Citation: EkbatDeSebat. "Induced Hepatoxicity?: An Experience with Kratom (exp106023)". Erowid.org. Dec 27, 2015. erowid.org/exp/106023
As kratom is gaining some popularity recently, I thought I would share my experience with it. Just a few weeks ago I tried kratom for the first time with my boyfriend. We were both curious about its opiate-like and euphoric effects. We purchased a 15-gram pouch of it from a headshop and split it that night.
About an hour after ingesting the powder, I started feeling floaty and warm and fuzzy all over. It was a similar feeling to taking one or two Percocet. Woke up the next day feeling fine, just a bit of a headache. I really enjoyed the feeling, so I searched online for some reputable vendors, and purchased a 100g bag of the powder. Once I received it, I consumed about 2 teaspoons a day for two weeks. Sometimes in the middle if the day I would consume an additional teaspoon. This lower dose of kratom made me feel easygoing, made my work day more enjoyable, and just overall felt pretty nice.
Last Saturday I woke up feeling pretty crappy, really hot and tired and nauseous. I attributed those symptoms to a possible hangover, even though I didn't drink enough to feel that crappy (three shots and three beers in a 3-4 hour period). My boyfriend also felt hungover, even though he hasn't been taking any more kratom, but his symptoms cleared up later in the day while mine seemed to get worse. Not even considering kratom as the culprit for how ill I was feeling, I continued my doses, which did temporarily alleviate some of my symptoms. By the end of Saturday I had a horrible fever and chills, along with terrible night sweats. The next day I started feeling slightly better, and had a wedding to attend, so again took my dose of kratom and was off to the wedding. The next day, Monday, even after getting 9 or so hours of sleep, I felt really tired, and I was nauseous the whole day. Also I noticed that my urine was the color of black tea and my feces were a pale concealer color. I continued with the Kratom that day but skipped it Tuesday because I really felt awful and knew something was wrong. By Wednesday I felt so sick I couldn't eat or go to work.
My friend, who is a PA, recommended some blood tests and an ultrasound of my abdomen (I had started getting pain under my right rib that day) because he said I look like I might have jaundice. Thursday I got my blood tests and ultrasound done, and my friend managed to get the results in a few hours, insisting that I go to the ER because my liver was enlarged and my liver enzymes were through the roof. My ALT levels were around 400 (normal range is 4-56) and my bilirubin was at 4.6 (normal total bilirubin is 0.3-1.9).
Once at the ER, the blood tests and ultrasounds were confirmed and they suspected a problem with my gallbladder. They were ready to just take it out! Thankfully a very experienced surgeon decided that there wasn't really conclusive evidence to gallbladder problems and said that I shouldn't have it taken out for no reason, as it might not make me feel any better. I was admitted to the hospital for several days, getting all kinds of tests (CT scan, nuclear HIDA scan) and several blood tests a day monitoring my liver enzymes. They couldn't find any obstruction in my bile ducts or any gall stones, but noticed after a few days that my liver enzymes were going back to normal. The pain was also subsiding. I was discharged and told that I should continue monitoring my liver enzymes just to make sure the problem doesn't come back.
I am feeling better now, and as much as I enjoyed the feeling of kratom, I am never taking it again, because I am sure that that was the culprit for my liver problems. I know not everyone has this reaction to this herb, but I would strongly caution anyone taking it to be aware of how their body reacts to it and if they start feeling sick or weird to just stop taking it and get your enzymes checked out. If I would have kept taking it, who knows, my liver might have completely failed.
Reported Dose: 'Two Teaspoons Daily for Two Weeks'
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