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Osteoarthritis Pain Calmed Down Overnight: Deb's LDN Success Story

Deb Clark
June 08, 2017


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.*

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Deb, would you please tell us about your health conditions?

I’m 60 years old and for 25 years I have been suffering with osteoarthritis, which has been aggravated by a connective tissue disorder due to a condition called Stickler Syndrome. I started at age 35 going to doctors. They said it was osteoarthritis and there is nothing to do other than surgically take care of the joints that get ruined. I didn’t like that answer.

What are some of the symptoms you’ve felt over time with those disorders?

For me, my cartilage wore out, so I had pain all the time. A lot of pain in my hands, thumbs, hips, feet and ankles, and some in my back and neck also. So, kind of “all over”. I had 2 hip replacements and 4 hand surgeries. Things kept getting worse and worse.

How did those symptoms impact your life?

I’m a real happy, active person, so it was hard to find my options narrowing. I love playing guitar and I couldn’t play anymore. I love to hike and I still hiked some, but I would hurt while I did it, and after it I would really hurt.

How did you approach your limitations?

I would just power through the pain, because I didn’t want to curl up and do nothing. So I kept looking for what I could do. I did find acupuncture would help some, but it still wasn’t getting at the root...slowing down the inflammation from within. That’s why I was so glad to hear about LDN. I thought maybe it would work for me.

How did you find out about LDN?

I went to the Penny George Institute in Minneapolis familiar with using LDN. They said that, for some patients, it worked really well, and asked me if I’d like to try it. I researched it on and googled LDN research articles, and saw that there were not many side effects. So I decided to give it a try.

How did your body respond to LDN?

I took the first dose (4.5 mg) and went to bed. The beautiful story is, after taking one pill, the next morning I woke up and I told my husband, “I can’t believe this. I don’t feel the pain the same way.” The pain, in like 10 or 12 spots throughout my body, had settled down. I never dreamed that one dose could make such a noticeable impact, but for me it did.

LDN is opening up life for me. I just love having a body that cooperates with me, so that I can engage life more like I want to.
How are you feeling now that you have been using LDN for 5 months?

I’ve improved ever since the first day. Do I still have pain? Some. Do I still get acupuncture done? Yes. But now I can hike 7 to 10 miles. I’ve even done 12 miles, and I was fine. I still use a hiking stick to just help out, but I can do it. I kind of have a bounce in my step again. I can play guitar again. The inflammation in my hands is down...I hadn’t played guitar in 7 years! I don’t feel pain, so I’m not hiding constant pain in my life. So, LDN is opening up life for me. I just love having a body that cooperates with me, so that I can engage life more like I want to. I feel the best I’ve felt for the last 20 years, probably. I love it. I couldn’t be more thankful than I am.

What is the clearest contrast in your life before and after LDN?

I went on a hiking trip with my husband in the fall, before starting LDN. My body was aching but I fought through it. I knew what I couldn’t do. I hiked up to 7 miles, and I ached, but I was going to be darned if I wasn’t going to do it. Compare that to a hiking trip we took when I was on LDN for a month and a half. I was be-bopping around! My husband said he wished he had a video camera because he could not believe my agility of movement. Now we’re excited to hike other places and seize the day!

Deb Clark

What’s the best part of the changes you’ve seen after starting LDN?

People wouldn’t have believed I had chronic pain, because I hid it from them. So I’d say, the best part is, I’m not hiding that pain, and I’m able to do the things that I want to do. I have grandchildren, and I love to get up and down on the floor with them and play. I can go to a ballet show with my granddaughter and climb up and down the bleachers easily again. I can play guitar with my grandchildren, and they love it...I’m happy.

You also have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Has LDN had an effect on that condition?

When I was doing research into LDN for the pain, I looked on and saw that LDN could be helpful for Hashimoto’s also. My antigen levels had creeped up a little bit the last couple years. My level was 179 three years ago; I just checked it again after 5 months on LDN and it is now down to 69. So LDN seems to have calmed down the autoimmune impact of my body fighting my thyroid too.

I feel the best I’ve felt for the last 20 years, probably. I love it. I couldn’t be more thankful than I am.
Have you experienced any side effects?

I do have more vivid dreams, and I am a vivid dreamer in the first place. But don’t be afraid of that. I just wake up and say, “Oh that was a dream,” and go right back to sleep.

Do you think patients with similar conditions to yours should ask their doctor about LDN?

I highly recommend trying it. It was a very simple thing, in my life, to have tried. And I got such good results the very first day. So try it and see if it gives you the results I have found. That said, don’t expect one thing to do everything. I also changed my diet. I don’t eat any gluten or dairy now. So that could be part of my success too, helping my body not be in an inflammatory state. I do tai-chi. I do meditation. Do what takes care of your body.

Deb Clark

What advice do you have for those who can’t find a doctor willing to prescribe LDN?

Find a compounding pharmacy in your area. They can’t tell you details of patients that take it, but they can tell you what doctors prescribe it. My nurse practitioner who prescribed it for me was leaving practice, so I called my pharmacy and asked if they could tell me some other doctors in the area that are prescribing it. And sure enough, I found a physician who will be my physician now, because he has about 50 patients that are using it and having good results.

What final message would you like to share with LDNscience visitors about your experience with LDN?

Be determined. Be your own advocate. I’ve been searching for 25 years for solutions. I am frustrated that more people, more mainstream doctors, don’t seem to know about LDN and suggest it. That seems kind of sad to me. Be your own advocate.


More About Deb:

I am a 60 year old retiree living in Roseville, MN USA. I am a happy, active person, and enjoy spending my free time with family and friends, and have a special spot in my heart for my grandchildren. My husband and I love the great outdoors, and I also love music, playing the piano, guitar and singing. LDN has drastically improved my life, reopening doors of hiking without pain, and playing the guitar after 7 years of not being able to play. I move much better and feel much better!