What the heck are Calcium Oxalate Crystals, and why should you even care? Calcium oxalate crystals are extremely damaging substances present in most plants that can lead to a whole host of health problems. Unfortunately, taking antibiotics, particularly the Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics, like Cipro and Levaquin, can cause you to have serious chronic health problems caused by a buildup of these damaging crystals in your body.
What Problems Do Calcium Oxalate Crystals Cause?
When you eat plant foods, like spinach or kale, the oxalic acid they contain combines with the calcium in your body and the food you eat to form extremely scary looking sharp crystals (see image below). Most kidney stones are made up of calcium oxalate crystals, but kidney stones are only the beginning of the problems these crystals can cause.
Cxalate crystals have been known to settle in tissues in the body and either create or exacerbate a wide variety of chronic health problems beyond kidney stones such as:
Vulvodynia (painful vulva)
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Interstitial Cystitis (a painful bladder condition)
While there is little peer reviewed science on oxalate crystals causing these problems, and most of the information we have is from a growing amount of anecdotal reports from individuals, it’s undeniable that oxalates can cause health problems in many, although the mechanisms are not well understood. In fact, those who eat more oxalates are not even necessarily prone to oxalate issues more than those eating less, so there’s no clear cut answers as to why some are prone to these issues while others are not.
Where Do Antibiotics Come In?
This is where antibiotics fit into the picture. Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria, but they don’t just kill the bacteria that are making you sick, they also kill ‘good for you’ bacteria that perform important functions in your body, like Oxalobacter Formigenes.
Humans and other animals have been in a ‘love-hate’ relationship with plants since the beginning of time. Whereas animals can run away or hurt you when you try to eat them, plants can’t do this, so they have developed elaborate defense mechanisms, like producing sharp crystals, in an attempt to keep from being eaten.
But this game has been going on so long that humans have evolved ways to get around these plant defenses, like acquiring the Oxalobacter Formigenes bacteria that specialize in devouring calcium oxalate crystals for food! What a neat trick!
When Antibiotics Kill O. Formigenes
We’ve discussed many of the ways that antibiotics can lead to chronic illness, and destroying the bacteria that help us to manage an excess of calcium oxalate crystals is just one of these.
Again, oxalate toxicity is a complicated subject for which we have more anecdotes than science, but we do know that having a healthy colony of this helpful microorganism can lower the risk of kidney stones by up to 70% 1 and that taking antibiotics, like the Fluoroquinolones, can significantly reduce or eliminate it’s presence in the gut. 23
Can You Replace the Good Bacteria?
Unfortunately, at this time, replacement of the O. Formigenes bacteria in the human gut by taking a probiotic pill is still only in the early stages of development, despite the fact that there are formulations falsely claiming to include the bacteria in their products. 4.
As always, we recommend that avoiding antibiotics whenever possible is always the best and first preventative for problems that can be caused by the Fluoroquinolone and other antibiotics. When you can’t avoid taking them, see our page on What To Do After Taking Antibiotics, but unfortunately, there is no method, currently, to replace the Oxalobacter Formigenes bacteria that degrades damaging calcium oxalate crystals.
We’d love to hear what you think about this in the comments below.
As we always recommend, please understand all of Drug Side Effects of any pharmaceutical drug you have to take. And if you do have to take antibiotics, be sure that you absolutely need them, preferably by getting a test called a Culture and Sensitivity.
If you absolutely do need antibiotics, get an alternative to the fluoroquinolone drugs whenever possible. But if you must take a fluoroquinolone and you end up suffering from any of the symptoms of Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, we highly recommend following the protocol in the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution book. With a money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by the information you’ll learn.
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