Digestive Care Expert Brenda Watson

Antibiotics Not Always Needed for Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the second most common type of infection with over 8 million visits to health care providers each year. Women are affected more often than men, simply due to anatomy. The treatment for UTIs is antibiotic medication, which is well known for modifying the beneficial flora that reside in the digestive tract and urogenital tract. Furthermore, overuse of antibiotics is contributing to the increase of antibiotic resistance—the ability of certain bacteria to survive antibiotic treatment.

The recurrent nature of UTIs increases the likelihood that antibiotic resistance might develop due to the need to give multiple treatments, which lowers the sensitivity of bacteria to the antibiotics. A recent study published in the journal BioMed Central Family Practice offers good news, however. Researchers from the University of Amsterdam found that 70 percent of women with uncomplicated UTI symptoms who did not use antibiotics for a week either were cured or showed improvement.

“Women may be more receptive to the idea of delaying treatment than is commonly assumed by many clinicians. Given proper observations to simply doing nothing, or giving pain medication instead of an antibiotic, is an effective treatment and one which will reduce the risk of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” stated Bart Knottnerus, MD, PhD, lead author.

Antibiotics can be miracle drugs when it comes to certain pathogenic infections that cannot be treated by another means. For this very reason, the use of antibiotics must be reserved for when it is truly needed so that these important medications do not become obsolete. Next time you have an uncomplicated UTI, talk to your doctor about the potential of waiting a week to see if antibiotics are necessary. You may get by with simple pain medication and good-old immune health.


Written by Brenda Watson

Brenda Watson is among the foremost authorities in America today on natural digestive care, herbal cleansing and nutrition. A dynamic health advocate, best-selling author and celebrated PBS-TV health educator, Brenda overcame her own battle with chronic illness and has since helped millions of people improve their well-being through optimal digestion and nutrition. She continues to share her knowledge with the world through her books, online media, and radio and television appearances.Sign up today in the right sidebar to receive Brenda’s Healthy Living eNewsletter full of do-it-yourself tips, recipes, and exclusive offers!

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  • ReeseR

    I use Azo, or equivalent store brand, to relieve the urgency and pain. I also use the Azo Cranberry supplement. Despite a recent “study” that claims cranberry doesn’t work, it does for me. Then I either eat pineapple, or one can drink a glassful of water with 1 teaspoon baking soda. Both contain bromelien which sluffs off the cells inside the bladder. I get relief for mild UTI’s with this protocol. BUT, if you don’t get relief within 3 days, please ask your doctor. DAILY, I take a cranberry supplement, Esther C, and a garlic supplement. When I follow this religiously I avoid UTI’s. I hope this helps.

  • Brenda Watson

    As for a “treatment”, meaning what to do to reverse the infection, that’s a tough question. If you’re dealing with a recurrent situation, you have to look for what’s underlying. Often with UTIs it’s Candida overgrowth. In this case, the kidneys become overburdened. Additionally, as you take round after round of antibiotics, your good guy population of probiotics becomes increasingly distorted. Feel free to contact my assistant at jsinclaire@renewlife.com to send you the chapter on UTIs from my recent book which offers a lot of info and also protocols to follow to rebuild and strengthen your system. Many tips.

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