Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN), Colostrum and Thyroid Antibodies

svetlawebResearch on LDN (Low Dose Naltrexone) and Colostrum for Autoimmune Disorders

I’ve been asked many times to provide information regarding Low Dose Naltrexone for treating autoimmune disorders like Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s and specifically for lowering the thyroid antibodies which cause these disorders. So far, I didn’t know any reliable method for decreasing these antibodies. I knew only about Aloe Vera that it modifies the immune system response through an active substance called acemannan and acts as an immune system modulator. (Click on the link to find out more). 

Now, there are 2 other methods I want to share with you. Please, have in mind that the information below should be considered for educational purposes only. 

Low dose Naltrexone

I personally never had experience with Low dose Naltrexone and to the best I know it is used for treatment of substance abuse disorders like alcoholism and opiate dependence. However, I decided to research this question in details and this is what I came up with:

Naltrexone is an opiate antagonist developed in 1970s and approved by FDA back in 1985 for the treatment of alcohol and opiate dependence. “Antagonist” means that it is blocking the effect of a specific substance. In general it helps people to stay off drugs and alcohol by reducing the body craving for alcohol; it helps people to maintain abstinence once they have quit the alcohol or opiates. The other brand names that it could be found under are Revia and Vivitrol. Usually, for the above purposes, 50 mg or higher of Naltrexone are prescribed by physicians to treat these conditions. This is not the “low dosage” recommended for autoimmune disorders. Of course, the drug itself will not cure the addiction but accompanied with psychotherapy and counseling it brings very satisfactory results.

However, recently there were some pilot studies suggesting that low dose Naltrexone (by low dose I mean between 1 mg and 4.5 mg, taken before bed) can be used for treating different autoimmune and other disorders, including but not limited to HIV/AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s disease, Croh’s disease, fibromyalgia, arthritis, autism, Parkinson disease, Lupus, Hepatitis and many more. I will not go in details about these pilot studies; a pretty long list of all of them is presented on the following website: www.lowdosenaltrexone.org.

It looks to me that “one drug can cure all”. Have in mind, that most of the listed studies are placebo controlled and clinical trials, and to the best I know this drug is not officially approved by FDA to treat the above mentioned conditions. But, as I advised by some clients, their doctors prescribed them LDN for the treatment of their autoimmune disorder, specifically Graves’ disease.

I believe that more research is needed to make such high claims, especially as we know that any drug, regardless of the dose, has certain side effects. The typical side effects for Naltrexone are troubles sleeping (which may increase for Graves’ disease patients who suffer anyway from insomnia); it may affect the liver function, it may cause chest pain, confusion, blurred vision (for those who have Thyroid eye disease as well), itching and shortness of breath, to name a few.  I don’t know if the low doses cause such side effects.

How this medication works? Practically, it increases the endorphins, which are responsible for the “feeling of happiness” and are natural pain reducers. Endorphins, to my humble opinion, can be increased by few other means, they just don’t come in pills: meditation, sex, spicy foods, exercise, good music, laughing, and let’s not forget the chocolate and glass of good wine, and not in that particular order.

While I know how difficult could be to battle with any autoimmune disease, not just Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s disease, and how many people are desperate to find that cure, I would suggest considering other options as well (see below). But by all means, if you consult your doctor and he agrees to put you on a Low Dose Naltrexone, why not consider it? I have to be honest that some of my subscribers and Facebook members report some good results. But as a “naturalist”, I just can’t dismiss that feeling that this is another campaign of the Big Pharma to promote more and more drugs. So, proceed with caution…

Colostrum: The Natural Healing Medicine

Nature products

Nature products

While writing about the benefits of one medication, I just cannot avoid giving you some equally important information about a natural product, about which I was advised by one of my subscribers, and accordingly conducted my very diligent research. It’s called Colostrum (well known as beestings or first milk), or Bovine Colostrum (which is the same, but from cows and totally acceptable to be used by humans). Recent research show that some substances, found in the Colostrum may benefit people suffering from different autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, Addison’s disease and diabetes Type 1. While Graves’ disease is not specifically mentioned, it falls in the same group of autoimmune diseases. Since this is the “first milk”,  it contains immune components that strengthen the immune system of the newborns, reduces the inflammation responses and have anti-inflammatory properties. The main components immunoglobulin and lactoferin are found to help viruses and bacteria in the body and restore the human immune system (disoriented or insufficient with many autoimmune disorders).

Colostrum is also found by researchers to naturally help the growth and repair of intestinal tissue, as with leaky gut syndrome and celiac disease. Colostrum seems to be the “Nature’s Healing Miracle”, according to medical doctor Donald Henderson. This is one reason that you may consider it, if you have this type of problems.

Contraindications: none, to the best of my knowledge and unless you are allergic to lactose or milk protein. Hyperimmune bovine colostrum has FDA “orphan drug status”, but it is widely available on Internet as a supplement. You can check the product below that page which I found on Amazon. It’s also a pretty cheap “medication”, compared to other similar chemical immune boosters on the market. More information on this product, with all the research done in this aspect and real stories from real people and cases you can find on the website of Center for Nutritional Research.

http://www.icnr.org/

and here: http://www.dravard.com/colostrum.htm

While I am not advocating for either one of the above methods, use your own judgement when trying different products, pharmaceutical or natural. 

I’ll also appreciate if any has an experience with any of the above mentioned products to leave a comment either on my blog or on my Facebook page so other people can read it as well. 

FacebookLogo

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Graves-Disease-Cure/108552104493

Or my Blog:

http://gravesdiseasecure.wordpress.com/


 

Radioactive Iodine Uptake Test

svetlawebRadioactive Iodine Uptake Test. Non-blood thyroid tests. 

TSH, FT3  and FT4 Test Results for Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism

Why do you need Radioactive Iodine Uptake Test and is it dangerous? This is a simple explanation of teh mechanism:

Because T4 contains much iodine, the thyroid gland must pull a large amount of iodine out from the blood stream in order for the gland to make an appropriate amount of T4. The thyroid has developed a very active mechanism for doing this.

Therefore, this activity can be measured by having an individual swallow a small amount of iodine, which is radioactive. The radioactivity allows the doctor to track where the iodine molecules go. By measuring the amount of radioactivity that is taken up by the thyroid gland (radioactive iodine uptake, RAIU) doctors may determine whether the gland is functioning normally.

A very high RAIU is seen in individuals whose thyroid gland is overactive (hyperthyroidism), while a low RAIU is seen when the thyroid gland is underactive (hypothyroidism). In addition to the radioactive iodine uptake, a thyroid scan may be obtained, which shows a picture of the thyroid gland.

Generally the procedure is considered if not safe, at least not dangerous. A small amount of iodine would cause that much trouble, however you definitely need a correct diagnose in order to be treated properly by your doctor. I consider that test as an additional tool to confirm a diagnose already suspected through your thyroid test results. 

 How to perform your own thyroid tests at home

When I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease I wasn’t very sure that my doctors send me often enough for my thyroid tests. If you have been diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism or Graves’ disease I would suggest that you perform your tests every month, so your doctor can adjust accordingly your medication. However, some of the doctors don’t agree with that, mostly because the insurance companies will pay only for certain number of tests. If your hyperthyroidism is in it’s acute form, or you’ve just being diagnosed with Graves’ Disease- and I repeat- do your thyroid tests every 4- 6 weeks the most, so the medication could be adjusted accordingly. 

Back then when I was diagnosed I made a decision to order my tests and perform them at home, so I would know my thyroid condition all the time. There are a few companies that offer that type of tests and they’ll send you the results over email, or give them over the phone. It was very convenient for me, and also it happen that when properly taken they are very correct and reflect your actual thyroid condition. 

For more information about:

Thyroid Tests Results click here—->>>

Thyroid Antibodies Tests click here—–>>>

Thyroid Antibodies and Immune System click here —->

Thyroid Antibody Tests

svetlawebThyroid Antibody Tests

The body normally produces antibodies to foreign substances such as bacteria; however, some people are found to have antibodies against their own thyroid tissue.

A condition known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is associated with a high level of these thyroid antibodies in the blood as well. Whether the antibodies cause the disease or whether the disease causes the antibodies is not known; however, the finding of a high level of thyroid antibodies is strong evidence of this disease. Occasionally, low levels of thyroid antibodies are found with other types of thyroid disease. When Hashimoto’s thyroiditis presents as a thyroid nodule rather than a diffuse goiter, the thyroid antibodies may not be present.

The immune system of the body normally protects us from foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses by destroying these invaders with substances called antibodies produced by blood cells known as lymphocytes. In many patients with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, lymphocytes make antibodies against their thyroid that either stimulate or damage the gland.

Two common thyroid antibodies that cause thyroid problems are directed against thyroid cell proteins: thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin. Measuring levels of thyroid antibodies may help diagnose the cause of the thyroid problems. For example, positive anti-thyroid peroxidase and/or anti-thyroglobulin antibodies in a patient with hypothyroidism make a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. If the thyroid antibodies are positive in a hyperthyroid patient, the most likely diagnosis is autoimmune thyroid disease.

Insist on having antibodies testing, and if you have been tested and show positive, find a doctor willing to treat you for high antibodies. Do not accept  a doctor’s opinion that high antibodies has nothing to do with your symptoms, because it does, especially when it comes to Thyroid Eye Disease! The Thyroid antibodies are generally the last to improve, when treating Grave’s Disease. And that’s why Thyroid Eye Disease is the last symptoms to get improvement!

 Thyroid Antibody Tests

Thyroid Antibody What will say on your documents You can find that in: When ordered: Other Facts
Thyroid peroxidase antibody TPOAb Hashimoto’s thyroidistis; Graves’ Disease When patient has symptoms suggesting hypothyroidism; when doctor is considering starting a patient on a drug therapy, such as lithium,  that has associated risks of developing hypothyroidism when TPOAb are present Has been associated with reproductive difficulties, such as miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, premature delivery, and in-vitro fertilization failure 
Thyroglobulin antibody TgAb Thyroid cancer; Hashimoto’s thyroiditis Whenever a thyroglobulin test  is performed to see if the antibody is present and likely to be interfering with the test results; since the thyroglobulin test will be ordered at regular intervals after thyroid cancer treatment, TgAb will also be ordered at regular intervals;  
Thyroid stimulating hormone receptor antibody TRAb Graves’ disease When patient has symptoms of hyperthyroidism to monitor effectiveness of anti-thyroid therapy  


If a pregnant woman has a known autoimmune thyroid disease (such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or
Graves’ disease) or has another autoimmune disorder and thyroid involvement is suspected, then one or more of the thyroid antibodies may be ordered early in the pregnancy and then again near the end.

 These tests are used to help the doctor determine whether the baby may be at risk of thyroid dysfunction since thyroid antibodies can cross the placenta and cause hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism in the fetus or newborn.

Thyroid antibody testing may also be ordered when a patient with another autoimmune disorder has symptoms of thyroid dysfunction and/or when she has reproductive difficulties that the doctor suspects may be associated with auto antibodies.

Mild to moderately elevated levels of thyroid antibodies may be found in a variety of thyroid and autoimmune disorders, such as thyroid cancer, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pernicious anemia, and autoimmune collagen vascular diseases. Significantly increased concentrations most frequently indicate thyroid autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease.

In general, their presence suggests that there is autoimmune thyroid involvement and the higher the level, the more likely that is. Rising levels may be more significant than stable levels as they indicate an increase in autoimmune activity. All of these antibodies, if present in the mother, can increase the risk of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism in the fetus or newborn.

If TgAb (Thyroid stimulating hormone receptor antibody- ordered when the patient has symptoms of  hyperthyroidism to monitor effectiveness of anti-thyroid therapy) is  being used as a monitoring tool and has stayed high or dropped low initially but is increasing over time, then it is likely that the treatment has not been effective and the condition is continuing or recurring.

If levels are falling and/or have fallen to low or undetectable levels, then it is more likely that the therapy is effective.

In other words, if you have high levels of antibodies most likely your endocrinologist is not very successful in his methods of treatment and he will need to change the course of treatment (chose another method, or change the dosage).

 A certain percentage of patients who are healthy may be positive for one or more thyroid antibodies.

Their prevalence tends to be higher in women and tends to increase with age. If a person with no apparent thyroid dysfunction has a thyroid antibody, her doctor will track her health over time. While most may never experience thyroid dysfunction, a few may develop it in the future.

How to improve Thyroid Antibodies is completely different question. When it is widely believed that there is nothing you can do about your Thyroid antibodies, and you should just wait, there are a few things that can be done. Check Immune System and Thyroid Antibodies here:—–>>>

Thyroid Test Results- TSH, FT3 and FT4 for Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism

svetlawebThyroid Test Results : TSH, FT3  and FT4  for Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism

by Svetla Bankova

If you just left the doctor’s office with a piece of paper in your hand, given by your doctor with the following words “Your tests are abnormal- you may have Graves’ Disease or Hyperthyroidism- you probably have a lot of questions in your head. No more explanations. Doctors don’t have time to explain what are normal, what are abnormal thyroid test levels (TSH, FT3, FT4)- just because they have scheduled about 15 to 20 patients per day and they can not afford any extra time for you and your health problems.

It’s the Health Care system fault, not the doctors!

Next patient in line please..

I personally can understand your frustration, you helplessness and your despair. Because I have been there and I felt exactly the same way. I started to look for more information everywhere to find out what is a “normal thyroid levels” and how do I achieve this “normal thyroid test results”- because I wanted to feel better, healthy and without Graves’ disease or Hyperthyroidism.

I’ll try to present in a few sentences what you should be looking for, when you have been diagnosed with Graves’ Disease or Hyperthyroidism.

Perhaps one of the most confusing issues for patients today is the issue of the changing “normal” reference range for the TSH – thyroid stimulating hormone – test, which is used by most conventional practitioners to detect and monitor thyroid problems.

Thyroid Test results and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH FT3 FT4) testing is used to:

  • diagnose a thyroid disorder in a person with symptoms,
  • screen newborns for an under-active thyroid, or over active thyroid respectively
  • monitor thyroid replacement therapy in people with hypothyroidism
  • diagnose and monitor female infertility problems,
  • help evaluate the function of the pituitary gland (occasionally), and
  • screen adults for hyperthyroid/hypothyroid disorders as recommended by some organizations, such as the American Thyroid Association.

In late 2002, the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry (NACB) issued new guidelines for the diagnosis and monitoring of hyperthyroid disease. In the guidelines, the NACB reported that the current TSH reference range, which usually runs from approximately 0.5 to 5.5 – may be too wide and actually may include people with thyroid disease. When more sensitive screening was done, which excluded people with thyroid disease, 95 percent of the population tested actually had a TSH level between 0.4 and 2.5. Accordingly, the new TSH ranges were adjusted.

The thyroid test results, read as normal levels should be as follows; however different laboratories have different ways of measuring. Consult your doctor for a better understanding of your thyroid tests. Blood tests to measure TSH, T4 and T3are readily available and widely used. The best way to initially test thyroid function is to measure the TSH level in a blood sample

TSH = 0.3-3.0 mIU/L (mU/L)
FT3 = 230-420 pg/d
FT4 = 0.8-1.5 ng/dl
T3= 70-180 ng/dL
T4 = 5.6-13.7 ug/dL

Again, check with your laboratory, since their measuring units may differ from the above. 

I believe that once your symptoms are under control and your test are in normal range your eyes will start to improve. So besides treating the symptoms I would recommend treating the cause of Graves’ Disease as well.

Understanding your Thyroid Test Results:

A high TSH level indicates that the thyroid gland is failing because of a problem that is directly affecting the thyroid (primary hypothyroidism). The opposite situation, in which the TSH level is low, usually indicates that the person has an overactive thyroid that is producing too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism). Occasionally, a low TSH may result from an abnormality in the pituitary gland, which prevents it from making enough TSH to stimulate the thyroid (secondary hypothyroidism). In most healthy individuals, a normal TSH value means that the thyroid is functioning normally.

 T4 Tests

Individuals who have hyperthyroidism will have an elevated FT4, whereas patients with hypothyroidism will have a low level of FT4. Combining the TSH test with the FT4 accurately determines how the thyroid gland is functioning.

The finding of an elevated TSH and low FT4 indicates primary hypothyroidism due to disease in the thyroid gland. A low TSH and low FT4 indicate hypothyroidism due to a problem involving the pituitary gland. A low TSH with an elevated FT4 is found in individuals who have hyperthyroidism.

T3 tests are often useful to diagnosis hyperthyroidism or to determine the severity of the hyperthyroidism. Patients who are hyperthyroid will have an elevated T3 level. In some individuals with a low TSH, only the T3 is elevated and the FT4 is normal. T3 testing rarely is helpful in the hypothyroid patient, since it is the last test to become abnormal. Patients can be severely hypothyroid with a high TSH and low FT4 but have a normal T3. 

TSH mIU/L (mU/L) T4 ug/dL T3 ng/dL Interpretation
High (> 3.0) Normal (5.6-13.7) Normal (70-180) Mild (subclinical) hypothyroidism
High (>3.0) Low (<5.6) Low or normal (70-180) or < 70 Hypothyroidism
Low (<0.3) Normal (5.6-13.7) Normal (70-180) Mild (subclinical) hyperthyroidism
Low(<0.3) High or normal (5.6-13.7), or >13.7 High or normal (70-180) or >180 Hyperthyroidism
Low(<0.3) Low or normal5.6-13.7, or < 5.6 Low or normal (70-180) or <70 Rare pituitary (secondary) hypothyroidism

If you want more information about your Thyroid Antibodies, check here:

Thyroid Antibodies

Thyroid Antibodies, Immune System and Aloe Vera

svetlawebThyroid Antibodies, Immune System and Aloe Vera

As we all know by now, Graves’ disease is an auto- immune disorder, in which the immune system due to whatever reason is attacking its own cells. The immune system can be under-active (not fighting well with cancer cells for example), overactive- producing diseases like allergic asthma, or when is performing an inappropriate action attacking its own tissues like arthritis, lupus or Graves’ disease.

I’ve been asked many times by clients and patients if there is anything to be done to boost the immune system and help recovery, or just “make the immune system do its job right”. I didn’t know such a method…

Until today, when I read a book about Aloe Vera by Dr. Peter Atherton “The essential Aloe Vera”. You know that I like reading. So this is what I have found today and I have to share with you, because I believe that this is a valuable information about Aloe Vera:

Aloe Vera is not a magical plant, but it has two main effects on human health and organs that need to be mentioned here: it works on surfaces and membranes (like skin) and on disordered immune system (which is the case with Graves’ Disease). I am not going to list all its healing properties, they are many, but among them is another, very interesting one as well: anti-inflammatory (extremely important when dealing with Thyroid Eye Disease).

How exactly it works? Now I’ll make Biology easy for you:

The most important for the immune system are cells called lymphocytes, which are made of B cells and T cells, found in lymphoid tissue and the blood. The other important cells are called phagocytes- some found in the tissue, others in white blood cells circulating in the blood.  B lymphocytes produce antibodies, while T cells help B cells in this antibody production. They also find and destroy viruses, they control the level and quality of the immune responses. In general they tell your immune system what to do and when.

Now here comes the Aloe Vera gel in action. Aloe Vera contains a very important substance, called acemannan, found in its sugar part. It is a long chain polysaccaccaride and acts as an immune modulator, especially for the thyroid antibodies. Meaning that has the power and ability to slow down or enhance the immune system response. In our case- should be able to manage the immune system to recognize its own cells and not attack them. It acts however it is required by the immune system!

The importance of acemannan is supported by the research of Carrington Laboratories in the USA, and a drug was produced named “Carrisyn”, licenses by FDA and given to AIDS patients. If it is assumed that it may help AIDS patients, I believe that drinking Aloe Vera can help Graves’ Disease patients as well, and mostly- their thyroid antibodies!

Not to mention the Aloe Vera anti-inflammatory effect on Thyroid eye disease for example.

aloe-vera-gelAm I drinking Aloe Vera gel? Yes, I am- at least for the last 3 years, every single day, between 30-60 ml, depending on how I feel. Not that I knew about its immune action, or other some other positive effects. I like it and find it very useful- I haven’t been sick for a very long time. After reading the book I mentioned above I also believe that it can help Graves’ disease by modulating the immune system to “take proper decisions” and anti- inflammatory for Thyroid eye disease as well.

 You can buy Aloe Vera  pretty much from everywhere, but to be sure in its healing properties, follow these suggestions:

- make sure it’s certified by International Aloe Science Council (IASC), for Europe  the “Kasher” organization

- Contains at  least 97% pure Aloe Vera gel

- Comes from Aloe Barbadensis Miller type plants


aloe-vera-gel-peachesI personally buy it from Forever Living Products and I am happy with them- their products exceeded my expectations through the years (at least those I have tried). I am not endorsing the company, but if you want to sign as a distributor and save 15% ( I do get some credit for that, not sure what though) you can use my personal
distributor # 001 002 401 252. And this on the left is my favorite (with peaches).

Here is their website, for your convenience:

http://www.foreverliving.com

Distributor ID: 001 002 401 252

The above article is my own production- that means I am just following the simple logic of healing..One thing for sure-Aloe e 100% safe!