Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can make you feel like you have no control over your life or your body. Researchers are studying low-dose naltrexone (LDN) as a possible solution for IBS.
Not familiar with LDN? You can learn all about it here. In this post, we’ll talk about what might make LDN a working solution for patients suffering from IBS.
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome? What are symptoms of IBS?
Considering the name, it makes sense that IBS involves abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Some patients might have IBS primarily with constipation or IBS primarily with diarrhea. Other patients might have IBS with a combination of both.
Even though IBS is primarily a gut disorder, dealing with IBS day in and day out can have profound impacts on your mental health and mood. If you or a loved one has IBS, depression and anxiety can also come along with the territory.
How do doctors usually treat IBS?
Much of IBS treatment involves trying to relieve symptoms by changing your diet and lifestyle. Your doctor might suggest changes like:
- Identifying and avoiding food triggers
- Eating more high-fiber foods
- Drinking lots of water
- Exercising more often
- Sticking to a regular sleep schedule
For some IBS patients, lifestyle changes are enough, but for others doctors might prescribe medications like anti-diarrheals, antidepressants, and pain medications. There are other IBS medications that work directly in your intestines.
What is Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN)? How might LDN help with IBS symptoms?
In addition to the standard medications doctors might prescribe, a promising compound called low-dose naltrexone could also offer some benefit for IBS patients. You’ll learn all about LDN here, but in terms of IBS, we’ll focus on opioid receptors.
Typically when you think of opioid receptors, you think of your brain and spinal cord. Opioid drugs relieve pain by interacting with those receptors in your nervous system. So it might come as a surprise to find out that your gut has opioid receptors, too!
One idea about IBS is that the gut opioid receptors become overactive, which makes the intestines more active. Researchers believe that LDN blocks the effects of the opioid receptors, which would cause the intestines to slow down. This might relieve some of the diarrhea and abdominal pain associated with IBS.
Like any therapy, LDN is not free of side effects. Some patients experience gut-related side effects while taking LDN, but many patients tolerate the medication well since doses are low.
Where Can I Try LDN for IBS?
While the knowledgeable pharmacists at The Compounding Center do our best to share with you the most accurate scientific information, we also understand that first-hand accounts from actual patients are also valuable.
On the LDN Research Trust website, you will find accounts of patients’ experiences with LDN for managing IBS. We encourage you to talk to your doctor about whether LDN might be appropriate for you to try.
If you live in NY, PA, MD, DC, VA, WV, NC and GA, our trained pharmacy staff will compound your specific LDN dose with a prescription from your doctor.
The Compounding Center in Leesburg prepares LDN as immediate-release pills with no fillers or binders to interfere with the drug’s absorption. Plus, we take your allergies and dietary concerns into consideration. We make sure our compounded LDN capsules and tablets are free of common allergens like gluten, lactose, and dyes.
We’ll even ship it to you if you can’t get to the store!
Give us a call to get a quote.
The Compounding Center
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