the Barrios SIS is Lyme disease itself, or would you just say that's a co-infection.

Annette Johnson, MD: I would say it's, it's triggering to see if you have the genetics that for example, you cannot get rid of, phosphates, which professor Paws and Amanda in Los Angeles found. And then you have a tick infection, then everything will compensate and everything will be bad. And you'll start to get autoimmune. And bad reactions. And that's where the LDN comes in. It doesn't replace the antibiotics or the plants that we use or the therapies that we use but it's keeping us from getting all these other diseases like Hashimoto or like other autoimmune diseases from infections.

And I find it very useful. I've had lots of prognosis patients. The Barrio seeds and fibromyalgia are really so common in South  Germany. We have a lot of patients who have Lyme disease who have been told by their medical professionals that it's all in their head.

Linda:  They're just depressed. There's nothing really wrong with them. So that automatically makes them very depressed, not being believed when they can't get out of bed, they can't function. Do you have patients who have chronic Lyme disease that you treat because they are getting fibromyalgia from borreliosis?

Annette Johnson, MD: They're coming with fibromyalgia symptoms. And then I find very high numbers.  Actually, I had very bad Barrios last year.

It was 16. Unbelievable. And then I could just help myself with some physical therapies,  some foot photons to appease and some electric therapies. And I took LDN in the end after that, I just wanted to try it on my own. And I found that it was very useful and that I'm not having nightmares or something, but I have very nice dreams. it's really interesting and it's nothing scary about it, but it's wonderful to dream. And also it helps with my Parkinson patients who are not dreaming anymore. It helps with my dementia patients if they're not dreaming anymore because a deep sleep would DRI with dreams is so important to heal your disease.

Annette Johnson, MD: people talk about the Vivid dreams with LDN., I feel robbed. I never had any vivid dreams, but I've heard so many people tell me about their dreams.

Annette Johnson, MD:I had vivid dreams, I wasn't scared. It was just interesting. It was like watching a video. It was not scary at all and I never felt that I should stop it or something. I think it's a wonderful thing and I want to take it one and a half years just to find out what it does with my body. I'm so convinced about this therapy I just wanted to take it. Just getting back to the Lyme disease patients, how long it takes to get better.

Linda: How long would you say that would take with using all your different therapies as well as LDN and the earlier they come, the faster they are healed, but already if they have it for a long time, we can help within half a year. Wow. Yeah, it is because it takes so long to initiate all the things and to get your vitamins on the internet and things.

Annette Johnson, MD: If people come from somewhere else very far away, you have patients from Egypt and from Portugal and from Scandinavia. So if, if they come from far away, I have to be very fast and I'm starting all things parallel because I don't care which of the things heals in the end. I just want to hear and. Then I'm faster.

Sure. The more they can do, in parallel, the shorter time they are here.

Linda:  Now, how do people get hold of you? What's your website?  And do you have a waiting list?

Annette Johnson, MD: Sure. But this is only three months, I think. Okay. So if anybody would like to come and see you, the sooner they can make that appointment, the better. If you have to wait three months. But if they come in the beginning of the week and they have had their massage already, then we could start, take the early spot LTT um, and know if it's Berlioz's triggered that why they are so fatigued or while they are so painful for, and then it would be just faster.

So we can take blood in the morning about vitamins and Berlioz's if it had their massage in the week before. And then. They don't need to come so often, but maybe three times or so. 

Linda: Well, thank you very much for being our guest today and sharing with us your experience. I appreciate it so much and thank you for your work.

Annette Johnson, MD: Take care. All the best. Thank you.

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Doctor Annette Johnson asked me to add, I may not have pointed out enough how important it is to start the titration with a compounded product instead of diluting tablets. Local pharmacies, unfortunately, suggest this in order to avoid the high costs of the raw material.

And the extra effort. Patients nightly believe that diluting a 50-milligram tablet is accurate doses of no 0.5 milligrams, which it isn't. I found incorrect fillers and self dilution. The reason why I initially didn't receive the results I do now, some colleagues are still not aware of this.

Any questions or comments you may have. Please email me, Linda, I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for joining us today. We really appreciated your company. Until next time, stay safe and keep well.