Tag Archives: Pelvic Pain

Minor, but Strange, Post-Flox Health Issues

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.

https://www.hormonesmatter.com/pelvic-pain-abdominal-heat-personal-story/

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.

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(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/

(2) http://www.johnleemd.com/estrogen-dominance.html

(3) https://www.hormonesmatter.com/progesterone-peripheral-neuropathy/

(4) http://www.livestrong.com/article/496026-adrenal-fatigue-low-progesterone/

(5) https://adrenalfatigue.org/cortisol-adrenal-function/

 

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Cipro is no better than a PLACEBO at treating chronic prostatitis / chronic pelvic pain syndrome

It is noted in the book, A Headache in the Pelvis, that, “Ciprofloxacin, one of the most powerful antibiotics, on a long-term basis proves to be only as effective as a placebo” for treatment of chronic prostatitis / chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).

I just about fell out of my chair when I read that.

Ciprofloxacin, not only one of the most powerful antibiotics, but also one of the most dangerous antibiotics, is NO MORE EFFECTIVE THAN A PLACEBO for treatment of chronic prostatitis.  Despite their lack of effectiveness, “Quinolones, such as ciprofloxacin, are commonly used to treat CP/CPPS because of their excellent penetration into the prostate.”

Ciprofloxacin penetrates the prostate, and every cell in the body well, but that doesn’t seem like a good enough reason to give it out to the 9-12% of men who suffer from prostatitis if it is NO MORE EFFECTIVE THAN A PLACEBO in treating chronic prostatitis.

Let’s do a cost/benefit analysis of ciprofloxacin versus a placebo.

Placebo

Benefits:  Some potential alleviation of symptoms, as well as potential increases in physical and mental health scores.  (The placebo effect is amazing – it’s not the same as doing nothing.)

Costs:  The potential for “nocebo” effects exists – the experience of adverse effects based on the expectation of adverse effects.  A placebo is a sugar pill though, and the potential for adverse effects is negligible.

Ciprofloxacin

Benefits:  Some potential alleviation of symptoms, as well as potential increases in physical and mental health scores.  (Same potential benefits as the placebo.)

Costs:  Ciprofloxacin and other fluoroquinolones can kill people – DEATH is a potential effect.  If they don’t kill the patient, they can still structurally weakening of every tendon in one’s body, cause mitochondrial dysfunction and potentially increase the risk of all of the diseases related to mitochondrial dysfunction (including neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases), lead to serious central nervous system adverse effects including seizures, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation and intracranial pressure, cause liver and kidney failure, PERMANENT peripheral neuropathy, and more.  There is a 43 PAGE warning label for ciprofloxacin.  Many things are missing from the warning label, and a list of some of the adverse effects can be found HERE.  When patients are given ciprofloxacin, they are not only risking a single adverse effect listed on the warning label, they are risking multiple, devastating effects that may be permanent.

Opting for the sugar pill seems pretty reasonable—better, actually.

It is criminal to subject people to a drug as dangerous as ciprofloxacin for a condition that it isn’t effective at treating.  It is NOT a benign drug.  It is a topoisomerase interruptera chemo drug – and it should NOT be used frivolously.  Ciprofloxacin, and all the other fluoroquinolones, should only be used in life-threatening situations and they should NEVER be used for conditions that they are not proven effective at treating.  They should NEVER be used in situations where they have been shown to be no more effective than a placebo.

This isn’t rocket science.  Don’t give people dangerous drugs that don’t even have the potential for helping them.  It’s not hard.  But men with CP/CPPS are given ciprofloxacin, and other fluoroquinolones, as if they’re candy, to “treat” their condition.  It’s absurd.

The study that found that CP/CPPS is no more effective than a placebo was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2004 and it was entitled “Ciprofloxacin or Tamsulosin in Men with Chronic Prostatitis / Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome: A Randomized, Double-Blind Trial.”  The article notes that:

“Chronic prostatitis / chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is a common disorder and accounts for approximately 2 million visits to physicians annually in the United States.  The substantial impact of CP/CPPS includes bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms, sexual dysfunction, reduced quality of life, and increased health care expenditures.  The syndrome is diagnosed only on the basis of symptoms, principally pain or discomfort in the pelvis region.  No objective measures can help define the disease.  Although bacteria can infect the prostate, most men with prostatitis have a negative midstream urine culture, indicating that bacteria may not be the cause of their symptoms.”

“Because the cause of CP/CPPS is unknown, affected men receive many empirical therapies.  The 2 most common treatments prescribed by physicians are antimicrobial agents and a-adrenergic receptor antagonists, although there is little objective evidence to support their use.  Quinolones, such as ciprofloxacin, are commonly used to treat CP/CPPS because of their excellent penetration into the prostate and broad spectrum coverage for uropathogens and other organisms traditionally believed to be associated with the syndrome.” 

After completing a randomized, double-blind trial on men suffering from CP/CPPS, and comparing those who received ciprofloxacin, tamsulosin, a combination of both ciprofloxacin and tamsulosin, and a placebo, it was concluded that, “Ciprofloxacin and tamsulosin did not substantially reduce symptoms in men with long-standing CP/CPPS who had at least moderate symptoms.”

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Ciprofloxacin, and other antibiotics, are given to men with non-bacterial prostatitis for no good reason whatsoever.  They are often given long courses as well – 6 to 12 weeks of the drugs.  That’s a long enough course for many of the men who are given these drugs to cross their tolerance threshold for the drugs and get floxed.

If ciprofloxacin was effective at treating CP/CPPS, perhaps it would be worth the risk of getting floxed.  But ciprofloxacin isn’t effective at treating CP/CPPS.  It’s no more effective than a sugar pill and it is beyond ridiculous and wrong to expose men to a dangerous drug that doesn’t even help them.

CP/CPPS has been shown to be treatable through the techniques outlined in A Headache in the Pelvis: A new understanding and treatment for prostatitis and chronic pain syndromes.  The effective treatments include trigger point therapy and concomitant relaxation training.  More information about the treatments can be found in the article, “6-Day Intensive Treatment Protocol for Refractory Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome Using Myofascial Release and Paradoxical Relaxation Training,” as well as on the web site http://www.pelvicpainhelp.com/.

Many symptoms of CP/CPPS, and other pelvic pain syndromes, react well to relaxation training and appear to be a response to stress and anxiety.  “Chronic pelvic pain reflects tension in the pelvic floor, initiated or exacerbated by cycles of mental tension, anxiety and stress.”  Pelvic pain syndromes are no more a choice than other bodily manifestations of stress such as heart attacks, back pain or tension headaches.  The pain is real and it is not “in the patient’s head.”  The brain is not separate from the body though, and what is going on in the head can have bodily manifestations.

The effects of ciprofloxacin, and other fluoroquinolones, on neurotransmitters may exacerbate CP/CPPS and other diseases related to stress and anxiety.  Fluoroquinolones block GABA-A receptors.  GABA receptors are the neurotransmitters that induce a calming response.  When GABA receptors are blocked by fluoroquinolones, anxiety, insomnia, fearfulness, loss of confidence, loss of self, psychiatric illness and even seizures can result.  Floxed patients often report being unable to relax, a reduced threshold for stress, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, and other symptoms of GABA neurotransmitter dysfunction.  Fluoroquinolones activate the sympathetic nervous system and disrupt the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

If CP/CPPS is primarily a response to anxiety, stress and disregulation of the sympathetic/parasympthetic nervous systems, ciprofloxacin may not only fail to improve chronic pelvic pain conditions, it may exacerbate them.

Prescribing ciprofloxacin, or any other fluoroquinolone, to patients with chronic pain and non-bacterial prostatitis, is not only not helpful – IT IS HARMFUL, and may exacerbate the condition it is prescribed to treat.

Post-script note – Many people, especially elderly women, are given fluoroquinolones to treat asymptomatic urinary tract infections after a urinalysis shows bacteria in their urine.  It has recently been noted that URINE ISN’T STERILE.  And again, people are getting floxed for no good reason.

Sources:

A Headache in the Pelvis, a New, Revised, Expanded and Updated 6th Edition: A New Understanding and Treatment for Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndromes by David Wise and Rodney Anderson

Alexander RB, et al. “Ciprofloxacin or tamsulosin in men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a randomized, double-blind trial.” Annals of Internal Medicine, 2004 Oct 19;141(8):581-9.

Anderson RU, et al. “6-day intensive treatment protocol for refractory chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome using myofascial release and paradoxical relaxation training.” The Journal of Urology, 2011 Apr;185(4):1294-9. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2010.11.076. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

“What is the mechanism by which the fluoroquinolone antibiotics (e.g., ciprofloxacin, gemifloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin) can increase a patient’s risk for developing a seizure or worsen epilepsy?Pharmacology Weekly, ©2008 – 2014 Pharmacology Weekly, Inc.

 

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Pelvic Pain

I’m going through a rough period health-wise.  I am not going to say that it’s a relapse of my FQ toxicity symptoms, because it may not be related to my floxing.  But I am going to say that I am in a lot of pain right now and I’m struggling.

I’ve been experiencing pelvic (toward the back door) pain for a while.  It started a few months ago but it was on and off and I was able to ignore it.  A few weeks ago it got so bad that it kept me up all night for a few nights.  Then, a week ago, it became constant.  Constant, horrible, tightness and spasming in my pelvis.  It’s excruciating.  Truly, it’s the most horrible pain I’ve ever experienced.  On a 1 to 10 pain scale, I’ll give the pain a 9.  I’ve never felt pain this horrible, but I’ve never passed a kidney stone or gotten severely burned, so I’ll reserve a 10 for those things.  It’s consuming pain though and it really, really, really sucks.

I am pretty sure that the cause of my pain is Levator Ani Syndrome.  Basically, it’s a spasming of the deep muscles in my pelvis.  All of my symptoms fit Levator Ani Syndrome.  My doctor is checking me for other possibilities, but because Levator Ani Syndrome is a diagnosis of elimination I suspect that she won’t find anything wrong with me.  (I hope there is nothing else wrong.  If this is a sign of colon cancer, or even IBS, both of those are very bad things.)

My pain may or may not have anything to do with fluoroquinolone toxicity.  It may be caused by neuropathy of my pudendal nerve, in which case, it may be caused by getting floxed 3 years ago.  But it also may be caused by something that has nothing to do with FQ toxicity – like maybe I was doing Pilates wrong and it caused tension and cramping in those muscles.  The causes of Levator Ani Syndrome, and most other causes of pelvic pain, are unknown, so it’s impossible to tell whether or not the pain that I’m in has to do with the damage that Cipro did to me.

I was fine.  I truly was fine.  I was doing really well and living a normal life.  This is a bit of a set-back and I’m feeling pretty lousy about it.

This really sucks.  Pain sucks.  There is nothing okay about constant, horrible pain in my pelvis.

I’m hoping that chiropractic, acupuncture, neurosculpting and mind-body alignment therapy will heal me and get rid of this pain entirely.  I’ve just started each of those things.  I really, really, really hope they help.

Until I can go through some sessions of chiropractic, acupuncture, neurosculpting and mind-body alignment therapy, I’ve had to figure out how to deal with the pain.  The following things have helped me through the pain:

1.  Kratom – This painkilling herb has been a life-saver.  It gets rid of my pain better than vicodin but without any side-effects.  I hate vicodin and other prescription painkillers.  Kratom has been wonderful and I am sorry for ever doubting its greatness.

2.  Corydalis – Corydalis isn’t as strong of a painkiller as kratom, but it has still helped immensely.  It’s on par with the OTC painkillers like ibuprofen and tylenol, but without some of the nasty effects of those drugs.

3.  Kava – I’m in a horrible cycle of pain-tension-anxiety-pain-tension-anxiety that spirals and makes every one of those things worse.  Kava helps to break that cycle.  It has been a life-saver.

4.  Sitting on a tennis ball – It helps to relax the muscles that are spasming.  It’s uncomfortable, but discomfort is better than pain.

5.  Massage – All of the muscles in my lower body have tensed up.  Getting a massage helped.

6.  Breathing exercises – Breathing deeply, into my pelvis, has helped.

7.  Cannabis based pain lotion – The lotion that I got is pretty low in both CBD and THC, but rubbing it on the affected area seems to help none-the-less.

8.  Hot baths – With epsom salt – they help.

I’ve tried tart cherry juice, herbal muscle relaxers, meditation and a few other things too.  They are good in their own right, but they haven’t been able to touch the pain that I’m currently dealing with.

Other than sitting on a tennis ball, the things that have helped me through this painful time may be able to help others through pain.  People have asked me what to do about pain and I’ve always said, “drink tart cherry juice and meditate.”  Now I know that sometimes that doesn’t cut it.  My pain was severe (and still is).  Painkilling herbs have helped.  I’m not a doctor and everyone’s situation is different, but kratom, corydalis, kava and the other things listed sure helped me a lot.

I don’t know how I would have gotten through this last week, or faced this next week, without kratom, kava and corydalis.  I am thankful for them.  But I don’t want to be on them long-term.  I want this pain to just go away.  I’m hoping that my multi-pronged alt-therapy approach helps.  It has to.  This current situation is not okay.

If anyone has any other suggestions as to how to get through this, I’d love to hear them.

And to all those who can empathize with my pain – I’m so sorry!  It sucks.  I hope that you find relief!

I hope that I can get through this quickly and get back to being hopeful, well and fully recovered.

 

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