Keri’s Recovery Story – Levaquin Toxicity

Keri

*The following is an individual’s story of surviving fluoroquinolone toxicity. It is not medical advice. Please see the disclaimer at the bottom of the story. Thank you, and please be cautious with all treatments. 

Following is Keri’s story, written by Keri –

I started the month of October, 2010 as a 38 yr. old woman who was loving life.  I was happily married and the mother of two incredible children, aged 12 and 8.  I worked as a preschool teacher and thrived on the chaos of being a young family.  I walked daily, cheered on my son at his football games, my daughter at her ballet recitals and attended all school functions.  I loved anything that allowed me to be creative and took great pride in my home and family.  Life was so good.

On the morning of October 4th, I woke with symptoms of a UTI.  Being no stranger to this, I called my boss to tell her I was going to run by the minor emergency clinic and would be a few minutes late to work.  There was blood and protein in my urine, and the doctor gave me a prescription for Levaquin.  I was to take one 750 mg pill each day for five days, and was never told of any possible side effects.  I ran by the pharmacy, had the prescription filled and headed on to work.  Once there, I took my first and last pill.  Within an hour, I was laying on the bathroom floor listening to my boss calling my husband.  I was obviously having an allergic reaction to the Levaquin.  The left side of my face was swollen, my breathing was labored, I was chilled to the bone and shaking, nauseous and my heart was racing.  I took a Benadryl, called the doctor and was assured that the worst would be over.  It was just the beginning.

My health began to deteriorate immediately.  It was as if a bomb went off in my body, and I didn’t understand what was happening.  Nobody did.  I had a hysterectomy to get rid of the large fibroid tumors that appeared overnight.  I had to leave my job and lay on the couch for a year as I suffered with:  abdominal cramping, headaches, shakiness, dizziness, loss of appetite and weight, nausea, hot and cold flashes, bouts of constipation and diarrhea, weakness, achiness, tinnitus, brain fog, sight problems, tremors, electrical zaps through my body, memory loss, heartburn, muscle wasting, strange rashes, back pain, tachycardia, fatigue, insomnia, joint and muscle pain, neuropathy, low blood pressure, food and chemical sensitivities, teeth breaking and more.

The doctors were able to find plenty of things wrong with me, but nobody could put it together for a long time.  Instead, they found:  gastritis, hiatal hernia, reflux, white matter lesions on my brain, hypothyroidism, thyroid autoimmune issues (testing positive on the ANA and very high thyroid antibody count), lesions on my liver, granulomas in my spleen, kidney cysts, sclerosis in my spine and hip, reactive arthritis and finally…FLUOROQUINOLONE TOXICITY!  I was lost for the first six months.  I told every doctor that all I knew is that I’d been sick ever since an allergic reaction to Levaquin.  And then I’d believe them when they said it couldn’t be related.  I never pushed it.  It wasn’t until my mom had a friend pass away from taking a round of Levaquin and Cipro that we decided to look up the drug I had reacted to.  Suddenly, everything I had gone through was there in so many stories!  I finally knew what had plagued my body.  Now, it was a matter of what to do about it….

Clean Diet—This was one of the top things that I noticed a difference with.  I was barely able to eat at first, so it wasn’t a problem to give up certain foods.  Anything I put into my body was a conscious decision…I learned to eat according to what a food can offer me.  Liver pain?  Eat plenty of beets, asparagus and kale.  Kidney pain?  Up the lemon water.  Anxiety?  Freshly squeezed limes are nature’s Xanax, filled with inositol.  I found that gluten and sugar are two foods that offered me nothing except inflammation, so they were blacklisted.  Become a snob…foods have to offer something worthwhile to be consumed!

Heal Your Gut—Fluoroquinolones are like napalm in your gut.  It destroys everything, which is why it leaves so many of us with terrible GI issues.  This was one of my worst areas hit.  I lost 20 lbs in the first month, and kept a permanent “bed” on my bathroom floor for the first seven months.  Along with the clean diet, I started a good probiotic and began noticing a change for the better.  Some people use kefir or raw sauerkraut.  Some go on the candida or SCD diet.  However you choose to do it, heal that gut!

Time—This is by far the hardest thing to give into, but the truth is you will not wake up tomorrow to find there is some new, magic remedy.  Big Pharma is not furiously working up an anecdote to the poison they put out there.  HEALING TAKES TIME.  This is a process.  Give yourself permission to use each day as a stepping stone towards good health, instead of expecting an overnight miracle.

De-Stress—I know, I know.  You’re in the middle of the hardest, scariest thing you’ve ever gone through.  You had to leave your job and the medical bills are piling up.  It has affected your relationship with everyone around you.  Every minute of every day is stressful!  But, one thing I learned was that each time I faced something very stressful, my health suffered.  I would run on adrenaline for a day or two, then bam!  It would catch up to me and I felt sicker. Once my husband started rubbing my back each night, I noticed I was feeling better overall.  Surround yourself with people who bring you happiness. Massage, meditation, yoga, counseling…do whatever you need to center yourself and calm down.

Don’t Be A Victim—This is just a mindset I wouldn’t allow myself to get into.  Someone will always have it better, and someone will always have it worse.  I get it…yesterday you had an infected tooth that landed you in the ER when you reacted to the antibiotics, today your biggest supporter passed away and now the depression is overwhelming, tomorrow you will be back at the ER with renal failure.  I’ve been there; we’ve all been there.  Some are convinced that nobody else understands, and that they’re the worst case out there.  I figured I wasn’t that special, and that there is nothing I’d go through that another floxie hadn’t gone through and survived.  You can’t win this battle if you’ve already decided that you’ve been defeated.

Vitamin D—This was a necessity to me.  A doctor once told me that every time she sees someone with cancer, she knows they will be low in vitamin D.  At least half the floxies I’ve met have been deficient in this.  My GP gave me some vitamin D drops to take, but with all my sensitivities, I reacted to them.  So, I started using a D-lamp through the winter, and on nice days I try to get at least 20 minutes of sunshine.  This really helped change the game for me.  I’m much less sore with my D, and I’m much more sane too!

Quit Smoking—I know, this is a no-brainer, but an addiction is an addiction.  When I was really sick, I wouldn’t smoke at all.  Then, on my better days I’d have a couple “smoky treats”.  It came to an end when I had vasculitis in my legs.  I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer and quit.  The health benefits were huge…I could breathe again, I didn’t cough up phlegm anymore, my chest pains stopped and best of all, my veins worked again!  The petechiae are gone.  The “cement” feeling in my veins is gone.  My vascular system was hit hard from the toxicity, and quitting smoking helped that the most.

I am now 2 ½ years out since this nightmare began, and I am doing much better.  There have been days where the only thing keeping me alive was my sheer stubbornness.  There have been days where I’ve celebrated the tiniest achievements, like carrying the laundry basket across the house or cleaning the fishbowl.  I remember a time when my leg was too weak to drive, shaking when I’d pick it up from the brake pedal to the gas.  Now, my legs are strong enough to go on evening walks with my husband.  I remember a time when my mother stood over me with tears and a can of Ensure because I couldn’t make myself eat.  Now, I stand in the kitchen over a pot of homemade, organic, chicken soup that I can’t wait to dig into.  I am not 100% healed, but my family and friends are amazed with how far I’ve come.  More than that, I’M amazed.  I’ve learned a lot about myself and the people around me.  I am stronger.  I am wiser.  And every time I wish it wouldn’t have happened, I remember that it happened to me so that it will never happen to my children, for they too are stronger and wiser and will never take a fluoroquinolone.

** The story above is truthful, accurate and told to the best of the ability of the writer. It is not intended as medical advice. No person who submits his or her story, nor the people associated with Floxie Hope, diagnoses or treats any illness. The story above should not be substituted for professionally provided medical advice. Please consult your doctor before trying anything that has been mentioned in this story, or in any other story on this site. Please also note that people have varying responses to the treatments mentioned in each story. What helps one person may not help, and may even hurt, another person. It is important that you understand that supplements, IVs, essential oils, and all other treatments, effect people differently depending on the millions of variables that make each of us unique. Please use appropriate caution and prudence, and get professional medical advice.

25 thoughts on “Keri’s Recovery Story – Levaquin Toxicity

  1. Lisa September 10, 2013 at 2:39 pm Reply

    thank you for sharing. I am sending your story to a friend who suffers from Levaquin poisoning

  2. Tara September 12, 2013 at 4:37 am Reply

    Thank you so much for your story and the hope it provides.

  3. Carol Cottrill January 22, 2014 at 6:46 am Reply

    Thank you Keri…I thought I was the only one with a bed on the bathroom floor. I’m in the midst of a cycle right now- your story provided me hope and encouragement.

  4. John March 24, 2014 at 9:15 pm Reply

    I took. Cipro same thing i spent almost a year dealing with bad Gi problems had my gallbladder check and it was bad . Had removed 1 month ago over night all problem gone . Never had problem till I took cipro . Doc said gallbladder was bad from dehydration . Probably because I was living in the bathroom for the last year .lost 40 lb in 2 month

  5. Lisa Nelson June 10, 2014 at 5:43 pm Reply

    I too have suffered from Levaquin & Cipro in 2011. I have been gravely ill with same symptoms you described. It has damaged my neurological system. My gut is horrible. I started probiotic. & the SCD diet. & multiple supplements including Vitamin D. I have improved but still struggle on a daily basis. Been on SCD diet for 12 months. & still extremely limited on foods I can eat. Thx for sharing your story.

    • Mark June 11, 2014 at 9:40 am Reply

      Hey Lisa,

      I got to questions if you don’T mind.

      Did you try supplementing with Magnesium only (since vit d, Calcium and so on use or drag magnesium out of the body)?

      Which kind of probiotic did you try?
      Did you check out prescript assist?

      Regards,
      Mark

  6. Jeannie March 5, 2015 at 11:16 am Reply

    Thank you Keri for sharing your story, it is all too familiar! Your words are very encouraging to all who are in the eye of the storm, even those of us that are in the aftermath of the storm! Thank you again!

  7. Mark April 22, 2015 at 5:44 am Reply

    People we need to work together on this one. Very important!

    Cipro was just mentioned on Joe Rogan’s podcast:

    (@ 28:35 after she talked about anthrax)

    This podcast is listened to by millions of people on itunes, ustream, his website joerogan.net and youtube. We NEED to ask him to cover it in one of his next podcasts and even better to invite Lisa!!! 🙂 He is very open about every subject of interest and very direct and honest without having to answer to any sponsor or media group.

    PLEASE send him requests to invite Lisa and cover this subject.
    His twitter: https://twitter.com/joerogan
    His homepage: http://www.joerogan.net
    His youtube channel:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzQUP1qoWDoEbmsQxvdjxgQ
    His facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/JOEROGAN

    Send him as many requests as possible. I already contacted him via all this plattforms but we nee more. Only if there are enough requests will he look into it, as there are many requests send his way. So please let’s all send him at least 1 message.
    It’s a chance to reach a lot of people.

    Mark

  8. Cindy Schmidt October 16, 2015 at 8:29 am Reply

    I am so glad you are better….My doctor has denied that Lavequin is making my Tendons in my heels hurt so bad…I am so much luckier than most of you…This is so sad all of these stories…I have been able to get some good information about supplements to take that seen to be helping with my problems…so glad I found this site…

    • Lisa Bloomquist October 17, 2015 at 6:02 pm Reply

      Hi Cindy,

      I’m so glad that you have gotten good information from this site! There is certainly a lot of good information on here. I have found that supplementing collagen has helped my joints. I believe that fluoroquinolones mess up collagen synthesis, and that supplements that help support collagen synthesis can help to relieve joint pain. Just a suggestion. 🙂

      There is a black box warning on Levaquin saying that it increases chances of tendon ruptures. Of course they hurt and are damaged before they rupture. I’m not sure why your doctor’s head is in the sand about this well-documented effect of fluoroquinolones. Hopefully he pulls his head out soon.

      Regards,
      Lisa

      • Lucy Sky October 24, 2015 at 11:34 am Reply

        Lisa
        Can you please remove my last message ending in Vitamin D and a tanning lamp?

        Personally I do not agree with tanning/sunning lamps due to the danger of skin cancer so I do not wish to be associated with it.

        Sorry for any inconvenience caused by this. I am having a flare up thanks to Big Pharma.

        Kindest regards Lucy.

  9. Lucy Sky October 24, 2015 at 11:29 am Reply

    already decided that you’ve been defeated.

    —Vitamin D—This was a necessity to me. A doctor once told me that every time she sees someone with cancer, she knows they will be low in vitamin D. At least half the floxies I’ve met have been deficient in this. My GP gave me some vitamin D drops to take, but with all my sensitivities, I reacted to them. So, I started using a D-lamp through the winter, and on nice days I try to get at least 20 minutes of sunshine. This really helped change the game for me. I’m much less sore with my D, and I’m much more sane too!

  10. joanneg February 4, 2016 at 10:54 am Reply

    Hi, I’m trying to post all over this site to let EVERYONE suffering from this horrific, debilitating affliction know that I think I found my CURE!!!

    Go to homepage (located at top of page) and read my posts starting on Feb. 2nd and the ones following.

    It’s too much to write again

    • Melissa March 15, 2016 at 10:27 pm Reply

      Hi Joanne I cannot find your posts of what helped you. Can you please let me know. Thank you Melissa

      • Ryan L April 9, 2016 at 12:44 pm Reply

        For those searching for Joanneg’s treatment, she posted on Feb 2nd on the home page commentary that she discovered the product Colostrum which has helped her leaky gut symptoms that in turn have improved other issues she was dealing with. She says, “my stomach isn’t wrenching, and even my joints are sooo much better. Not only that, my mind feels bright and happy. It took that ugly depression and doom and gloom away. And I know it’s the Colostrum because I stopped everything else.” From another post she states that she’s “been using Immune-Tree Colostrum 6” as her preferred colostrum product.

        Others have had some improvement with this product as well, but the results seem to vary. Colostrum doesn’t appear to be a magic bullet, but another tool in fighting this toxicity. The consensus among many floxies is that fixing a leaky gut will allow one’s body to repair itself much more efficiently, and theoretically, colostrum is a product that can be beneficial in fixing leaky gut. Even if you don’t feel you have digestive problems, treating the gut with good food seems to help many floxies. I’m still new to all of this myself, and I’m not one who posts much, so I’d recommend that other new folks to this site post general questions on the home page commentary, as there are many wonderful people with much more experience in all of this than I who check that page daily to see what they can learn or how they can help others.

  11. Virginia May 5, 2016 at 6:19 pm Reply

    Lisa, what collagen brand and dosage do you take? Is this shown to help repair partial tendon ruptures?

  12. Dave July 1, 2016 at 7:59 am Reply

    Is there a pain reliever that works for anyone? Aleve, Tylenol, Advil, aspirin?

    • Lisa July 1, 2016 at 10:19 am Reply

      It doesn’t work for everyone, but kratom seems to help a lot of people. Turmeric is good too..

  13. Katherine August 2, 2016 at 8:53 am Reply

    Is Keri fully recovered?

  14. Paula August 15, 2016 at 6:23 pm Reply

    So glad you mentioned you only took one pill. I took one Cipro & am now living day 11of the Cipro nightmare. So many well-meaning people have said, “all this from one little pill???” I really appreciate your story.

  15. Barbara Arnold August 20, 2016 at 9:37 pm Reply

    Hi Kerri,
    Your story really brought tears to my eyes. You have been so brave in the face of such adversity. You are an absolute inspiration to us floxies.
    I am 2 years in and was doing quite well on the road to recovery until I was given a nerve test, which caused a massive flare up of peripheral neuropathy which I am currently and constantly looking for ways to heal this. I have an appointment with a Dr on Monday with a view to looking into ozone therapy. I will post again when I have more information.
    My heart wishes you constant improvement, and thanks you for telling your amazing story.
    Hugs,
    Barbara

    • Aron Lycele August 28, 2016 at 5:24 am Reply

      Thank you for sharing Barbara. I was thinking of doing this nerve test (my doctor wants me to) and I will most likely not do it then. I suspect there is not much you can do if there is nerve damage anyway, except for medications which I wont take. If your recovery was steady over 2 years I would not worry about this setback if I were you. Obviously your body knows how to heal, just give this flare time.

  16. Lisa February 6, 2017 at 12:02 pm Reply

    Amazing.

  17. Amy Raphael May 18, 2017 at 1:32 am Reply

    Hi Kerry,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m glad to hear you are doing so much better. My boyfriend is experiencing Cipro toxicity after taking it about two months ago. He is very positive and doing much better, although he is still experiencing some symptoms. Would you be willing to speak with him about you recovery journey? He would really love to directly speak to someone who has also been through the same experience.
    Many thanks and warm wishes,
    Amy

  18. Carol Ginepro Schroeder July 16, 2017 at 6:44 pm Reply

    I too took Levafloxin- 10 day cycle. I. Ow have neuropathy and just got my MRI results that show multiple lesions in the white matter. Have you heard of many people with that problem related to Levaquin. I am 68 and have been in good health until now.

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