Healthy Living

Crohn's and Kidney Stones: What's the Connection?

Antibiotics can affect kidney stones in people with Crohn's, too

While on the topic of oral supplements, it is important to discuss antibiotics. Quick refresher on antibiotics: antibiotics target only bacteria and work to prevent infection by killing bacteria. A common misconception exists that all bacteria are harmful, which is false; many are actually extremely good and essential for life! There are many bacteria that live inside our body, especially in the GI tract. Because antibiotics kill bacteria, certain antibiotics will kill the intestinal microbiota inside of us (increasing inflammation and other symptoms), whereas other antibiotics encourage healthy bacterial growth (decreasing inflammation and other symptoms).

According to Dr. Simon Lal, MD, PhD, who has conducted many studies and clinical trials on the effectiveness and efficacy of antibiotics in relation to Crohn’s disease, Metronidazole generally aids in remission and symptomatic improvement and Ciprofloxacin is typically effective in reducing Crohn’s. These two antibiotics occasionally have more serious side-effects, so researchers are investigating other alternatives, like rifaximin for example. Common antibiotics that result in negative side-effects include penicillin, amoxicillin, and Levaquin. It all goes back to oxalate. These antibiotics can reduce the number of Oxalobacter formigenes (a type of bacteria) in the urine, which in turn increases the permeability of oxalate in the GI tract, which causes oxalate stones to lithify and harden.