Good Morning, My PMR Friends!
I hope that life is treating you well and that you can enjoy the warmer weather. We have had a lot of rain but with lovely days peppered in to make me happy. I love spring because it means that it will be a loooong time until the dreaded cold weather of winter returns.
Today, I want to talk about a somewhat untapped avenue to get off Prednisone once you are at a lower dose and have difficulty with your weaning process.
This method uses Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN).
Many of us have trouble getting off Prednisone and are desperate to rid ourselves of steroid use due to the devastating side effects that come with it after prolonged use (that is a whole other subject).
Low Dose Naltrexone is NOT mainstream medicine. Many doctors will not recommend it for those struggling to get off steroids and will instead tell you to stay on steroids for the rest of your life or give you treatment options such as chemotherapy drugs like methotrexate.
There are very few options available in mainstream medicine other than steroids for those who suffer from PMR.
That is why people try all sorts of inventive and holistic medicines in hopes of regaining their health and being pain-free from this condition.
Integrative medicine and a few rheumatologists and primary care practitioners will prescribe Low Dose Naltrexone to help ease stiffness and inflammation while tapering off steroids. It is used as an anti-inflammatory pain medication. Used in very small doses, it has been found to be very beneficial in PMR and other inflammatory conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis. Reports from those using LDN in my PMR support groups have been very promising.
I am not recommending LDN but instead giving you information on it as many have asked about it. You and your doctor can make the choice.
So, what is LDN? Here are 2 informative articles on LDN for more information:
My Rheumatologist was familiar with LDN but would not prescribe it for me. Her response was the same as when I asked about dietary suggestions for PMR; "there is not enough medical evidence to support this subject".
So after she nixed the idea of eating for health and to ease PMR, I lost a little faith in modern medicine. As a nurse and independent thinker, I know that diet plays a huge part in our health, especially for those with autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. I began to research on my own.
Research has shown promise over the years on the subject of LDN and PMR. Many have suggested more research be done to further the use of LDN for numerous conditions (PMR included). The trail tends to dry up at this point.
However, for several years now, other countries and Integrative doctors in the US have legally been prescribing LDN for PMR.
So if you are interested in LDN, I would suggest that you do your own research and talk to your doctors to see what they think. See an integrative practitioner if you feel the need.
My integrative practitioner is on board with me taking LDN, and my Rheumatologist has not said that I should NOT take it. I am considering it soon.
Next week, I will feature a story of a woman who has successfully weaned off her Prednisone with the help of LDN. Her success story may clarify some questions you may have on this topic.
In the meantime, enjoy the spring weather and budding flowers and trees!