It seems like no matter what you walk into the doc's office with these days, you're bound to walk OUT with a prescription for an antibiotic.
For complaints from sore throats to stomach aches and skin rashes, antibiotics are often the go-to treatment -- even when docs aren't sure that these drugs are even necessary.
And while antibiotics can absolutely save your life if you've got a nasty infection… every time you take one, you risk stirring up a hornet's nest of other health problems.
We know that antibiotics can mess with your gut... tax your heart ... and even pave the way for allergies. And according to a new study, they can also boost your risk of one of the most painful things you could pass out of your body (short of giving birth).
In the study, UK researchers analyzed the health records of nearly 300,000 patients with and without kidney stones and found that FIVE different classes of antibiotics boosted the chances of developing them.
Those who received broad-spectrum penicillin drugs (like amoxicillin) were 27 percent more likely to have developed kidney stones than those who took no antibiotics.
And those who were prescribed sulfa drugs (like erythromycin) were nearly TWICE as likely to get socked by kidney stones than those who took no antibiotics at all.
Even worse, the elevated risk stayed in place for several years AFTER antibiotic use was completed!
That means you could take an antibiotic today... and wind up "giving birth" to a kidney stone YEARS down the line.
And I can promise that it WON'T be a bundle of joy.
Now, the study didn't determine exactly how antibiotic use leads to kidney stones.
But one theory is that when antibiotics disrupt the delicate balance of bacteria in your gut (a.k.a. your gut "microbiome"), they change how nutrients are metabolized in such a way that encourages kidney stones to form .
Antibiotics may also throw your urinary microbiome (yep, there is such a thing) out of whack, leading to kidney stone formation.
And the researchers couldn't rule out the possibility that the antibiotics THEMSELVES may crystallize in your kidneys.
So, if you want to protect yourself from these painful stones, make sure to take an antibiotic only when absolutely necessary.
And if you truly do need one, talk to a doc well-versed in integrative medicine about how to incorporate natural infection-fighting remedies -- like essential plant oils and colloidal silver -- into your treatment plan.
For example, cranberries can often clear up urinary tract infections -- and they've even been proven to dissolve kidney stones.