It is theorized that for some individuals fatigue and brain fog, post Fluoroquinolone exposure, are caused by brain or nervous system inflammation. For some floxies brain inflammation seems to be tied in with heart and endocrine dysfunction probably due to the autonomic system being affected. The following items are things that have helped reduce brain and nervous system inflammation in some folk and thus reducing symptoms.
This advice is not meant to replace the advice of your doctor or medical professional so please discuss all medication use, including supplements, with your doctor. Reading this page any further assumes that you have read and agree with the disclaimer. Also please note that the data contained herein can and will change as further information is obtained.
Cooling – Some people find this preposterous, but for some it actually helps. Applying ice to the skull at least once a day for about thirty minutes to an hour. Concentrate on the point where the head meets the spine at the back of the neck. Several folks do this by wrapping cold packs in a towel and then applying. People have found it to help with general body pain, and amazingly, sleep. Hint from a user: When you have that feverish feeling but don’t actually have a fever, and feel pressure in your head like your brain is pressing against your skull, this is a cue that it’s a good time to apply ice.
Huperzine A – Huperzine A is a substance extracted from a plant called Chinese club moss (Huperzia serrata). In traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese club moss has long been used to reduce inflammation and to sharpen memory. If you can handle the side effects it may be worth a try. It is recommended to start low and slow with only 25mcg, and go up in 25mcg increments every fews days or so. It may take longer for your body to adjust. One user advised if you have have POTS, especially be careful with this. Some floxies have reported good effects starting at 100-200mcg/day, but several studies from China say it takes at least 400mcg/day to see any therapeutic effect. The Source Naturals brand has been used the most, available here and here.
Ginkgo Biloba – Ginkgo Biloba is an antioxidant-rich herb used to enhance brain health by improving blood flow to the brain. Users start at around 60-90mg, and working their way up to 120 3x/day. SOme folks can go higher, while others need to keep the doses down.One user likes to purchase the BulkSupplements powder, on Amazon, but there should be multiple reputable brands with good reviews to choose from here and here.
5-HTP – 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a compound produced in the body from the amino acid tryptophan. It is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin and the hormone melatonin. 5-HTP is manufactured from the seeds of an African plant, Griffonia simplicifolia. 5-HTP can be a very effective supplement. It’s side effects can be bothersome for some individuals. For some it helps with the effect of the inflammation and by balancing serotonin. It is available here.
Anti-inflammatory Diet – This means getting in quality Omega3 fats in supplement form (Flaxseed oil for vegetarians). It is recommended that the be raw, not cooked. If possible eat a lot of vegetables and fruits that are known to be anti-inflammatory. Many folks add in spices like garlic, ginger, and turmeric, depending on toleration and diet restrictions. Also, try to add in things like pomegranates, goji berries, blueberries, healthy nuts, etc. – foods with a high antioxidant amount are usually helpful. I tis recommended to keep sugar intake on the low side when possible. Many, many things in our society contain MSG, which includes almost all processed or restaurant food. MSG, which is poorly tolerated by most floxed folks, is hardly every called MSG nowadays. It is usually something with ‘yeast’ in the name. Many floxed folks cut out as much processed and restaurant food as possible and resort to making their own (or have someone help you) meals with “whole” ingredients. Many processed ingredients have excitotoxins, which can mess up the brain and add to inflammation. Most floxies pay strong attention to what they eat, and cut out anything that they seem to consistently have a bad reaction to.
Rest – It is an understatement to say that floxing is very hard on our bodies. Be king to yourself and take breaks and rest throughout the day. Fatigue is a big issue post floxing and a lot of people find a pacing schedule where you are “on” for 45 minutes or so, and then rest or lay down for an equal time. Some go so far as to lay down in a dark quiet room with your eyes closed. Listen to your body, when your brain is feeling tired and overwhelmed, it’s telling you to stop take a break and rest for a while. Also, pay attention to things exercise or strain your eyes. Hint from a floxie: anything that gives you that old feverish, exhausted, confused feeling, is adding to your inflammation.
Sleep – Exercise good sleep hygiene. It is very important to keep a regular sleep schedule. Try your hardest to stay calm and relaxed before bed. Set up your environment so you can go right to be when tired without doing intermediate steps. Relaxation, meditation, and light yoga (if you’re physically able) can be helpful every day. Practice good stress management (see below). Hint: Increase your blood circulation without stressing your body too much physically. This can be a very important step in avoiding brain inflammation.
De-stress – Consider adding herbal supplements to help you lower stress if you have trouble doing it on your own, especially to sleep. Deep sleep is the best medicine you can get but also one of the hardest things to achieve post floxing for some. Several folks have had severe problems and needed to use a combination of over the counter herbal supplements, like Chamomile or Lemon Balm or Valerian for instance, and low doses of prescription drugs. For many prescription sleep drugs, like Ambien, actually make sleep problems worse. Non-Z type drugs like Ambrien and Lunesta, cause an artificial sleep that most do not find refreshing.
Many chronically affected folks see some kind of difference with one or several of these things listed. If you have time a Google search on “anti-inflammation diet,” and “how to ease brain inflammation” can lead to useful information.
It is important to now that, in generals, floxed folks tend to respond better to a combination of small doses of things, rather than a lot of just one kind of thing. There are no simple answers, instead there are only complex, comprehensive answers to a very complex, comprehensive illness.
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