Kratom For Chronic Pain
Lower Risk than Opiods
With one third of Americans suffering with chronic pain, approximately 50,000 preventable U.S. deaths each year from arthritis medications (e.g. NSAIDs like ibuprofen), and 5,000 yearly deaths from prescribed narcotics used as directed, we clearly have a major problem in how we treat chronic pain.
Having effectively treated thousands of people with fibromyalgia and other forms of severe chronic pain, and published a number of studies and textbook chapters on this, one simple fact has become very clear: Virtually all pain can be effectively treated, by using the entire healthcare toolkit. This includes both natural and prescription options, as well as socially controversial natural treatments such as marijuana, hemp oil, and kratom.
For example, numerous studies show that using natural options such as a special mix called Curamin, and even a mix of glucosamine plus chondroitin, is as or more effective than arthritis medications. And could save over 50,000 lives a year.
If not for a deadly quirk in our government’s regulatory system.
Basically, it costs anywhere from $100 million to $2.6 billion to put a single treatment through the FDA regulatory system. As nobody can pay this for non-patentable treatments, the enormous body of research using safe natural and low-cost generic medications cannot be effectively discussed or publicized.
Natural remedies, and Kratom is no exception, are not without risk. They simply carry much lower risks than medications. Still, I have seen people who failed dozens of other herbals and medications, including narcotics, and had dramatic relief with Kratom.
As a physician, one learns to do a risk/benefit analysis. This includes looking at the validity of the data being used. As of 2017, the FDA reported 44 deaths worldwide associated with Kratom. But it is important to understand what the words “associated with” mean: simply that if they found any evidence of Kratom in the bloodstream when somebody died, even if they had a massive narcotic overdose and a gallon of tequila in them, this death is then “associated with” Kratom.
This faulty approach would claim that millions of deaths are associated with the use of milk, coffee or even toilet paper.
The bottom line? Kratom can be a very helpful tool in the healthcare toolkit when used with a health practitioner’s guidance; Kratom is far safer than ibuprofen and codeine. To make it illegal will trigger far more suffering and deaths than it would prevent.