Weight loss drugs are a popular product. Many people hope to drop weight with minimal effort by taking the right pill. Unfortunately, weight loss isn't that simple. While no miracle drug will change your body shape effortlessly, some medications can make weight loss easier. Naltrexone is one medication that you can try. While formulators did not design Naltrexone for weight loss, it may help individuals seeking its off-label use for weight loss. Learn more about what Naltrexone is and how it works for weight loss.
What Is Naltrexone?
Naltrexone is a prescription drug known as an opioid antagonist. Physicians commonly prescribe it for opioid use disorders. The FDA has approved Naltrexone to treat opioid and alcohol use disorders. It's available as a pill and an extended-release injectable.
How Does Naltrexone Treat Opioid Use Disorders?
When used for its original purpose of treating opioid addiction, Naltrexone works by binding to opioid receptors and blocking them. If people use a drug such as morphine, heroin, or codeine while taking Naltrexone, they won't experience the feeling of getting high, a prevalent sensation with these types of drugs. Naltrexone reportedly reduces opioid cravings.
Patients using Naltrexone to treat an opioid disorder must stop taking opiates for at least seven days before starting Naltrexone treatment. Drugs such as methadone must be stopped 10 to 14 days before Naltrexone treatment.
Although Naltrexone can help decrease cravings and block some of the effects of opioid drugs, it does have its risks. If patients take a sufficiently high dose of opioids, they may overcome the effects of Naltrexone. However, opioid doses this high are hazardous. Patients on Naltrexone will become dizzier than usual if they're using cannabis. After patients stop using Naltrexone, they will be more sensitive to opioid use, which means that a relapse to the number of opioids the patients previously used can result in significantly serious side effects or even death.
How Does Naltrexone Treat Other Disorders?
In small doses, Naltrexone can effectively treat chronic pain or autoimmune diseases. This treatment application is known as Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) treatment. In low doses, Naltrexone modulates neuroinflammation and lowers the release of inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines. These chemicals in the central nervous system inflame sensitive tissues, resulting in chronic pain conditions such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory bowel conditions.
Naltrexone also has promising results with off-label use for immune diseases and malignant tumors. Naltrexone binds to the opioid receptors in or on tumor cells and immune cells. By blocking these receptors, Naltrexone causes short-term feelings of calmness and anti-depression. LDN produces an endorphin spike that increases pain tolerance and improves immune function. LDN can act as an immunomodulatory agent in treating cancer or immune-related conditions through this interaction.
How Can Naltrexone Help With Weight Loss?
Naltrexone affects the body in myriad ways, making it a powerful drug. In addition to the conditions listed above, Naltrexone can also help with weight loss. It does this work through several different mechanisms. Understanding exactly how Naltrexone works for weight loss will help you determine whether this drug is the right solution for your needs. Find out how Naltrexone may help you shed excess pounds.
When your body is working correctly, the brain will signal your appetite to prompt the appropriate amount of calorie consumption. Your daily calorie consumption should equal your daily calorie expenditure, which helps you maintain a healthy weight. If you consume fewer calories than you expend, you'll experience feelings of hunger.
In patients battling chronic obesity, these body signals don't always work correctly. The body may send indications of hunger even after consuming the appropriate number of calories, or the body's metabolism may slow down and fail to burn an adequate number of calories throughout the day. Hormonal changes triggered by weight gain can signal to your body that you need more calories than you're burning, which creates an imbalance that will lead to obesity if you listen to your body's hunger levels.
Naltrexone helps restore the balance between your body's hunger signals and its actual caloric needs. Data suggests that opioids may play a significant role in stimulating appetite. A double-blind placebo-controlled study revealed that taking only 50 milligrams of Naltrexone caused individuals to consume significantly less food. Study participants exhibited a reduced eating rate and reported that the food was less pleasant when taking the Naltrexone.
Other studies have hypothesized that Naltrexone's effectiveness with weight management is related to its impact on the endogenous opioid action, which produces endorphins and delivers pleasure. Naltrexone may reduce some of the joy found in the simple act of eating. When the endorphin release from eating gets minimized, there's less desire to consume extra calories, resulting in a reduced appetite.
Inflammation causes a wide range of problems. It can ignite diabetes, thyroid resistance, high leptin levels, and high estrogen levels, leading to weight loss. If individuals are obese, inflammation can lock them in a worsening cycle. Obese individuals are more likely to overproduce inflammatory cytokines as their bodies respond to injury or infection. When this overproduction occurs, the cytokines reduce insulin sensitivity, leading to Type 2 diabetes and weight gain. In addition to these conditions, chronic inflammation has a connection with digestive disorders such as leaky gut syndrome. The leaky gut syndrome also contributes to bloating, thyroid issues, food allergies, and obesity.
Evidence suggests that LDN may act as an anti-inflammatory agent. It affects the body's microglial cells independent of its impact on opioid receptors. Its effectiveness as a glial cell modulator leads to increased use of LDN for chronic pain and inflammation. Aiding in both problems is likely to impact weight loss for individuals who have these conditions in a positive way.
Increasing Growth Hormones
Growth hormone is a protein produced by the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland impacts how your body controls fat, builds muscle, maintains bone density, and manages high-density and low-density lipoproteins in your cholesterol. Growth hormone increases fat burning and helps you build and maintain lean muscle mass. The more weight a person carries, the less growth hormone the individual produces. High insulin levels are related to less growth hormone production as well.
You will likely suffer from high body fat levels, fatigue, low stamina, reduced bone density, and less muscle if you have too little adult growth hormone. If you suffer from obesity due to insufficient growth hormone, Naltrexone may help.
In one study, Naltrexone augmented the growth hormone response to GHRH (growth hormone-releasing hormone). Naltrexone may effectively combat obesity caused by this problem.
A direct link exists between lack of sleep and weight gain. Inadequate sleep can also lead to increased inflammation, which impacts obesity in the myriad ways detailed above. Sleep troubles and obesity can lock you in a continuous cycle, as obesity leads to sleep apnea, making it more difficult to get the proper rest you desperately need.
Naltrexone may improve your ability to sleep in many ways. Although studies do not yet confirm it, low doses of Naltrexone may produce some of the same calming effects as higher Naltrexone doses, making it easier to fall asleep if you struggle with anxiety. In a study of patients with sleep apnea, 50 milligrams of Naltrexone immediately improved symptoms in four patients. Of the remaining patients in the study, three experienced improved sleep apnea symptoms in one month, and the other five saw their symptoms improve within three months.
Suppose you're having difficulty sleeping and are dealing with weight gain. In this case, using Naltrexone may provide a significant improvement. Getting a full night's rest will also help lower your stress levels, improve your mood, and strengthen your immune system.
Lowering Insulin Resistance
Naltrexone's impressive impact on inflammation also helps with insulin resistance. LDN is proven to improve insulin resistance induced by hyperinsulinemia. It accomplishes this work by reorienting macrophages toward anti-inflammation. Insulin resistance links directly with weight gain. If your body is resistant to insulin, your cells will consume more sugar, causing you to gain weight. This weight gain also increases your risk of Alzheimer's and heart diseases.
Restoring healthy insulin levels in your body can help you combat both obesity and Type 2 diabetes. If you suffer from these conditions, using low doses of Naltrexone may help you achieve the healthy equilibrium and insulin function that you need.
Helping With Thyroid Problems
As previously mentioned, LDN can assist with inflammation. Inflammation often leads to a decreased T3 to T4 conversion resulting in a state of thyroid resistance. Reduced thyroid function impacts your metabolism and makes it more challenging to lose weight. Thus, taking Naltrexone can improve your T3 levels and increase T4 to T3 conversion, reducing symptoms of hypothyroidism, including weight gain.
Who Should Use Naltrexone for Weight Loss?
While Naltrexone can prove effective for improving weight loss in many individuals, it's not a miracle drug that will work for all patients. Review the above mechanisms by which Naltrexone helps with weight loss. Understanding how this drug functions will give you a better insight into whether it will work for you.
Suppose you suffer from one of the above conditions, such as sleep apnea, hypothyroidism, Type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation, or low adult growth hormones. In that case, you may find Naltrexone especially effective for your situation. If you struggle to control your eating patterns, Naltrexone might still help, but you may find the results are slower and less dramatic. It's important to understand that if you don't adjust your caloric intake or activity levels and continue to consume more calories than you burn, Naltrexone will not help you.
What Are the Side Effects of Naltrexone?
Naltrexone can have many side effects. The most common are headache, fatigue, joint or muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and cramping, anxiety, nervousness, and trouble sleeping. Less common side effects include:
- Cough or hoarseness.
- Increased thirst.
- Pounding or accelerated heartbeat.
- Sinus problems.
- Sore throat.
- Stuffy or runny nose.
Other side effects are rare, but you should talk to your health care provider about any unusual health conditions you notice when you're taking Naltrexone.
How Should I Use Naltrexone for Weight Loss?
Only use low-dose Naltrexone (LDN) for weight loss. Full doses of Naltrexone are not appropriate for this off-label purpose. You will need to work with a health care provider to get this prescription. It's best to seek out a specialist familiar with Naltrexone for weight loss applications.
Our team at the biostation has developed a 12-week LDN program to promote weight loss. This program provides a well-organized path toward lasting weight management that one can jump-start with the safe use of Naltrexone. The program begins with a thorough assessment by a doctor to make sure that you're a good candidate. If you're not a good patient for the Naltrexone program, we can discuss other weight loss options with you that are better suited to your needs.
While you're on the Naltrexone program, you will receive your daily Naltrexone pellet in person at a biostation facility. Throughout the program, we will monitor your body composition, assessing several vital factors, including the following:
- Body fat percentage.
- Extracellular water weight.
- Metabolic rate.
- Segmental fat.
- Skeletal muscle mass.
- Visceral body fat.
We will log this data weekly to chart your progress toward your weight loss objectives. In addition, we pair Naltrexone with bLean lipotropic injections, bCardio greens detox supplements, and bVital digestive enzyme supplements for optimum results. We also provide a nutritional guide to help you maintain a healthy diet throughout the program. Together, these elements will all help improve your weight loss.
If you're looking for a powerful solution for your weight problems, Naltrexone may help. You should combine this treatment with other supplements and a nutritious eating program as we recommend at the biostation. Exercise will also help as you drop pounds to shape and tone your body the way you want. To learn more about using Naltrexone for weight loss, contact our team at the biostation.