Can LDN Help with Crohn’s Disease?

Can LDN Help with Crohn’s Disease?

Quick overview of what you’ll learn from this blog post:

  • What is Crohn’s disease?
  • What is LDN?
  • Studies supporting the use of LDN for Crohn’s disease
  • How AgelessRx may be able to help with LDN

If you know anyone living with Crohn’s disease, you’ll know that it can have a big effect on their day to day life. On bad days when Crohn’s symptoms flare up, it can be completely debilitating – but what exactly is Crohn’s disease, and what causes it?

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition.

Exactly what causes Crohn’s disease isn’t fully understood yet, but scientists believe that it is likely driven by a combination of immune system dysfunction, genetics, environmental factors and certain changes to the gut microbiome[1]. Research in this area is ongoing, so we will hopefully know more in the coming years.

What is Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)?

Naltrexone is an opiate antagonist approved by the FDA for the treatment of addictions to opioids and alcohol. The typical Naltrexone dosage for patients suffering from addiction is 50mg/day.

At significantly lower doses (around 5mg/day), Low Dose Naltrexone has been used with plenty of anecdotal success for various types of conditions including HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases.

How LDN could help with Crohn’s disease

Over the last two decades, thousands of people around the world have tried Low Dose Naltrexone to help with their Crohn’s disease symptoms, many with very positive results. This success, as well as LDN’s success in helping patients with other inflammation-based diseases, has given rise to a passionate grassroots online community of LDN enthusiasts, as well as a UK-based charity called the LDN Research Trust.

While large scale clinical studies of LDN’s effects on Crohn’s disease are yet to be completed, the data that has emerged from small clinical trials is positive. Here are a few key take outs from studies over the last two decades:

  • In a 2007 study, patients who received LDN experienced a significant improvement in their quality of life, with the authors concluding that “LDN therapy appears effective and safe in subjects with active Crohn’s disease.”
  • A 2011 study saw 88% of participants treated with LDN report at least a 70-point decline in their Crohn’s Disease Activity Index scores, and after 12 weeks, 33% achieved remission with a Crohn’s disease endoscopy index severity (CDEIS) score of less than 6. The authors concluded that “Naltrexone improves clinical and inflammatory activity of subjects with moderate to severe Crohn’s disease compared to placebo-treated controls.”
  • A 2013 study, this time in children with moderate to severe Crohn’s disease saw PCDAI scores (Pediatric Crohn’s Disease Activity Index) significantly decreased from pretreatment values in just 8-weeks, with the authors concluding that “Naltrexone therapy seems safe…when given to children with Crohn’s disease and may reduce disease activity.
  • Finally, a 2018 study found that “Naltrexone directly improves epithelial barrier function by improving wound healing and reducing mucosal ER stress levels”, with the authors concluding “Low dose Naltrexone treatment is effective and safe, and could be considered for the treatment of therapy refractory IBD patients.”

How AgelessRx may be able to help with LDN

At AgelessRx, our physicians have many years of experience Low Dose Naltrexone and how it can help address symptoms related to Crohn’s Disease. If you’re interested in a free online evaluation with a licensed medical professional, click here.