Antibiotics causing Crohn's????

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Sad Mom!
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 10/15/2007 9:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone,
I was just wondering if most of you here were put on lots of antibiotics prior to your dx. The reason why I am asking is, after talking with someone who knows a lot about medicine, she mentionned to me that most people with ibd were people that used a lot of antibiotics in their lives before they were dx and that it is a strong opinion that the repeated use of antibiotics are the cause of ibd. This conversation left me wondering since it is a fact that my son, was put on a lot of antibiotics as a child for repeated ear infections. (Now I feel guilty, for giving it to him!) I do know that antibiotics are prescribed to treat ibd (Flagyl, Cipro) but I don't know what to think???
Has anyone else ever heard of this before???
Thanks to all and Good health to everyone!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 10/15/2007 9:44 AM (GMT -6)   
taking antibiotics for a chronic sinus infection gave me c-diff which tripped Crohn's. I took antibiotics maybe 5x in my life prior to the sinus infection I got in January. Yes, I believe that antibiotics can play a role in Crohn's. I do not allow the pediatrician to give my kids antibiotics unless they will die if they do not have them. The infectious disease docs at the hospital told me that i should never take antibiotocs again unless i am dying.
Dx'd 5/07, pred, asacol, azasan
missing chocolate...

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 10/15/2007 10:55 AM (GMT -6)   
There are so many things "THEY" say triggers Crohns. I have heard alot of them, i.e. milk drinkers, smokers, users of antibiotics. Had a great conversation with my GI recently, and he said that they don't know yet what the triggers are. He says because everyone's Crohns is so individual that, one thing might be a trigger for one, and another will get triggered by something else. Let me tell you, I started smoking at 13 (quit 8 yrs ago), I had alot of allergies when I was a kid, I had a GP who believed giving antibiotics by shot to get it into the system quicker, and I drank milk all the time until I was in my 30's. So as you can see I had alot of things that could be a trigger, but which one is the question. It could have been from something totally different. JMHO.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 10/15/2007 11:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Crohn's has been around a lot longer than antibiotics.

30+ years living with Crohn's.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 10/15/2007 11:32 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree with belleenstein, and nanners, there is know way to pinpoint a cause or trigger right now and cd has been around for ages. I try to ignore alot of what "they" say unless "they" can prove validity with facts and research.
Dx CD 2003 but probably had it 10 years prior
Dx Primary Sclerossing Cholangitis 2006
GB out '95, Appendix out '96, Kidney stent '02/stone removal '02, Resection '04, fistulectomy '06 2x, tubal '05
Currently on 100mg 6mp-50 mg,  and Remicade every 8 weeks, Ambien, predsnisone, humira 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 10/15/2007 12:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sad Mom If that were the case this forum would have a lot more people on here lots of people do not have CD who have taken antibotics. Either a person needs them or they don't. Lots of prople would die without them. lol gail

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20552
   Posted 10/15/2007 12:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Actually regarding smoking and second-hand smoke, researchers have determined that it is infact one KNOWN trigger for crohns...however one still must be predisposed to getting crohns.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 10/15/2007 7:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, we do believe penicillin-based antibiotics like Augmentin helped to trigger my daughter's Crohn's. In the hospital, Zosyn, another penicillin-based antibiotic, was given for a suspected bacterial infection but instead only increased my daughter's Crohn's symptoms: cramps and RLQ pain.
However other antibiotics, like Zithromax, might have a role in helping fight Crohn's. So if she gets a throat infection, she sticks to the Z pack, and so far has not seen it exacerbate Crohn's. 
Daughter (19) Dx'd Crohn's 3/06. Misdiagnosed for two years, including by top pediatric Crohn's specialist as stress and needing more fiber but landed in hospital in 3/06 with cramps, vomiting, stricture. In remission with Entocort 3 mg (one pill), SCD multivitamin, homemade yogurt, vit D3 1800IU, 900+ mg calcium, 50 mg B complex vit, 25 mg iron. Just quit the SCD diet.   

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 10/16/2007 3:01 AM (GMT -6)   
I think we are born with a gene that predisposes us to getting certain diseases...CD is one of them. Our bodies already, from birth had this "waiting" gene and given the right circumstances.,,,which are different for everyone....that part of our body which is already ready and waiting , simply succombs to the disease.
However, I do believe that this gene ( which they have positively identified for CD) has more to do with a predisposition to autoimmune deficiencies....thus, many of us end up with more than one auto immune related condition.
So I think that the "triggers" are different for everyone , but the gene is the same. You either have it or not.
50 yr.old retired RN,Crohn's D for last35 yrs..severe esophagitis, migraines,strictures,urethral stricture,depression,probable MS.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 3042
   Posted 10/16/2007 4:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree with belleenstein.
Hi, I am teddybearweiser, I am a male.
I was diagnosed with crohns disease when i was admitted to the hospital
in 1992, in Jan of 1993 I was back in the hospital for surgery for my crohns. I had part of my right colon resectioned with ilecolonstomy.
 My GI doctor has me on Asacol, Dicyclomine,Imuran,Celebrex and Remicade. B-12 injection once a month.
My Internest doctor has me on Lisnopril-HTCZ and Folic Acid. Diagnosed
with Osteoarthritis July 2007

Sad Mom!
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 10/16/2007 12:04 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks everybody, it seems that the opinions are divided on this.

Keep well!


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 10/16/2007 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry to say but I have found out here lately that doctors haven't the slightest clue. I have constipation since I was 10 mnths old and they stretched my bowels. I always thought me not going regularly caused mine, but who knows anymore!! However, I was also on a lot of antibiotics as a kid for strep throat and then after they removed my tonsils I had reoccurring sinus infections. So I've pretty much been on them my whole life and then I got immune and ended up with phnemonia. I hate that your baby is sick that must be one of the worst things you could possibly be going through. You probably wish you could take it all away. I think something is up with my 2 year old bc he cant even drink juice or eat certain stuff w/o getting the dreadful D. From hearing your theory I think that antibiotics might have caused my crohns there is no trace of it in my family history. I hope your baby gets better and try not to worry too much. Just do everything you can do and you guys will be fine! TAKE CARE!
DX: Crohns in March 2007
Meds: Remicade

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 10/16/2007 2:41 PM (GMT -6)   

I felt guilty, too, about the penicillin-based antibiotics my daughter received. (So guilty, in fact, that I refused, for months, to accept that antibiotics could have played any role.) But now that guilt is gone. I don't know the exact moment it vanished or when it vanished, but it's a relief to have it gone, because it certainly depletes the energy needed to learn about and help my daughter fight this disease.

I probably just got tired of beating myself up and realized I did the best I could with the knowledge I had at the time. Nobody knows whether antibiotics help trigger Crohn's. If they do in any single individual's case (because researchers don't even know whether what causes Crohn's in one person is what causes it in another), then they are highly unlikely to be the only cause. Because Biaxin is one of the meds used to combat suspected MAP causes of Crohn's, maybe the Biaxin she took for pneumonia also fought her Crohn's...who knows? Certainly not any GI.

The official line from the ccfa web site, below, says it best: nobody knows what causes Crohn's, but it is likely due to a complex interplay of factors, including genetic inheritance, immune system, and "something in the environment":

"Although considerable progress has been made in IBD research, investigators do not yet know what causes this disease. Studies indicate that the inflammation in IBD involves a complex interaction of factors: the genes the person has inherited, the immune system, and something in the environment...Many scientists now believe that the interaction of an outside agent (such as a virus or bacterium) with the body's immune system may trigger the disease, or that such an agent may cause damage to the intestinal wall, initiating or accelerating the disease process."

Mormor Vicky
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 684
   Posted 10/16/2007 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I went through the quilt trip when my daughter was dx'd 14 years ago at the age of 12. It took awhile to accept that I didn't have anything to do with her getting Crohn's. Then I was dx'd last year and of course all those quilty feelings came flooding back. I really know I didn't do anything to cause her to have Crohn's but it was my genes that gave it to her. But it also was my genes that gave her beautiful skin and blond hair and a cute nose. Definately didn't get that from her dad. LOL!!! Just remember, you pass on the good and the bad.
Vicky / 47 years old
DX'd with Crohn's during a resection August 2006
DX'd with Steriod induced Diabetes November 2006
Considered in Clinical remission but have minor signs of disease activity
Daughter (26) also has Crohn's since she was 12.
Currently on 4000mg of Pentasa only for Crohn's
No longer able to take 6-MP because of Bone-Marrow Suppression
Cymbalta, Metformin, Lipitor

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