As a person living with an incurable chronic illness, my body is more susceptible to infection. Fighting illness every single day takes a toll on the body, so my immune system isn't always able to combat common unfriendly bugs the way it should. This can mean that something like a mild urinary tract infection can quickly become a serious problem for me. Unfortunately, taking the prescribed antibiotics can cause digestive upset, which can also quickly become a serious problem for me. So when I do develop a urinary tract infection, I've had to learn to weigh my options.
Antibiotics may effectively kill off an infection, but they also disrupt the natural balance of healthy flora in our intestinal tracts. They don't just kill bad bacteria; they kill good bacteria, too. And because the good bacteria keep the bad bacteria under control, antibiotics can leave us with even more problems to deal with once our initial complaint is resolved. Our friendly bacteria also help us with many aspects of health and play a huge role in our immune system. If I took antibiotics every time I had an infection, I'd have no friendly bacteria left! This would further destroy my immune system, making me even more prone to infection and in need of more antibiotics. That cycle would just continue on forever, so here's what I do when I have a urinary tract infection, before I consider taking antibiotics.