A New Solution for Endometriosis: Exploring the Use of Kratom for Pain Relief
History of Kratom
Coming from Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and New Guinae, Kratom is a tart-tasting leaf hailed for its pain-relieving effect. The kratom leaf may be utilized as either a stimulant or a sedative based on the dosage consumed. Kratom has been used for many centuries in other countries to taper opiate addiction, boost productivity, and ease chronic pain.
In recent years, the kratom leaf has found its way into herbal shops in the United States, and has been growing in popularity due to its availability and ability to ease chronic pain without the harmful side effects of opioids (at least none that have been reports to date).
Currently, there has been no research completed on kratom and its affects on the human body to support the claims being made in support of kratom use. However, what is known is quite intriguing.
Kratom is in the coffee family, it is not an opioid, but its active molecules do bind to the same neuro-receptors as opioids, such as heroin. This is why it is lauded as an alternative to those trying to wean themselves from heroin, codeine, or oxycodone. When using kratom, users report feeling euphoric and pain-killing effects similar to opioids, but on a lower, muted level.
Current Research with Kratom
There is one preliminary study being conducted at the University of Florida by Oliver Grundmann currently on Kratom users. So far, his research into who uses kratom is quite interesting and far beyond what one would expect of a supposedly illicit drug. Here are a few of the facts he has uncovered:
- Over half of the users are between ages 31 and 50
- Eighty-two percent completed at least some college
- Nearly 30 percent of respondents have a household income of over $75,000
Endometriosis and Kratom: a Match Made in Heaven?
There has been an increase in use of kratom as a pain reliever in women suffering from endometriosis, as it presents with fewer (if any) side effects than opioid pain relievers. It does not have a tendancy to cause constipation, which is an uncomfortable side effect of opioids and other pain-relieving medications. Additionally, kratom has been shown to reduce the need for add-on drugs to regulate depression and anxiety that typically coincide with chronic illnesses.
As you are aware, endometriosis is a disease that causes many debilitating symptoms to those women unfortunate enough to have it. Chronic pain, fatigue, bloating, and digestive issues are all common issues we suffer on a daily basis. So, taking a medication that increases fatigue causes many of us to be bed-ridden when we suffer pain relapses. Kratom offers a solution.
Once you find the correct dosage for your body and symptoms, kratom does not have the fatigue-inducing side effect that opioid pain-relievers cause. It allows you to make a tea, shake, or a spoonful of powder before heading out to work and go about your day.
Current Controversy in the World of Kratom Usage
At the end of 2016, the DEA made an emergency motion to schedule Kratom as a Schedule I drug. This would mean that Kratom would be moved from a schedule III to schedule I and make access to Kratom much more difficult.
The DEA typically reserves Schedule I for the most dangerous drugs deemed to have no medical value and a high potential for abuse. Other drugs in this category are heroin, LSD, and cannabis. However, the scheduling was put on hold due to a last minute petition by the advocacy group called American Kratom Association (AKA). **Update: I have been informed that the Botanical Education Alliance BEA is responsible for the last minute petition, as well as, countless other efforts (see comments). I’d not intended to research the legal aspects of this topic beyond what I read in a couple news articles, but since there is contradicting accounts and I do not want to write false information, I will look into more and update everyone 🙂
Some comments by scientists and pharmacologists are noted below:
“Serious toxicity is rare and usually involves relatively high doses (exceeding 15 g) or coingestants,” 2014 article in journal Pharmacotherapy by Megan Rech, clinical pharmacologist and colleagues
“Kratom is considered minimally toxic…research evaluating its toxic effects on humans is limited, with the vast majority of studies involving animals.” “Withdrawal symptoms are generally nonexistent to mild, even for heavy users” and “[two Florida counties] have deemed kratom not ready for regulation due to the lack of information demonstrating the substance as being unsafe or hazardous.” 2015 literature review International Journal of Legal Medicine, Marcus Warner, Florida forensic scientist.
As you can tell this is an exciting new area that has very little known about it, even though it has been around for such a long time. So, being the curious mind that I am, and in desperate need for pain relief I bought three different strains of kratom and will share my experience with you in a post this weekend.
YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS IT!
Before it goes live, I am curious… have you heard about kratom?
If yes, have you tried it? What was your experience like? If not, what has held you back?