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What is C diff? | How to Tell if You are Infected.

What is C diff?  | How to Tell if You are Infected.

What is C diff?

Clostridium difficile (C diff) bacteria exists invisibly all around us. It’s in the water, air, soil as well as human and animal feces. It can also be found in the human intestines, although many people never suffer from any symptoms.

The most common reason why people experience negative symptoms from C diff is through taking antibiotics. Antibiotics kill off harmful bacteria and good bacteria, or probiotics. Consequentially, this disrupts the balanced microbiome of GI tract and allows C diff to proliferate rapidly. As colonies of C diff grow in the colon, the intestinal lining may become inflamed, resulting in colitis and the symptoms below.

C diff Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a mild C diff infection include:

  • Watery stools or diarrhea at least three times per day for a period of two or more days
  • Moderate stomach cramps and tenderness

Signs and symptoms of a severe C diff infection include:

  • Watery stools or diarrhea between ten and fifteen times a day
  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Increased heart rate
  • Pus or blood in the stool
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Increased white blood cell count
  • Kidney failure

If you are suffering from a severe case of C diffyou may need to be hospitalized if you are dehydrated and your colon has become inflamed. It is important to incorporate a good diet for C diff recovery.

C diff Diagnosis

The exact incubation period for C diff is not known, but medical experts believe that it is about seven days providing the conditions are favorable for the bacteria to grow. However, a person may acquire the bacteria without experiencing any symptoms and carry the bacteria until an infection develops.

If your doctor suspects you have a C diff infection, then he or she will recommend one or more of the following tests.

  • Stool tests: C diff bacteria release toxins which can be detected in a stool sample. 
  • Colon examination: In certain cases, your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy to examine areas of inflammation the colon. 
  • Imaging tests: Your doctor may order imaging tests if he or she is concerned about possible complications of C diff. This assessment may include computerized tomography (CT) scan or an abdominal X-ray. These tests can detect such complications as a perforation in your colon, toxic megacolon, expanding bowel, or a thickening of the colon wall.

C diff Stool Appearance

What does C diff diarrhea look like?

C diff diarrhea is usually watery and, rarely, bloody. bowel movements that contain blood and mucus are concerning and may be indicative of more severe C diff disease.

What does C diff Smell Like?

C diff diarrhea will have a very strong odor that differs from typical diarrhea. Many people report a smell of volatile aromatic acids in the diarrhea.

If you have c Diff you make consider taking a probiotic supplement. Probiotics may help with diarrhea.

 

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