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"A Life-Changer": LDN's improves Brooke's kidney disorder and much more

Brooke Baron
August 05, 2020

About Nephrotic Syndrome:

Nephrotic syndrome is a collection of symptoms that indicate kidney damage. The kidneys do not filter properly, resulting in large amounts of protein in the urine; higher than normal fat and cholesterol levels in the blood; and swelling in the legs, feet, ankles, hands and face. Other symptoms can include: weight gain, fatigue, foamy urine, and loss of appetite. The loss of different proteins from the body can lead to a variety of complications in people with nephrotic syndrome. Treating nephrotic syndrome includes addressing the underlying cause as well as taking steps to reduce high blood pressure, edema, high cholesterol, and the risks of infection. Treatment usually includes medications and changes in diet.

Brooke, would please tell us a bit about your health condition?

I was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome when I was 2 years old, so I’ve had it for 25 years. It’s a kidney disorder that causes your body to pass too much protein in your urine, and that causes lots of complications like swelling in various parts of the body, weight gain, fatigue, etc. It also increases the risk of other health problems.

What was the treatment approach and how did it work for you?

Nephrotic syndrome is typically treated with prednisone, with the hope that it will make it go into remission. If it doesn’t, additional therapies are used. I was on prednisone for most of my life, which has caused quite a few health issues including problems with my stomach, bone density, weight gain, mental health changes, hair loss or unwanted hair growth, joint pain, and endometriosis. I have also been on many different immunosuppressants and they all take a very hard toll on the body.

Brooke Baron - Dark times on prednisone What was the worst side effect you experienced from those treatments?

In addition to weight gain and osteopenia (calcium loss from the bones), the worst aspect of prednisone treatment was the toll it took on my mental health. After a kidney relapse in January 2019, I went on prednisone (again) and experienced a severe mental health episode as a result. I had to start taking antidepressants and a couple of anxiety medications after that. It was such a difficult experience that I decided I was never going to take prednisone again. However, later that year I started to have another relapse. I was in tears because I didn’t want to go back on prednisone.

How did you know you were relapsing?

For a person with normally working kidneys, there’s an acceptable amount of protein that is lost through urine and it registers as “negative” on a dipstick test (a test in which a special stick is put in one’s urine that turns different colors based on the amount of protein present). A dipstick result of “trace,” “+1” or “+2” amounts of protein aren’t nearly as frightening or alarming as “+4.” This generally means "There's an emergency. Seek medical attention and start treatment!" In December 2019, I was at “+4” on a dipstick test, and had swelling in my extremities, face, and eyes. It was the start of a relapse.

Brooke Baron - Before & After LDN
Since you didn’t want to take prednisone again, what did you do instead?

My mom has always been an advocate for me. She knew the existing treatments were damaging and wanted to find a different way for me. She heard about LDN on different nephrology forums, and had been researching it for the past 10 years. When I started to relapse, and I was terrified to go back on prednisone, so she convinced me to try LDN.

What did you think about your mom’s suggestion to try LDN?

It took some convincing for me to try LDN the first time, because I was so stuck in the mindframe that prednisone was the only thing that would ever work. But I decided to give it a try.

To go from a “+4” to negative in one day is unfathomable, even with prednisone.
What happened when you took LDN?

I took 1 mg of LDN before I went to bed and when I woke up the next morning, all the swelling was gone. I was down to “negative” on a dipstick test. I had no signs of a relapse at all. To go from a “+4” to negative in one day is unfathomable, even with prednisone. For me to just go to sleep and wake up “on the other side” was pretty miraculous.

I haven’t had any signs of a flare or a relapse since starting LDN (it’s been 6 months).
After that first experience with LDN, did you decide to keep taking it?

After I saw what LDN had done in one day, I decided to keep taking it. I haven’t had any signs of a flare or a relapse since starting LDN (it’s been 6 months). I’ve had the occasional dipstick result of “trace” or “+1” or “+2”, but I never felt like I was going to really relapse again. When I went off LDN for a bit, and this stressful pandemic started happening, I worried that I might relapse, but as soon as I started taking LDN again, my body went back to completely normal.

I’m also not gaining weight, as I did with prednisone; with LDN, I actually lost weight!
Have you had any other response to LDN that you been surprised by? Brooke Baron - Before & After LDN

With prednisone you can grow hair in unwanted places, and lose hair in wanted places. I had a huge bald patch on the front of my head, and my eyebrows and eyelashes were thinning, because of prednisone. With LDN, I’m now growing hair in WANTED places! Also, my scalp hair has grown back, thankfully. My joints have felt so much better (prednisone takes a toll on your joints) and it has relieved my TMJ pain which was pretty bad. I’m also not gaining weight, as I did with prednisone; with LDN, I actually lost weight! Considering all of this, I’m perfectly fine taking LDN for the long haul because of all the positive effects it’s had on my health.

What has been the most significant impact of LDN on your life?

In addition to the benefits on my kidneys, the biggest impact of LDN was on my mental health. Prednisone and the other treatments were so traumatic and terrible for my mental health, and left me feeling like I wasn’t myself anymore. Going up to 3 mg of LDN changed all that. I’ve been able to get completely off all the antidepressants and anxiety medications. My moods are very stable. It’s been a life-changer. If I had to go back on prednisone during the pandemic, I think I’d be in a very different place. I’m so glad that I don’t have to think about where I’d be, because I’m taking LDN.

What else would you like others to know from your experience?

Don’t stop looking for answers and alternative treatments. Take the research you find to your doctor. Maybe get them into contact with people who have been doing the research. Don’t stop searching for answers and for the right doctor who will do the research. I highly recommend checking out ldnscience.org. I would like to thank LDNscience for everything you are doing. I don’t think I would have the outcome I have now if it weren’t for LDN and LDNscience...I would still be on prednisone, and that’s not a life that I want to live. I’m very honored to have been interviewed by LDNscience and I’m so thankful that there are people out there still looking for ways to improve life and quality of life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Brooke Baron - Before & After LDN

More About Brooke:

I live in a small town in Texas close to Lubbock where I teach 3rd grade to some pretty amazing kiddos. When I am not teaching, I am with my husband and german shepard in Colorado where my husband works. We enjoy camping, hiking, being outdoors, board games, puzzles, and, of course, spending time with our friends and family. If you would like more information or to talk more please email me at [email protected]

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