My Liver on Kratom....: Hi all.....this... - Restless Legs Syn...

Restless Legs Syndrome

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My Liver on Kratom....

flobbest profile image
29 Replies

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.

29 Replies
Jukebox55 profile image
Jukebox55

thank you for reporting these liver problems associated with krakom. I have been seriously considering taking it. Sounds like a bit of a gamble… were you already under the medics for your liver? Sounds like you were lucky to find that out so quickly.

Have you told the supplier of krakom? Cos they sure do promote it as a superdrug!!

Many thanks and good luck!

Les

flobbest profile image
flobbest in reply to Jukebox55

Jukebox.....no I've never had and liver problems (and don't want any). It hadn't occurred to me to contact the supplier. I'll give it a shot but I think it will be like telling a drug dealer that drugs are bad. It really is a super drug. It worked better and faster than prami, gabapentin, pregabalin, or even opioids. Perhaps I could have gotten by with a smaller dose than the 1 teaspoon I was taking without causing the liver issues? I'm just not comfortable using my liver as a guinea pig so I just stopped. I'm sure one could us it on an emergency basis occasionally. Everything in moderation eh.

Jukebox55 profile image
Jukebox55 in reply to flobbest

indeed! But we dont have that many choices!! Thanks !

flobbest profile image
flobbest in reply to Jukebox55

I contacted the supplier (golden monk) and they actually got right back to me, like within 10 minutes. They said I should check with my doctor...LOL. At least they responded. Give em credit for that I guess.

Texas71 profile image
Texas71 in reply to flobbest

I am waiting to try Kratum for my RLS, I pray it works without liver problems. I was advised to take no more than 3 gr of it. 1 tsp sounds like a lot larger dose than 3 gr, I have a kitchen scale I weigh it on.

flobbest profile image
flobbest in reply to Texas71

Hi Tex....I did a quick google search and am finding that 1 teaspoon of Kratom powder weighs 2.0 - 2.3 grams depending on how finely it is ground. So according to that.....3 grams is quite a hefty teaspoon.

Texas71 profile image
Texas71 in reply to flobbest

Hi Flobbest, I have mine coming in capsules and 5 capsules is 3 grams. I think I will start off slow with just three capsules and see how I do on that. I just thought 5 capsules would not be as much as a Tsp if poured into a tsp. Thank you for the information.

Moonwalker1967 profile image
Moonwalker1967

Thanks for taking the time to share this! Very valuable advice.

DicCarlson profile image
DicCarlson

Nice write-up - thanks for sharing that!

RLSgirl profile image
RLSgirl

I tried Kratom and It also completely calmed my RLS. But by the third day I experienced the worst abdominal pain I've ever felt and immediately discontinued. That could have had something to do with my liver. of course there is no way to know for sure.

Texas71 profile image
Texas71 in reply to RLSgirl

How much were you taking? I was advised to take mo more than 3 gr. I am going to try it tonight, although RLS doesn’t bother me every night but when it does I could just scream.

RLSgirl profile image
RLSgirl in reply to Texas71

I honestly can't remember. it was several years ago.

TeddiJ profile image
TeddiJ

Thank you very much for this information! I currently use kratom every night. I had blood work done this past summer and things were fine for me after using it for around 6 months. But, I do worry about potential damage such as this. I bought some milk thistle, which is great for the liver, and will start that with the hope it can help.

I'm so glad you caught this early and are able to use something else. I always say kratom is not ideal long term but I also do not want to go back to opioids. What an awful dilemma.

Question: did your bag of kratom say it was tested by a third party? The source is incredibly important.

flobbest profile image
flobbest in reply to TeddiJ

Yes TeddiJ....actually it does say that. I never noticed it before but wasn't looking either. I guess my body just doesn't like it. I could probably try a different brand or dose but I'm just a little gun shy right now. Thanks.

TeddiJ profile image
TeddiJ in reply to flobbest

I don't blame you! Thank you for the info.

flobbest profile image
flobbest in reply to TeddiJ

You are most welcome....take care.

Dougg profile image
Dougg

Hi Flobbest.

Thanks for the helpful post. As of last March, I had been taking kratom for almost four years, pretty much around the clock at about two teaspoons every 3-4 hours. Your post prompted me to reach out to my physician today as to whether I should check my liver enzymes, and she reminded me that my annual tests last March had shown my liver to be functioning normally. I might be an outlier, as it seems that everyone responds a bit differently (sometimes significantly so) to almost everything. That said, I think it's a great suggestion that anyone using kratom routinely keep an eye on their liver enzymes just to be sure everything is ok.

Best wishes for relief and healing,

Dougg

Merny5 profile image
Merny5

thank you for posting this important information. Kratom has been on my radar so I’m glad I read your post. I suppose not all “natural “ things are good for us. So are your liver results expected to go back to normal?🤞🏼 Btw, I live in Michigan too. 😊

flobbest profile image
flobbest in reply to Merny5

Hey Merny....actually my SGOT and SGPT are already back to normal for me after just 3 weeks having stopped Kratom. However my Alkaline Phosphatase remained elevated as of 11/7 but is heading in the right direction and my Dr. expects it to return to normal soon too.

I just noticed Dougg's post above yours where he has been taking 2 teaspoons every 3-4 hours for years and his liver function tests are normal. That seem like a crazy amount of Kratom to me. I must be the weirdo here. I hate to sound like an alarmist, because I'm just not, but my labs on Kratom were frightening. I don't want to dissuade anyone here from trying something that's natural and actually works. Good luck to all.

TeddiJ profile image
TeddiJ in reply to flobbest

It is good info for all of us to keep in mind and/or monitor if using kratom. My results were fine, too, but it is important to know others' kratom results and experiences.

SueJohnson profile image
SueJohnson in reply to Merny5

Since you live in Michigan I am interested if you had the same experience as Charlie 1234567890 in his post today.

flobbest profile image
flobbest in reply to SueJohnson

Dear Sue....I was wondering where you were?  Please allow me to give YOU in particular a special THANK YOU!!  You (among others) have provided invaluable, I'm sure life saving advice/guidance on this site for many many thousands of people.  You have provided soooo much spot on information to the masses, it cannot be quantified.  Think I may be exaggerating?  Not even close.  You are the bomb!  That's a compliment in the US.  The only poster who comes close is M-a-n-e-r-v-a of course.....you may have heard of her.  

So.....that aside, I can't find any posts for "Charlie1234567890".  I'm a rookie on the site for sure (first post today) so I'm probably doing something wrong.

Either way, thank you....thank you....thank you!

SueJohnson profile image
SueJohnson in reply to flobbest

Yes Manerva was great. I thought he was a female too, but he is a male. He closed that account but came back as Elffindoe but hasn't been heard from in some time and we are all worried about him.

I live in Virginia.

flobbest profile image
flobbest in reply to SueJohnson

Oh yes....I had forgotten about Elffindoe. To be honest, I thought you were both of them! I guess you never know about the WWW. Stay safe.

SueJohnson profile image
SueJohnson

healthunlocked.com/rlsuk/po...

LoverofParis2014 profile image
LoverofParis2014

Thanks so much for posting this. It is so easy to try anything when one feels desperate. I have been using medical cannabis since 2021. Was using 5 mgm of Indica in gummy (edible) form. But it stopped working and I did not want to increase dosage. In past month I have been weaning off celexa(SSRI’s bad bad for RLS) . In past few days seem to have decreased not starting in late afternoon as usual. I am hoping to get switched to Welbutrin asap to hopefully increase dopamine. Meanwhile I am convinced there is a role for medical Cannabis in RLS and pain management and have resumed 5 mgm Indica at bedtime. Due to severe knee injury my primary care PA gave me 30 days of Xanax because the pain was so bad at night when my legs were jumping. (My PA did not prescribe the Celexa and is helping me wean off it. The physician who prescribe knew I had RLS but did not know much about meds and RLS.

flobbest profile image
flobbest in reply to LoverofParis2014

Hey Lover....I to have experimented with Indica gummies. Unfortunately they don't seem to help with my legs, or sleep. So I have pretty much given up on them....not completely though.

One note regarding the Xanax....and I'm not a Dr. but it is a benzo, as is the lorazepam that I take occasionally for sleep, which seems to have a negative impact on my RLS (strangely enough). I have to take an opioid along with my lorazepam and then I am good to go. I hate taking all this stuff though.....geez.....I just want to be normal.

SueJohnson profile image
SueJohnson in reply to LoverofParis2014

My doctor who is very knowledgeable about it and its treatment did not know either and prescribed it for me. I found out after taking it for 2 days and my RLS was under control before I tried it.

flobbest profile image
flobbest in reply to SueJohnson

Seems like it would be fine (larazepam) for us as it is a central nervous system depressant. But....the proof is in the pudding right. It makes my RLS worse. So whatever....we will continue with our quest. Sometimes it is tiresome though eh. Thanks Sue.

Frank

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