Compete guide to Kratom Side Effects
Kratom is one of the best ways of treating certain ailments. It’s a natural solution that helps in dealing with the problem but without burdening your liver and system as a whole with chemicals, as is the case with pharma-grade drugs. The herb has come through for so many people with chronic pain issues, depression, anxiety, and opiate addiction, among many others. However, it is imperative to understand that Kratom is not without its own risks.
The truth of the matter is that no company will ever tell you the negative side of their products unless they are under an obligation to do so. Since the FDA or any other body does not regulate the Kratom market, the suppliers feel no obligation to talk about the risks involved in using the herb. This can be misinterpreted to mean that the herb is completely safe, but that is not the case.
The usage of Kratom products has been linked to a number of health issues and even death. In 2015, approximately 263 calls made to the US poison center were concerning different Kratom products. According to the data from the National Poison Data System, around 11 deaths that happened between the years 2011 to 2017 were associated with Kratom exposure. The US Food and Drug Administration also reported approximately 44 deaths related to Kratom in 2017.
So yes, using Kratom can be dangerous, and here are all the risks you need to understand before you start using the herb:
Short-Term Side Effects of Kratom
Some of the side effects of Kratom will only appear when you are using certain doses. For instance, low doses of Kratom – between 1 to 4 or 5 grams – can result in aggression, agitation, and irritability. As you can tell, these are some of the side effects of using stimulants, which makes sense because the Kratom tree belongs in the coffee family, and it functions as a stimulant at low doses. As you increase the doses, it moves from a stimulant to a sedative, and this poses a risk for another set of side effects. Other side effects are known to manifest regardless of the doses used.
Here are some of the possible adverse reactions:
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Increased urination
- Agitation, and irritability
- Loss of muscle coordination
- Increased heartbeat
- Liver damage
Most of these reactions will disappear the moment you stop taking Kratom.
Short term side effects can also be as a result of taking high amounts of Kratom, which your body cannot handle. This is why you are always encouraged to start with low doses. If this is the reason for experiencing any of the above issues, reducing the doses should be enough to fix the problem.
It’s also possible to experience the above problems simply because your body is still adapting to the new compound. This is the case for most first time Kratom users, and it usually occurs regardless of how small the doses used are. Fortunately, the symptoms typically disappear once your system has gotten acclimated to the new compound.
Long-Term Side Effects of Kratom
The problem with determining the long term side effects of Kratom is the limited number of clinical trials. Most of the studies around are done on animals. Without enough studies, it’s hard to understand what the effect of using Kratom for 10 or more years could be.
Without the trials, we are forced to turn to the Southeast Asia region. This is where Kratom comes from, and the natives are known to have been using Kratom for centuries. Based on their reports, using Kratom for a prolonged period can result in:
- Weight loss
- Frequent urination
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
Kratom addiction is another problem you need to worry about, especially if you are a heavy and long term Kratom user. Knowing how Kratom works help you to understand why it can be addictive.
Kratom contains compounds we know as alkaloids. These give Kratom its properties, making it the beneficial herb it is. The alkaloids are also partly responsible for the bad side of the herb. The Kratom powder and extract that we use come from the leaves of the Kratom tree. The leaves are known to be rich in so many alkaloids, key of which are Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine. The two alkaloids have opioid-like properties, so they work like opioids such as morphine and codeine. This is how Kratom manages to treat chronic pain, and it’s also why the herb can be euphoric. Unfortunately, since it works on the same opioid receptors as the other drugs, using it for too long can change the brain’s chemical composition, thus developing a dependence on the herb. This is particularly a problem when taking high doses of Kratom for an extended period of time. The user will start to take Kratom compulsively regardless of all the harm it could be doing on their bodies.
After developing dependence, you will have a tough quitting. Any attempt to stop taking the drug will result in withdrawal, which can get really ugly. Kratom withdrawal is typically characterized by psychological and physical symptoms such as:
- Body aches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Hot flashes
If you are having a hard time quitting Kratom, you should contact a drug addiction hotline immediately. You will get the assistance you need for a smooth and comfortable recovery.
What are the risks of Mixing Kratom with other Drugs?
Combining Kratom and other compounds is a very common trend nowadays. The practice helps users to get more from their Kratom, but it also introduces new risks that most users normally don’t know of. In fact, of the 44 deaths reported by the FDA, a majority of them were linked to taking Kratom alongside other compounds. We know that people are using Kratom with Adderall, Phenibut, and other street and prescription opioids. Some of these combinations actually work to increase the potency of the herb, but the risks usually outweigh the benefits. For instance, combining Kratom with Phenibut for a long time is almost always guaranteed to result in addiction. Meanwhile, using Kratom and Adderall at high doses leads to psychosis and convulsions, among many other effects.
So if you were planning on using Kratom alongside other drugs, I’d strongly advise you against doing it. If you have to, I’ll urge you to try some of the natural compounds instead of the chemical drugs.
For the people who are already under other medications, it’s important to consult a medical practitioner before you start using Kratom. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also stay away from Kratom.
We cannot conclude the topic of Kratom side effects without discussing the role that contaminated Kratom plays in some of the complications related to the herb. Remember that this was the other category that contributed to most of the 44 deaths linked to Kratom products, as reported by the Food and Drug Administration. Many Kratom suppliers in the market, either knowingly or unknowingly sell impure Kratom products. We are not just talking about microbial and heavy metal impurities but also other compounds that are included with the intention of increasing the potency of the herb. You should never settle for less in your search for the best Kratom vendors.
Since there aren’t enough clinical trials on Kratom, we cannot say that the above list is conclusive. There is an unknown side of Kratom that remains a mystery to everyone. Perhaps in the near future, we will be in a position to understand the full extent of the effects of Kratom. Both the good and bad effects.