Millions of patients suffer from issues with blood pressure. Some have dangerously high blood pressures, while others have abnormally low blood pressures. Both forms can create health concerns for the afflicted. Thankfully, doctors understand the medical condition and can inform patients of the best remedy. In severe cases, the doctor may prescribe medication. But for most patients, lifestyle changes can fix the affliction. In this article we’re going to be exploring the connection between kratom and blood pressure.
Natural Ways to Improve or Prevent Blood Pressure Issues:
- Keep body weight to a healthy level.
- Cut back or discontinue salt in your meals.
- Find a healthy way to manage your stress.
- Maintain a balanced diet that contains lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Live a sober lifestyle: smoking, alcohol, and other drugs can raise blood pressure.
- Create a physical fitness routine and keep with it.
Stress and blood pressure are directly correlated to each other. Should your stress levels increase, so, too, will your blood pressure level. Managing your stress is of utmost importance in combating high blood pressure.
Now, we know some studies suggest that Kratom can assist subjects with stress mediation. So can Kratom help with lowering or preventing high blood pressure?
Before we tackle the subject of Kratom and blood pressure, we should discuss blood pressure to understand how it affects our bodies.
Understanding Blood Pressure
The muscles and organs in our bodies need oxygen and nutrients. All of that is supplied through our bloodstream. Our heart must continuously pump blood for us to live. The force behind those pumps through our circulatory system is our blood pressure and it comes in two measurements: systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Systolic Blood Pressure Reading
After a blood pressure reading, the results come back with two individual numbers. The first number (also called the top number) is your systolic blood pressure reading. The systolic reading measures the pressure created by your heart as it pushes blood throughout the body. Every heartbeat moves blood out through its aorta and pulmonary artery.
The pulmonary artery carries deoxygenated blood to your lungs. The aorta delivers oxygenated blood flow through the rest of your body.
Diastolic Blood Pressure Reading
In blood pressure readings, the secondary number is just as significant. The second number (also called the bottom number) is your diastolic blood pressure reading. The diastolic reading measures the pressure in the arteries in between each heartbeat. During those breaks between beats, the heart fills with more blood. Then oxygen and nutrients get delivered to the heart through coronary arteries. Like all organs, the heart needs those necessary components to function.
Normal Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure is subject to change throughout your life. Both the systolic and diastolic pressure comes from contractions of your heart. The average blood pressure readings seem to shift with our age—with higher pressures as we tend to mature in life. The average blood pressure reading is different for men and women. A typical blood pressure reading of a woman is significantly lower than a man of the same age. But right after menopause, a woman’s pressure increases to higher levels than their male counterpart. However, the man’s blood pressure overtakes them again in a few more years.
For the sake of argument, we’ll provide a medium blood pressure reading as a waypoint for the conversation. Ideally, you would like to see a systolic reading of 120 or less. A diastolic blood pressure of 80 or less is standard, too.
Blood pressure results within those parameters are considered normal for the average adult living a healthy lifestyle.
Elevated Blood Pressure
Sometimes, we get blood pressure results that are more elevated than desired. Those results, on average, fall between 120-129 for systolic pressure and below 80 for the diastolic reading.
Now, these numbers are higher than expected. However, they’ve not yet reached the level to be considered high blood pressure. Patients can reduce those numbers back to the customary threshold by employing a healthy diet and performing exercises. If a person refuses to take control of their condition, then elevated blood pressure is likely to become high blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure readings surpassing the window for elevated pressure are considered high blood pressure. In the medical profession, they call it hypertension. There are different forms of hypertension (high blood pressure). The first level of high blood pressure is stage 1 hypertension. Then comes stage 2 hypertension. After that, a patient could reach the last level—hypertensive crisis.
Hypertension Stage 1 Blood Pressure
A person with blood pressure results that show a systolic pressure ranging from 130 to 139 and a diastolic pressure reading between 80 to 89 is in the first stage of hypertension. For safety precautions, speak to a doctor to determine the best path for treatment. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help lower your blood pressure.
Common Medications for Stage One Hypertension:
- Diuretics: This medication promotes diuresis—the filtering of bodily fluid by the kidneys. Full bladders apply pressure to the kidneys and raise your blood pressure. So keeping an empty bladder is beneficial. Frequent urination also lowers your sodium levels, which helps lower blood pressure.
- Angiotensin: Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors: They cause blood vessels to relax and decrease blood volume.
- Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs): These medications relax your veins and arteries and make it easier for your heart to pump blood.
- Calcium Channel Blockers: These medications relax the muscles of your blood vessels and they can slow down your heart rate.
Should your condition worsen, you’ll fall under the next level of hypertension.
Hypertension Stage 2 Blood Pressure
The second stage of hypertension is more severe. A patient with stage 2 hypertension has blood pressure results showing a systolic reading of 140 or higher. Their diastolic pressure would read over 90.
Additional Medications Possible for Stage Two Hypertension:
- Alpha-Blockers: These medications prevent norepinephrine from tightening muscles in the walls of smaller arteries and veins.
- Alpha-Beta Blockers: They block nerve signals to blood vessels and reduce the amount of blood pumped.
- Beta-Blockers: A medication that reduces the stress placed on the heart and widens a patient’s blood vessels.
- Renin Inhibitors: They inhibit renin, an enzyme responsible for a chemical chain reaction that leads to higher blood pressure.
- Vasodilators: This medication prevents the muscles in the walls of arteries from tightening.
- Central-Acting Agents: The medicine blocks your brain from sending signals to the nervous system that increase heart rate and narrow blood vessels.
In most cases, the combination of medications should lower your blood pressure. But if you don’t take the prescribed medicine, the second stage of hypertension can lead to a hypertensive crisis case.
Hypertensive Crisis Blood Pressure
In rare instances, a person’s high blood pressure might elevate to the point that an immediate threat to one’s life is plausible. Hypertensive crisis levels register as a systolic pressure above 180 and a diastolic pressure higher than 120. At these levels, your body is at risk of a stroke. Here are a few symptoms that are possible for hypertensive crisis patients.
Symptoms of Hypertensive Crisis:
- Severe Chest Pains
- Shortness of Breath
Anyone with hypertensive crisis blood pressure should seek medical attention immediately. In most cases, hospitalization for the subject is necessary.
Low Blood Pressure
For the most part, you want your blood pressure results to reflect an ordinary reading. But you don’t want them to go too much lower. That can cause other problems.
Patients with a systolic reading below 90 and under the diastolic pressure of 60 can qualify as having low blood pressure. We call that hypotension.
Now, some people have no problems with low blood pressure, but many people who have hypotension suffer from its symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure:
- Blurred Vision
Extreme Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure:
- Shallow Breathing
- Mental Confusion
- Weak Pulse
People exhibiting any of the latter symptoms should seek emergency medical attention immediately.
How Many Clinical Studies Have Been Performed on Kratom and Blood Pressure?
Since we covered most of the basics surrounding blood pressure readings—both expected and problematic, it’s time we jump onto the subject of Kratom and how it might affect your blood pressure.
To delve into that topic, the first place one would search is through medical journals to see what doctors have discovered. However, that’s where we hit a brick wall.
Unfortunately, there are no known scientific studies conducted on the issue. To date, the number of studies on Kratom is severely lacking. Doctors are still trying to decipher how its compounds work in the human body. So we must continue to wait for more research to become available. Until that day arrives, we can only entertain theories. And those theoretical possibilities become more coherent as we listen to the anecdotal evidence supplied by consumers in the Kratom community. Their reports suggest a link exists between Kratom and blood pressure. Theoretically, we can fathom its existence through the way Kratom alkaloids behave to other compounds we already understand. Before we propose those ideas, we should consider the way Kratom might react with other medications used to treat high blood pressure.
Does Kratom Interact with Blood Pressure Medication?
People who suffer from high blood pressure may take prescription medication to treat the condition. There are several types of drugs available that can help hypertension. We covered a few of those earlier. But you don’t want to mix any active compounds that can have detrimental reactions with others. The combinations can be dangerous—sometimes lethal. It’s best to research for any adverse reactions when combining Kratom and blood pressure medications.
So far, no scientific experiments have determined if Kratom interacts with blood pressure medications. In social media Kratom groups, users have stated they had no problem mixing the two. I would still be wary. There are reports where high serving sizes of Kratom produced significant drops in blood pressure. Other accounts show Kratom usage increased blood pressure readings. So, we have conflicting data.
For that reason alone, remain cautious on the issue. Don’t jeopardize your health. People taking blood pressure medication should not mix it with Kratom without consulting a physician first. If your doctor gives you the green light, you should be fine. If they indicate otherwise, take their advice to heart. They are your doctor, after all.
What Is a Blood Thinner?
Several million people take blood thinners each year. Some patients only need them briefly and others must take them on an ongoing basis. What is a blood thinner? And why would you need to take them in the first place?
Despite their name, blood thinners do not make your blood thinner. Instead, the medication stops clotting from occurring in the blood, and it can also slow down the growth of pre-existing clots in the bloodstream. That is beneficial for people with higher risks of blood clots. Plus, blood thinners help protect the body against heart attacks and strokes. But do not take them unless necessary. There are troublesome side effects from taking them.
For instance, blood thinners prevent blood clots, which can become deadly when patients cut themselves. A deep cut could be lethal. Still, for patients that need them, the benefits of a blood thinner can outweigh any proposed risk.
There’s no need to worry. Kratom is not considered a blood thinner, nor does it react negatively with any blood thinner medications.
How Does Kratom Affect Blood Pressure?
Consumers don’t need to worry about Kratom acting as a blood thinner. Unlike CBD, there haven’t been any studies warning about mixing the two substances. What about Kratom and blood pressure? Can Kratom affect your blood pressure?
Well, according to some reports, Kratom can affect your blood pressure. Some strains of Kratom have a more stimulating effect. The compounds in some Kratom strains behave like caffeine. They produce an extra kick of energy after consumption. We know that taking caffeine (or any stimulant) raises your blood pressure temporarily. Those strains of Kratom are no different. The slight increase in blood pressure goes away after the effects wear off.
On the other hand, some Kratom strains react differently to our bodies. Some behave more like a sedative, especially in higher serving sizes, and Kratom alkaloids like mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine act on the opioid receptors. We already know that the activity of those receptors can lower blood pressure and heart rates. So, Kratom can affect our blood pressure in the same way.
But does Kratom affect your blood pressure negatively?
Scientists tried to determine if Kratom had any adverse effects on the heart in a study. The researchers compared ECG readings between non-Kratom users in the experiment with Kratom consumers. According to the results, only 28% of the Kratom users registered for ECG abnormalities. However, 32% of the non-Kratom users had abnormalities. That’s a win for the Kratom group.
Kratom Effects at Low Serving Sizes
Kratom is a plant with some remarkable alkaloids. Some of the effects produced by its compounds react differently depending on the size of the serving taken. They are dose-dependent chemical compounds. That means Kratom provides the consumer with unique effects in small amounts. Yet, if you increase the serving size, those effects change dramatically.
When taking an individual serving of Kratom, a smaller serving of Kratom acts as a stimulant in your body. Scientists are unsure how this effect occurs, but some have hypothesized it comes from its compound’s reactions with the adrenergic receptors in our brains. Stimulation is achievable by taking a serving between 1 to 5 grams. The incitement of our nervous system can increase blood pressure, though.
Kratom Effects at High Serving Sizes
Conversely, the opposing effects are possible from taking higher serving sizes of Kratom. A serving size between 6 to 10 grams can sedate you. Kratom alkaloids react with the opioid receptors in our brains. As a result, the Kratom can reduce your blood pressure. But that doesn’t mean you should rush to take Kratom if you have high blood pressure. All substances can react in unpredictable ways to your body. Risking the unknown is a recipe for disaster for anyone with a medical condition. Always consult your doctor first.
Can a Specific Kratom Strain Make Any Difference in Your Blood Pressure?
Depending on the Kratom strain you purchase, it can contain a unique alkaloid profile that alters the effects felt by the consumer. There are several different types of alkaloids found in nature. Kratom has several active compounds that provide us with therapeutic benefits. The concentration of those alkaloids can shift from product to product, and a quick search online provides Kratom consumers with a few dozen selections. Each one is uniquely distinct from the rest.
To accurately answer the question from a scientific perspective, an experiment would need to be conducted on over 50 separate Kratom strains. Then we’d need to compare the results of all experiments against the others.
Unfortunately, no researchers have sought to determine if a link exists between the varieties of Kratom and blood pressure. So we don’t have a definitive answer to the question. However, several studies suggest that Kratom can help reduce stress in consumers. According to anecdotal reports, certain strains are better at accomplishing that outcome than others. Most Kratom users say the slow and moderate-acting Kratom varieties have properties that reduce stress levels. Until doctors try to tackle the subject, the testimonials of the Kratom community are the only place to find the answers we seek. Hopefully, science will fill that gap soon.
Stay Aware of Your Blood Pressure While Taking Kratom
Kratom is a relatively new botanical product in the US market, and it recently gained mainstream attention. As a result, more scientists have become interested in studying the plant and its proposed medicinal properties.
We understand little about how Kratom reacts with our bodies. We know even less when it comes to its reactions to prescribed medications. Patients that take prescription medication for high blood pressure should be cautious when mixing it with Kratom.
Consult with your physicians before mixing prescriptions with any natural herbal supplement. You never want to risk your health or life.
Consumers with elevated blood pressure should understand the risks of Kratom consumption. Some strains are stimulating; however, no more than coffee. Still, some doctors advise against drinking coffee or taking caffeine pills while in the elevated blood pressure category. The same can be said for consuming Kratom.
Other strains have opposing effects. They can decrease your blood pressure.
Chemical compounds affect everyone differently. Regardless of which strain you choose, take the opportunity to monitor your blood pressure through elevated phases. When it comes to Kratom and blood pressure, you’re better off to err on the side of caution.