Whenever we want to lose weight, we always want a magic bullet to help lose weight faster than ever. An old drug known as Naltrexone rediscovered as a miracle for the people wanting to lose weight quickly. The low dose of Naltrexone is helpful for weight loss.
What is Naltrexone?
Naltrexone is a generic form of brand-name ReVia, and Vivitrol used to prevent substance abuse in those addicted to alcohol or opioid pain medications.
It is a drug initially approved by FDA in 1984 to treat heroin addiction. Furthermore, it was used to addressing alcohol abuse as well in 1994. Now it is still prescribed for the prevention of substance abuse as mentioned above. Typical daily dosage ranges from 25-100 mg.
All of the Naltrexone is not good. Also, some doctors subscribe it has not been approved by FDA now and an off-label treatment for impulse control disorders.
This is an explanation of why Naltrexone has been asked to include at a low dose. Contrave drug which is used as a popular prescription for weight loss uses Naltrexone as an ingredient.
It is clinically proven drug promoting good weight loss but taking less dose of Naltrexone alone is useful for losing weight loss.
Not only weight loss but less dosage of Naltrexone is helpful to reduce symptoms of
- Crown’s disease,
- multiple sclerosis,
- complex regional pain syndrome,
- fibromyalgia and
- Other chronic pain disorders.
Naltrexone and weight loss:
Sustained release formulation of naltrexone and sustained release formulation of Contrave have been combined to promote weight loss in people diagnosed as obese.
But the usage of this combination (Contrave and Naltrexone) has not been approved by FDA because of some side effects including cardiovascular side effects. Still, it is being prescribed off-label for reducing weight. So if you are the one diagnosed with obesity, contact your doctor and see if Naltrexone is an option for you.
Common side effects:
As mentioned above that Naltrexone does have some side effects due to which FDA does not approve it. These side effects include:
- Loss of appetite
- A headache
- Vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea
- Increased or less energy
- Difficulty in sleeping or staying asleep
- Muscle pain/ joint pain
- Mild discomfort at the side where the injection was applied
Apart from these, Naltrexone also has some severe side effects, and if they appear, you should contact your doctor immediately. They are as follows:
- Allergic reactions (rash, itching, breathing problem, chest tightness, mouth, lips, tongue or face swelling)
- Blurred vision or eye problems
- A cough, wheezing
- Severe vomiting, diarrhoea.
Hence it is essential to take the low dosage of Naltrexone if you want to lose weight. Using it in high amount can lead to less or severe side effects. Now let’s have a look at how Low dose of Naltrexone is helpful in reducing your weight.
How LDN is helpful for weight loss:
There are various ways which determine how fewer doses Naltrexone can be useful for weight reduction. They are:
It reduces insulin resistance:
Different studies show that if we use Naltrexone, it will reduce fasting the insulin levels in our body up to 40 percent. As one of the major causes of weight gain and obesity among people is insulin resistance, using this drug will help to reduce it automatically resulting in weight reduction.
Many patients and people cutting weight focus only on blood glucose levels as a mean to diagnose insulin-related problems.
Naltrexone helps in regulating as well as modulating cellular resistance to insulin by decreasing it. This helps in weight reduction but also has other benefits as well. Like patients with PCOS spectrum and high amount of androgens can be benefited by this medication. So in short:
o Naltrexone helps lower insulin levels resulting in weight loss
o Second, it helps to lower insulin levels leading to a reduction in androgen levels and androgen-related symptoms.
It helps to increase growth hormone:
Naltrexone can increase the levels of growth hormones, according to some studies, which is essential in building lean muscle mass but is also useful in burning fat.
Both of these factors (making muscle mass and increasing fat burn) is beneficial for reducing weight loss. As the level of growth hormone is increased, weight is automatically reduced.
As discussed above that a decrease in levels of insulin is helpful for weight loss; surprisingly there exists a relation between hormones and insulin as well.
They are negatively correlated with one another that is when the level of insulin will increase, level of growth hormone will reduce. So LDN will help you out to decrease insulin levels as well as increase the level of growth hormone affecting your weight and promoting weight loss.
It modulates appetite:
Another way through which Naltrexone can reduce your weight is by modulating and reducing your hunger. Desire is when your body tries to match the amount of food you eat with the resting energy expenditure A.K.A your metabolism under the usual physiologic influence.
If you go for restricting the number of calories, it will result in metabolic damage by lowering your metabolic rate, i.e. A.K.A metabolism.
Naltrexone is helpful in this case as well. It normalises the balance between calories burned and your appetite. If our metabolism is damaged before, Naltrexone will heal it slowly and helps those with damaged metabolism to match their appetite with resting energy expenditure.
It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent:
Naltrexone is beneficial in reducing inflammation so it can be used an anti-inflammatory agent which is another reason of calling it weight loss miracle.
Inflammation can lead to decreased T3 and T4 conversion, increased insulin resistance, less testosterone, increased aromatase, high estrogen levels, increased high leptin levels and high appetite and hence plays a significant role in weight gain and weight loss resistance as well.
When inflammation levels are high in your body, specific changes occur in hormones leading to an increase in weight and making it difficult to be reduced. Let’s have a look at how Naltrexone is beneficial in this case.
Studies show that this drug reduces inflammation (as mentioned above). When inflammatory cytokines are relieved, the markers of inflammation hormone levels are reduced and balanced making it easier to lose weight.
Changes in appetite (decrease) can also result in inflammation. Also, patients with chronic pain have some component of tissue level hypothyroidism resulting in pain. Using Naltrexone reduces this constant pain in patients and improves their metabolism making weight loss more comfortable than before.
It improves sleeping patterns:
Sleep is a significant factor when we talk about weight loss. Those ignoring their rest or facing difficulties in rest also face problem in reducing weight.
Lack of sleep leads to inflammation which results in weight gain. If you know about sleep apnea, you might be aware that it results in weight gain and vice versa, i.e. weight gain can also result in sleep apnea. Here is when Naltrexone is helpful.
Studies show that it is useful as it improves the sleep and sleeping patterns in those with sleep apnea. Not only sleep patterns can be enhanced in patients with sleep apnea but also Naltrexone is beneficial in improving the sleeping patterns in patients facing complex regional pain syndrome. Taking a low dose of Naltrexone at night enhances sleep.
Role of Naltrexone and thyroid functioning:
People struggling with weight loss and facing hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can lose weight with the help of Naltrexone by increasing total T3 levels and improve T4 to T3 conversion. Hypothyroidism when combined with autoantibodies to thyroid glandular tissue results in weight loss or gain resistance.
A low dose of Naltrexone is successfully helpful for patients with these problems and not only loses weight but according to some studies it strengthens the immune system in the human body as well as reduce the number of autoantibodies.
But keep in mind that it is not necessarily crucial that Naltrexone is helpful in improving thyroid function. 50 percent of patients seems to be affected positively by the usage of low dose Naltrexone whereas some researches show no benefit of this drug in thyroid functioning.
It is essential to understand the usage of this medication before taking it and remember it won’t work for every person or patient. Some patients are benefited while some are not. It is essential to know when to use Naltrexone and the amount to take along with other supplements or medications for getting the maximum benefit.