Man wondering, "Is liver damage from kratom reversible?"

Is Liver Damage From Kratom Reversible?

As more people who use kratom seek out addiction treatment programs, healthcare professionals are discovering that this herbal supplement may cause more adverse health effects than they initially thought. Kratom can be addictive and may cause liver damage. But is liver damage from kratom reversible? Here’s what you need to know.

If using kratom has started to interfere with your life, there’s a way out. Reach out to the staff at Promise today at 844.875.5609 to talk to an admissions counselor. It just takes one phone call to take your life in a whole new direction.

What Is Kratom?

Kratom comes from an evergreen plant called Mitragyna speciosa. It’s native to Southeast Asia and has been used as traditional medicine for centuries. It has somewhat unusual effects, as it partially acts on opioid receptors and partially acts as a stimulant. 

People start using kratom for a number of reasons. Some find that it helps them manage pain and is cheaper and easier to get than opioids. Others use it to treat symptoms of opioid withdrawal, and still others use it for its psychoactive effects. It can typically be bought in smoke shops in the form of loose powder or capsules.

How Does Kratom Damage Your Liver?

There hasn’t yet been extensive research into how kratom works in the body. However, scientists do know that it’s metabolized by the liver. The various alkaloids in kratom can be hard on your liver, and there’s a growing body of research suggesting that kratom use can cause acute liver injury (ALI) in some people who use it. 

Thus far, in many studies, most people who used kratom didn’t suffer liver damage. But in cases when kratom did cause liver damage, the effects were often severe, with some people being diagnosed with acute hepatitis and drug-induced liver disease.

Using kratom occasionally isn’t likely to cause liver problems. However, much like regular alcohol use, regular kratom use is more likely to cause gradual liver damage. 

How do you know kratom is damaging your liver? Here are some of the signs and symptoms:

  • General itchiness
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent nausea
  • Dark urine
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Bloating and water retention
  • Indigestion that doesn’t seem to go away 

Research into kratom liver toxicity has shown that symptoms usually start within one to eight weeks after you start using kratom regularly. 

Does Kratom Liver Damage Go Away?

You know that using kratom may cause liver damage over time. But is liver damage from kratom reversible?

The good news is that, in most cases, it does. However, it only goes away if you discontinue using kratom. Should you have signs of kratom liver damage and keep using kratom, it’s possible that liver damage may become permanent.

If you’ve been using large amounts of kratom for a long time, it may be helpful to undergo a medically supervised detox to minimize your risk of withdrawal effects. If you think you may have a kratom use disorder, a treatment program can help you manage it and learn coping strategies that don’t involve using kratom.

You also may find that you’ve been unknowingly using kratom to self-medicate an underlying mental health diagnosis or to treat physical pain. Treatment programs can also help you find other ways to manage both kinds of conditions.

Find New Hope with Promises’ Addiction Treatment Programs

If you’re struggling with a kratom use disorder or think you might be, it’s easy to feel trapped—like you’ll never be able to get out of the cycle. At Promises, we offer comprehensive, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health diagnoses. 

Our continuum of care includes medically supervised detox, residential treatment, partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, and extended care. If you’re ready to make a change, reach out to us today at 844.875.5609.

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