Monthly Archives: January 2018

Can Floxies Drink Alcohol?

Many people have asked me if they can/should drink alcohol post-flox.

As with most things, the answer is – it depends, and everyone is different.

Some Floxies tolerate alcohol fine, while others don’t.

Alcohol is, of course, bad for you. It’s hard on the liver, and can lead to cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatitis. It burdens your liver’s detoxification abilities and hinders your ability to get rid of other toxins. Alcohol wreaks havoc on the gut microbiome, and can encourage candida growth. Alcohol weakens the immune system, and can make you more succeptible to other illnesses. I could go on and on because there are hundreds of articles about the harm that alcohol inflicts on the human body. No matter how many videos come out about tequila being a probiotic, or articles there are about wine containing resveritrol, alcohol is not a health elixir. It is not good for you.

HOWEVER, it is quite fun (IMO), and it even has some health benefits–it’s a painkiller and it reduces feelings of stress and anxiety. Alcohol has enough redeeming qualities that billions of people around the world, most of whom are aware of the negative effects of alcohol, consume it. I do, and so do many other floxies.

When I first got floxed, I stopped drinking for a while. My body was going hay-wire in every conceivable way, and I didn’t want to contribute to my problems by knowingly consuming a substance that is bad for me. I think that abstaining from alcohol during the acute phase of fluoroquinolone toxicity was the right thing for me to do.

Once my body stabilized (i.e. it stopped feeling like a bomb was going off in my body, and I even had some improved/normal days) I started having a drink every once in a while. Even though I could drink, I found that my tolerance for alcohol was greatly diminished. Before I got floxed I could handle three-ish drinks in an evening (and I thoroughly enjoyed drinking them). After getting floxed, my tolerance was one drink a night (that was barely enjoyable). I didn’t even want to drink more than that–I struggle to explain why, but I just felt done after 3/4 of a drink. Over time (I am now a bit over 5 years post-flox) my tolerance increased, and I can now comfortably have two alcoholic beverages in an evening. That’s plenty for me, in my personal opinion of how much I should/shouldn’t drink.

I never experienced a relapse in fluoroquinolone toxicity symptoms as a direct result of drinking alcohol, but other people have, and I encourage everyone who wants to drink post-flox to be very careful and cautious with alcohol consumption. Comments such as this one, from Bob (and the comment just above it when you click on the link, from Ann), are examples of alcohol triggering an increase in, or relapse of, fluoroquinolone toxicity symptoms:

After getting floxed I had relapses to alcohol which I only drank on vacation. I suspect this is due to severe kill off of gut flora. I am afraid to drink anymore.

This comment from Mark also notes that alcohol consumption can lead to fluoroquinolone toxicity symptom flares:

I cheated this weekend and drank alcohol/ate dairy. You know what? It flared up my cipro symptoms full force. Knee joints started cracking like crazy, achilles heal flare, etc. I’m convinced that we are all suffering an overgrowth of yeast and the faster we can get that under control, the healthier we will be.

Some people have a more moderate reaction to alcohol post-flox. This comment, from Ruth, is really interesting and insightful. Though she can drink alcohol without issue, she typically abstains:

I am able to drink again but my tolerance is greatly reduced. It won’t actually harm your gaba receptors because alcohol acts on gaba-b instead of gaba-a. I think it promotes healing.

When the alcohol downgrades the gaba-b subunit, I think the body makes repairs to some of the a subunits in order to put things back in balance.

I think when the FQ took out some of your gaba-a receptors your body gave you extra gaba-b receptors. This can make you a lot more receptive to the effects of alcohol. The b unit seems to be able to replace itself faster. That’s why alcohol withdrawal lasts a lot less long than benzodiazepine withdrawal. This is all just my theory. I have nothing to back it up with except my own experience.

Last year I got drunk at the Racine Zoo by accident. They hosted a teacher’s night and served spiked punches with no indication that they were alcoholic. I had what they had labeled as “Lesson Learned Lemonade.” I was thirsty so I slammed a big cup. At first I felt super relaxed and I thought that my nervous system must really be healing. Maybe it was that walk on the beach… and then I felt it. I knew it had been alcoholic. I ended up drunk off my ass, but not so bad that I couldn’t say “gamma amino butyric acid,” ha, ha. I got a brief relapse from that experience, of symptoms I had not had in a long time. After that ended my base line seemed higher.

So I think alcohol is not completely bad. However, it can devastate your gut microbiome, so I am very careful about it. I had a tiny tiny bit of Bailey’s at Christmas. I enjoyed it. Other than the holidays I abstain from alcohol for the sake of my healthy flora.

Although it won’t stop your nervous system from healing, remember that psych symptoms can also stem from an imbalance of healthy vs. unhealthy microbes. Alcohol can worsen that situation considerably so for the foreseeable future it is better to abstain. Farther down the road you will probably be able to have a beer now and then with no ill effects.

Some people have even found that alcohol has helped them. It is a pain reliever and relaxant. It reduces anxiety and stress – even the anxiety and stress that comes with getting poisoned by a pharmaceutical. Stress and anxiety reduction are crucial for healing from fluoroquinolone toxicity. Both Bronwen and Barbara noted that they felt better with moderate alcohol consumption.

Bronwen’s Comment:

As far as booze goes, I actually found one drink helped lessen my symptoms a bit when they were getting overwhelming in the evening – much to my surprise, but I have only ever read one other person that found the same thing – most find the opposite. Again, test yourself! I certainly could not have more than one drink. The liver is struggling along with the other organs, as the clearing house for toxins, so alcohol puts another burden on it.

Barbara’s Comment:

My saving grace is I am allowed wine 😁😁 hallelujah .I have been able to drink alcohol from the begining and in certain times when the pain was bad I swear it helped.

As you can see, reactions to alcohol post-flox vary considerably. So, what should your take-away from this post be? Should you drink alcohol, or not? I can’t answer that for you, because I have no idea how you respond to alcohol, or how much you enjoy consuming it. If alcohol isn’t your drug of choice, and you don’t particularly like it, don’t start drinking because some people have responded positively to its benefits. If you want to drink alcohol, it is, of course, best to do it in moderation. If you want to avoid all things that may trigger a relapse, or that are generally bad for the body, by all means, don’t drink. As with all advice for my floxie friends – it depends, everyone is different, and be careful.

 

A Plea For Doctors to Believe Us

This is a guest post written by Stephanie. She has faced disbelief, and even abuse, from people in the medical fields. Sadly, I think that her experience will be familiar for many of you. Know that you are not alone in your frustration, fear, or anger. 

Dear Doctors,

Let me start by saying I have more friends than I can keep up with. That I am loved and in a such a healthy relationship more so than most. I am not a hypochondriac.

When I say I am fine it means that I am managing my pain with cannabis. When I have attacks please try to understand that I have been abused by the medical system to the point where it is terrifying for me to go to a western medical doctor. I had a doctor look into my eyes while I was pleading with him to help as I was choking say I do not know what is happening to you maybe we can wrap you in a blanket. The nurses asked him if he was going to do any tests. He said no I don’t know what’s wrong with her. I will write up her paper work offer her some pain medication and release her once she is calm. I am not exaggerating that really happened.

I have been told, “you are tachycardic you need to go to the ER right now.” The nurse who “helped me” rolled her eyes at me and said, “so you have pain.” My arm was curled up by my chest from the pain and she said, “you’re going to need to pull that arm down for the x-ray.” I said, “it hurts when I put my arm down.” Her response, “well do you want an x-ray?” Nothing was found she said, “you’re fine go home.” No other testing was done because the Doctor who sent me was an integrative doctor and I could hear them making jokes about my doctor from outside the room and I was changing.  They never checked my blood pressure I kept saying I was dizzy everything was ignored because the x-ray was “normal”.

I have sat and told doctors about being poisoned and been told, “well, you would know more about that then I would.” This is coming from two movement specialists who you would assume would be familiar with side effect s from medication. The last one proceeded to tell me about all of his degrees he proceeded to tell me about how he trained the doctor who I wanted a second opinion from as she made me cry and told me I was making it up. I said I really don’t care what you think of her and would like you to please look into my illness on floxie hope maybe you can help me. He then proceeded after 15 minutes of telling me mostly about himself probably five minutes of having me move and watching me have attacks. He said I needed friends and my naturopath was stealing money from me. This is after admitting he knew nothing about side effects of the medications I took. I sat in the car and cried for about 15 minutes. I said to myself that day no more abuse. No matter how bad the pain gets, I am done with western medical doctors unless I know they will believe the side effects that are listed on the side of a pill bottle.

I write this as a plea for those who cry in their car as I have, for those who lay in their bed or couch day after day when you feel like your heart is pounding in your chest as I do. When you do all the breathing exercises you are supposed to. where I sit there and say at least I have a roof over my head and food in my tummy so even if I have nerve damage in my heart and this is my lot, it’s better than most.

Please understand we are very ill. More ill than most could ever take. We fight every day to live with a thirst for life that most take for granted. That it’s scary when the only covered forms of help try to tell you that you are cry or lonely.

That there is no way to fight back but stop going to western medicine doctors unless you are told they are “safe” and will listen. That we need to change this system of bowing down to the almighty pill. Pills can cause harm. For those like me who live every day in pain we need the help of the healthy. We need you to hear us and see we are not crazy we are not lonely, we have simply been abused by a system that is bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical companies. The healthy are the ones we need your kindness and support. We need you to question we need you to love us and be kind to us. To hear our stories not with judgement but with love. Please read our stories, please ask your doctors if pills are really the first needed step or the easy way out for them. Ask your doctors if you have a bacterial or viral infection.

Please join us in our fight. Please stand by us because it is a very scary world once you have been abused by the medical system. We need to end this abuse and we need your help to do it.