How Low Dose Naltrexone Can Provide Relief for Crohn’s Disease
The inflammatory condition Crohn’s disease can impact the small intestine, large intestine, or both at the same time. Named for the doctor who first described its symptoms, Crohn’s disease is one of several disorders that fall under the classification of inflammatory bowel disease. Since it’s difficult for doctors to pinpoint the exact cause of this disorder, the medical community considers it autoimmune in nature. That means the immune system attacks rather than protects its tissues for undetermined reasons.
Mild forms of Crohn’s disease typically result in frequent diarrhea and malabsorption of nutrients. More severe cases can cause a fistula formation or chronic obstruction. It’s a difficult condition to live with on a daily basis since it causes frequent pain and cramping in addition to the other issues.
To make matters worse with Crohn’s disease, the lifestyle changes you attempt and the medication your doctor prescribes you don’t always work. In fact, drugs prescribed for Crohn’s disease are only effective for approximately 20 percent of patients. While this can make things feel hopeless, low dose naltrexone (LDN) can provide real relief for this debilitating medical condition.
Understanding How Low Dose Naltrexone Works in the Body
Naltrexone comes in full-strength doses as well as low doses. Both work to block the brain’s opiate receptors that send pain signals and initiate other problems associated with Crohn’s disease. The difference between a low dose and the full-strength version of this drug is that the low dose wears off in just a few hours. Medical research indicates that the temporary blockage of the opiate receptor creates a rebound effect. The result is increased production of endogenous opioids called met-enkephalin and beta-endorphin. The LDN increases the expression of opioid receptors as well.
The Effect of LDN on Crohn’s Disease Symptoms
Although it’s not completely clear how the changes initiated in the brain by LDN control symptoms of Crohn’s disease and other difficult to treat health conditions, medical researchers have proposed two theories. The first is that endogenous opioids have both a stress-relieving and an analgesic effect. As you know, if you have lived with Crohn’s disease for a long time, reducing your stress level can have a dramatic impact on the severity of your symptoms.
The second theory involves the immune cells of the human body, which contains opioid receptors. Both exogenous and endogenous opioids have an important role in the functioning of the immune system. The introduction of LDN into the body appears to positively affect immune cell activity. That means the immune system no longer attacks itself.
Learn More About LDN at Arena District Pharmacy
Arena District Pharmacy is Central Ohio's leader in personalized medicine! Pharmacist Tony Buchta would be happy to answer your questions about LDN. As the founder of Central Ohio Compounding Pharmacy, Tony offers a wealth of knowledge and hope for people seeking treatment of chronic health conditions. Stop by or contact us today to learn more.