Monday, 16 April 2018

Can Kratom Help With Your Neuropathic Problems?

Today's post from (see link below) concerns a somewhat alternative and certainly controversial treatment for neuropathic pain and that is Kratom. Wikipedia describes Kratom as follows:- 'Kratom (also known as Mitragyna speciosa) is a tree from Indonesia whose leaves produce a psychoactive effect. The leaf of the kratom tree is known to produce a full spectrum of typical opioid effects which can range from stimulation to sedation, and even both in some cases.' It has been used for many years in south east Asia as an anti-diarrhea medicine, a painkiller and a recreational drug and thereby hangs the problem as far as the authorities are concerned. The point for us neuropathy patients is...does it help to reduce our symptoms and in doing so, is it safe to use? Now this blog attempts to present the facts but also encourages the reader to go much further and that includes talking to doctors and doing your own research before making a responsible and considered decision. I would suggest therefore, that you read the article (one man's experience) and then do your research (Google will give you everything from exaggeration to scientific background) and see where that brings you. It's a feature of neuropathy that as a disease without a cure and a poor treatment spectrum, people will seek out the fringes of medical treatment but that doesn't always lead to bad decisions - this may well be something for you but you need to do the groundwork before coming to any conclusions.

Kratom Helps Relieve My Neuropathy Pain
By Robert Dinse, Guest Columnist October 06, 2016

I suffer from diabetic peripheral neuropathy. I can best describe the pain as something akin to being doused in gasoline and then having a match tossed on me. Pretty much everything from the neck down at times is involved in severe burning pain.

Over time I've been placed on a number of combinations of anti-depressants and anti-seizure medications with various degrees of effectiveness. Presently I am on Lyrica and nortriptyline, an anti-depressant. So far this seems to be the best compromise between sedation and pain.

I actually got slightly better pain control with amitriptyline, another anti-depressant, but nortriptyline helps my mood more and since Lyrica negatively impacts my mood but greatly reduces my pain, this seems to be the best compromise.

With this combination of drugs, my pain is reasonably controlled about six days of the week, but I have periods, usually lasting 3-6 hours, of breakthrough pain in which I'm on fire again.

Kratom provides relief during those times and it does so without getting me high, or noticeably affecting my mental state in any way. This leaves me almost pain free and totally functional.

There are two other drugs I've found to be helpful for this breakthrough pain. The first is marijuana, which is legal in Washington State but leaves me pretty much non-functional. I cannot drive, nor effectively do my work on enough marijuana to give pain relief. Marijuana also stimulates my appetite and as a diabetic I need to lose weight, not gain weight.

The other useful drug is tianeptine sodium, but for it to be effective I need about 140 mg, which is higher than the maximum recommended single dose. At that dosage I also build a rapid tolerance. Not a problem if the pain flare up is short, but if it lasts more than two days, which on rare occasions it does, then tianeptine sodium becomes ineffective.

Some people get withdrawal symptoms from tianeptine sodium. I am fortunate that I have not ever experienced that, but it's lack of effectiveness if I get a bad flare-up lasting more than two days is its chief drawback.

I do not seem to rapidly build tolerance to kratom, and I've yet to experience any loss of effectiveness. It doesn't get me high. I don't get withdrawal symptoms. For my needs it is ideal, yet the DEA wants to take this away.

I wish that doctors and DEA officials could experience neuropathic pain firsthand so they could understand the hell their fouled up policies are putting people through. We have tens of thousands of deaths every year due to alcohol and tobacco, and the 16 alleged kratom deaths in the last five years all involved a mixture of other drugs that were most likely responsible for those deaths.

It is very hard to overdose on kratom because you take too much and you puke it up. I have experimentally determined the puke up threshold for me is about 12 capsules, and 10 capsules totally relieve my pain with no sense of intoxication or impairment.

I don't know how you could ask a pain reliever to be simultaneously anywhere near as effective or safe as kratom. Too much aspirin and you bleed to death internally, too much Tylenol and you toast your liver, many other NSAIDS readily available over the counter are bad for your heart.

Problem is, as a natural product, it's not patentable and thus competes with other patentable but much more dangerous and less effective drugs.

Robert Dinse lives in Washington State with his family.

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The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of Pain News Network.

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