I wrote the following post about a couple minor, but strange, post-flox health issues I had four years after taking Cipro/ciprofloxacin. In 2015 I went through a period of pain in my pelvis, and in early 2016 I had an odd issue where I felt like I had a hot coal in my abdomen in the middle of the night, and that was waking me up. I got through both strange issues, and neither bother me currently. I wrote this post with the hope that it could help others to get through the same issues.
Please read and share it – thank you!
I’m on the fence about whether or not I think these minor issues have anything to do with fluoroquinolone toxicity.
The bulk of my fluoroquinolone toxicity reaction was so long ago–in late 2011 and through 2012, and I truly have fully recovered since. I live my life as I did before I got floxed–I exercise, travel, have relationships, work, and socialize approximately like I did before I took Cipro/ciprofloxacin. I have energy and I’m not in pain. I can read, write, and think like I could before I got floxed. I’m doing fine, and since I took the Cipro/ciprofloxacin so long ago, I hesitate to connect my recent strange health issues to my experience with fluoroquinolone toxicity.
However…. I suspect that both these issues, however minor and transient, have to do with adrenal and hormonal dysregulation, and it’s possible that both were caused by the Cipro/ciprofloxacin I took back in 2011.
I wonder if destruction of vital gut bacteria by fluoroquinolone antibiotics leads to an inability to process and get rid of estrogen (1), which leads to estrogen-dominance and low progesterone (2). Low progesterone may contribute to several fluoroquinolone toxicity symptoms including peripheral neuropathy (3), and it is also linked to cortisol production abnormalities and adrenal fatigue (4). Adrenal fatigue and cortisol dysregulation may lead to other endocrine system problems and health issues (5).
A discussion of the effects of fluoroquinolones on the endocrine system is better spelled out in the WONDERFUL web site http://fluoroquinolonethyroid.com/, and an overview of how fluoroquinolones affect the thyroid can be found on https://www.hormonesmatter.com/fluoroquinolone-antibiotics-thyroid-problems-connection/. The effects of fluoroquinolones on the endocrine system should be explored further, as it certainly seems that there are significant connections. (When I posted this article–https://www.hormonesmatter.com/progesterone-peripheral-neuropathy/–about the connection between progesterone and peripheral neuropathy, two floxies noted that their PN went away when they were given progesterone while pregnant.)
I’m honestly not sure what steps I should take to keep my adrenals healthy, or what anyone else should do to manage their hormonal balance post-flox. Our hormonal systems are incredibly delicate, and there are complex feedback and feed-forward loops that make adjusting them difficult. Hormones often don’t react in a linear, predictable way, and it is highly recommended that you see a doctor before supplementing progesterone or any other hormone.
Some things that may help, that are less drastic than hormonal supplementation, are: manage your stress (through lifestyle adjustments, meditation, and breathing exercises), avoid xenoestrogens (plastics, pesticides, and processed foods), take probiotic supplements that have a significant amount of lactobacillus, eat small meals throughout the day, take a rejuvenating vacation, and avoid sugar and gluten. I plan to do those things, as well as vagal nerve toning exercises (https://selfhacked.com/2015/07/30/28-ways-to-stimulate-your-vagus-nerve-and-all-you-need-to-know-about-it/), float-tank sessions (https://floxiehope.com/2016/04/25/floatation-therapy-for-fluoroquinolone-toxicity/), acupuncture, and gentle stretching. With those things, hopefully I can keep my adrenals functioning well, and hopefully I can keep strange health issues from popping up in the future.
(1) “The gut also plays an important role in estrogen elimination. Phase II detoxification in the liver (medical term for the process of eliminating many hormones including estrogen) utilizes conjugation of estrogen to other compounds so they can be excreted in bile.[iv] If the gut flora is unbalanced, certain bacteria secrete an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase, which cleaves the glucuronide molecule from estrogen, allowing estrogen to be reabsorbed into circulation vs excreted in the stool. Lactobacillus, a healthy bacteria, decreases the activity of B-glucoronidase.[v] If the activity of B-glucoronidase is increased, more estrogen will be reabsorbed and potentially worsen the endometriosis.” https://www.vitalhealth.com/endo-blog/endo-belly/