What is Kratom? What is it Used For?
Kratom is an all-natural herbal supplement made from Mitragyna speciosa, a tree found in Southeast Asia. Traditionally kratom was used to help people manage pain and boost energy — just as it is today. What started as a local phenomenon has spread worldwide.
The leaves of the kratom tree contain various alkaloids. Many of these alkaloids, including mitragynine , have beneficial painkilling and mood-enhancing properties.
How Does Kratom Help With Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic, painful condition that usually manifests after patients have struggled through a serious infection, surgery, or physical trauma. More women than men have fibromyalgia, although it can affect both sexes.
Fibromyalgia causes several unpleasant symptoms that can interfere with the quality of life. These include:
- Pain in the muscles throughout the body
- Loss of sleep
- Mood instability
- Memory problems
Some researchers believe fibromyalgia interacts with the body’s pain signaling system, causing patients to experience central sensitization or a heightened perception of pain.
Kratom has different effects, many of which can help treat fibromyalgia. Here’s a quick outline of the benefits most helpful for someone with fibromyalgia.
The most common reason people turn to kratom is because of the plant’s ability to reduce pain and physical discomfort . Kratom provides a significant amount of pain relief and can help eliminate the symptoms of chronic conditions.
What’s “significant” pain relief? Kratom contains alkaloids that act as partial agonists of the mu-opioid receptors , meaning it provides effects similar to heroin, codeine, morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl.
That can sound both terrifying and exciting. Those drugs are known to be potent but highly addictive. However, because of kratom’s unique interaction with the mu-opioid system, it’s far less addictive and doesn’t cause respiratory depression , the leading cause of death in opioid overdose.
Many people with fibromyalgia develop a serious dependence on pharmaceutical opioids. While these drugs may be effective at reducing pain, they’re also notorious for causing the development of tolerance, addiction, and withdrawal.
Kratom works on the same receptors as these pharmaceuticals — to a much lesser degree. Kratom can actually help get you off of these potent narcotics .
Kratom isn’t entirely free from the risk of addiction, but it’s certainly less dangerous than other opioids.
Many people find they cannot get to sleep because of the painful symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
Kratom is known to produce sedation and muscle relaxation, in addition to its pain-relieving benefits. Combining these effects might allow you to curb the pain and get a good night’s rest.
Many people find that fibromyalgia causes a higher level of stress in their life. Living with any chronic condition requires people to deal with many more limitations than usual, causing high amounts of stress.
Another issue fibromyalgia patients often experience is depression. Chronic conditions can be challenging to come to terms with, and living in constant pain often results in depression.
Best Kratom Strains for Fibromyalgia
There are many different strains of kratom, all sorted by the leaf vein’s color — red, white, or green — even though the end product is always green. The color tells you what sort of effects you can expect.
What strain you use depends on what you’re hoping to achieve. Red strains are more relaxing and sedating than others, whereas green and white strains are more stimulating. The following strains work best for pain relief.
Red Bali Kratom
Red Bali is a classic strain, a go-to for anyone who wants substantial relief; it’s a favorite because of its powerful sedative and pain-relieving benefits.
Though it’s great for relieving pain, it’s also a powerful sedative, making it difficult to accomplish daily tasks. Because of this, it’s also great for anyone hoping to fight off insomnia. Red Bali is an excellent way to relax the mind and body, relieve yourself from pain, and fall into a deep sleep.
Green Maeng Da Kratom
Green Maeng Da is more stimulating when compared to Red Bali.
Green Maeng Da usually starts with an energizing buzz and a sensation of mental clarity and muscle relaxation. Its painkilling properties are still apparent, although it’s not as prominent as Red Bali.
It’s perfect for fibromyalgia patients who need to get things done during the day. Its energy and mood boost can get you up and out of the house while simultaneously numbing pain.
Yellow Maeng Da Kratom
Yellow vein kratom strains are not as popular as the big three: reds, whites, and greens. Nonetheless, strains like Yellow Maeng Da might prove to be the most useful for people who have fibromyalgia.
Yellow Maeng Da is something of a cross between a white strain and a red strain. Similar to green strains, they produce both energy and pain relief. However, some find that Yellow Maeng Da is more sedating and provides better pain relief than Green Maeng Da.
Yellow Maeng Da is a well-balanced strain, although it doesn’t excel in any one area. This is a good strain to keep around for everyday usage since it’s quite versatile.
Kratom Dosage for Fibromyalgia
If you’re using kratom for fibromyalgia, you should know how the dosage affects your experience. The effects of kratom vary depending on how much you take.
Lower doses tend to cause more stimulation, whereas higher doses cause more sedation. The effects are also dependent on the strain: for example, even a low amount of a red strain is unlikely to be as stimulating as a green or white strain.
Low Dose for Energy & Mood Boost
If you’re looking for a pick-me-up and your pain is relatively low, take a low dose of a green strain or white strain.
Medium Dose for Anxiety Relief & Relaxation
Mid-range doses of kratom can help relieve anxiety, muscle tension, and depression. Green strains, when used in the medium range, often fade into relaxation and sedation.
High Dose for Pain Relief & Sedation
If you’re looking solely to relieve yourself from pain, anxiety, or insomnia, then you’re probably best off taking a higher dose of a green or red strain.
Related: Can You Overdose on Kratom?
Kratom for Fibromyalgia: Precautions & Safety
Just because kratom is safer than conventional opioids doesn’t mean it’s without risks. Kratom can still cause addiction, and it’s not without its side effects. Furthermore, some states have moved to criminalize kratom, which could make it hard to obtain.
What Are the Side Effects of Kratom?
Though relatively minor, kratom can cause side effects. Generally, these side effects occur at higher doses, although fibromyalgia patients are likely to use amounts in this range.
The best way to avoid side effects is to minimize kratom use, although this isn’t always easy when you’re in chronic pain.
Constipation will be familiar for anyone who has used opioid narcotics for a time; nausea usually indicates you’ve taken too much kratom.
The wobbles are a unique collection of symptoms — nausea, dizziness, and vertigo — that affect people who take too much kratom; lying down usually alleviates the problem.
When using kratom, drink plenty of water. Kratom is a diuretic and increases urination. In addition, it’s a strong astringent and can dry out body tissue.
Mental Side Effects
High doses of kratom can cause mild mental side effects such as brain fog. High doses used over a long period can affect memory and emotional health.
Kratom Addiction & Withdrawal
If you’re switching to kratom from a prescription opioid, you’ll likely find the severity of kratom addiction and withdrawal are very mild in comparison.
However, there is potential for kratom addiction, and those new to opioids can be especially vulnerable. Using the plant daily causes you to build up a tolerance, and, eventually, a higher dose is needed to find relief.
As tolerance builds, your body becomes dependent on kratom. If you stop taking it suddenly, you might experience withdrawal symptoms such as a runny nose, diarrhea, and fatigue.
Withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable, but they’re not dangerous and are easy to overcome. Furthermore, even though kratom can be addictive, there’s no real risk of a dangerous overdose.
Is Kratom Legal?
One of the most significant issues people face is legality. Kratom is federally unregulated and, therefore, legal in the United States. With that said, a small number of states made it illegal to buy, sell, or possess kratom locally.
On top of this, the FDA actively campaigns against kratom in hopes of making it illegal. As more people switch from FDA-approved medications to kratom, the administration pushes harder to make it a banned substance.
Check with your local laws to make sure kratom is a legal option for you.
Related: Is Kratom Legal? A Global Analysis.
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Summary: Can Kratom Help With Fibromyalgia?
Kratom has many benefits and is helpful for people who have fibromyalgia by reducing pain, insomnia, and stress.
If you’re interested in using kratom for fibromyalgia, you’ll probably want to use a red strain. These are the most effective at providing sedation and pain relief. Try to regulate your use as best as possible to avoid kratom’s side effects and the possibility of addiction — just check with your state laws first.
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