Macclesfield man reveals he is 'pain-free for first time in over 30 years'
By Nub News guest writer
3rd Jul 2023 | Local News
A tradesperson from Macclesfield is relieved after finding a cure for his constant pain, troubling him since last century.
70-year-old Brian Walker from Macclesfield suffered constant pain every day for over 31 years.
Scaffolder Brian was in his late twenties when he suddenly started to struggle on a ladder at work and realised that his left leg wasn't working properly.
An initial visit to his local surgery proved futile, with the doctor unable to work out what was causing the problem.
Brian would return to work when his pain subsided only to have it return in a different part of his body, each occurrence prompting another trip to the doctor's surgery.
He had constant mobility issues and struggled with work and everyday tasks, alongside feeling permanently exhausted and unable to cope. Doctors were unable able to find the root cause of Brian's problems and he was reliant on trying to ease the pain with various over-the-counter medications.
"People used to look at me weirdly when I asked how much pain they were in. I just couldn't understand how other people weren't in pain when I was constantly aching from head to toe.
"I was in pain every day. Most of the time it was a persistent dull ache that I could put up with, but some days it would flare up and I'd be in agony for days. After one particularly awful episode about ten years ago, I went to see a new GP and explained my symptoms and history and so on.
"The doctor asked if I'd thought of fibromyalgia, but I'd never even heard of it."
Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a chronic disorder characterised by widespread musculoskeletal pain throughout the body, increased sensitivity to pain, muscle stiffness and tenderness in localised areas. Other symptoms include difficulty getting to or staying asleep, fatigue, 'fibro-fog' problems with memory and concentration, headaches and even irritable bowel syndrome.
These symptoms are changeable and often suddenly get better or worse.
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it's believed to be related to abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain and changes in the way the central nervous system processes pain messages. There is currently no medical cure for the condition, although there are treatments to help relieve symptoms and make it easier to live with the condition.
Once Brian had eventually been diagnosed, he spent the next decade trying out several treatments but was unable to find one that worked for him, with many causing unbearable side effects.
"Fibromyalgia already causes brain fog, but some medications made it even more severe for me. The doctor called me one day to ask how I was getting on and I told him that I better send some pictures to NASA as I felt like I was on another planet!"
Brian's cites his recovery to low doses of naltrexone, which research has found "may reduce pain and help to address neurological symptoms" in low doses.
The Macclesfield resident heard that Bodyline Medical Wellness Clinics in Manchester had begun trialling a Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) treatment service and decided to have one more last-ditch effort to combat the chronic disorder he'd been living with for what seemed like forever in the hope that he could finally improve his quality of life.
After an initial consultation with Dr Morgan Toerien, Bodyline - Clinical Services Lead LDN, Brian was prescribed an extremely low dosage of the medication, which was titrated over the course of three-month to the point where he was feeling incredible benefits from taking just one pill every evening.
Naltrexone has been used for years to treat alcohol and drug addiction by reducing the cravings associated with substance use disorder and blocking the effects of opioids. However, in low doses, it has been found to have incredible effects on the immune system and inflammation. LDN works by blocking the opioid receptors for a short period of time, which triggers the body to produce more endorphins, natural painkillers that help to reduce pain levels and improve mood.
And it was Brian's mood that changed drastically.
"In all the years my wife has been with me, she's put up with listening to me being in pain all day, every day, and it impacted her as well. But after only a few months of being on LDN, I'd wake up in the mornings and dance around the house! It's changed my life, but it's completely changed my mood as well.
"For the first time in a long time, I can do simple things like walk the dogs! I couldn't before because I used to be in too much pain but now, I go up the hills around Macclesfield and I go climbing with the dogs."
At Bodyline, the clinician led support and bespoke treatments allowed Brian to finally get some relief from his pain, whilst giving him a place to get advice, guidance and reassurance along his LDN journey.
Dr Morgan Toerien, Bodyline - Clinical Services Lead LDN, had this to say:
"Having prescribed naltrexone for the treatment of substance abuse for many years, I have witnessed first-hand the effectiveness of this medication to treat opiate and alcohol addiction. When prescribed at the right doses, LDN (Low Dose Naltrexone) is delivering life-changing results for patients with autoimmune and neurological conditions that are often very difficult to treat, even with current medical advances.
"LDN works by restoring normal function at the nerve endings and immune receptors, allowing the body to regulate an overactive immune response and use its own endorphins more effectively, contributing to the healing process. It is no it is no surprise that Brian and many other patients at Bodyline Medical Wellness Clinics have benefited from being prescribed LDN as It provides a safe and effective treatment alternative when many other treatments have been ineffective."
Brian concluded: "Dr Toerien was very down to earth and great at explaining things not too technically so I could understand what he was saying. Everything sort of fell into place as he was explaining why I was feeling how I was feeling. I was thinking, wow, this guy understands what I'm going through. Nobody else seemed to have done that. So yeah, it was marvellous, it was marvellous even just to talk to him. Never mind the pills".
"I can honestly say that since I went on LDN in the middle of last year, I'm almost pain free. I'm not suffering the constant aching joints and so on. Any aches I have now, I can put down to being 70 years of age."
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