Why do some people have recurring C Diff infections?

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This is an area where research is ongoing, but here are some of the possible reasons.

1 They have been reinfected through another hospital contact and a cycle of sickness has started again

2 The drugs previously given subdued it but did not kill it. There is some evidence that some bacteria will ‘switch off’ and go dormant in their fight against vancocin. When the balance of the intestine is disturbed again by drug treatment for another illness the latent c diff is re-activated.

3 Little is known about the general prevelance of c difficile in the environment and community. Figures of 3-35% who might be ‘silent carriers’ are sometimes mentioned in the scientific literature. There is also a growing body of evidence that some are suffering c difficile infections without hospital contact. The possibility of community spread cannot be ruled out.

4 The intestine can sometimes be so disturbed by drug treatment, infection and illness that it struggles to get right. The controversial fecal transplant method does suggest that healthier fecal matter can restore the intestine to balance and break the cycle of illness



What are the symptoms
How do I know I have it
How is it treated?
Is there a suggested C Diff diet
What is the 90% cured 'fecal transplant' therapy?
• What is C Diff?
The C Diff Smell - Key Facts for You

Understanding Your C Diff Infection
What is C Diff Your Symptoms: A Guide How is it diagnosed?
How does it make you ill?Colitis - The colon corroder
What are C Difficile toxins?What is Clostridium Difficile?
Is it a bacteriaC Diff Test - Your Guide

How do you catch it
What is the Contagious Period? | Is There an Incubation Period
Is it contagious? | Is it Contagious Through Airborne Transmission?
How is it Transmitted? | How can it be prevented?

C Difficile Treatment
What about recurring infections? What is the 'fecal transplant' therapy?
C Diff Drugs VancocinFlagyl TreatmentFidaxomicin (Dificid)
C Diff TreatmentC Diff Diet

Article written by Dave Roberts.
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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Debby March 22, 2014 at 5:28 am

I have been fighting C-Diff for 2 years now. I contracted it during a hospital visit for a partial small bowel obstruction. The doctor working the ER that decided I needed multiply bags of I.V. antibiotics and it stripped my colon of all the good bacteria.I have been on Flagyl twice and vancomycin 8 times. I have two fecal transplants and they are scheduling for my .3rd transplant right now. This has changed my entire lifc, I lost my job, & freedom to be able to leave my home for the fear of having accidents out in public I hope and pray this 3rd transplant works. So tired of being sick#!!”

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Tim September 12, 2013 at 2:19 pm

I am on vanco – second round, flagyl (sp) first time – back in July. When it came back, I ended up in he ER, then a five day stay in the hospital. Now I’m tapering to 2 liquid doses a day, every other day, and symptoms are coming back… fatigue, loss of appetite, frequent bathroom breaks, no D yet, but all the other signs are pointing to a come-back – any suggestions?

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Linda September 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Hi Garnet,
I’m just me, maybe different than others. everyone is different.
Thank you for saying I’m a remarkable person for caring for my family through difficult times. Yes It was very difficult, but don’t regret a moment of putting my life aside to be there for them. That is how I am, while others go on with their life not to be stuck dealing with helping the elderly. I seen so much in the Nursing home of neglect, no family going see them. I adopted many. Helped at the feeding table for those that needed help to eat, the aids could not keep up, many went unfed. Then I had to help my own Mom to eat, I had to tell her One Bite for You One Bite for Me, That was the only way I could get her to eat just Jell-O, anything. Never thinking I will catch anything.
I smiled and brighten their day, But cry when I left on my way home.
I promised so many I’ll come back to see them when Mom passed away, ashamed to say I could not get myself to go back. Too many Bad memories, I heard most of them passed away. New one fill their spot.
How many of them had c.diff ?????

Garnet
You are remarkable also, all what you been through, Your a strong survivor. and having a positive attitude, help me, and many others. Every time I feel stress build, I think of what you said. Take it one day at a time. We will be ok.

I’m so glad I found this site, so many personal information shared because we all need support and all understand we are not alone. You can’t talk to just anyone that don’t understand, and never been through it.

Take care,
Linda

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Linda August 31, 2013 at 3:08 am

Hi Dave,
I’m 57, 5/3.I always tried to stay healthy, Work out Instructor. I was finally diagnosed wit c.diff two days ago 8/29/13 from a GI Specialist.
scheduled for scope, but was cancelled when stole came back positive with C.Diff. My G I. Dr. put me on Align Probiotic supplement 4 mg capsule & Ciprofloxacin 500 mg 3 times a day, I’m worried, didn’t know what this was. research only made me more concern. I’ve always thought it was nerves, I.B. due to stress. I have taken care of all elderly in my family. First grand Mother I stayed in the hospital day and night for 3 months till she passed away with strokes. Drained and depressed bad. Two Years Later I took in my other grandmother for 2 years.
first time bad cramp, blood in stool. I was told it was stress and nerves. I was full time taking care of my other grand Mother here at my home, she passed away at age 102, from cancer in 1995. In and out Hospitals helping others elderly’s as well. I put my heath aside and kept going. My Husband works In Africa, I always have stress.
My Mother had to be placed in a nursing home facility with many medical issue. Since I could not handle her at home, I stayed at the home daily from day till night with her. she died of kidney failure from Diabetes After one year. I put on the gloves and help made sure she was clean, from diarrhea. She was very over weight and one person could not do it alone. I was ill on and off, fatigue, always thinking it was stress, nerves, & depression. Then I had severe pains and passing blood for three days, went to the emergency room they just said it was Food poison bacteria and dehydration, put me on Antibiotic’s and sent me home. started feeling better, then relapse two weeks later with fever 102, pains and blood in stool. that is when I went see a G I specialist 8/29/13. My question is, could I have caught C.diff from years back, not knowing I had it till this severe attack confirmed I have it ? Can I infect my kids and grandkids ? Clorox cleaning things, still concern. I go back to the G. I. Dr. for a follow up on 9/3/13.
weak, no appetite, Trying to drink plenty of Gatorade, and so for crackers, soup. Please help with any further advise.
Will I suffer with this for life ?

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admin September 2, 2013 at 1:04 pm

You may find that your current treatment clears it up for you. There are also other drugs which may be effective if this initial treatment fails. You can infect others but studies suggest that family infection among regular hand washers is rare. They may also not develop an active infection even if they become carriers.

Keep in touch with your GI specialist

Dave
cdifficile.org

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Garnet Oltmann September 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Linda

I am so sorry to hear about all that you have been through with caring for your family members. While on Christmas holiday several years ago, I was hospitalized and tests revealed I had full blown cdiff. Stayed in the hospital for 28 days. Lost 18 lbs. I had to be flown home on I.C.U. jet as I was not allowed to fly home on commercial plane or travel in private care. You really need to stay on top of this with your GI doctor. My GI doctor didn’t want to retest me after I arrived home. Went to another doctor and told him my story. He ordered test and I tested positive for cdiff. Had to go on very expensive meds. $3200. for 10 day treatment.( Mfg.gave me meds, as I couldn’t afford them.) It worked,that was 1 1/2 yrs, ago. You need to stay in contact with your doctor on a regular basis. Ask questions and ask to be tested on a regular basis. Make sure to wash your hands and when using public restrooms make sure to take santi-wipes with you. You are going to be okay!!!! Good luck and take of yourself.

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Linda September 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Dave,
Thank You for replying to my post. I defiantly will follow this up with my G.I. Dr. I’m worried for future flair ups, and infecting my family and friends. I always washed my hands, sanitize in fear of germs and Bacteria. I still don’t know how I have contracted this myself ? Or how long have I had this ! So far the Medication my G.I. gave me has me felling better for now. But I still have to go through the scope and Ask many Questions, and follow up on this. I know this is serious not to ignore it. My mind don’t stop, thinking, nursing Homes, Hospitals, ect. I took care of so many, now I am at risk to Myself, my own kids and grandkids.
I have been sanitizing everything down in my home, car, and phone with Clorox Bleach, hoping to ride this bacteria.
Dave, I have two Little Yorkie’s, can they contract this from me ?
Again thank you, I’ll follow up with you as well, you help answer Questions for me for something’s I never knew.
Best Regards
Linda

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admin September 4, 2013 at 10:46 am

C Difficile is not unknown in dogs but it is not always human transmitted and it can be caught from the natural environment. Many people and animals may carry C Diff without effect until their intestine is disrupted by antibiotics. You dogs may never catch it. If they do they may never have an active infection.

Hand washing after toilet visits is the best ‘barrier to spread’. Also always flush the toilet with the lid down. This prevents contamination around the toilet area

Hope this helps

Dave Roberts
cdifficile.org

Linda September 2, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Hi Garnet,
I’m sorry to hear how bad you suffer with full Blown c.diff. To be in the hospital for 28 days during the Holidays I can imagine how hard that was. Being away from home and having to fly on I.C.U. Plane. sounds like you had a very rough time.I can’t believe Medication cost $ 3200. Glad to hear you got it from ( Mfg) and you are doing better.
Do you know how you got c.diff ? Did you have symptoms before you were Hospitalize ? I will follow up regular with my Dr. This was a shock when they called with results from Lab results from stool sample, Still need to go through the Scoop test and ask many questions. I was always concern on Bacteria, did not eat out much because of germs & bacteria. This has pulled me down, My normal weight is about 115, down to 112. Trying to drink plenty of Gatorade, and getting an appetite back. so I know 28 days in the hospital, & loosing 18 lbs, you had a rough time. . I have been cleaning everything with Clorox bleach, and sanitizing my hands constantly. Hope you continue to stay well, I know the pain and suffering you went through. Hope you stay well, Thank you for any information about c.diff.
Thank you Garnet,
Linda

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Garnet Oltmann September 3, 2013 at 12:54 am

Hi Linda

I had most of my colon removed a year earlier which involved two operations which once again I was in the hospital for a month. I was told that they believe my cdiff was the result on being on so many antibotics during that hospital stay. I understand cdiff can lay dormant for some time and then one day “appear”. No, I had NO symptoms!!!
On Christmas holiday became weak and developed SEVERE diarrhea. Family took me to hospital on 12/27. I remember going to ER, however, no memory after that until 1/19. I have 25 bowel movements 1 hour. I was in the bed for over 20 days. I feel I am lucky to be alive. After I returned home I went to rehab for 10 days.

Linda, I truly understand your concern. However, please do not worry yourself to death about this. Listen to your doctor, know the symptoms and do not hesitate to call your doctor if you have concerns. Like I said, insist on regular cdiff testing. Drs. in Asheville, NC told my family I should be tested on a regular basis for several months. My GI did not want to do so. I simply went to another one of my doctors and got the test. You need to do the same. Find a doctor that will listen to you. I understand your concern. I too, at the beginning was concerned about getting cdiff again, Realized I had allowed my fear to take over my life. Decided I wanted to get on with my life. You can do the same. Look up diet for cdiff, think it is called Brat’s diet. I promise you, you are going to be okay!! If you need to talk with me, let me know and I will give my phone number to you. Maybe Dave can help us with this.

Garnet

Take one day at a time, you are going to recover.

Garnet

Pat December 4, 2012 at 11:23 pm

I have had 3 bouts with C-diff – one worse than the last one. I had a knee replacement prior to the last bout and came down with it 3 days after I came home from surgery. All seems to be going well now. My last bout with in August, 2012. My question is Since I had C-diff the last time I have had this gnawing sensation in my stomach and can’t seem to get rid of it. Is there anything I can eat or take to get rid of this. Food seems to help but I have gained about 6 pounds and I don’t want to continue on this road. Any help would be appreciated..

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admin December 6, 2012 at 10:16 am

You need proper medical advice but it may be acid reflux which is not uncommon. The drugs for it provoke C Diff reactions however. The gnawing sensation may be the lesser of two evils

Dave
cdifficile.org

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