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"I Feel Decades Younger": Alan's Relief from Osteoarthritis

Alan Koshak
June 25, 2018

About Osteoarthritis:

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic condition of the joints, and is also called degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis. In OA, the cartilage (rubbery material that acts as a cushion between bones) breaks down, causing pain, swelling and problems moving the joint. As OA worsens over time, bones may break down and develop growths called spurs. Bits of bone or cartilage may chip off and float around in the joint. In the body, an inflammatory process occurs and cytokines (proteins) and enzymes develop that further damage the cartilage. In the final stages of OA, the cartilage wears away and bone rubs against bone leading to joint damage and more pain. OA most often affects the knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe.*

Alan, what health problem had you been dealing with?

As a young man in my 30s, I became an avid runner. I developed knee pain that I assumed was related to my heavy frame and the high impact of the long-distance running. After a knee surgery, I stopped the running and began bicycling and walking instead. I found that I could walk on the treadmill and do my favorite hobby (genealogical research) for 75 minutes each day! However, I was still suffering from knee pain. I had been wearing away the cartilage and was eventually diagnosed with osteoarthritis.

What was your quality of life like?

I would try to treat the pain with daily ibuprofen. But my daily trips up and down the stairs still hurt. Also, after cooking together with my wife Cindy, my job was to dry and put away the dishes. When it came time to bend down to put the pots in the lower cabinet, there was inevitable pain. I learned to anticipate it with a wince or a groan. That was just daily life.

How did LDN come onto your radar?

As you may know from Cindy’s LDN story, my wife has Sjögren’s syndrome. Just as I’m an obsessive genealogical researcher, she is an obsessive Sjögren’s researcher. Cindy was doing research on LDN for Sjögren’s, and she found that people were also using it for osteoarthritis. She mentioned it to me, and we researched it further.

How did you come to the decision to take LDN?

Cindy decided she wanted to try LDN for her Sjögren’s. As a matter of our teamwork, I thought, if my bride is going to take LDN, why don’t I too? That way we can experience whatever side effects there are together. We can compare notes. That’s where our joint LDN journey began.

What was your approach to LDN dosing?

We started at a low dose of LDN 1.5 mg, and decided to be patient with moving up in dosage level. We went up by 0.5 mg about every 3 weeks.

All of a sudden, 1-2 days after taking the LDN, it’s almost like a cloudy day parted and blue skies showed up. The mind was far, far clearer. Clearer than I can maybe even remember in decades
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What was your experience after taking LDN?

Within the first 2 days, we both experienced a result we didn’t anticipate. Brain fog we didn’t really know we were having (!) cleared. I had attributed my occasional forgetfulness (such as forgetting why I went downstairs) to being a male in his mid-fifties. All of a sudden, 1-2 days after taking the LDN, it’s almost like a cloudy day parted and blue skies showed up. The mind was far, far clearer. Clearer than I can maybe even remember in decades. That surprised us, because we both experienced it. In addition, I noticed that the knee pain was starting to subside. It was just amazing how it happened so quickly.

How did things evolve after the first couple days on LDN?

Within the first 4 or 5 days of starting, we noticed that when I would start to bend down to put pots away, the pain I would also anticipate with a groan wasn’t there! It was just shocking to us how quickly I experienced relief.

I worked my way up to 4.5 mg and have stayed there. I’ve been basically virtually symptom free from arthritis for 2 years now
How long did that last?

That level of relief lasted about 7-10 days, and then a little of the brain fog and some of the little pains or discomforts started coming back. So we took that as our signal to step up the dose another 0.5 mg. Once again we started seeing results and the symptoms subsided. We went through that process repeatedly probably over 4 months to get to a dose where we wanted to be. I worked my way up to 4.5 mg and have stayed there. I’ve been basically virtually symptom free from arthritis for 2 years now. I do realize, with LDN, we’re not growing new cartilage in my knees, but what we are doing is working on the inflammation that causes the pain.

Have you noticed other effects of LDN?

Yes. Body-wide. I’ve noticed that my recovery time is quicker system-wide. I’m an active guy out in the yard (we live on a farm). If I go out there to dig and shovel (things that maybe a 60 year old guy should be a little more careful about doing!) I come back that evening sore. But the next morning, I’m not sore! I actually feel, body-wise, like a 30 year old, or younger, man. So for us, it’s just a remarkable, remarkable drug.

Did you notice any negative side effects from the LDN?

We both experienced some mild irritability when we first started the LDN. It went away after a little while.

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What has been the biggest change to your quality of life since starting LDN?

Pain is not an enjoyable thing to live with. It is a stressor. And that stress takes a toll on the body, emotionally as well as physically. The LDN has been a crucial part in dealing with the pain I had before with my knees. Between that and the fact that it's cleared up the brain fog that I didn't even realize I had, I feel like a million bucks. I feel like a person decades younger than I am.

How has LDN most impacted your family?

The story of our teamwork in starting LDN together brought so many unexpected blessings that we are still benefiting from. In addition, our bulldog Maggie’s LDN story is one of much improved quality of life, which had been previously diminished due to arthritis and a torn ACL. Following our suggestion, our son also gave LDN to his very sick dog, Rocky, and saw amazing results (Rocky’s story).

What do you most want people to know about LDN?

It is important to remember that this is a slow, step by step journey. People in this day and age want results within the first week. Have patience. We have seen too many instances of people hearing that this is a miracle drug, and if they see no results after 1 week, they quit. Or people start with too high a dose of LDN, and if they experience negative side effects (such as a symptom flare), they quit. Cindy and I believe that starting low and escalating slowly is the best path. Our motto is “start low, go slow.”


* www.arthritis.org

More About Alan:

I am 60 years old and am a very happily married man (to my wonderful bride, Cindy). I graduated from the Air Force Academy and used to fly A-10 fighter planes; afterwards, I became an airline pilot for a private company until I retired in 2010. Although I miss flying, I am enjoying retirement. Cindy and I love the outdoors (we live on a farm, which keeps me active) and I’m an avid genealogist. We have a combined family and a current total of 7 grandkids, and are just loving life! If you have questions about my LDN experience, please feel free to write me at [email protected]