People commonly associate the immune system only with combatting infection and harmful substances. It may not be easily recognizable, but one’s immune system has significant influence over many functions of the body. A malfunctioning immune system can cause one to develop serious conditions such as fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, neurodegenerative conditions, and thyroid disease. Two particularly impactful autoimmune conditions, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Graves’ disease are contributors of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism respectively.
Thyroid disease is a serious threat to the overall health and well-being of people worldwide. One in five American’s are suffering from an autoimmune disease, which is correlated to an increased prevalence of thyroid dysfunction. Furthermore, it has been found that the incidence of autoimmune disease is rising. Effective treatment of immune disease may be found in correct usage of low dose naltrexone. This treatment aids in reactivating cells to normalize the body’s immune system. This can help when treating conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, immune-system related disease, and thyroid conditions.
Breaking Down Immune Dysfunction
Multiple studies have found that autoimmune disease is caused by immunodeficiency, meaning that the body is not able to effectively combat infections. Some may experience immunodeficiency so severe that their body has no defense at all. LDN assists in rebalancing and regulating the immune system, which allows one to better combat many chronic and infectious diseases.
One of the primary causes of immune system deficiency and dysfunction alike is an imbalance of Th1 and Th2. The immune system can be described as split into two groups, Th1 which works within the cell, and Th2 which works outside of the cell. When properly balanced, these two elements help maintain healthy immune function.
When the immune system falls out of balance and Th1 levels decrease and Th2 increases, the body becomes less capable, or entirely incapable of combatting infection. Relying primarily on Th2 reduces the body’s efficacy in combatting and resolving infection. Additionally, this defensive process takes more energy, and causes greater levels of inflammation throughout the body. Chronic infection resulting in such significant imbalance, can cause one to develop allergies and sensitivities that can increase inflammation and further contribute to immune disorder.
Processed foods, gluten, and inflammatory substances can significantly contribute to autoimmune dysfunction. Other factors such as stress and environmental toxins may also promote immunity issues. Immune imbalance can also contribute to autoimmune disorders that result in self-inflicted damage on critical systems such as the thyroid.
Unfortunately, most physicians focus primarily on treating the infection without also resolving underlying issues and imbalances. This approach can provide temporary relief but without resolving the actual cause of the dysfunction or imbalance, long-lasting resolution of immune dysfunction is unlikely.
Thyroid Disorders and LDN
LDN, or low dose naltrexone, has its primary impact on immune function through nullifying cells that cause damage to it. This in turn helps inhibit the release of inflammatory chemicals and neurotoxins. Thyroid-related immune disorders often cause inflammation and severe immune dysfunction. These issues can be eased with LDN treatments. Other benefits include reduced antibody production for those with an overly active immune system.
An overactive immune system is a defining attribute of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ Disease. Some have concerns regarding LDN as an immune booster, which traditionally increases the severity of these conditions. However, LDN doesn’t boost immune function in the traditional sense. Rather than simply increasing immune activity, LDN regulates immune function by balancing Th1 and Th2. For this reason, LDN treatment can help resolve both an overactive and underactive immune system.
Common immune-related thyroid issues include decreased T3 tissue levels, thyroid hormone and leptin resistance, and inhibited thyroid transport. LDN assists in resolving these resistances and promotes greater thyroid transport through positively impacting immune system function. Even if symptoms commonly associated with thyroid disorders, such as fatigue, pain, muscle weakness, and cognitive function, are not caused by thyroid issues, LDN can help improve them.
Greater Benefits of LDN
LDN is seeing greater usage in the medical community in the treatment of infections and regulating the immune system. Surprisingly, many physicians still don’t appreciate or utilize this economical, easily implemented, and low side effect treatment even though naltrexone has been used since the mid 1980’s for the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. Soon after this, it was discovered that low dose naltrexone was greatly beneficial for immune function and boosting endorphins. Furthermore, LDN’s effective pricing is in stark contrast of other expensive and commonly prescribed treatment methods for immune dysfunction.
Endorphins, frequently referred to as the feel-good hormones, do more than just make us feel happy. This hormone plays an important role in immune function. Treatment with LDN helps promote the body’s production of endorphins in a unique fashion. While one undergoing LDN treatment is sleeping, the medication temporarily inhibits endorphin production over the span of several hours. With halted production, the brain is tricked into increasing endorphin production because it believes there is a shortage. This boost in production lasts long after the inhibitive effects of LDN wear off. The result is a significant increase in overall endorphins which improves mood and helps modulate immune function, and reduces inflammation and thyroid antibodies.
Finding the Best Treatment
Before beginning treatment, it is important to take appropriate precautions. It is important to use pharmacies and compounders that are trustworthy and boast a history of drug compounding expertise. With this minor inconvenience being one of the few negatives associated with LDN, this medication deserves more frequent use in treating immune dysfunction.
Perhaps the only conditions more complicated and misunderstood than thyroid conditions are immune disorders. Treating both at the same time may seem like an impossible feat. However, by utilizing the affordable, effective, and easy to implement treatment of low dose naltrexone, one can experience numerous health improvements including better thyroid-related immune function and regulation.