How Hard is Kratom on the Liver? [Explained]

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In the following article we will be addressing the question is Kratom bad for the liver? The simple answer is that, as with many substances in the opiate class, it can be. However, reports of liver damage due to Kratom use are in fact rare.

So, how hard is Kratom on the liver?

We will begin with an introduction to Kratom, what it is, where it originates, and what it used for. Following, we will look at how Kratom can affect the liver in more detail and talk about how to use this interesting and increasingly popular substance safely.

A Brief Introduction to Kratom

Kratom is a Thai name (one of many, in fact) for the leaves of a plant with the scientific name Mitragyna speciosa. A species in the same family as the coffee plant, it is native to Thailand, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia.

The leaves of the plant are either chewed, boiled, and served as tea, or dried and smoked, as with cannabis.

Commercially, Kratom is supplied in powder form, in liquid form, and as capsules and tablets. Kratom is an opiate. In small doses it is a stimulant and is also used for pain relief. In larger doses Kratom can cause psychoactive effects such as hallucinations and is a sedative.

Kratom is largely legal in the USA – although we will add that the FDA has not approved it for any medicinal use – apart from in a handful of states where its use is banned.

It is becoming increasingly popular, and it is entirely possible it will follow the course of CBD and become a major market sector. You can find out more about Kratom at the Capitol Botanicals website, a reputable retailer of Kratom and CBD products.

So, let’s get back to the question: does Kratom cause liver damage?

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How hard is kratom on the liver? [explained] 5

Does Kratom Cause Liver Damage?

Does Kratom cause liver damage? As we stated at the beginning, the answer is that it is possible for Kratom to cause liver damage, yet actual instances of this are rare.

There have been plenty of column inches dedicated to this question, yet as Kratom is not an approved substance, it is difficult to quantify the actual situation.

According to reputable sources such as the National Library of Medicine there have been two dozen cases of liver injury with jaundice related to Kratom in medical literature, and a similar number of cases reported to the FDA adverse event database. Given the many thousands of users, this is an indication of the rarity we mention.

Liver problems related to Kratom tend to result in cholestasis – the reduction or stopping of the flow of bile from the liver to the small intestine – which can be exceedingly dangerous and requires urgent medical attention.

However, all reports indicate that once the use has stopped taking Kratom, the condition repairs itself with no need for transplant.

The actual cause of liver problems related to Kratom remains unknown, due to the rarity of cases. It is known that many of the recorded incidents involved persons who were taking Kratom recreationally alongside other opiates or medicines. This is strongly advised against.

Before we move on, we want to add a few words about Kratom vs. alcohol on the liver. The simple fact is that alcohol is known to damage the liver, and there are plenty of resources that confirm this.

Kratom, as we have described above, is harmless to the liver except in rare cases. In many of these cases it is difficult to draw a direct line to Kratom as the cause, as it is often taken with other opiates.

What should be stressed is that Kratom should not be used alongside other opiates or medicines, and users should avoid heavy alcohol consumption. In fact, many user anecdotes have claimed Kratom is an effective replacement in small doses for alcohol and removes the craving for the latter.

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Using Kratom Safely

Now that we have determined that the effects of Kratom on liver damage are rare, it’s important we have a brief look at how to use Kratom safely.

Kratom is an opiate, which should be the first though when you choose to use it. In Thailand and Southeast Asia, it is used recreationally, and is not thought to be addictive. It improves the stamina of the user, lifts their mood, and can also make them more talkative and sociable.

As with all substances in the opiate class, Kratom should be used with care. Regular users take small doses on a regular basis to combat fatigue, to help with pain relief, and sometimes simply as a recreational substance.

Large doses are ill-advised. The psychoactive compounds in Kratom are powerful. The main active alkaloid within Kratom is mitragynine. This is a substance that is many times more potent than morphine. Large doses can induce psychosis, including hallucination, confusion, and delusion.

It is strongly advised that Kratom is used with care, in which case it should be perfectly safe.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Kratom Metabolized in the Liver?

The simple answer is yes, but that should not be a concern if Kratom is used sensibly. The hepatocytes – liver cells – metabolize the Kratom (and other substances) in the liver, and it is excreted via the kidneys. However, regular use of small dosages will not harm the liver.

Larger doses will put additional pressure on the hepatocytes and cause them to overwork, which will damage the liver. However, there have been only a handful of cases in which an individual was hospitalized where Kratom was involved, and reduced dosage saw the cells repair themselves.

What Organs are Affected by Kratom?

Kratom can affect the liver, yet cases of damage are rare. Kratom is also known to affect the heart in a positive way, as it has properties that improve the blood flow. Kratom should always be used with care and taken in small doses.

What does Hepatotoxicity Mean?

Hepatotoxicity is inflammation of the liver because of over exposure to certain substances. This could include alcohol, drugs, and some medications. While excessive use of Kratom can cause Hepatotoxicity cases are extremely rare, and those that have been recorded have usually been in patients using Kratom alongside other substances. In all recorded cases where Kratom has been involved, reduced dosage solved the problem.

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