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Unread 04-15-2006, 01:37 AM   #1
Frozen
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Default Blood testing to guage endorphin levels?

Ask any medical professional if you can be (physically) tested for low endorphin levels (='opiate deficient'), and you'll probably be told that no such test exists. However, I may have found out a very interesting piece of information today...

I've just met with an acupuncturist from China, who informed me that there is a medical center in Beijing where they run blood tests to determine a patient's endorphin levels. According to him, 'opiate deficient' patients are medically diagnosed as such, and then prescribed acupuncture sessions accordingly. (Researchers have proven acupuncture to be beneficial for endorphin levels, see: http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s27924.htm )

Now I'm not one to believe everything I'm told, but the existence and acceptance of such a blood test would clearly be a great leap forward in assisting both depression patients and opiate addicts alike.
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Unread 04-15-2006, 01:47 AM   #2
OhioMike
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This is very interesting. Thanks for passing it along.
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Unread 04-15-2006, 02:28 AM   #3
Suture
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Thanks RM!
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Unread 04-15-2006, 12:17 PM   #4
beginagain
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My doc is an alternative & traditional medicine practitoner. There is a blood test available. I believe it is blood - there were also some saliva and urine tests on the chart I was given. I will see if I can find the chart I was given by my physician. He had spoken to me early on in my treatment about doing the testing to establish a baseline now while I am on Sub and feeling well. When I go off sub in the future - if I experience problems with depression, cravings and PAWS he wanted to test again to see if there is a difference in the blood values. I believe the information is in a file at my office, I'll find it and post it on Monday incase anyone is interested in contacting the lab or presenting it to their physicain.
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Unread 04-15-2006, 12:30 PM   #5
rac1210
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There is a new treatment being used for a variety of purposes using low dose naltrexone. It is well known that low dose naltrexone (LDN) increases endogenous endorphin levels 200 to 300%. I am very interesed in studying this phenomena and have already spoken to a research doctor at Penn State. I think anyone interested will find this attached web site very, very interesting...
Check it out and give me your feedback. http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/gazorpa/index.html
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Unread 04-15-2006, 01:39 PM   #6
Brett
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rac,
That is awesome news, but we dont recieve any of the naltrexone with our sub dose or do we??

brett
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Unread 04-15-2006, 10:11 PM   #7
Frozen
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by rac1210

There is a new treatment being used for a variety of purposes using low dose naltrexone. It is well known that low dose naltrexone (LDN) increases endogenous endorphin levels 200 to 300%. I am very interesed in studying this phenomena and have already spoken to a research doctor at Penn State. I think anyone interested will find this attached web site very, very interesting...
Check it out and give me your feedback. http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/gazorpa/index.html

OMFG!
Well, that was the most interesting thing I've read in months.
In fact, there was one sentence in this piece that I know I've seen somewhere before:


Dr. Bihari: "It's more that the autoimmune diseases are beginning to look more and more like they're diseases of endorphin deficiency. "

Compare that to:

Sassyfras: "... would like to share an experience { a revelation of sorts } with all of you that may shed some more light on this matter of some {many ?} of us having an endogenous opioid deficiency at the root of our varied problems which have led us to both going on opioids and trying to get off them."

(Discusses her struggles with Myalgic Encephalomyeltis, and how all the treatments failed except oxy...)

"in the summer of 2003, after some painful dental surgery my doctor gave me some Oxycontin. { I'd never heard of it, nor knew that it was an opioid at the time.} From the first one I took, I realized that something very significant had happened. Not only did it get rid of ALL my pain, I suddenly had my energy back and felt like doing things ! But after learning more about this med. and it's addictive nature I decided to use it just twice daily.{ 2mgs. pr day.} That gave me at least a few hours each day where I could function!I simply white-knuckled it through the rest of the day. It gave me the freedom to tell a friend that yes, I'd be able to see them in town tomorrow.{ Before that, the unpredictable nature of FM/ME made that impossible. Flare-ups and mini-remissions came & went without any seeming cause for the most part.} I stayed on that small dosage for over a year,at which point I had developed enough tolerance to need a larger one.

I was at 4 mgs. per day of just the immediate release oxys at the time I decided to go cold turkey. I had prepared myself and had a good idea of what to expect from withdrawal. Of course it was hell, with the depression being by far the worst part. I'm sure most of you on this board have a very good idea of what it's like !!! By week 6, after the most acute withdrawal was past, I had what could be seen as an epiphany of sorts. What I consider the first REAL insight into the nature of my illness !

And here it is : All of my former symptoms were back, I felt EXACTLY the way I'd felt the for years before. IDENTICAL to being in a state of opioid withdrawal !!! If I had not ever taken an opioid and not ever learned about withdrawal, I would very likely still be researching the myriad theories about the cause of these illnesses. Everything from viruses to microbacterial infestations,immune system disorders and even a few conspiracy theories tossed in for good measure ! So the pieces of that puzzle have definitely fallen into place for me. My body simply does not produce enough of it's own natural opioids. Realizing this makes it so patently obvious to me where all those "mysterious" symptoms come from."

http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=12381
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Unread 04-15-2006, 10:46 PM   #8
Frozen
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by brett

rac,
That is awesome news, but we dont recieve any of the naltrexone with our sub dose or do we??

brett
Suboxone contains naloxone, not naltrexone.

I'm not sure if this low dose naltrexone idea would even be relevant for patients who are already on bupe (or other opioids). After all, in our case, it could counteract & precipitate withdrawal.

What I do know, is that medical researchers focusing on depression need to wake the hell up, put down their freaking SSRI's for a minute, and start investigating endorphin based solutions for a change! Hello? Medical researchers?! Knock Knock! Can anybody hear me?

"Occasionally, for people who come to me with very advanced cancer, I add intravenous metenkephalin, which is an endorphin... intravenously, three times a week."

Where and how is Dr. Bihari getting metenkephalin??? Is this synthetically produced, or have endorphins actually been successfully harvested from slaughtered animals? (David Pearce has told me that all such attempts to do this have been failures.)
I thought metenkephalin injections were pure science fiction, and here is this doctor claiming he's used this on his patients? There's no mention of metenkephalin on the fascist oppression list. ( http://www.dea.gov/pubs/scheduling.html ) Does that mean it's available to doctors, but is not a controlled substance?

Caroline, could you help answer some of these questions? Would you (theoretically) have the ability to order in some metenkephalin from your local pharmacy? Thanx for any help in solving this baffling puzzle...
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Unread 04-15-2006, 11:23 PM   #9
rac1210
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In theory the low dose naltrexone does not block the opiate receptors significantly as the higher standard dose of 50 mg. Interesting ldn is even being used for constipation related to opioid use. ANother interesting web site for all to view. http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org check it out!!!!!!!!!!!! A doctor must special order the LDN from a special pharmacy so that the correct filler is used. THere is a pharmacy in Lancaster,Pa called Williams Apothecary that knows how to compound this stuff. The number is 717 293 3814. I keep everyone posted about what I find out about this exciting new use of LDN. Happy Easter to all.
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Unread 04-16-2006, 12:38 AM   #10
sassyfras
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Hmmm, I had studied Dr. Bihari's work with low-dose naltrexone and it was high on the list of treatment plans I wanted to try for my illness. It just made so much sense, that by actually lowering the level of natural opioids in the body { at the right time...at night when so many of these hormonal changes occur } this would " kick-start " our brains into producing more of these endorphins without which life is, to put it bluntly, BLEAK !

But as usual, the doc at the time showed some interest until he realised he'd need to do some work to get this stuff for me, and consequently herded me back to more easily available & useless therapies. { Good old SSRI's, Gabapentin and finally oxys.} One thing, by the way that helped me hugely with the hyper/ near /seizure sensitivity to external stimuli was Dr. Paul Cheney's treatment using low-dose Klonopin { 2 .5mg pills at night along with a good strong magnesium supplement. I use Inno-Vite Cal-Mag complex. The magnesium works synergistically with the Klonopin and I slept beautifully from the first time I used this combo plus was able to withstand the normal stimuli of lights & noise MUCH better than before.}I've been on the same dosage of Klonopin for 3 years now. Although it doesn't CURE anything it prevents further brain damage...

I would be very interested in finding out more about LDN, especially from someone who's tried it ! Also wondering how it might affect those of us who are still on one or another opioid...

For any of you who might be wondering how my doctor responded to the material I gave her about Bupe, she said " But Maya, this stuff is for drug addicts, you don't need this ! " My further efforts fell on deaf ears & since I'll be in the city within 3 weeks I'll just hope that I'll find a more responsive & sophisticated medical community there !

It's all linked together somehow, and as Rearden quoted from a previous post of mine...how going through actual opioid withdrawal was identical to what I'd been experiencing for years...we KNOW we're onto something here ! Something that's going to change a great many lives for the better, including our own.....Let's just hope we can stay alive long enough ! Those of you on Bupe and doing so well on it, you give me the hope I need and I always feel happier after spending some time reading your posts. Will be joining you asap !

A good day to all,
Maya
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Unread 04-17-2006, 03:04 PM   #11
beginagain
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Okay maybe I am not on the exact same path here. I have dug up the Lab Testing Profiles I mentioned above. There are several that might give a peek into the chemistry of the brain - but I don't know that these are all the things we would want to look at. It is worth a look for anyone who is interested. The tests are rather expensive. Here are a couple of sample panels and what they measure-

Anxiety- Expanded Panel - Serotonin, Norepinephrine, GABA, PEA, Glutamate, Glycine, Creatnine, Aspartic Acid, Cortisol, DHEA
Cost $316.00
Sample: Urine & Saliva

Depression - Expanded Panel - Serotonin, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, GABA, Histamine, Creatnine, Cortisol, Agmatine, PEA, Testosterone
Cost: $316.00
Sample: Urine & Saliva

There are others listed for Insomnia, Libido, Menopause, Mood, Stress, ADHD, Migraine, Weight, Autism, Female Cycle Mapping, Melatonin Rhythm, Osteo watch (bone loss marker), Adrenal rhythm, etc..

The web address he gave me is www.neurorelief.com or www.neuroscienceinc.com
I could not get it to come up this morning (maybe they were doing maintenance) but I also have an address and phone number from the paperwork he gave me to read:
NeuroScience Inc.
375 280th Street
Osceola, WI 54020
888-342-7272
Hope this is some help to someone.
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Unread 04-17-2006, 09:55 PM   #12
Frozen
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Thanx beginagain, but that website is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Their focus is on the same old three neurotransmitters, serotonin/dopamine/norepinephrine. Every single antidepressant commercial you see on tv is pitching yet another serotonin/dopamine/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. Endogenous opioid deficiency (and the resulting depression) is completely ignored by this site, as well as all of the pharmaceutical companies. Medical orthodoxy's unhealthy fixation on these same old three neurotransmitters is destroying millions of lives.

http://www.prohibitionkills.blogspot.com

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Unread 04-17-2006, 10:22 PM   #13
Brett
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Rearden
Metal

Do you think this could be the reason some people like the feelings from opiates and others dont? Maybe thats why some become addicted some dont. Some people dont like the way opiates make them feel, my wife is one of them, however those like me love the feeling. I never thought of this as a defeciancy in the brain.

brett
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Unread 04-17-2006, 10:39 PM   #14
Frozen
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Hi Brett... you got it, and I've mentioned this in that link I keep posting. ( http://www.prohibitionkills.blogspot.com )

The website of The Pain Management Center flat out says that opiate deficient people innately gravitate to opiate use:

"Underproduction or over-removal (severe re-uptake) of these endogenous opioids can be the cause of many psychiatric disorders ranging from Bipolar Personality disorders to major depressive disorders that often times manifest themselves in severe drug abuse. Unbeknownst to them, these patients use opioid medications either illicit or pharmaceutical because they are compelled to attempt to replace the endorphins, dynorphins, and enkephalins (endogenous opioids) that naturally occur in their systems at insufficient levels."
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Unread 04-17-2006, 11:33 PM   #15
beginagain
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Just thought it might help. I agree 100% with the opiate deficient issue and for me that was all it took to bring the balance I always felt was missing. But it seems (atleast from what I've read here) that there are some people who feel they respond better to Sub in combination with an AD. I thought it might be of some use to those who still feel there is something missing and have a desire to try the addition of an AD to the mix. I was thinking that while for some of us opiate deficiency might be the only issue, that might not be true for others?? Just a theory - no scientific facts of course. Just based on reading the positive results some have had with the addition of AD's.
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Unread 04-18-2006, 07:49 PM   #16
Caroline
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This was posted under the wrong thread:

Please excuse me for not responding sooner. No, I have never ordered serum endorphin levels, but they can be gotten, based on the number of research studies using these levels. One was a study of paxil which compared levels of endorphins with paxil and placebo. There were higher endorphin levels with paxil. I can find the study if anyone is interested. To get endorphin levels done, you would have to find a lab that does them, as not every lab would. The problem, of course, would be what would be considered a normal level. And since there are other factors that raise endorphins, like exercise, chocolate, or even an object of your desire, it would be difficult to determine what exactly 'normal' is. If anyone finds data regarding this, please pass it along.

Regarding acupuncture....Bruce Pomeranz MD from Toronto has done a number of studies showing that acupuncture increases endorphins, but I can't find anything very recent that he's done. He basically showed in his studies that naloxone would block the effects of acupuncture, indicating that acupuncture influenced the natural opioids. Other substances like cortisol are also found to be increased or modulated with the use of acupuncture.

I'm going to refrain from commenting about low dose naltrexone and it's influence on endorphins. I first heard about LDN probably late 90's and wonder why it hasn't come further since. A very interesting topic though. This group certainly thinks 'out of the box'! That's great! Keep it up!

Caroline
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Unread 04-19-2006, 12:27 AM   #17
Frozen
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...but what about my metenkephalin questions? Caroline?
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Unread 04-19-2006, 02:36 AM   #18
Caroline
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RM, can you please restate your question? Thanks. Caroline
PS: I'll be busy and away from the pc for the next couple of days. But, if you get your question to me today, I might be able to answer around 3:00 AM...when my insomnia kicks in.
pps: Just want to add, I'm not on any opioid medication and I also have not caught a 'cold' all winter.
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Unread 07-06-2006, 11:29 PM   #19
Brett
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There is some interesting stuff in this thread for those of you who are new here.

Brett
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Unread 07-07-2006, 02:15 PM   #20
mjl
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Thanks for bumping this thread as it was before my time here. I'm going to speak with my acupuncturist about this.
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Unread 09-22-2006, 10:57 PM   #21
JAT
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Let me bump this thread because Brett and NancyB have brought it up in another thread.

Has anyone tried this yet? And if so, what happened?
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Unread 09-23-2006, 12:27 AM   #22
Brett
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I tried it and it sent me into mild withdrawl, I do plan to try it again once im totally off sub

Brett
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Unread 09-23-2006, 10:25 AM   #23
SavedBySub
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When I saw my doctor last week I asked him how would I know if my receptors were healed enough to start producing natural endorphins. He told me there was no way to test my endorphin levels and while the process makes a lot of sense, it can not be proven. It's just the most logical theory. I'm not saying he's right or wrong, I'm just sharing what was told to me.
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Unread 09-24-2006, 12:12 AM   #24
JAT
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Brett, I'm sorry to hear about that. I was hoping this could be a useful tool while on Sub.


SavedBySub, I don't know if there is such a test but when you're off Sub. and you're not feeling anxiety or depressed, then that's a pretty good indication you are producing enough natural endorphins. That is assuming you were not taking Anti-Depressants or anti-anxiety meds prior to your Sub. treatment.
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Unread 04-13-2007, 10:34 PM   #25
Brett
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Bill,

Check out the link in rac1210 post
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Unread 04-14-2007, 12:09 PM   #26
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Brett Thanks.Very interesting.That was the kind of study I was looking for,I stand corrected.
Did I miss something or of all the conditions listed as LDN being benificial for was cold or flu vruses mentioned?The flu virus has killed way more people than AID's,it would seem the profit and humamitarian motive would be huge in using LDN to treat flu viruses.
Brett,I said I hoped you were right,and it appears you are.I am also pleased that LDN in small doses appears to be the answer and not other methods of delivery,i.e opiates.
Bill
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Unread 08-05-2007, 03:33 PM   #27
Brett
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Bump,

You will find the link in this thread, Suture
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Unread 08-05-2007, 03:37 PM   #28
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Also, LDN is one of the 'Stickies' in the New Sticky Topic Forum.

All the links are in there also.

http://www.naabt.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3864

Nancy
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Unread 08-05-2007, 03:37 PM   #29
Suture
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Thanks, Brett
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Unread 08-05-2007, 08:31 PM   #30
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I remember some research being done on the brains of alcoholics and their children. This is some 25 or so years ago I think. But the essence of what they found what that alcoholics lacked a lower amount of activity in the part of the brain that makes us "feel" good. This was shown by images of the brain and a less than normal amount of activity in that particular area as opposed to a non-alcoholic or "normal brain image". They found the same deficiency in the children.

I have always wondered if that was the "prelude" to what we are discussing now. That people who tend to gravitate to opiates to actually feel "normal" lack the normal production of endorphin levels, and probably other things, but they suddenly find themselves feeling happy and "normal", also if depression is in the mix it seems to help that as well. How long is it going to take the medical community to start researching these? I think this discussion and the information and progress so far as at least very promising!

Thanks for all the info and links guys.

Pat
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Unread 08-09-2007, 05:48 AM   #31
kazman32
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wake the hell up, put down their freaking SSRI's for a minute, and start investigating endorphin based solutions for a change! Exactly!!!! I have been on prozac,lexopro,wellbutrin,zoloft nada....as soon as I pop an opiate bingo depression gone energy well being....I know that at one time opiates were actually used to treat depression and there have been several studies that show opiates are very succeful at treating refactory depression. Sub has been the best anti-depressant I have ever taken by far...
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