Testosterone and Kratom
by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.
Testosterone is an important hormone in the body that helps with sexual health, energy levels and muscle growth. When it becomes low, it can affect a person’s mood and physical appearance.
People have been arguing about whether or not Kratom affects testosterone levels. Some people have claimed that it lowers their testosterone while others have reported that it boosts it, however, this is all anecdotal. Let's see whether there is any relevant scientific research.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a male hormone that affects many aspects of a man’s health and well-being. It plays a role in sex drive, muscle and bone mass, fat storage and red blood cell production.
It’s produced primarily in the testes for men and the ovaries and adrenal glands for women. It also has an important role in the development of sexual characteristics in boys, such as a deeper voice and facial hair.
You can also get tested for your testosterone levels. At-home kits are available without a prescription. These kits can be used to collect a sample of your saliva or a few drops of blood to send to a lab for testing.
Some of the tests measure free testosterone and testosterone that’s attached to proteins, called estradiol. These tests may be helpful for diagnosing certain medical conditions and monitoring your levels of testosterone.
A total testosterone test measures both types of testosterone in your blood. These tests are most commonly used to monitor your body’s production of this hormone and detect any abnormalities.
Most of your body’s testosterone is attached to proteins that prevent it from acting immediately on your tissues. It can take a few days for the testosterone to move from your liver into your bloodstream.
kratom is a plant from Southeast Asia that contains alkaloids called mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These alkaloids interact with opioid receptors in the brain, producing both stimulant and sedative effects.
Kratom has been used for centuries to help people fight fatigue, improve mood and reduce pain. It also has many other health benefits.
It is an herbal supplement that’s often used as a pain reliever and to ease opioid withdrawal symptoms. It also can be used to treat anxiety and depression.
There are several types of kratom. Some are more potent than others. The best way to find the right kind for you is to ask your doctor or health care provider.
You should not use kratom if you’re pregnant, have liver disease or kidney problems, or if you are taking blood thinners or narcotic painkillers. You should also avoid kratom if you have high blood pressure or heart disease.
Symptoms of kratom overdose may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, headache, dizziness, weakness, and loss of coordination. You should contact your doctor right away if you experience any of these signs.
Overdose symptoms can occur even if you stop taking kratom. They can include dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, seizures, and tremors.
Kratom can cause liver damage if you take it for too long or too often. Researchers found that people who took kratom for more than two months developed liver problems.
The CDC has classified kratom as an emerging drug of abuse. Its misuse and overdose is on the rise.
How Does Kratom Work?
Kratom is a plant containing more than 20 active compounds.
The main compound in kratom is mitragynine, which binds to mu opioid receptors in the brain. The substance is believed to have a mild stimulant effect and can help increase your energy levels, boost your mood and make you more sociable.
Another compound in kratom, 7-hydroxymitragynine, binds to the same receptors as serotonin and adrenaline, which can cause feelings of euphoria. It’s also believed to help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Despite these positive effects, some users of kratom report experiencing withdrawal symptoms after stopping use. These symptoms include muscle aches, insomnia, irritability, aggression, emotional changes, jerky movements and runny nose.
There are also reports of kratom users developing addiction to the drug, which can lead to physical and mental health problems. This is especially true in people who have used kratom for a long period of time.
Some kratom users try to use the drug as a substitute for prescription opioids or heroin. This is a dangerous practice that isn’t recommended by the DEA. It is also linked to severe adverse reactions and death.
The CDC estimates that between 2016 and 2017, 91 deaths have been linked to kratom. This may be an underestimate, however, as many of the deaths involved individuals who had other drugs in their system at the time of their death.
While kratom is an effective pain reliever, it can also be addictive and can be fatal. If you or a loved one have an opioid addiction, it is important to talk to a professional about treatment options.
Because kratom has some activity stimulating opioid receptors in the brain, it can be misused to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). This is not a recommended treatment and has been shown to have severe side effects.
Suboxone, a medication that combines buprenorphine and naloxone, is an FDA-approved alternative to opioids for the treatment of OUD. It has a ceiling effect, meaning that it’s less likely to produce euphoric and respiratory-depressing effects at higher doses.
Does Kratom affectTestosterone?
Testosterone is a male hormone produced in the testes (the oval-shaped sexual organs of men) and, to a lesser extent, the ovaries. It is responsible for a number of processes related to male sexual development and functions, including the creation of sperm cells and body and facial hair growth.
A 2018 investigative report found that kratom causes secondary hypogonadism because it raise prolactin levels and, in this case, had caused hyperprolcatinemia.
However, once the subject had stopped taking kratom his testosterone and prolactin levels retunred to the normal range.
That said, a different 2018 study that included 19 regular kratom users found that regular consumption of a kratom tea did not impair testosterone levels.
Therefore, the research has had mixed results. It is important to note that the first case study was focussed on one person, who may not be a kratom user. In the case study he did only mention the use of kratom at a later date to the research team.
The second study had a higher numner of people, but as we know they are regular useers of kratom, so, perhaps they have a tolerance that may be the reason their testosterone levels aren't affected by kratom.
And while kratom has opiiod like effects, we must remember that it isn't actually an opioid, and opioids are associated with reducing testosterone levels.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone produced by the testicles, and it plays an important role in a man's physical development, bone density, and sexual prowess.
Typically, the production of testosterone occurs naturally in a person's body as they grow up and reach puberty. However, if a person does not exercise enough or have a poor diet, the production of this hormone can decrease by up to 2% per year.
Low levels of testosterone can lead to a number of negative side effects in men, including reduced libido and decreased muscle mass. These symptoms may occur due to a range of factors, from genetics to environmental factors.
It is possible that kratom can affect testosterone, but researchers have not been able to determine this effect. They have also not studied the long-term effects of kratom on testosterone in regular users.
Kratom and Prolactin
One case-study has shown that kratom can increase prolactin in people. Those who have hyperprolactinemia can be especially at risk for these side effects.
However, a study on multiple habitual kratom users didn't note any change in testosterone levels.
Therefore, more research is required using a much wider demographic.