kratom has been used for healing purposes since several hundred years ago, but the interest in the herb was revived after an isolated report of its opioid-like effects. it is believed that kratom use appears to induce respiratory depression. However, the risk of respiratory depression caused by taking kratom appears to be low due to the herb’s opioid receptor-agonistic activity.
Kratom is a medicinal herb that has been used for a long time in South East Asia. Many people have claimed that this herb has helped them in one way or the other. However, since it is not well regulated, it can be used incorrectly. This blog talks about the different aspects of kratom and the side effects that might occur when it is misused.
What are the common benefits of using kratom?
Kratom has been widely used throughout Asia for hundreds of years. There are many different kinds, but the most common kinds are Borneo red vein kratom, maeng da gold caps, etc. The most common uses for this herb are to relieve pain, depression, and opioid addiction.
It contains 7-hydroxy mitragynine or 7-HMG. It can curb addiction of any sort including alcohol and nicotine by acting on the opioid receptors in the brain which lessens cravings while increasing our sense of well-being. It is important when starting with kratom to find what dosage works best for you start low gradually increasing until you find the right amount to keep withdrawal symptoms away.
Kratom has helped in the treatment of dementia, neurologic disorders, and has even relieved burns, fractures, multiple sclerosis, and much more.
What is meant by respiratory depression?
Respiratory depression (hypoventilation) is a medical condition that may damage the lungs involuntarily if the patient experiences problems with breathing.
When you breathe, you breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. In this way, your body gets rid of the carbon dioxide that it doesn’t need or that can cause problems when it builds up in the bloodstream.
Some of the most common symptoms that you can experience while suffering from respiratory depression are extreme lethargy, daytime drowsiness, trouble breathing, and coughing. As the condition gets worse you may become unconscious and experience seizures alongside confusion and headaches.
Kratom and respiratory depression:
According to research and medical reports that kratom consumers are also at risk of respiratory depression. However, the risk appears to be low as compared to opioids.
According to ATS Journal, a case of a 32-year-old woman was reported in 2018. She was diagnosed as a patient with acute respiratory distress syndrome. The doctors examined the case and concluded that she had taken the kratom, which seems to be the only cause of the patient’s condition. Like the other common reasons that could be of ARDS were excluded on a clinical basis. The doctors stated that high doses of kratom give opioid characteristics so it can be the culprit.
Kratom when used in high doses can mediate the brain receptors just like the opioid. So it can be the risk factor of respiratory depression. But it is stated by the studies that kratom cause less respiratory depression compare to opioid.
Treatment of respiratory depression:
It is very important to get immediate treatment for respiratory depression. If left untreated it can lead to respiratory arrest and death.
The most important step of the treatment is to find the cause and eliminate it. Like if the cause of your respiratory depression is kratom, you should stop it. But you need to consult a doctor for it because immediate withdrawal can cause you to get harmful symptoms.
Other common treatment methods are taking oxygen therapy, inhaling medication to open up airways, and using a CPAP machine when sleeping.
No matter how safe the drug is, it is important to research before taking it. Kratom is not an exception to this. Kratom is usually considered an herbal drug and not as harmful as heroin or other drugs. But according to research and medical reports that kratom consumers are also at risk of respiratory depression. However, the risk appears to be low as compared to opioids. Kratom when used in high doses can mediate the brain receptors just like the opioid. So it can be the risk factor of respiratory depression. We recommend that you should avoid taking the drug in high doses.