Since Kratom does not have a lot of evidence behind its healing properties, this form of alternative medicine is not widely utilized. However, it has gained popularity among those who use forms of alternative medicine to self-manage pain.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is the name for a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family that is native in South Asia. The leaves, or extract from the leaves, is sometimes used as an alternative medicine or recreational drug. This substance is used to treat conditions such as anxiety, depression, cough, chronic pain, digestive ailments, and withdrawal from drugs such as heroin and morphine. Kratom leaves are typically dried then crushed or powdered for use. It is available as a powder, pasta, capsule, and tablet, and more.
Though it is used as a medicine, Kratom is illegal in many countries and even in some states across the U.S. This is mainly because there is not much evidence to support the long-term impact of the substance.
What Are the Side Effects of Kratom?
Depending on the dosage, Kratom can act as either a stimulant or a sedative. It can work like a simulant when taken at low doses. When it acts like a stimulant, Kratom may increase energy, give the user more alertness, and improve social skills. At high doses, Kratom acts like a stimulant. Individuals who are using Kratom as a recreational drug typically take high doses because it will likely cause euphoric effects and dull sensations and/or emotions.
If someone uses Kratom for an extended period of time, they might begin to feel negative side effects of symptoms. Side effects of Kratom may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Severe weight loss
- Face discoloration
- Liver damage
- Dry mouth
- Tongue numbness
- Thyroid problems
In large doses, Kratom can also cause trouble breathing, seizures, or brain swelling. Kratom is also known to cause dependence and can lead to withdrawal & its set of symptoms. Even though this substance can help with withdrawal symptoms, it can ironically be the reason the experience occurs as well.
Is Kratom Safe?
Kratom is currently not approved for medical use, which is why it is only considered an alternative medicine. There are not many studies behind it, but there are also not many negative reports either. Overdose is possible, so Kratom should always be used with caution.
Managing and Preventing Kratom Side Effects
If Kratom is misused or is not used according to dosage, dependence is likely to occur. Kratom should not be used if you have a heart condition or a mental disorder such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. If you or someone you know suffers through withdrawal due to Kratom, it’s important to contact a doctor or rehabilitation center as soon as possible for a comfortable and healthy recovery.
If you’re interested in learning more about alternative therapies like Kratom and their side effects, contact our team of substance abuse and medical professionals by calling us at 267.719.8689.