Crohn's disease is a complex disorder of the immune system which causes chronic and severe inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include severe pain the abdomen, bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, diarhea and excessive weight loss. Apart from these symptoms, the disease can sometimes also cause certain extrinsic symptoms such as arthritis, skin rashes, and lack of concentration. The disease is a fatal condition of the body resulting in permanent damage and death.
While, the cause of this serious disease of the body is still unknown, it is mainly caused by a complex interplay of certain genetic, environmental and autoimmune factors. Most of the anti inflammatory drugs used to treat this condition are generally associated with certain serious and harmful side effects like bleeding etc. So far there is no permanent and surgical cure for this complicated disease. The current treatment available today are only targeted at treating symptoms, preventing frequency of relapses and controlling remissions.
However, in the recent years, there is new buzz about treating crohn's disease with low dose naltrexone. Naltrexone is basically an opioid receptor antagonist used for the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction in many drug addict and alcoholics. A standard dose of 50 mg naltrexone per day has been known to reduce opioid cravings along with negating the intoxicating effect produced by the opiod substance or alcohol resulting in final quitting of the alcohol or opioid drugs.
While, high doses of naltrexone is an effective treatment for alcoholism, low dose of this opioid receptor anatgonist has been shown to reduce the symptoms of crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and other such auto immune disorders. As compared to other anti inflammatory drugs used for the treatment of crohn's disease or multiple sclerosis disease, low dose naltrexone is not only highly inexpensive, readily available but also produces minimal side effects.
In a clinical study involving 40 people with crohn's disease, treatment with low dose naltrexone of the strength as low as 4.5mg per day showed marked improvement in crohn's disease symptoms with more than 67% of these people experiencing total remission of the disease. Similarly, low dose naltrexone for ms treatment has been found to have profound effect on patients with ms.
Likewise, low dose naltrexone for weight loss, cancer, HIV and several other immune system disorders has been shown and proved to be one of the effective and safe treatment option, which is readily available and easily affordable, thus decreasing the number of people dying from the above mentioned condition in several developing countries.