Pain Part III: Supplements and Low-Dose Naltrexone

low-dose naltrexone for pain
In Part III of this series, I'd like to talk about some key supplements you can take to help with pain management.

Hi, this is Dr. Emily Parke with your next functional health minute. I’d like to continue on talking about pain management.

In the first two videos I talked about the root causes of pain, and then how to think about how to start doing some changes for yourself, especially with lifestyle and nutrition, sleep, exercise and movement, stress management, toxin reduction, and, of course, getting the physical parts of the pain evaluated as well. Click here to watch Part I and click here to watch Part II.

Now I’d like to kind of talk about what are some key supplements, some key things that you can do to help with pain management. So one of my go-to supplements for any type of pain or inflammation is curcumin. So curcumin is one of the main extracts in turmeric, which is very anti-inflammatory and it’s also immune system modulating. And I find it really, really helpful for all kinds of pain, whether it’s from an inflammatory origin or not.

And so curcumin is one I really like. I also really like magnesium a lot. And there’s different forms of magnesium. I am a big fan lately of having a combination of different magnesiums. I find it kind of hits all the parts really well. But magnesium is…think of it as a master relaxant. So if there’s tight muscles, it can help relax those. It’s been pretty well studied for other things like headaches and whatnot. Obviously, it can help with constipation. It can help with sleep, anxiety. There’s like all kinds of other great reasons to consider supplementing with magnesium.

But then there’s a lot of other things to consider with supplementation for pain. And a lot of them are going to be specific to what your nutrient deficiencies are. And as I mentioned in the previous video, but first you’re going to want to get those levels checked. So I wouldn’t recommend anyone take high doses of anything until they’ve had a full nutrient evaluation.

But, as I mentioned, things like vitamin D deficiency, magnesium deficiency, folate, B-12, et cetera, et cetera, replacing those can be really, really helpful. So if you can’t get those checked or you don’t know where to start, going on a really high quality multivitamin that has the active forms of the nutrients can be really helpful. Because while it might not, going on a multi might not fully cure a deficiency, let’s say, it may prevent the deficiency from at least getting worse until you are able to get a blood test for some of the specific nutrients. So I’m a big fan of taking a multivitamin.

Then, of course, looking at things like omega-3 fish oils. Because we know that fish oil, especially the omega-3 parts, are really helpful for anti-inflammation and that’s the EPA part of it. And then the DHA part of it is really important for brain health. So that’s another one I find to be really helpful.

And then, of course, if there are things, other specific things going on—like obviously if you’ve got autoimmune disease, for example, then, you can consider other outside of the box things, like low dose naltrexone. I’ve written a couple of really great blog articles on that. That can be really helpful. It’s actually a prescription, and it’s a compounded prescription that can really help for pain management of all kinds.

I’ve got a lot of patients on it. It has worked great for autoimmune disease, so pain, if the root cause of pain is autoimmune disease that can be really helpful. But even patients who don’t have any autoimmune disease diagnosis per se, LDN can still be really helpful for them. I’ve got patients with difficult to treat gut problems, SIBO/IMO, MCAS and so on and so forth. So it can be really helpful for multiple things.

And there’s a lot I can keep talking about for nutritional supplements. The key ones are multivitamin, fish oil, magnesium, and curcumin. Those are the top easy ones to start with. But then we can start to get even more specific, depending on what’s going on. If someone really has joint pain, for example, then I might ask them to add boswellia to it. We might add ginger to it, or a combination product that has multiple different things in it.

I might have people use hemp oil that has, of course, organically sourced and CO2 extracted that has a higher concentration of CBD in it. That can be really helpful. You just have to really think about what the root cause of that person’s pain is. But those would be, I think, my key, the key supplements, if you were going to try and experiment on your own. Of course, if you have a health care practitioner, you always want to get their advice on things. And read labels really carefully, making sure you get your supplements from a third party quality sourced resource.

So I hope this really helps you think about what you might experiment with on your own to see if you can make a little bit of headway in your pain management. This is Dr. Emily Parke with today’s functional health minute.




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