What is Kratom?
Kratom is a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family (Rubiaceae) native to Southeast Asia. As a large evergreen tree, kratom can grow upwards of 80 feet tall while producing lustrous leaves and budding flowers. People across Southeast Asia have used these leaves for hundreds of years for various purposes.
Kratom continues to be used throughout countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It has been traditionally used to support pain and energy by those doing strenuous labor. Kratom was used as a local anesthetic to help with coughs and with intestinal issues, specifically diarrhea. People would chew on kratom leaves and spit out the leaf after a few moments. Another popular way to enjoy kratom would be to brew some leaves in hot water to make a kratom herbal tea. This is particularly popular in the morning before work and in the evening during a meal with friends and family.
Today, millions of people enjoy and rely on kratom. Kratom is vital for various reasons such as its ability to naturally support pain relief, boost energy, and promote muscle relaxation. Kratom has 40+ naturally occurring alkaloids of which Mitragynine is one of the primary and most well-known alkaloids. Some of these alkaloids, like mitragynine are researched for their potential to alleviate temporary discomfort. Others, are researched for their potential to restore natural energy levels.
Kratom and Constipation?
Kratom has many amazing and powerful side-effects, such as the few mentioned above, however, as with almost any good thing, there are a few not so pleasant effects, such as constipation.
When used in small amounts or sporadically, kratom DOES NOT and SHOULD NOT lead to constipation. However, regular, long term kratom users, specifically ones that consume EXCESS quantities of kratom, MAY experience constipation from kratom. Constipation is the slowing of bowels or inability to empty your bowels properly. The good news is that absent serious medical issues, usually kratom induced constipation is temporary with no reported long term negative side effects.
Why Kratom MAY Lead to Constipation
Although we do not have scientific evidence to support the claims that kratom counteracts diarrhea, we do know it was traditionally used for those purposes and users have experienced slowed bowels due to prolonged and excessive kratom use. Again, it is important to highlight that kratom's negative effects on the digestive system are a result of higher/excessive doses of kratom. Such excessive, prolonged kratom use may lead to weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain (tummy ache) and irregular/infrequent bowel habits (constipation).
Kratom's constipating effect on the body is attributed to its property of dehydrating the user's body. This activates the reflex action of the body to absorb any water from the fecal matter to make up for the dehydration.
Additionally, kratom itself can decrease the transit time of the gut (travel time of the ingested food through the gut). These two factors in combination lead to infrequent, hard and painful stools.
Drink Water to Avoid Potential Kratom Constipation
Since possible dehydration accentuates the effects of kratom in bowel movements, what counteracts such dehydration? Plenty and plenty of water! Regular and sufficient water consumption is the best and easiest way to keep your system running. This is not just applicable to kratom, but exercise, mood and overall healthy living. So, Drink Up! Please keep in mind we mean water not sugary sodas or caffeinated energy drinks. Water keeps you satiated and regulates gut movements adequately by maintaining stool form and consistency. It also keeps you fresh, energized and glowing.
Other possible solutions may include reducing/adjusting your kratom dosage, maintaining a balanced diet, regular exercise and probiotics. If all else fails, try taking a small break from kratom and give your body a chance to recharge.
But in all honesty, if you stay well hydrated, and use the kratom dose that applies to your body without overdoing it, you should be just fine and avoid constipation all together while enjoying the many benefits of kratom.