chronic illness · chronic pain · product reviews

Kratom for Chronic Pain

Those who follow this blog along with my Instagram may notice that talking about treatments for chronic pain is something I like to discuss. I think its important because there’s always new treatments and supplements being developed and often more obscure ones don’t get the attention they should.
Chronic pain is complex and what works for one person may not work for another BUT that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give something a go.
In the past 6 months I started to hear others with chronic nerve pain share that something called Kratom was really helping them. People had so much relief that they were even been able to switch completely off opiates to kratom. As you can probably guess, I became intrigued and after a few months of research I decided to give it a go.

So let’s first talk about what Kratom is…

Kratom is a plant native to Southeast Asia and has been used for centuries in Asia for energy and pain relief. In lighter dosages, kratom is energizing and in heavier dosages, it is very effective for relieving pain. It also known to give those suffering from social anxiety and depression relief and a feeling of overall well being. Many people that are addicted to opiates have hailed kratom as an effective tool for weaning themselves off an opiate addiction.
The red vein strains are known to be better for pain relief, the white vein strains are known to be better for energy, and the green vein strains are in the middle of the spectrum. There is limited clinical research that has been done on kratom at this point in time but it has been safely used in SE Asia for centuries.
“Kratom contains a number of active components, so-called alkaloids, of which mitragynine is believed to be responsible for most of its effects. Mitragynine is an opioid agonist, meaning that it has an affinity for the opioid receptors in your brain. These receptors influence one’s mood and anxiety. Mitragynine binds to these receptors and improves your mood and gives a euphoric-like feeling, just like opiates such as heroin and opium.
The big difference between kratom and opiates is that mitragynine prefers so-called delta opioid receptors, while opiates bind to mu opioid receptors.
At higher doses, mitragynine increasingly stimulates mu receptors. This is believed to be the reason that kratom has a stimulating effect at lower doses and narcotic effects at higher doses…” (source)
Side Effects:
Usually very minimal. You need to be sure to drink more than your usual amount of water as kratom can dehydrate you. You may also experience a decrease in appetite.
**If you take too much at one time, you can get nauseous, feel irritable and generally very unpleasant. It is safer to work your way up in dosage until you find the sweet spot that relieves your pain and results in no unpleasant feelings and nausea. Only experienced users who have become accustomed to kratom should experiment with heavier dosages to avoid the chance of experiencing negative side effects.

My Experience

After speaking with a Kratom expert at Kratom Connection I decided to try two types of Kratom, Red Bentuangie Kratom and Red Vein Borneo Kratom since red vein strains are best for pain relief since that was the main symptom I wanted to treat. Theres a few different options in kinds of ways to take it, there’s tinctures, pills, as well Kratom in powder form. In my research I saw over and over that most people found the most benefit of it in powder form.
I started off slowly with a fairly small dosage mixed with liquid. I will warn you that the taste is pretty “earthy” and bitter, I found it went down easiest in some chocolate almond milk. If you are opiate tolerant you may need more and those who have little to no opiate experience may need very little.  As stated above, taking too much can make you feel crummy so play it safe. A scale is really helpful in weighing out your dosage as each strain has different volume and weight, you can get super cheap ones on Amazon.
Unfortunately the kratom did not work very well for me which I suspect has to mainly do with the amount of opiates I take. I also have issues metabolizing a lot of medications so it’s entirely possible this also happens with herbs. The first time I took some I did notice a slight amount of relief but it was very brief.
Not getting any relief was definitely a bummer  as I had hoped that perhaps it could allow me to get off opiates but irregardless it is something  I would be willing to try again in the future.
I could see it being very helpful if/when I get off opiates. Another beneficial aspect about kratom is that it is incredibly helpful for withdrawls since it works on our opiate receptors. I may also  try it again when I no longer have high opiate tolerance. It definitely seems to work for people and it’s something I would encourage people to try especially if regular opiates didn’t work or if you no longer have access to your regular pain meds due to the rapidly shifting rules around pain management.
As I state in all of my chronic pain resource posts, just because something doesn’t work for me, does NOT mean you shouldn’t give it a go!
If you struggle with chronic pain and are looking for a non-pharmaceutical option OR can no longer access the pain meds that help you, kratom is an EXCELLENT option to try for pain management. As I said before, its also a great tool to help make opiate withdrawls more bearable.
For those who have tried it, how are your experience?

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