C. Difficile - Share Your Experience

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What is Clostridium difficile (C. difficile)?

Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is a bacterium that is related to the bacteria that cause tetanus and botulism. The C. difficile bacterium has two forms, an active, infectious form that cannot survive in the environment for prolonged periods, and a nonactive, "noninfectious" form, called a spore, that can survive in the environment for prolonged periods. Although spores cannot cause infection directly, when they are ingested they transform into the active, infectious form.

C. difficile spores are found frequently in:

  • hospitals,
  • nursing homes,
  • extended care facilities, and
  • nurseries for newborn infants.

They can be found on:

  • bedpans,
  • furniture,
  • toilet seats,
  • linens,
  • telephones,
  • stethoscopes,
  • fingernails,
  • rings (jewelry),
  • floors,
  • infants' rooms, and
  • diaper pails.

They even can be carried by pets. Thus, these environments are a ready source for infection with C. difficile.

Return to Clostridium Difficile Colitis (Antibiotic-Associated Colitis, C. difficile colitis)

See what others are saying

Comment from: clotine m., 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

In January 2012 I had a dental procedure to repair/drill out a bone infection. I was given amoxicillin which I had taken numerous times over the years with no side effects. The September prior to this procedure my father had been in a nursing home where I visited often for 4 months. In April of 2012 I started experiencing upper abdominal pain. After 10 days I saw my doctor, and my blood showed slightly elevated WBC. I was referred to a gastroenterologist, had endoscopy and colonoscopy which showed negative results. I felt good for a few months until I had knee surgery in 9/12. I couldn't recover. I went to physical therapy, most times good, but a couple times severe back pain. I only had diarrhea a couple times, usually after being given a new medication I would discontinue. Blood pressure (BP) was extremely high (would never give me the numbers). In December 2012, the abdominal pain (stomach area) came back with a vengeance. I had been given a BP medicine in November. Unable to reach my doctor, in excruciating pain, I realized the new medicines may be contributing to the problem. I discontinued and received almost immediate relief. I will say if I didn't have Vicodin for pain, I don't know what I would have done. I went through a CT, MRI and 3 other tests which showed nothing. I had another endoscopy and nothing. The pain, upper abdominal, stomach was as if I had been hit, constantly, in my stomach. Tests showed nothing. WBC was slightly high, BP 225/195. We are now in April 2013. I've lost almost 60 pounds. Doctor is angry with me and all I could do was cry at this point. Finally I was sent to a physician in June 2013 who did stool samples and called within a week; C. difficile colitis. Flagyl took care of the stomach pain (made me sick for the 14 day treatment). I couldn't gain a pound for over a year but was finally doing well when I was infected with bacterial vaginosis (March 2015) by a sexual partner and now the stomach pain has returned with a vengeance. Doctor prescribed Prilosec which took away the stomach pain, but I have violent diarrhea which I never had before. Will it never end!

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Comment from: Nagudddot, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: March 17

I got C. difficile colitis while prescribed antibiotics for a sinus infection. I missed a couple of doses which resulted in my being hospitalized with diarrhea and vomiting. I was there for 3 days and finally was able to go home two days ago. I currently am having a bad headache and swollen glands by my throat. No diarrhea or vomiting and have a large appetite but have some cramping and gas.

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