Hi all.....this is my first post after years of following this invaluable forum. I've been waiting to post until I had something positive to contribute but unfortunately, I'm compelled to share some not so great news now regarding Kratom after reading some recent posts supporting its use.
First I would like to thank all the wonderful, frequent contributors on this forum. Without which, I have no idea where I would be on my quest to live with this horrendous disease.
I'm a 68 year old retired Electrician from Michigan (it's a state in the USA) and have had RLS for most of those years. I was on DAs (carbidopa-levodopa, pramipexole) for about 35 years until finally augmenting on prami about a year ago (2021). I've spent countless hours researching over the years and have tried every diet, supplement, or treatment that you can think of.
Long story short.....gabapentin side effects were intolerable (yes I waited), same with pregabalin (at max dosage). My current medication regimen is 100 mg pregabalin + 5 mg hydrocodone. BTW my iron is pretty good at 129 and 41% saturation. This is working well at the moment although I am continuing to pursue alternatives. I am currently down titrating my pregabalin. I have another neurologist appointment in February when I will discuss buprenorphine as a possibility due to my insomnia issues with hydrocodone.
Enough about that....this post is about my experiment with Kratom. I decided to try it after reading about it on this forum (what could go wrong right?). I ordered Red Bali Kratom powder online from goldenmonk.com. I began taking the kratom powder while down-titrating my other meds. I took one teaspoon at around 10 pm for about 4-5 weeks from September through mid October. What I experienced was a swift and complete cessation from all RLS symptoms with no other medications (other than iron bisglycinate). I did however suffer from insomnia. My legs were calm, but sleep was light and variable. Eureka right!!
Well.....not so fast. It just so happened that I had an annual physical scheduled in October with associated blood work. When the lab results from 10/19 came in, the hepatic function panel (liver test) showed some rather surprising/alarming results. Specifically, my SGPT, an enzyme secreted by the liver that doctors use to detect liver damage, was quite elevated. My normal numbers for SGPT went from 19 units/L to 60 after 5 weeks of taking 1 teaspoon/night of Kratom. I immediately stopped taking the Kratom and had another blood test on 11/7 (about 3 weeks later) and my SGPT was back to my normal level at 20 units/L. I will attempt to include a screen shot of my blood work but can't guarantee I will be successful so I will apologize in advance.
The point is, there is little to no doubt that the Kratom, although very effective, had some negative effects on my liver tests. I'm not a doctor, but I can read, and I can count. And I can plainly see that taking Kratom is detrimental to my health, sadly. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I feel obligated to report this. Now....as we all know, everyone is different, and I may be the red herring of Kratom. Maybe you can take it with no ill effects. If you are taking it, I would advise that you have a hepatic function blood test to make sure the Kratom is not negatively affecting your liver. I was taking 1 teaspoon/night. Perhaps I could find a smaller effective dose? But when I saw the results of my hepatic panel, I haven't touched the stuff since.
So hopefully I will be successful in attaching a screen shot of my test. If not, let me know and I will keep trying. Thanks again to all the great posters here for giving freely of their time and expertise to help the rest of us. You are making a difference in a lot of lives.