Symptoms and Treatment for
Clostridium difficile (C. diff)
What is Clostridium difficile (C. diff)?
Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a bacterium found in soil, air, water, human and animal feces, as well as various food products, including processed meats. Most often, C. diff bacteria are passed in feces and spread to food, surfaces, and objects when infected individuals don’t wash their hands thoroughly. The C. diff infection causes diarrhea and more severe intestinal conditions such as colitis, or the inflammation of the lining of the colon.
What are the C. diff symptoms?
People in good health do not usually get C. diff disease. However, if you have an illness that requires prolonged use of antibiotics or if you’ve spent prolonged periods in a setting where germs spread easily — such as an airplane or a motel — you may be at a higher risk. This disease is also increasingly found in older adults in hospitals or long-term care facilities. Watery diarrhea at least three times a day for two or more days, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain or tenderness are the most common symptoms of C. diff.
How does ID Care diagnose C. diff?
Having persistent diarrhea is not normal, and it’s a key determinant for diagnosing C. diff — especially if it’s developed a few days after hospitalization or if you’ve taken antibiotics within the past two months. Whether you’re referred to us by your primary care physician or if you turn to us directly, our experts will identify whether or not the C. diff bacteria are in your system through stool tests, or on rare occasions, through a colon examination or imaging tests, such as an abdominal X-Ray or CT Scan.
How does ID Care treat C. diff?
After a comprehensive review of your medical history, our specialists will not only identify whether you have C. diff, we’ll pinpoint the cause of it as well. If we determine that an antibiotic is what triggered your infection, we’ll make a recommendation for the most effective way to stop taking it. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and infection, your treatment may include different antibiotics to prevent C. diff from growing and alleviate diarrhea and other complications.