Tag Archives: insomnia

48 Tips for Overcoming Insomnia

Insomnia is horrible and it can wreak havoc on all areas of your life. If you can’t sleep, you can’t think, and if you can’t think, you can’t do your job well. It puts your emotions on edge and relationships suffer. It can affect your appetite and sleep-deprived people will either eat too much or too little. Prolonged insomnia can have seriously detrimental effects on mental health, and after a while of not sleeping, people start to hallucinate.

Unfortunately, insomnia is something that many “floxies” suffer from. Fluoroquinolones inhibit the neurotransmitter GABA-A, “the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. It plays the principal role in reducing neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system.” Fluoroquinolones have similar effects on neurotransmitters to what happens when people go through benzodiazepine withdrawal–antagonism of the GABA-A receptors which leads to anxiety, psychosis, paranoia, paraesthesia, tinnitus, hypersensitivity to light and sound, tremors, suicidal ideation and tendencies, and INSOMNIA.

There is a vicious cycle when it comes to insomnia–if you can’t sleep, your anxiety and paranoia increase, which can make you even less able to sleep, and the cycle goes on.

Fortunately, many people have found relief from their insomnia. Here are some tips that people have provided for things that have helped them to sleep, and have relieved the cycle of fluoroquinolone-induced insomnia:

  1. Eliminate all sources of caffeine from your diet.
  2. Sleep in a completely dark room–either black-out your windows or set up a cot in a closet.
  3. Use ear-plugs.
  4. Melatonin.
  5. Visualize sleeping soundly in a peaceful place.
  6. Eat a banana before bed.
  7. EHT from Nerium.
  8. Cannabis.
  9. Eliminate alcohol from your diet.
  10. Calm Spirit Pills (Chinese Medicine).
  11. Meditation.
  12. Epsom salt baths.
  13. Borax baths.
  14. Baking soda baths.
  15. Prayer.
  16. A few spritz of magnesium oil spray and a couple of drops of Frankincense oil on a piece of cloth under a pillowcase.
  17. Kavinace PM.
  18. Benadryl.
  19. Tylenol PM.
  20. Herbal/Supplement sleep aids
  21. Honey with sea salt under the tongue.
  22. Valerian root.
  23. Low-dose naltrexone.
  24. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).
  25. Acupuncture.
  26. Zinc monomethionine.
  27. Magnesium.
  28. Tart cherry juice.
  29. Exercise 4+ hours before bedtime.
  30. Cut down on salt intake.
  31. Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) supplement.
  32. No screens (computer, phone, t.v.) before bed.
  33. Gaia Sound Sleep.
  34. Natural Calm Magnesium.
  35. 5HTP.
  36. Emperor’s Tea Pills (Chinese Medicine).
  37. Hypnotization (through an app).
  38. Bioidentical progesterone.
  39. Ambien.
  40. Benzodiazepines.
  41. Turn off wi-fi.
  42. Avoid soy.
  43. Sleep-restriction therapy.
  44. Listen to the radio on a foreign station or a boring station.
  45. Relaxing music.
  46. Silva Meditation For Deep Relaxation.
  47. Breathing Exercises.
  48. Don’t eat red-meat for dinner.

I hope that these tips help you! Insomnia can be debilitating and tortuous. I hope that you find some relief from your insomnia through using some of the methods mentioned above!

Sources:

  1. Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods, “Ciprofloxacin-induced neurotoxicity: evaluation of possible underlying mechanisms.
  2. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, “Neurotoxic effects associated with antibiotic use: management considerations

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Treating Fluoroquinolone Anxiety

Free-floating, often severe, anxiety is a common symptom of fluoroquinolone toxicity.

Fluoroquinolones thoroughly mess up GABA neurotransmitters, and GABA “plays the principal role in reducing neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system.”  Here are a few articles that describe how fluoroquinolones negatively affect GABA – Article 1, Article 2, Article 3.

To put what fluoroquinolones do to GABA neurotransmitters into a framework, they basically throw people into protracted benzodiazepine withdrawal.  People who have gone through benzodiazepine withdrawal at any time in life should NEVER take a fluoroquinolone.  See “Benzodiazepine tolerance, dependency, and withdrawal syndromes and interactions with fluoroquinolone antimicrobials” for more information about how fluoroquinolones affect people who have a history of benzodiazepine use and withdrawal.

The things that help people through protracted benzodiazepine withdrawal may be helpful for floxies too.  GABA neurotransmitters and receptors have been iatrogenically damaged by both drugs, and they need to heal.  From what I understand, the Ashton Manual has a lot of good information in it about healing from benzodiazepine withdrawal.  Support sites like www.benzobuddies.org may also be helpful.

A very interesting review of supplements to treat anxiety (specifically benzodiazepine induced anxiety, but the advice is applicable to floxies too) can be found through this link –

http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/54028-treating-anxiety-safely-effectively/

Additionally, Ruth has researched and written extensively about fluoroquinolone induced anxiety and I suggest reading her story – https://floxiehope.com/ruths-story-cipro-toxicity/ and listening to her podcast – https://floxiehope.com/2015/01/07/the-floxie-hope-podcast-episode-6-ruth-young/.  She also wrote some very interesting and insightful comments on my story starting about June 9, 2015 – https://floxiehope.com/lisas-recovery-story-cipro-toxicity/comment-page-13/#comments.

Ruth mentions supplementing uridine in her story:

I also have found that uridine works really well when I get that horrible insomnia and nothing else is helping. Uridine has it’s own receptors in the brain, so maybe it is a way floxies can bypass GABA receptor damage. I cannot prevent a relapse with it. I take it after the relapse starts, 500-750 mg with a fish oil capsule to help it work better. It’s something to have in reserve for those times you just want to crawl out of your own skin and you need to get some rest. Taking it every day did nothing for me. It has to be timed just right, at the moment that every time I’m starting to fall asleep symptoms are getting more intense and now I’m standing there by my bed with my skin just burning, knowing I am not going to sleep. A couple uridine and I’m out within thirty minutes.

It has recently come to my attention that uridine helps to reduce epileptic seizures and that increases free GABA, thus it has a calming influence. I have found it to be useful.

The things that helped me to get through cipro-induced anxiety are: 1. Acupuncture, 2. Meditation, 3. Stress reduction – especially flox related stress – that meant getting off the internet.

I went through a recent period of pain that induced anxiety. Kava helped me a lot. The longecity article recommends against kava, and I think that their concerns are valid. It is only for short-term use and it probably isn’t best for people who have had a history of benzo withdrawal. Personally, I’ve never had a benzo and I only needed to use kava for a short period of time.  It was a life-saver during the time I used it. Be careful with it though.

There is a vicious cycle when it comes to fluoroquinolone toxicity symptoms and anxiety.  Fluoroquinolone toxicity symptoms lead to stress and anxiety (it’s a pretty reasonable to be stressed and anxious when you’re suddenly in pain, you can’t move but when you do you tear tendons, you lose your memory, and suffer from chronic insomnia – to name just a few symptoms of fluoroquinolone toxicity), stress and anxiety negatively affect the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and lead to dysautonomia, ANS damage leads to more fluoroquinolone toxicity symptoms, which leads to more stress, and so on, and so on.

I don’t think that fluoroquinolone toxicity is “just” anxiety, but I do think that anxiety makes every symptom of fluoroquinolone toxicity worse.  I also think that there is nothing to be trivialized about anxiety.  It’s not a choice.  It’s the central and autonomic nervous systems going completely hay-wire, and both stress and anxiety can lead to serious health problems.

I know that anxiety makes you not want to do these things, but I also suggest trying really hard to do the simple things that make you healthy and happy. Sleep plenty. Enjoy your food. Laugh a lot. Be social. Hang out with a pet and/or children. Those things are healthy and they are healing. They’re easier said than done, but they’re certainly worth a try.

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In my opinion, it’s imperative for floxies to get stress and anxiety symptoms under control.  Neither stress nor anxiety are easy things to control, and, like I said earlier, it’s not a choice – it’s GABA neurotransmitter damage – but anything that can be done to reduce stress and anxiety will help the GABA neurotransmitters to heal, and will help the ANS and CNS to normalize.

Fluoroquinolone induced anxiety can be crawl-out-of-your-skin horrible, but it does get better.  Hang in there, my friends.

 

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The Floxie Hope Podcast Episode 12 – Elise

Elise Floxie Hope Podcast

 

I had the pleasure of interviewing Elise for Episode 12 of The Floxie Hope Podcast.

Elise shares a lot of valuable information in her podcast.  She goes over her long journey of fluoroquinolone toxicity, and things that she has done to heal, in the podcast.

You can listen to the podcast through these links –

http://www.floxiehopepodcast.com/episode-012-elise/

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/floxie-hope-podcast/id945226010

Elise has generously offered to help anyone who wants to reach out to her –

Elise’s facebook info: https://www.facebook.com/elise.child.5

Email: elisedchild@gmail.com

In the podcast, Elise mentions that her naturopathic doctor, Dr. Cynthia Buxton, has helped her immensely.  Dr. Buxton can be found through this link – http://naturalhealthcarenw.com/?p=346

Elise was also helped by eating for her blood type.  Information about that can be found here – http://www.4yourtype.com/

The TQI diet also helped Elise – http://toquietinflammation.com/

Univera Xtra also helped Elise – https://www.newunivera.com/en-us/search?Text=xtra&Area=Products

Elise also found Cleansing/gut health options to be helpful: https://humaworm.com/, http://www.renewlife.com/herbal-cleansing/paragone.html

Liver support: Elise currently takes a tincture with milk thistle, dandelion, etc.

Elise noted, “I forgot to mention the value of amino acid therapy in my own healing, which can be extremely helpful with depression, anxiety, insomnia, getting off of antidepressants, etc. I feel it is very important to do this with one’s doctor for dosage, length of use and quality of supplements. Amino Acid Therapy Info: (some examples, lots of info out there) http://www.neurogistics.com/thescience/aminoacids.asp, http://www.antianxietyfoodsolution.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Anxiety-mood-emotional-eating-sugar-cravings-mood-quiz-by-Trudy-ScottV2.pdf

If you have any questions about any of these products, please contact Elise.

Thank you for listening to The Floxie Hope Podcast!  Stay hopeful, friends!

 

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The Floxie Hope Podcast Episode 10 – Ariel

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In Episode 10 of The Floxie Hope Podcast Ariel shares her journey through fluoroquinolone toxicity.  Ariel felt and looked like she had aged 15 years in a matter of just a couple months after she took ciprofloxacin to treat a urinary tract infection.  She also suffered from anxiety, insomnia, depersonalization and many areas of her life falling apart.  Though Ariel is still going through her fluoroquinolone toxicity journey, she has learned many life lessons along the way.  She has found her strength and joy has returned to her life.  Ariel brings beautiful perspective to the journey through fluoroquinolone toxicity.

You can listen to Episode 10 of The Floxie Hope Podcast featuring Ariel through these links:

http://www.floxiehopepodcast.com/episode-010-ariel/

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/floxie-hope-podcast/id945226010

Reviews on iTunes are greatly appreciated!  Thank you very much for listening to The Floxie Hope Podcast!

 

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FDA Petitioned to Add Psychiatric Side Effects to Black Box Warning for Fluoroquinolones

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In a survey of 94 people who experienced adverse reactions to Levaquin/levofloxacin, a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, 72% reported experiencing anxiety, 62% reported depression, 48% reported insomnia, 37% reported panic attacks, 33% reported brain fog and/or cognitive impairment, 29% reported depersonalization and/or derealization, 24% reported thoughts of suicide and 22% reported psychosis.

Psychiatric side-effects of fluoroquinolones are common.  Though many of the psychiatric adverse effects of fluoroquinolones are listed on the warning label, they are buried in the “Central Nervous System Effects” section.  Dr. Charles Bennett of the Southern Network on Adverse Reactions (SONAR), has submitted a petition to the FDA requesting that a black box warning about serious psychiatric adverse events be added to the Levaquin/levofloxacin warning label.

More information about the serious psychiatric adverse effects of fluoroquinolones can be found in this post –

PSYCHIATRIC SIDE EFFECTS OF FLUOROQUINOLONE ANTIBIOTICS

Please spread the word about the psychiatric problems that fluoroquinolones can cause.  The serious psychiatric adverse effects of fluoroquinolones are under-recognized.

People are suffering because they are not adequately warned about the dangers of fluoroquinolones.

Thank you for reading and sharing the post!

 

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Is FQ Induced Insomnia an Autoimmune Problem?

In the December 9, 2013 issue of The New Yorker, there was an article by Ian Parker entitled “The Big Sleep” about Merck’s new sleeping pill called Suvorexant.  The article is interesting and I recommend that you check it out – http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/12/09/131209fa_fact_parker

There were a couple of things that I found to be of interest in the article, from a Floxie perspective.

First, Parker noted that, “In narcoleptic humans, the cells that produce orexin have been destroyed, probably because of an autoimmune response.”  This is a really interesting assertion/finding.  Narcolepsy may be an autoimmune response/dysfunction/disease.  I wonder if insomnia is also an autoimmune response/dysfunction/disease.  I wonder if the cells that produce orexin (“Orexin neurotransmitters, first identified fifteen years ago, promote wakefulness.”) are over-stimulated in some Floxies, hence the horrible insomnia that some people suffer from.  Or, another possibility is that an autoimmune response in Floxies destroyed the cells that produce melatonin, or other hormones/neurotransmitters that are necessary to induce sleep.

My thinking at this time (subject to change with the introduction of more information), is that much of floxing is an autoimmune response/dysfunction/disease that results from a loss of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from lymphocytes (immune system cells).  Here are some articles on the effects of fluoroquinolones on lymphocytes:

Perhaps, if the insomnia that Floxies suffer from is an autoimmune response of some sort, a pill that is an orexin antagonist, like Suvorexant, can help relieve, or even cure their insomnia.

The experience of getting floxed has made me VERY averse to pharmaceuticals (I intend to never take a drug again).  I empathize with anyone who is wary of trying a new drug.  But insomnia is horrible and when these orexin antagonist drugs are released into the market, if any Floxies are willing to try it, please let me know how it works for you.

Insomnia is one of those disorders that is easy to blame on the victim.  It is thought that everyone should be able to simply turn their mind off and sleep.  If it turns out that insomnia is an autoimmune response/dysfunction/disease, perhaps it will be recognized that, a) sleeping is not a simple condition to treat, and, b) a lot of people have autoimmune dysfunction and disease.  If even 10% of insomniacs are suffering from insomnia because of autoimmune dysfunction, the number of people with autoimmune problems is significantly larger than it is thought.  What could cause so many people (those with official autoimmune diseases, narcoleptics, insomniacs and those with chronic mysterious diseases like fibromyalgia) to have malfunctioning lymphocytes?  FLUOROQUINOLONES!  The articles above go into more detail and actually build a case, and there are more to be found on the internet and in the library (search for “fluoroquinolone or ciprofloxacin and lymphocytes”).  There are probably other factors at work too, but the role that fluoroquinolones play in inducing dysfunctional lymphocytes is large and it has been systematically overlooked.

The other interesting point in the article was this:

“In a recent paper in the online edition of the British Medical Journal, Daniel Kripke, a professor emeritus at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, examined five years of electronic medical records collected by a health system in Pennsylvania. He compared more than ten thousand patients who had been prescribed a sleep medicine—most commonly Ambien—and more than twenty thousand patients who had not. After adjusting for age, gender, smoking habits, obesity, ethnicity, alcohol use, and a history of cancer, and after controlling, as much as possible, for other diseases and disorders, Kripke found that people who had taken sleeping pills were more than three times as likely to have died during the study period as those who had not. Those on higher doses of the drugs were more than five times as likely to have died.”

I wonder if Dr. Kripke could do an analysis of health outcomes among people who have taken fluoroquinolones versus those who have taken other kinds of antibiotics (or no antibiotics).  I would bet quite a bit of money that those who have taken a fluoroquinolone are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia, leaky gut syndrome, lymphoma, etc. and that they are more likely to have children with autism, ADD, ADHD, allergies, etc.  I’m going to write him a letter requesting that he look into doing a study of health outcomes for people who take fluoroquinolones.  It can’t hurt to ask.  Besides, he’s a colleague of Dr. Beatrice Golomb, who is conducting the UCSD Fluoroquinolone Effects Study.  Dr. Golomb will almost certainly have enough evidence to conclusively show that Gulf War Syndrome was caused by Cipro soon.  When that news is released to the public, people will want to know what the consequences of 20+ million prescriptions for fluoroquinolones being given to American civilians each year for the past two decades has done to human health.  If Dr. Kripke is prepared with the answer, maybe this ridiculousness of prescribing fluoroquinolones for any situation other than a life-threatening emergency will stop.

 

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