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Dr Lauren Deville Interviews Linda Elsegood talking about Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)
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Welcome back to another episode of Christian Natural Health today. I'm very excited to have Linda Elsegood with us. Linda is the founder of the UK charity LDN Research Trust established in 2004. She has multiple sclerosis, and Low Dose Naltrexone, LDN, significantly impacted her life. She wanted to help other people not only with MS but also all autoimmune diseases, cancers, mental health issues, etc. In the last 18 years the charity has helped
over a million people worldwide. Welcome Linda. Thank you so much for being with us. Thank you very much. It's a pleasure to be here with you today. Yeah, good for you for taking what you learned and turning it around to see what you could do to you know spread the knowledge and help other people. That's absolutely fantastic. I love that. Thank you. Yah so can you tell us a little bit about how LDN, from the research that you've done and you, 've written bunches of books. Now, what is it three? You've got another one that's about to come out soon. Yes. Yeah. So uh tell us a little bit about Low Dose Naltrexone. How does it work pharmacologically and what is it
that makes it kind of so useful across a broad spectrum of possible things, possibly. Okay, well briefly, it interrupts the homeostasis in the brain. The brain's a reward system which makes your body produce more endorphins, which is your body's own natural painkiller and feel good factor. It also works on the toll-like receptors which Dr. Rachel Allen did a presentation and she said it really well and I can't forget her presentation. It was like an army of soldiers with guns you go your toll like receptors target inflammation to reduce the inflammation. And so many people with autoimmune diseases have high levels of inflammation and
by reducing the inflammation they're a lot better So LDN works on that as well. So it's a non-toxic drug. It's it was trial back in the 19 late 1970s and it was only found harmful in doses of 300 milligrams a day for addiction. Yeah so for addiction it's used 150 milligrams a day. They usually have 50 milligram tablets, three times a day. Okay so you can see that is only half of the harmful dose and we're talking you know maybe half a milligram up to 4.5, it can go either side of that but that is the general window. So it's a very very low dose. Great. People the only thing that you have to be really really careful with that is if you are on opioid medication especially slow release opioids you can go into opioid withdrawal. Which one lady actually did. She went to the doctors and private doc. Didn't disclose that she was on any opioid pain medication. She was asked and she said
no I no don't take any painkillers. And she was on morphine and Fentanyl patches. And she ended up in ICU because she had terrible withdrawal. So it's always and some people think that you don't always need a doctor to help you, which is a really big mistake, to wean yourself off of opioids. Which I mean should only be done under supervision. And certainly not putting LDN in the mix. Right. If you're still on opioids that's a really big red flag and I would hate to see anybody have to go through that. Sure yeah. Absolutely. But one of the things that I love about LDN is because unlike traditional pharmaceuticals where you're suppressing something, this one is almost homeopathic in the way that it works. Where you're giving the body your you have the primary effect which is the blockade of those endorphin receptors but then the secondary effect of overproduction is what you're actually after. And that's what ends up kind of having that longer term effect. So I think that's one of the reasons why I don't really shy away from this when nearly as much as I do with using other types of pharmaceuticals. That's really cool. But people will say so how long do I have to take LDN. You take it for as long as you want it to work. Yeah and they said what about the accumulative effect. Well it's only in the body for four hours so every day you're getting a 20 hour break. You know it and you can just stop taking it if you want to, uh if you're going to have surgery, if you take it stop taking it a couple of days before you know it's completely out of your system and you should be fine. But there are some really really good videos on our website which explains how LDN works. What it does. They're all there for people to go and have a look and dig deeper, do their own research is always a good idea. Sure, absolutely. Well and in my clinical experience one of the ways that I've sometimes used it now certainly with autoimmunity you do kind of have to continue it from what I've seen in order to continue to have the benefits from it. Unless you can find and remove the underlying issue and then possibly you can take people off. But sometimes from like a never-well sense kind of a scenario I will like never well since for example long COVID I often will use LDN as a reset button for that and sometimes people only need it for a very brief window and then they can get off and kind of move go about their business is
that something that's in the literature at all or is that just something I've done. Yes, it is yeah and COVID is a really hot topic obviously right now and in the new book that's coming out there are actually two chapters, one specifically on long COVID and the other one is about fiery damaged tissues which explains about COVID. Really really interesting. I mean anybody who is wanting to prevent COVID or treat COVID while you've got
it and then the long COVID. And you are so right. There are so many people that are taking LDN and sometimes once they're fine they can stop taking it when they've got a long COVID. But it makes me smile because healthy people who haven't been around sick people who have had uh CFS, ME, even MS. I mean I had chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue. So many healthy people who have got long COVID think that they're the first group of people that have had chronic fatigue who haven't been aware, yes, exactly who haven't been aware that it's been around but forever. But I honestly feel that with all the research that has gone into long COVID and how LDN is being used I'm sure that's going to springboard it further. Professor Angus Dalgleishand he's one of the top oncologists in the UK and he's written a chapter on long COVID and he's done a promotional video and he says I do not know why LDN isn't used as a first line treatment. You know he is so for LDN, he's witnessed what it's done for people. Yeah that's awesome. So backing up a little bit yeah how is it that like with autoimmune conditions which is kind of like the the earliest Research into LDN was mostly for autoimmunity correct? Yes. Oh okay, so how exactly does LDN and the endorphins and the toll-like receptors go about modulating the immune system? Is it just because we're not suppressing inflammation in the same way that we would with steroids so is how is this modulation achieved? Can you explain?
Dr. Ian Saigon and Dr. Chris Patricia McLaughlin have been doing studies and trials since the late 1970s. they've done hundreds and hundreds all the papers are out there on PubMed. And Dr. Ian Saigon always says that LDN helps regulate the dysfunctioning immune system. So what he means by that is it helps to fix whatever has stopped it from working correctly, to put it back you know as near as possible. And he can back that up with all these trials and studies that he's done. So a lot of people think that it boosts the immune system but regulating it I think is a far better way of putting it. Right and I like that more because obviously your body everything works together in this intricate system and as soon as you start to hit one thing with this sledgehammer five other things break. So if you're modulating and working with it you're not going to end up with side effects the same way that you do not typically and not nearly as many anyway. So as far as pain so uh it's the LDN has been used for a lot of types of chronic pain. What kind of thing responds best and why does it work for that? It actually works for all kinds of pain. Obviously it depends on how long you've had the pain
and getting the right dose. For example, we made a documentary on pain and opioids and that is also on the website. Really really interesting and we interviewed a pain specialist. So we're talking about chronic pain, complex regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain. Um so across the board any type of pain LDN can help with. I mean going to um you know really bad pins and needles. Numbness, all the different pains that you can have it can actually help but again at the moment most people who end up seeing a pain specialist have been through maybe eight or nine different doctors. They've tried absolutely everything and the pain
specialist is the last person they see and they're just about ready to give up. The sad thing is I met a lot of these patients who were taking LDN for pain when we did the documentary. Dr. Samuel Dev Data said to me, "I don't want you just to hear from me at how well it works and I want you to meet the patients who take LDN for pain." And their stories were amazing. These people were in tears telling me their stories how you know they'd been on pain medication for 20 years. They were hooked on the opioids. They couldn't come off. The opioids are making them feel ill. They weren't getting pain relief They were still on a nine or a ten every day and there was nothing
they could do. And one lady she was a nurse and she had pain I think 15 years. I'm a bit fuzzy with with the time. I think it was 15 years. Anyway, she was on these opioids and using ultra low dose, now we're talking .001 very very minuscule and by taking such a small amount alongside of the opioids, the opioids became more effective. So. Yeah. What they were able to do was titrate the opioids down whilst titrating the LDN up. Getting the patients off the opioids onto Low Dose Naltrexone, not the ultra low dose. Right. And the results were
we had some patients that were pain-free. We had was that the pain was a three or a four but they'd lived with chronic pain for so long that they were really happy It didn't stop them from living their lives and doing what they wanted to do. And others, the pain was still bothersome. I wouldn't say you know it was nowhere near as high as it was but it was quite a mixed bag. But these stories were just amazing from these people. Really really amazing. Its awesome. So as you're talking about the ultra low dose I actually have a lot of really hypersensitive patients and there's many of them where I can't give them even like 0.5 milligrams of LDN and typically in order to because they'll get the primary effect not the secondary. Uh so I will often have them open the capsules and
take a pinch and then we'll kind of increase from there and they'll still get the same effect that a different patient would get from 4.5 milligrams or one milligram . So it's interesting that you do have to titrate in order to find exactly the right dose. Exactly and it's not something like paracetamol take two, four times a day. It is really a case of finding out the right dose for you and nobody can tell you what that right dose is going to be. But by starting low and titrating slowly the chances of getting side effects are minimal. Exactly. You know even if you
are ultra sensitive. But there are a few people that really do have to take it very very slowly. I definitely have a lot of those. So speaking of those kinds of people for those who have lots of immune tolerance issues, food sensitivities, autoimmunity would certainly play into that as well, the leaky gut, leaky brain kind of a component how does LDN asset assist with restoring immune tolerance? Okay well LDN does cross the blame brain blood barrier. I haven't been drinking either and there are some really good past conference presentations that go into that from LDN experts. So I wouldn't want to get into that myself if that's okay with you. No problem. Yep yeah. Thank you. Yeah . Okay. So and then there's also I've often lately I've been using the LDN more for people who have bowel transit issues but it's interesting again modulation. It seems to play both sides of the fence when people have difficulty with diarrhea or when they have difficulty with constipation It seems to kind of hit a reset button. So that's something that the literature is born out as well, right. Yes Dr.Jared Younger had a paper printed which is on PubMed. Very very good paper as Jill Smith had a paper published on Crohn's disease, which was also well she had two actually one on pediatrics and one on adults which explained what they did during the trials.But it certainly does wonders for the bowel. Helps as you said reset it. But if there are underlying problems like SIBO. Right. I mean LDN works really well for SIBO, but you've got to treat the SIBO. Same as celiac disease. If you continue eating junk food you know your guts aren't going to be healthy as they should be. So many people say you know why is it important not to eat gluten and dairy, but there are studies that show that people can be intolerant to those things and it just exacerbates it and makes the inflammation far worse. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Well it's difficult. LDN does a lot but it can't you've got to work with it. You've got to help it not fight against it. It's not the magic pill that you can sit and be a couch potato and not exercise, eat the wrong food and expect LDN is hey gonna fix you. Sure, Yeah. Absolutely. And often I will use it in that way , where we're using that as like a reset button while we're fixing what's underneath. And then we can take it away later hopefully once we've found and removed the obstacle to cure and then done cleanup. Then in many cases people don't need to stay on it long term. So that's definitely but it's a fantastic tool in order to kind of interrupt a bad cycle essentially. So that's awesome. So you mentioned I believe it's in I can't remember if it was your first or your second book on how LDN affects brain derived neurotropic factor levels. What are some of the potential like therapeutic implications of that? Can you talk a little bit about what that BDNF is? Right I had some notes here on that just one second. Okay, sure. Okay so theoretically LDN may be able to reduce the BDNF levels with possible therapeutic areas from addition to wide-ranging psychiatric disorders. The current published research is on animals and there is still a lot more work to be done. Okay. And so can you tell us a little bit about the research into LDN with PTSD and dissociation that's an interest that was a fascinating set of factors. Yeah that is totally amazing. Galen Forest and older Dr. Ulrich Blainus do some amazing presentations on PTSD. Now the dosing for that can be different. sometimes they use it twice a day, sometimes they use it three times a day But the results they've had have been absolutely amazing and there was a study carried out which showed 11 out of 15 patients who had PTSD saw immediate benefits. I mean that is unbelievably high isn't it? And Dr. Wickbook Pap she's from Germany and she works in a psychiatric hospital and she works with dissociative syndrome so these people are in a really really bad place. And she's been working with them using LDN and has managed. to calm that down. I mean it's a very complex condition to deal with and she had a paper published on her results. So I mean it's totally totally amazing. So getting away from the autoimmune, the pain, the mental health issues, and the PTSD is not just war veterans. You know, it's domestic violence, children who have been bullied, rapes and the list goes on. I mean this is such a good tool for all of those things. But it's also used in fertility clinics to help women get pregnant. So that's a different topic you know there are so many things and people will say, "oh well you know it must be snake oil because not one thing can work for so many different conditions. " Sure, yeah. But most of these conditions the common denominator going back to what I said before is inflammation. Exactly. Now you have good inflammation and bad inflammation. The good you need to help fight off viruses and bacteria in the body. So that's fine. But it's the bad inflammation that LDN targets to get rid of those toll-like receptors. Yeah absolutely. So and a lot of times I'll have people come to me who will say inflammation is my it is like always a bad thing and I'm glad you brought that up that your body has mechanisms for inflammation for a reason. They are there so you could fight out before an invader but if you lose, if your body loses, and then that cycle perpetuates that's when you end up with chronic illness. So absolutely this is that that can be an underlying issue for so many different kind of ques diseases. Right. So as you kind of alluded to this uh but any other chapters that you're really excited about in the upcoming book for New Uses for LDN. Yes apart from the COVID and the long COVID, the fiery damaged tissues includes other viruses. So the herpes viruses, one and two, Epstein-Barr virus, now I can't remember but there were several different. Yes but you can treat with LDN and then we've got longevity which I mean is a huge thing yeah. Drug resistant depression. Oh interesting. Yeah it's good. Cancer case studies, they're always a really good one to people are never fed up with those. Right. So and the parvo virus as well. Mixed connective tissue disease. We've got a chapter on old off ophthalmic eye conditions. Okay, I'm not going to get it out. also yeah a mold illness and CRIS. So Dr. Kent Holthoff wrote that chapter and he has been using peptides and LDN and managing to heal people from mold, quickly, effectively and they feel so much better. So what he did he took his chapter and then put it to one side and said I don't like the protocol. I'm going to write a brand new protocol. So this book is the first book where he's actually shown this new protocol for treating mold. I'm so excited. Yes. So that is hot off the press really really something right very new and we've got the updated dosing protocol because there are so many people that still think you can only take it at night. That's old news. And so many doctors prescribe it in the morning and people can then try to take it in the evening but if you have sleep disturbance or vivid dreams you can take it in the morning. It doesn't make any difference and it goes into dosing for mental health, autoimmune, pain, etc, etc. And at the beginning book as always, we've got the pharmacology and best practices. So things change over time. You know the first book was six years ago and we have updated information in there. So all in all it's a very good book. The first book was I don't think around about 210 pages. The second book was like 280 pages and this book is 316. There's just more coming out that's awesome. I know but I'm I can't have it the next book any longer. It's right. We've hit a threshold. Yes, I can't 300 was meant to be the limit and we went over because there are hundreds of references and studies in the book.
Fantastic. So I mean all these authors when they say something they back it up. You know prove that what they're saying is right. Right. Yes. So it's a really good starting point for people who are interested in LDN or prescribing LDN and for patients that have any of those conditions. Yeah. But they want more information. So when does the book come out? Third one. The launch is on the 10th of November and I'm doing a book signing at Solutions Pharmacy in Chattanooga in Tennessee. Okay they're going to have a big open house and things in the evening. So that's going to be an all-day thing that's going to be good. But we're getting other doctors and pharmacists around to take part on that day. So look out for the book. Yeah so we're doing a pre-order right now okay so if you go to the website if you want to wholesale it there is up to a 60 discount. But on a single book we're giving a five percent discount and free shipping if you order before September the first. Awesome, can you say what your website is? I'll also include it in the yeah but what is it? It's www.ldnresearchtrust.org and the page got it now if you look under resources and then LDN books you'll see everything about the book on there but it's LDN research for us dot org forward slash LDN hyphen book hyphen free. Fantastic. Sounds great. So anything I haven't asked you that you want to make sure that you leave with our audience. Well I'd like to just say our caveat because we are a charity and we have to follow rules but LDN isn't a miracle drug or a cure and it doesn't work for everyone but I think we covered that. Yeah but it's always good to throw it out there to make sure for sure. But I would also say I don't know how much time we have left but there are people who think that it's okay to buy LDN online without a prescription. It's a prescription only drug and when you buy a prescription medication that has no quality control checks, there's no way of knowing what it is and how NHRA which is our medicines regulatory body say that they confiscate drugs as they come into the country and 85 percent are counterfeit Most of them are harmless, they've got nothing in there but some of them have lethal ingredients. So you're playing Russian roulette so it's not a good idea to do that. You could end up killing yourself always get a prescription and take it to a reputable pharmacy to have your prescription filled. Fantastic. Yeah. Good to know for sure. There are several different forms. How much time have we got left? Whatever you go for it. But there are several forms that you can have LDN in now I mean years ago it was just capsules. But you could have capsules, you can have gummy bears, you can have chokies, cream. Okay. Topical solution, tablets, all of the above Well I mean I guess if you're doing compounding why not. You can do any of the above. I always end up compounding it in capsules but I've seen it in liquid. I just didn't know it had all those other possibilities. But sure I don't see why not. Very cool. Pets, there are quite a few vets that are using LDN. Also children. I mean the first thing that people think of is autism which is usually they put a cream on the child at bedtime. But there is also pediatric Crohn's, pediatric arthritis. I mean children still have lots of autoimmune problems and of course cancer is the big one. An LDN can work really well as I was saying about Professor Angus Dalgleish, he's from a hospital called St. George's in London and he did a study with Dr. Wayne Lou and they found that LDN can actually cause Zelda so it can kill the cancer so that was a big one and they had that paper published in 2016. Oh awesome. That's amazing. Definitely look out for the cancer chapters in the upcoming book. That's great. Okay. Well thank you so much Linda for all of your time and expertise and thank you for creating this wonderful charity that's so awesome that you're spreading the word. Okay. Well thank you very much for having invited me. Are you looking for a holistically minded healthcare practitioner who truly treats root cause rather than symptom suppression? Unfortunately even in the alternative healing professions this isn't a given that's why I've created wholehealthdoctor.com a resource to help connect patients to health care practitioners in their area who share a root cause philosophy. Alternatively most of the practitioners listed also practice Telehealth so if there isn't anyone local to you you can still find a great practitioner to help you regain optimal health. Go to wholehealthdoctor.com that's whole healthdr.com. Type in your location or adjust the specialty that you're looking for and find the practitioner who's right for you.