For centuries people have used Kratom for medicinal purposes. They have used it to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, stress, depression, gastrointestinal disorders, as well as Opiate withdrawal symptoms.
To this day, nobody has come up with any severe adverse effects of Kratom, maybe because there are none or they are very mild or perhaps because there’s too little research material available on Kratom.
This can be worrisome for a beginner who goes from blog to blog to know if he can take Kratom.
This blog article will tell you whether Kratom is healthy for you or not, what are the side-effects of Kratom and is kratom bad for your heart or not?
What is Kratom?
Kratom is the herb that has gained immense popularity in all parts of the world owing to its magical properties.
Belonging to the Mitragyna Speciosa family, Kratom originates from Southeast Asian countries, and it comes in 3 types.
The classification is based on the color of the central vein of the leaf of Kratom. If the central vein is red, the Kratom is called red Kratom.
If the central vein is green, the Kratom is called green Kratom. If the central vein is white, the Kratom is called white Kratom.
These three strains have variable properties, and this variation depends on the quantity of various alkaloids present in the Kratom leaves. The primary alkaloids of Kratom are 7-hydroxymitragynine and Mitragynine.
What is the mechanism of action, of Kratom?
The active ingredients present in Kratom are called Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These alkaloids act on the Opiate receptors present in the brain.
The alkaloids in Kratom mainly work on the mu and delta Opiate receptors. Signal transduction from these receptors brings about cellular changes and intercellular signaling.
This result in sympathetic discharge, which allows one to feel energetic, stimulated. The release of enkephalins, endorphins, and dynorphins helps in alleviating pain.
The increased and sustained release of dopamine elevates mood, causes euphoria and boosts confidence levels. Increase in the levels of serotonin helps in fighting anxiety, stress, and depression.
Usually, at low doses, most of the Kratom strains act as stimulants. However, at higher doses, Kratom strains are commonly found to be sedative.
Stimulant effects of Kratom
- Reduced motor coordination
These effects begin within 10 minutes of the intake of Kratom and last for around 2 hours.
Sedative effects of Kratom
- Relaxation of muscles
- Alleviation of stress and anxiety
These effects appear on taking large doses of Kratom and last for up to six hours.
What are the effects of Kratom on the heart?
Kratom has a sympathetic activity on the cardiac muscle. It activates the beta-adrenergic receptors present in the heart muscle.
This activation results in the stronger contractile activity of the heart. The contractions become more rapid and forceful. This results in tachycardia.
The pulse pressure may rise in some cases, and the heartbeat increases significantly. The sinus rhythm of the heart fastens.
In healthy persons taking Kratom, these effects may not cause any problem because they last for an hour or two.
However, those persons who have compromised cardiac activity or have cardiomyopathies, they will suffer due to consumption of Kratom. If a heart muscle is weak or hypertrophied, it can’t pump faster and stronger.
Activation of the beta receptors in such a heart can further deteriorate the condition of the patient, resulting in ischemia of the heart which causes the angina pain. Angina pain radiates from the chest to the left arm and left jaw.
Thus persons suffering from any cardiovascular diseases are recommended not to take Kratom as it can be dangerous.
What are the side effects of Kratom and how can they be managed?
Reported side effects due to long-term use of Kratom include;
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Discoloration of the skin
Usually, the side effects of Kratom appear in those consumers who take one strain of Kratom on a regular basis without taking any break. It’s not a hard thing to understand.
You are taking an exogenous stimulant; it can have adverse effects. Therefore, it is suggested to take Kratom in low doses and very infrequently.
A Kratom user who complains of loss of appetite and weight loss must take adequate calories and nutrients to prevent any deficiencies leading to secondary side effects of Kratom.
To relieve constipation one must include fibers in his diet and regulate his bowel activity. Insomnia can be mitigated by avoiding the intake of Kratom at evening time.
Is Kratom bad for your heart?
For a healthy heart, Kratom is not dangerous if it is taken in controlled amounts. Problems arise when one starts taking doses higher than recommended and frequent consumption leads to severe adverse effects.
However, if a person has a weak heart or any cardiac disorder, he may suffer increased cardiovascular problems after taking Kratom. This is why it is recommended that you consult your cardiologist before taking Kratom.
Kratom is a safe substance and has great medicinal importance due to which it should not be labeled as dangerous or addictive.
It has helped thousands of people to combat Opiate withdrawal, to alleviate the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression and much more to treat chronic debilitating pain.
It has a smooth action, and the action of Kratom on the heart depends on the health of the person.
If the person is already compromised and has any cardiovascular problem like cardiac hypertrophy, cardiac myopathy or even hypertension, he should abstain from taking Kratom as it has an agonist activity on the best receptors of the heart.
Frequently asked questions
If I am a heart patient, can I take Kratom recreationally?
No, you cannot take Kratom at all if you are a heart patient. A debilitated heart cannot work correctly under the action of Kratom.
It doesn’t have the strength to contract faster and with force. Also, if you are taking beta blockers, you should not take Kratom.
What precautions do I need to take while taking Kratom?
Start taking Kratom in low doses.
- Do not take one strain of Kratom on a daily basis as it can result in stagnant stain syndrome.
- High and frequent doses of Kratom can result in quick dependence and built up of tolerance.
- Do not take Kratom extracts and tinctures frequently.
- Take Kratom on an empty stomach.
- Increase your fluid intake when taking Kratom.
Is Kratom fatal?
No publication or study has proved any severe causality or fatality due to the use of Kratom. Kratom is a safe drug that doesn’t cause respiratory depression, unlike Opiates.
However, patients who have underlying pathology are at higher risk of developing adverse effects with the use of Kratom.
What do Reddit users tell about the safety of the use of Kratom?
According to Reddit users, Kratom is a safe substance to use, and it doesn’t have significant adverse effects on the heart. However, some users complained of developing chest pain after taking Kratom.
This can be associated with any underlying cardiac pathology that manifests itself on taking a stimulant.
What does research say about the effects of Kratom on the heart?
No studies have been conducted in human beings about the effects of Kratom on the heart. Studies in mice suggest that Kratom increases the heart rate and blood pressure.