How does C Difficile make you ill?

The Bacteria

  • C difficile bacteria can be found in human excretment. It lives in the large bowel (colon).
  • Some C. difficile bacteria produce toxins that can cause diarrhea.
  • It can also change to a tougher, harder to kill spore.
  • Spores can survive hot and cold temperatures and are resistant to the action of many chemicals, including theĀ  alcohol-based hand sanitizers often found in hospitals.
  • Because they then ‘hang around’ the spores can infect others

The Disease

  • A healthy large bowel has many bacteria.
  • Not all of them are destructive and in many cases they stop c difficile from growing if a person is a carrier of the bacteria.
  • Antibiotic treatment for other conditions can sometimes kill the bacteria that are holding C difficile in check.
  • If the C. difficile strains in a persons stomach are the type that produce toxins, these toxins may make you sick.
  • The diarrhea and other symptoms that you may develop in these situations are called Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD)
  • (Not all diarrhea while taking antibiotics is caused by C. difficile.)

The Ten Most Frequent C Difficile Questions
What is C Difficile Infection?
What are the symptoms of c difficile?
How do I know I have c difficile?
What is the c difficile treatment?
Is there a suggested C Diff diet?
What is the 90% cured c diff fecal transplant therapy?
The C Diff Smell - Key Facts for You
What is C Difficile Colitis?
Is C Difficile Contagious?
What causes C Difficile?

44 thoughts on “How does C Difficile make you ill?

  1. Adriana

    My mother, at 80, is being treated with a second round of antibiotics for a recurrence of d diff (she had a knee replacement which went well–then this). She is suffering and very weak. I am looking for a medical facility in California that performs fecal transplants as I would like to see her well soon. She is otherwise in excellent health.

    1. admin Post author

      If you google ‘fecal transplant california’ that may be the best way to track down a facility. Look for major hospitals rather than any other types of offer.


      1. Adriana

        Thanks for the responses. My mother is working with the Mayo Clinic and we are looking at USF and other possibilities, but it is hard to find info on the web. I’ve tried several variations of the search terms, but there isn’t much out there. At this time, both the Mayo Clinic and my mother’s doc have said that she needs to undergo the full antibiotic protocol before being eligible for the fecal transplant. So she is miserable, and we wait.

        1. admin Post author

          The FDA sought to more or less close down the Fecal transplant route. There was a strong backlash and they relaxed their ruling but the hospitals still need to demonstrate it is as a last resort. Many feel it should be the first line treatment but there will need to be more safety protocols in place before that happens.

  2. Karen cowan

    My mom is in rehab for a large wound on her leg. Mom is 87 years old and has diabeties along witty kidney failure. She has had diaeriha for 5 to6 days. Today the rehab nurse told me they are pretty sure she has c-diff they did a stool sample and washed her room down with bleach water. My question is should I bring her home tomorrow as was planned? She don’t care that she is contagious she just wants to come home. They also put her on antibiotics today .

    1. admin Post author

      Hygiene around the home with respect to door handles, toilets and hand hygiene for all who live there will often be enough to ensure that transmission does not happen to other family members. Studies suggest that the risk in the home is low



Leave a Reply