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Why do some people have recurring C Diff infections?

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… add one }

  • Debby March 22, 2014, 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#!!”

  • Tim September 12, 2013, 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?

  • Linda September 4, 2013, 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

  • Linda August 31, 2013, 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 ?

    • admin September 2, 2013, 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

      • Garnet Oltmann September 2, 2013, 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.

        • Linda September 2, 2013, 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

          • admin September 4, 2013, 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 4, 2013, 5:24 pm

            Dave,

            Thank you for replying to information on my little dogs. I have relief with all advise you can answer for me until I can ask my G.I. Dr.
            So far I’m feeling ok while still on the medication. Never heard of this before, and found out how serious it can be. I hope once off the medication I don’t have another flare up. This drains you down very much. you and others help me understand c.diff. with helpful answers. I know I’m not finish yet, until I go through the scoop and see what the results show. I’ll keep in touch with results that may help others, as reading others post and answers you advise them with d.ciff have help me. Glad I found this site where I was able to get answers to better understand c.diff.
            Toilet led will be down for now on.
            Thank you, Dave
            Linda

        • Linda September 2, 2013, 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

          • Garnet Oltmann September 3, 2013, 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

          • Linda September 3, 2013, 6:20 pm

            Hi Garnet,
            You Very Lucky to be alive after all you been through.
            Thank you for being a positive supporter with results of c.diff,
            I understand you been through a lot, having most of your colon removed. Was that from damage results of c.diff ? In and out of Hospitals for long stays. you must have been very dehydrated with 25 bowls movements in an hour. I know being that Ill and weak took
            Rehab to regain your strength. If anyone knows how this can affect a person sounds like you been through a rough time and know.Your a fighter and didn’t give up. I am letting this consume me with fear.
            I know I still have the scope to go through. I’ll ask to be check on a regular base.
            I still don’t know what stage my c.diff is in. Guess my G.I. Dr. will answer a lot of questions. I know I’ll be asking a lot, hope I don’t drive him crazy, lol.
            Do you have to take Probiotics to stay in check ? I’ll look up the diet you sent me, thank you, because I was concern what to eat and what not to eat. I seem to can’t stop wiping things down with Clorox, l don’t want my family to be scared to come around me, My mind is consume on one thing, washing hands often, Sheets washed with Clorox. Everything I touch.
            I have two spoiled little Yorky is it possible I could give it to them ?

            Garnet, I will try to do as you say and have a positive out look with this. After all you been through, your getting on with your life. I hope my fears don’t consume me as it has. I’m glad to have heard your rough time and how you pulled through this, you have a positive attitude to get on with life, You give me positive courage to hold to.
            I have not been out the house since I went to the Dr. and was the told the results, research made me fear the worst. My sister is always calling, she too is helping me research this, memories go back to taking care of grandma, & Mom. then we talk of other things and I find myself Laughing again. Slept a little better last night too.

            At first I was not going to post anything, But you have made me relax a little more, When you said I’ll be ok. If anyone should know I think you been through so much that you know and give hope, and peace of mind. Thank You Garnet, for being so positive, you could be a mentor for people. If You think of anything else let me know. I’ll keep in touch as I get more results.
            Linda

          • Garnet Oltmann September 3, 2013, 8:56 pm

            Linda

            I was told I contacted cdiff from all the antibotics I took while I was in the hospital with colon surgery. It appears that taking TOO many antibotics kills the “good” bacteria in your gut, that leaving the “bad” bacteria to take hold and brings on cdiff.

            Yes, I take two probiotics daily. Refrigerated P. are better I am told by my doctor and health food store. They come in many strengths. Ask health food manager what strength you should take. You need to tell them about cdiff. On another note, my GI and surgeon never mentioned taking probiotics, my primary doctor made the suggestion.

            You can over do washing your hands and bleaching everything. Your condition is not serious or you would be in the hospital. Please get out of your house and try to return to your normal routine.
            Write down all your questions before your doctor visit let him know you are “on top of it”. You have done your homework and he needs to answer ALL your questions.

            What I am sharing with you is what helped me. I am not a doctor and you need to rely on you GI doctor and maybe you need to go and get a second opinion. Simply sign a form releasing your medical info to another doctor. They will forward all test results and etc. I learned the hard way, you don’t have to.

            When I returned home it took me a year to get up the courage to ask my doctor why he did not test me for cdiff before I left for NC. I was told I did not have any sypmotoms and they did not “smell” cdiff when I came in for my appt. the DAY I left for NC. 6 days later, I was in the hospital…………go figure that????

            Don’t be afraid of doctors, they are just human and they DO make mistakes. However, we have to rely of them as they have dedicated their lives to helping others.

            Linda, go about your everyday routine. Don” go overboard with anxiety as they can add to your health issues. Try to get hold of your fear and etc.

            You are going to be okay. FYI, the medication I took was Diciff. That is suppose to be a very powerful drug. It took care of my issues. IF I have to have surgery, they will put me on diciff BEFORE surgery as I will probably have to be put on antibotics……….which is what caused my problem

            Wishing you the best. Keep me posted on your progress.

            Garnet

          • Linda September 4, 2013, 3:00 am

            Garnet,

            All the advice you gave me is very helpful. Getting information from someone who has had c.diff helps. I realize yours was a lot worst. You was hospitalize for 28 days.I would have never thought to much Antibiotics could cause this. I have not been on Antibiotics in the last 6 months or so. maybe it was just dormant ? I know I still have to do the scope test, maybe then he can tell me more on why I was had high fever and passing Blood not diarrhea. I’ll write the questions down to ask him. I’m calming down now, yes stressing over it will not help. I got out today and going on with my normal routine, feeling better so far. I will keep a positive out look on this. Things you help me to learn about it is greatly appreciated.

            Garnet I will talk with both my primary Dr. and G.I. Dr., yes they are human and make mistakes, and do dedicate their lives helping others. When you got the courage to ask your Dr. why he did not test you, and his reply was you didn’t have any symptoms and they didn’t “smell ” c.diff ????? But you end up 6 days later in hospital.

            I will take it one day at a time, I will finish the Medication and see what results the colon scope shows. I did get very concern about the what if. That you understood. After hearing all what you went through and you say your doing ok, and I’ll be ok.

            I’m an Artist, I have stop with my Art to take care of Mom in the Nursing Home. When I lost my Grandmothers and Mom, I fell into a depression. Hard to help our love ones die in your arms. After two years I decided to get back into my Art, I had an attack of c.diff. Now to pick up where I was and take my Gift and do Oil Paintings again.

            Garnet hope you stay well, and thank you for the support you gave me. I will keep you posted as I hope you keep me posted also.

            I also wish you the best.
            Linda

          • Garnet Oltmann September 4, 2013, 10:30 am

            Linda

            You are a remarkable person caring for you family through difficult times. I can’t imagine the pain and depression you have had to deal with. I am so glad you are back to your art !!

            HOLD ON, good news is coming your way soon. I am waiting to hear from you.

            Wishing you the VERY best.

            Garnet

          • admin September 4, 2013, 10:40 am

            I am happy to be the bridge for the supply of phone numbers. E Mail me at dave@tahilla.com and I will forward

            Dave
            cdifficile.org

          • Linda September 4, 2013, 11:44 pm

            Thanks Dave,

            For being the bridge for phone numbers. I would not just post it on an open site. I’ll e-mail you if I need any personal information.

            Dave is it normal to feel great one day and then feel fatigue, the next day, I had this before I was diagnosed c.diff., told my Regular Dr. many times I feel fatigue,cold. General Lab always came back normal. could it be some other issue. I called my G.I. Office, waiting for a return call ?

            Linda

          • admin September 6, 2013, 9:01 am

            Re fatigue – we have in depth C diff knowledge but are only medical journalists so would be speaking outside of what we have have read and studied.

            Hope you find some answers

            Dave

  • Pat December 4, 2012, 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..

    • admin December 6, 2012, 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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