Praise God that I've now been antibiotic-free for 6 years! Considering that I spent several years on and off and on antibiotics again, this Anniversary is nothing short of a miracle! =)
In some cases, antibiotics are life-saving. But in general, they are way over-prescribed.
One problem with antibiotics is that many times the infection is fungal, not bacterial. Eating an anti-fungal diet can help prevent fungal infections. Using coconut oil on food and topically on the skin also fights fungal growth. Taking antibiotics can make fungal infections worse, so it's important to distinguish fungal from bacterial infections. (For more info about fighting fungus visit knowthecause.com.)
Another problem is that most people are seriously deficient in good bacteria in their bodies. Taking antibiotics kills the few good bacteria they have, leaving them vulnerable to all kinds of invaders. Taking probiotics on a regular basis is vital for overall health and even more so during and after a course of antibiotics.
Adding insult to injury, antibiotics are toxic to the body. Some kinds seem to be worse than others, but each time you take antibiotics, your body has to work extra hard to process and detox those chemicals. (Over the last two years, I've detoxed several kinds of antibiotics. It's been a slow, not-fun process.)
So those are some good reasons not to take antibiotics. (For more reasons, try googling "dangers of antibiotics".) But can they be avoided?
For one thing, I recommend not using anti-bacterial hand soap or cleaning products. The continual use of such products leads to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria and harms the body through constant exposure to antibiotics. (http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/anti-bacterial-soap-triclosan-47071501)
Vinegar is an excellent cleaning alternative. (http://www.care2.com/greenliving/vinegar-kills-bacteria-mold-germs.html) For hands, use regular soap or baking soda.
Also, if possible, avoid meat & dairy products that are not organic. Non-organic products are filled with antibiotics that were fed to the animals. (One glass of "regular" milk contains traces of over 100 different antibiotics!) Again, continual ingestion of small amounts of antibiotics can cause big problems.
Using non-toxic products, eating an organic, anti-fungal diet and taking probiotic supplements are all helpful things you can do. Taking care of your environment and doing things to strengthen your immune system are important keys to avoiding antibiotics.
I realize sometimes it's necessary to take antibiotics, but hopefully with some minor lifestyle changes, you can avoid excessive exposure to them. And, like me, maybe you can even live without them for the next 6 years...or longer. Wouldn't that be great?! =)