Part 3 | Kratom’s Final Test: Does Kratom Help Reduce Endometriosis Pain?
Chronic pain consumes you, as someone who’s suffered with endometriosis pain for over a decade, I feel like an expert on the subject. It overtakes every aspect of your life and does not let up until you are gasping for your last breathe, ready to surrender. My on-going battle with chronic pain probably started earlier than I think it did, if I’m being honest. I always had some pain that was not normal. The pain never wanted to go away. Yet, no one wanted to believe me.
The moment people started to listen, somewhat, was when I was seventeen and doubled over, crying, and we all thought my appendix was about to burst. When I say “we all thought,” I should clarify that my mom actually thought I was about to start my period and thought I needed a heating pad and Tylenol. She grew tired of my whining, though, and because she loved me she took me to the hospital. Two days later, I was released from the hospital and my on-going battle with the medical system started.
This leads us to today. Twelve years later, two surgeries later. I am once again in pain and looking for some relief. If you have been following along like the dutiful endowarrior, I know you to be, then you know that I started on a journey with kratom last week. Well, my pain levels have continued to spike so the universe is begging me to try out strain number three and to finally answer the question we all want to know: does kratom help endometriosis pain?
Instead of diving right in, I want to catch up and newbies with the history of Kratom because it is fascinating how long it has been around, and yet how little is known about it. If you want to get to the good stuff, skip ahead.
Understanding Kratom’s History
Kratom, or mitragyna speciosa, is a tree indigenous to Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia that is a part of the coffee family. As discussed in part One, it has been used in medicine since the 1800s due to its opiate and stimulant properties.
When ingested kratom’s effects typically begin within ten minutes and lasts two (2) to five (5) hours, depending on one’s dosage taken. There have been no clinical trials done to study kratom’s health effects, so its long-term effects are unknown; however, the minor effects are nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Some people, though, have reported more severe side effects including seizure, addiction, and psychosis; as well, as accelerated heart rate, liver toxicity, and trouble sleeping.
As early as 1836, kratom was being used as an opium substitute in Malaysia and Thailand. Due to it acting on the same neuro-receptors as opioids, it has continually been used since then as a means to help people going through opioid withdrawal. Nonetheless, the lack of formal trials to study the safety or efficacy of kratom has caused the government to be skeptical of its growing popularity.
Chemistry of Kratom
One fun fact I have not shared before is that I have a degree in biochemistry and a fancy Masters degree in forensic science, so I love chemistry! When I looked up the pharmacology (study of how drugs work on the body), I could not pass up sharing before I went into my experience, because it explains why I felt the way I did, when I did.
Kratom contains 7-hydroxymitragynine, a stimulant that has been shown to be nearly thirteen times stronger than morphine as an antinociceptive agent in mice. Uh, what?
antinociceptive agent: it essentially blocks the body’s ability to process painful or injurious stimulus – it blocks pain!
Kratom has a stimulant effect at lower doses and opioid-like effect at higher doses; although, as I mention in my trying of the various strains, the effects may be more powerful or noticeable based on the strain.
Both active compounds in Kratom are selective full agonists of the u-opioid receptor.
Important to note is that there is a significant potential for drug interactions due to kratom’s extraction of inhibited CYP3A4, CYP2D6, and CYP1A2 enzymes. Most of this will mean nothing to you, but will likely be something you want to discuss with your doctor before starting this or any other herbal or natural remedy for pain management.
Testing the Third Strain
Finally, what you’ve all been waiting to read! The third strain has been put to the test today. Unfortunately, though, that means that I was in excruciating pain today. Don’t you feel like an ass now for being excited? … That was awkward! I’m totally messing with you, let’s still be friends, okay? So, today was a pain today. Whether it was endometriosis pain or some unexplained pelvic pain, it was bad. I went to work on my 800 mg Ibuprofen and hoped that would help with inflammation, if it was endometriosis pain, but that was like eating sugar. Around 3:00 p.m. I made the decision I was going to drink the third strain as soon as I walked through the front door, and that is exactly what I did.
The third strain was Ultra Enhanced Maeng Da, which is described as being highly stimulating and pain killing on the GetKatom.com website. The color, texture and odor were right on par with the other two strains I tried in Part Two. Being a purist, I mixed one (1) ounce of powder with hot water and stirred well, not adding any sweeteners to ensure I would have an accurate taste profile. Honestly, the flavor was decent. It is gritty so you have to keep stirring to keep it mixed, but I was able to drink it all without adding anything to it. It is possible that I have become accustomed to the flavor through my trials, though, so you’ve been warned to have honey on hand.
When I drank the Bali strain, it took almost thirty minutes for me to feel any effects. The Ultra Enhanced Red Kali was about ten minutes. This strain was almost immediate! My head felt foggier than the other strains, though. I was able to think but I found myself daydreaming and zoning out more frequently. The dreaded itching did return, as well, around hour three.
Now, the big question: did kratom help with endometriosis pain?
With this strain – yes! My pain decreased from a level 8/9 to a level four (4), which is a dramatic decrease for a chronic pain sufferer. For my endometriosis pain to decrease this much it really felt like a miracle.
As to the other two strains – yes, not as drastic. I did not have my dosage perfected when I tried the other two strains – not that I am perfect at it now but I am more aware of the amount one should be using. So, I would have to try each again to have a more accurate account. Nonetheless, even without a full dose, I was able to notice a decrease in my pain level. If anything, I was able to feel relaxed and enjoy my evening which is something I cannot usually do when I am having a pain lapse.
At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide what works best for you and your body. For me, I am going to give kratom a go because I am over endometriosis pain. I will continue to research it and follow the legal battle but it is a legal alternative for me right now, and that makes it an attractive option.
If you would like to read the first two parts of this series please find them here:
P.S. I would love to hear from YOU! Have you tried kratom? Would you try it? What natural remedies have you tried?