*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.
Healing from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity
In August 2015, I took Levaquin for a sinus infection. School had just started and my oldest went into 6th grade and I was about to homeschool my youngest in 2nd grade. 11 days into the 14 day prescription, I unfortunately found out what FQ toxicity is – I wasn’t able to walk and my Achilles tendons both swelled and I had muscle weakness in my legs – then it felt like my head started to “lift” off, I began hallucinating, my heart started beating oddly (I believe it was prolonged QT intervals), I became nauseous, and I either passed out or went to sleep. Thank God, I woke up the next morning…I didn’t know if I would and remember thinking, “I don’t want to die and leave my kids”.
I did a lot of research the next day and found out that it was called FQ toxicity and like many of you, read the horror stories and prepared myself. I prayed that God would help me through it. Three days later, a rush went over my head and through my face and symptoms began. I called the doctor the next morning and was barely able to use a phone. I couldn’t get words out that I wanted to say and felt like I was walking in a fog. I had panic attacks and anxiety out of the blue – which I knew from my training in clinical psych to breathe calmly and think positive thoughts such as “there is no real danger, the antibiotic is tricking my brain, but I’m fine” – eventually this stopped happening – it breaks the cycle of panic attacks. My neck wouldn’t hold up my head (later, my chiropractor told me I was experiencing neurotoxicity) and over the next month or two, I got better from some symptoms, while others emerged like short term/long term memory loss, trouble processing info, couldn’t read or focus, had an asthma attack, apparently due to lots of toxins in the lungs, developed TMJ as a result of the nerve and CNS damage.
My doctor said he couldn’t help me. A naturopath said she couldn’t help me and some symptoms might be permanent. Another doctor gave me corticosteroids, which I took and yes, it made symptoms worse. I later read absolutely don’t do that. I agree. I also tried a steroid inhaler when I developed asthma symptoms and it made symptoms worse also. I gave up on doctors for the moment.
Yes, it was scary and crazy to me that during the worst time of my life- emotionally, mentally, and physically- there was not a doctor to turn to for info and help on how to treat FQ toxicity.
However, I did find a wonderful chiropractic office that incorporated nutrition, detox, physical therapy, and chiropractic care. The chiropractor had a specialty in functional neurology and was able to explain the symptoms to me and what was happening, which was incredibly helpful.
Another chiropractor at the office specialized in nutrition and was able to help me get on the right supplements to detox and heal the gut and introduced me to fasting – which was the most useful tool I found for healing the brain. I was able to think better after each fast – I’m doing one every 20 days. After my last 5-day fast, I was able to read and focus again. Proper diet and fasting does amazing things for the body and brain. There are great articles on why and neurologists are now saying “if you want to heal the brain, heal the gut”. I had leaky gut as well as neurological symptoms, so for me, this was a crucial and must needed step to heal from FQ toxicity symptoms. Note: In my fasting program, I drank lemon juice and real maple syrup with spring water during the fast as well as spring water by itself to keep minerals and nutrients high even while fasting. I also still had bone broth.
Most of all, being surrounded by people telling me I could and would heal and caring for me in the process, was just as important as anything they actually did to help me. Support is healing.
Lots of symptoms and lots of losses occurred in those couple of months. I love to run, read, drink coffee and wine, be social, play with my kids, and volunteer – but this all needed put on hold to heal. I kept hearing the phrase, “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” so I dove into all the research I could read and books I could find.
After many hours, days, and months of research and reading the books, articles, blog posts, etc available on FQ toxicity, below is the regimen I finally ended up on to heal from FQ toxicity.
Of all the books, articles, etc, I would recommend reading The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution by Kerri Knox. It can be found at http://www.fqtoxicity.com/.
Supplements I take (I order most from pureformulas.com):
B12 Methyl – 5,000 mg daily (for energy and neurological symptoms)
NAC – 500mg morning and night (increases antioxidant glutathione)
Alpha Liporic Acid (ALA)– 600mg daily (helps heal nerve damage)
(Dr. David Perlmutter, neurologist, addresses FQ toxicity and says he uses the above 3, B12 methyl, NAC, and ALA to stop the progression of nerve damage and heal)
MitoQ – 5mg daily (it’s a 3rd generation of CoQ10, but supposed to be 872x more potent at getting into your cells and healing mitochondria – FQ toxicity causes oxidative stress to mitochondria, so taking either this or CoQ10 is needed if at all possible). I order it from http://www.mitoq.com/ – it ships from New Zealand.
Neuro-mag – 144mg daily (this is the only form of magnesium that crosses the blood brain barrier to deliver magnesium to the brain – some issues with FQs is that the brain calcifies and prevents sleep, etc)
Multivitamin – I made sure it had calcium, magnesium, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E (d-alpha kind), selenium, zinc (those 3 supplements– vitamin E, selenium, and zinc were shown to reverse tendiopathy in mice), iodine, B12 methly, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6 (I use Thorne Research brand, Nutri-Fem)
Extra Magnesium- until I get 700-800mg daily
Kelp drops (I bought these at whole foods) – to get enough iodine to equal 1600mcg, even though my multi vitamin has 225mcg, I still do extra because FQs are fluoride and fluoride robs the thyroid of iodine – which causes thyroid problems.
Homeopathic supplement from Dr Recommends called Fem Liquitrophic – which my chiropractor ordered for me to help with my hormones going crazy (menstrual cycles was starting and stopping all the time after FQ toxicity)
Probiotics – at least 20 billion. I order ortho biotic powder by Ortho Molecular Products from pureformulas.com. This one has the strain Saccharomyces boulardii that the book the Fluoroquinolone Solution recommends because it helps combat C-dif infection– a risk after taking FQs.
Collagen Protein – FQs attack ligaments, collagen, etc. and although bone broth is the best way, I believe I have seen benefits by also adding in this powder. I get it from https://store.draxe.com/collections/supplements/products/collagen-protein.
(I make a smoothie everyday and add to it the collagen protein, probiotics, a spoonful of coconut oil, calcium, avocado, kale or other dark greens, and frozen cherries or other berries, with protein powder from https://www.thorne.com/products/dp/medipro-vegan-all-in-one-shake-chai. I found it an easy way to be able to get in all the recommended nutrients and supplements.)
Other Important things I do:
Switched to Spring water only – this was huge in my healing. Tap water has fluoride and turned out to be the reason for the bladder conditions I’ve had for years including overactive bladder and interstitial cystitis. I highly recommend doing this step immediately!
Dry saunas, as often as possible 4-6 times a week – they also detox fluoride.
Infared sauna weekly for 12 weeks– detoxes metals and other toxins – this was a part of my detox program.
Niacin body wrap weekly for 12 weeks – also part of the detox program.
The supplements I use for the 3 month detox program is from Solutions 4 and is a candida diet program. http://www.solutions4.com/products/programs/12-week-candida-2/. Candida was high on blood tests for me.
Take Epsom salt baths – Epsom salt is magnesium and it pulls out toxins from organs, plus nourishes your body with needed magnesium. I read a clinical study that said your body only takes in as much magnesium as you need from Epsom salt baths, so this reduces the likelihood of toxicity when you get magnesium this way.
Magnesium oil – For the sore spots on my legs and feet and Achilles heel, I rub this oil into them and it really does help. I got this at http://www.ancient-minerals.com/products/magnesium-oil/.
I cut out any meat with antibiotics.
Eat a paleo diet. No sugar, no alcohol, had to cut out coffee – hoping to be able to add in coffee someday, but my CNS system cannot handle it after FQ toxicity. I was already following The Wahls Protocol by Dr. Wahls, which is now recommended as a diet for FQ toxicity.
If you are able, I highly recommend finding a chiropractor or some other health care professional on your team who is able to help and is saying “you can heal”. Chemical drugs hurt and do not help with these symptoms so I’d recommend finding someone who knows about supplements and nutrition instead.
I originally took Levaquin for a sinus infection: I now use a netti pot, with the saline packets and up to ½ tsp of Johnsons baby shampoo a few times a week for maintenance and 2x daily if I think I’m getting an infection. My ENT recommended the baby shampoo as it has been shown in clinical studies to be highly effective against mucus. This has been huge for me.
Did food allergy testing – so further inflammation wouldn’t be caused adding to the stress of my body.
I order Manuka honey UMF 15+ from http://www.happyvalley.co.nz/umf-manuka/ – it’s supposed to be as effective as antibiotics or more. We used it for the last round of sickness that would usually have ended us up on antibiotics and we did not have to go to the doctor!
I eat bone broth daily – adding in chicken feet seems to be helping my Achilles tendons and legs more than anything I’ve tried! I can walk 30 minutes now, but did earlier make the mistake of trying to do too much and hurt my tendons again. Since, I’ve read not to do anything for months even if they look and feel fine. I still walk, but that’s it for right now. Looking forward to jogging again.
Read the book “Letting Go” by David Hawkins
Tried to stay positive and truly believe for healing. Prayer and talking to God helped me tremendously. He was telling me I would heal back to total health and I believed him and still do! I recommend daily readings of supportive promises from God and holding onto the message of love and hope. Stress makes symptoms much worse and positive emotions make symptoms better.
I’m 4 months out and still healing but truly every week is better than the one before and that’s what I hold onto- the hope of a better, healthier life. I’m so much more informed about the true consequences of taking drugs and how to actually live a healthy life from now on.
You can heal and things can get better! Believe it!
I’m praying for all those with FQ toxicity.
** 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.