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Antibiotics – A Double Edged Sword | Our Experience With C. Diff.

February 28, 2011 · 155 comments

in Health & Fitness

(Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor and I am not recommending a particular medical treatment.  I am simply sharing our experience with C. Diff along with some of the information I have learned along the way.  Please consult a medical professional if you suspect you have C. Diff)

In February of 2011, my oldest son came down with a stomach bug called Clostridium Difficile (C. Diff).  Since that time, I have spent a lot of time researching, worrying, and going to appointments.

Many people have never even heard of C. Diff before.  Those that have usually associate the illness with the elderly in nursing homes. However, the younger population is also affected, and in greater numbers than before. The reason? Antibiotic exposure.

What is C Diff / C Difficile?

C Diff is a very tough bacteria that exists naturally in the world, but is usually associated with being prevalent in health-care settings. If the bacteria is ingested, the good flora in the intestines usually fights it off.  However, if  you are immune compromised, or if you are currently on antibiotics (or were recently), you may not have enough good flora in your gut to fight off  the bacteria.  Given this environment, the bacteria can take hold and multiply in the intestines.  This bacteria releases toxins (Toxin A and Toxin B), which can result in very serious illness.  C. Difficile is also very smart.  When the bacteria is in a hostile environment (like when C diff treatment begins), it can form a hard shell and become a spore.  This spore can then lie dormant in the intestines until the next opportunity arises to thrive and multiply.

C Diff Symptoms

Not everyone will necessarily have the same symptoms.  Some may experience episode after episode of watery diarrhea, with or without mucous.  Others will experience colitis symptoms and may expel blood, and can also have intense abdominal pain and fever along with the diarrhea.  Quite often, ingesting food or water will almost immediately cause the patient to race to the bathroom as the body is always trying to expel the toxins, and anything else that exists in the intestines.

So How Can You Get C Diff? (C Diff Transmission)

C. Diff is transmitted hand-to-mouth, meaning you have to ingest the bacteria/spore.   (This is going to sound disgusting, but it is referred to the fecal-oral route.  For example, say a nurse changes a bedpan the next room over and doesn’t change their gloves. That nurse then comes over and touches the side rail on your hospital bed.  You grab the side rail to sit up to eat dinner.  Your hand now has these spores/bacteria on it.  Dinner is a hamburger and fries, which are eaten with your hands.  Now those spores are now on your food, and headed right down to your stomach…)     Again, a healthy person can be exposed and be just fine.  However, if you are immune compromised or are currently or recently were on antibiotics, C. Diff may just flourish in your system because there is no good bacteria to fight it off.  (Now you know why your parents always told you to wash your hands before eating!)  Keep in mind that C. Diff is not only found in hospitals, the bacteria can really be just about anywhere.  As a matter of fact, it is thought that a large percentage of babies naturally have C. Diff in their systems.  So, be extra, extra careful when changing diapers if you have been on antibiotics.

An Example Of Cdiff Events

So this is how an otherwise healthy person can end up with C Difficile:   Lets say you have to go to the dentist for a root canal, and he prescribes you some Clindamycin (a MAJOR offender when it comes to C. Diff.  Avoid Clindamycin if you can) to prevent infection. You take the antibiotic for 7 days or whatever, and the next thing you know, your intestines are suddenly revolting against you. You may or may not get a fever, along with any combination of the symptoms that were listed above.  At first you might think you are coming down with stomach flu.  However, it is a flu like you have never had before.   All you know is that you are in misery, getting dehydrated, and losing weight.  What you didn’t know was there was a war going on behind the scenes in your intestinal tract.  That Clindamycin was destroying all your wonderful, good bacteria in your gut, and at the same time, you were unknowingly exposed to C. Diff somewhere out there in the world.  C. Diff had no natural enemies in your gut, and since it is an opportunist, it took over and started multiplying, releasing those toxins along the way.

What If You Think You Have C Difficile?

If you ever get stomach flu symptoms after taking antibiotics, get to the doctor, and do not take any medicines that will slow down the digestion process like Immodium (that just traps the bacteria and toxins in your system even longer)!  (Update:  Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) such as Prilosec and Nexium are now also thought to put people at risk for developing C Diff.  Read the report from the FDA for more information.)  Although just about 20 perecent of antibiotic-related diarrhea is caused by C. Diff, you will want it diagnosed ASAP.   Wherever you go for diagnosis, make sure you tell them you have been taking an antibiotic, even if it was 2 months prior, so they know to test for CDiff.  As a warning, much of the medical community is not real familiar with Cdiff, so don’t let the doctor dismiss you by saying you are too young or too healthy.  C Diff does not discriminate!  A stool test is not the most fun test to take, but a proper diagnosis is crucial to get Clostridium Difficile under control, before damage is done to your colon.

C Diff Prevention Tips:

  1. Avoid antibiotics if at all possible.  Make sure what you have is a bacterial infection, as antibiotics do nothing against viruses.  (NOTE:  This includes topical antibiotics, especially clindamycin-based creams.)
  2. Wash your hands constantly, and make sure you wash for 20-30 seconds.   I know that sounds like common sense, but not everyone scrubs under their fingernails and such like they should.  There is also a very small percentage of adults that naturally carry the bacteria, but are asymptomatic.  These carriers may be leaving C Diff bacteria just about anywhere (like on shopping cart handles), so vigorous hand washing is crucial no matter where you are.
  3. As a follow-up to point number 2, do not put your fingers in your mouth.  Do not bite your fingernails.  Do not make it easy for the bacteria to get into your system.
  4. Take probiotics every single time you take antibiotics, and also eat some yogurt or kefir.  (Lifeway makes a Kefir smoothie product that tastes much like yogurt and is loaded with great probiotics.  This Kefir can be found at many stores like Whole Foods, Meijer, Kroger, etc.)   There are 2 probiotics that have been found to help fight C. Diff:  saccharomyces boulardii (marketed as Florastor) and Lactobacillus GG (marketed as Culturelle).  Florastor is a yeast-based probiotic which is unaffected by the bacteria-killing affects of antibiotics, so it can be taken any time of day.  However, some people should not take yeast-based probiotics because they are at risk for a rare condition called Fungemia.  (Namely, immuno-suppressed people and those with Central Venous Catheter.)  It is best if you take your bacteria-based probiotic 2 hours or so after you take your antibiotic, so the antibiotic does not destroy the good bacteria in the probiotic (acidophilus is an example of a bacteria-based probiotic).  Continue to take the probiotics for a couple weeks/months after you finish your antibiotic to help keep building up that gut flora.  Discuss dosage and length of time with your doctor, who hopefully will have some good information.
  5. If you are ever hospitalized, bring your own cleaning solution and wipe down that room.  The ONLY thing that kills the bacteria is bleach.  Bring a spray bottle with a 10:1 bleach/water solution and wipe down the bed rails, the phone, remote, etc. Regular wipes will not work.  In addition, make sure your hospital roommate does not have symptoms of C. Diff.  Patients with C. Diff should be placed in isolation, but hospitals do not always take the illness seriously enough, or recognize it quickly.
  6. Insist that health care workers wash their hands before treating you, or ask them to put on gloves.  Do not settle for them to rub a little hand sanitizer on their hands, that does nothing to kill C. Diff.  It is the vigorous hand-washing that will get Clostridium Difficile bacteria off the hands, along with good paper-towel drying.
  7. If you are on antibiotics or PPIs and get diarrhea, call your doctor to discuss it.  In mild C. Diff cases, all it takes is to stop the offending antibiotic to make the C. Diff go away.  However, that needs to be determined by a physician, and not by self-diagnosis.  C. Diff can strike up to 60 days after completion of an antibiotic, so don’t dismiss the possibility of C. Diff just because you didn’t take antibiotics in the last couple of weeks.

C Diff Treatment

The first line of treatment for C Diff is ironically an antibiotic called Flagyl (Metronidazole).  Flagyl is usually prescribed for 10-14 days.  If the patient is not clinically cured or symptoms recur within 2 months of completing treatment, another round of Flagyl is commonly prescribed.

If  further treatment is needed after the 2 rounds of the Flagyl, the patient is usually treated with Oral Vancomycin (IV Vancomycin is ineffective at treating C Diff.  However, Vancomycin in pill form can be very expensive.  If you are prescribed Vanco, consider asking for it to be compounded into the liquid form to be taken by mouth.  Liquid Vanco is much, much cheaper.)   The first treatment is usually for 14 days.  If relapse occurs yet again, the doctor may consider prescribing 6 weeks or so of tapering/pulsing the Vancomycin.  For example, the following was the Vanco Taper/Pulse schedule prescribed for my son, but may vary:

Week 1:  125 mg 4x/day

Week 2:  125 mg 2x/day

Week 3:  125 mg 1x/day

Week 4:  125 mg once every other day

Weeks 5 and 6:  125 mg once every third day

The reason for the pulse/taper method is so that the body has a chance to rebuild the flora as the amount of medicine is decreased. Doses are later given on alternating days to attack any spores that hatch back into bacteria, in hopes of killing off the remaining spores.

If Vancomycin does not work, there are other drugs that can be considered.  Dificid (Fidaxomicin) is a drug that came out on the market in 2011 that is said to have a lower relapse rate than Vancomycin and Flagyl.   One drug that is used to bind the toxins and expel them from the body is called Cholestyramine.  Another option is a drug that is commonly used to fight Traveler’s Diarrhea called Xifaxan.

What is generally considered as a last resort treatment for C diff in the United States is a fecal transplant/transfer. In this case, the stool from a donor (preferably a family member) is screened for parasites and other conditions.  If the stool is ‘safe’, it is mixed in saline and blended to form a slurry, which can be transferred to the patient via a colonoscopy, enema, or Nasal-Gastric (NG) tube. However, many doctors are reluctant to perform this procedure, but there are facilities in the United States that a patient can go to if their case fits a certain criteria.    (Note: Other parts of the world perform fecal transplants much more frequently.  Mostly in Europe and Australia.  I believe that since the treatment is not FDA approved, the liability prevents many hospitals from offering the procedure, even though it has a 90 percent cure rate.)

What If You Need Antibiotics In The Future (And You Have Already Had C Diff In The Past)

It is believed that people who have been treated for C. Diff in the past are at greater risk of contracting C Diff in the future when taking antibiotics (and probably PPIs).  As a matter of fact, future antibiotic use is a big concern for C Diff sufferers.

Unfortunately, most people will need another antibiotic at some point in their future.  It is imperative that your health care provider understand your C. Diff history and agree to treat with antibiotics only when appropriate.  Assuming you have a bacterial infection and you have no choice but to take an antibiotic, then take steps to minimize a possible relapse.

  1. If you feel yourself getting sick, start taking probiotics to try to build up the gut flora.  There is no guarantee that probiotics will prevent a relapse, but it is worth a try.  Drinking kefir is another great option.  Discuss with your doctor how long to continue taking probiotics after completion of antibiotic treatment.
  2. Ask for sputum cultures if you have a sinus/respiratory infection.  That way you will know  if the illness is viral or bacterial
  3. If you have a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), make sure the bacteria is cultured so that the doctor knows what type of antibiotic will kill the bacteria instead of just guessing with a broad-spectrum antibiotic.
  4. If you must take an antibiotic, ask your doctor for the most narrow spectrum antibiotic you can use that will still kill the infection.  The following is breakdown of how ‘safe’ different antibiotics are for C Diff sufferers.  (List is compliments of Cdiffsupport.org.  This website provides a wealth of information and is a great resource for anyone who needs C. Diff support.)

Clindamycin (aka Cleocin)
Cipro (this was just moved to high-offender from medium)
All other cephalosporins
Penicillin VK

Levoflex (also Levaquin)

SAFER TO TAKE:  (Remember, no antibiotic is 100 percent ‘safe’ when it comes to C Diff)
Macrodantin (Macrobid)
Flagyl (metronidiazole)
Oral and IV Vancomycin

Treatments on the Horizon For CDiff

C Diff has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, mainly because there have been an increasing amount of cases each year.  However, there is a lot of research going on regarding C Diff, which will hopefully lead to more successful treatments in the future.

A few of the treatments currently in development are as follows:

  1. Monoclonal antibodies.  This therapy would still require standard antibiotic (vanco/flagyl, etc) treatment.  However, monoclonal antibodies would be injected via IV during antibiotic treatment in the hopes of preventing relapse.  This treatment is currently in phase III clinical trials.
  2. Vaccine.  There are two different companies that have a vaccine in progress.  Intercell just completed a phase I trial and Sanofi-Aventis is in phase II trial for C diff prevention (as of Feb, 2012).
  3. Non-toxigenic C Diff treatment. Viropharma is in phase II trials for their c diff treatment, which actually uses C diff against itself in a sense. The patient would still take standard C diff antibiotic treatments such as vanco, dificid, etc.  After completion of treatment, a two week oral dose of the non toxigenic strain of C diff called VP 20621 would be taken.  In this case, the non-toxigenic c diff bacteria would multiply and take over the intestine, which would crowd out and not allow for toxigenic C diff to take hold.  Over time, normal gut flora would develop and repopulate, but while that is in progress, the VP 20621 would prevent toxic C diff from recurring.

Tips For Dealing With C Diff:

If you do get C. Diff, consider combining your treatment with the above mentioned probiotics.  About 20 percent of people will relapse within a couple months or so of ending treatment, and it can be a very difficult bug to kill if you have repeated relapses.  So, build up that gut flora as much as possible so you create as hostile an environment in your intestines as possible to keep the C. Diff away.   Also, if you are infected, clean the bathroom with a bleach/water solution, and always close the lid of the toilet before flushing to prevent any bacteria from being propelled out of the toilet bowl.   (Closing the lid of the toilet before flushing is a good idea regardless.)  Again, hand washing is very important.  Also, try to eat a variety of foods if your stomach can tolerate it, and eat yogurt and/or kefir daily to help build up the intestinal flora.

After this experience, I have a whole new attitude toward antibiotics.  I appreciate them, but I will do anything I can to never take one again if I can help it, and I don’t want my kids on them either.  The broad-spectrum antibiotics are the biggest culprits when it comes to C. Diff, although just about any antibiotic can bring it on.   My son has experienced two relapses since getting C. Diff, both while taking Flagyl.  This can be a very persistent bug, so please be really careful when taking antibiotics.

Update on my son:  He was treated from Feb 2011- May 2011 with two regimens of Flagyl and then a 6 week vanco taper/pulse.  The taper/pulse did the trick, and he has been doing great since his treatment ended over 5 years ago! However, he has not been on any antibiotics since his final treatment with Vancomycin in 2011, and I dread the day he has to take them.  I know it has been a long time now, but C. Diff can hide out for quite some time.

Have you ever had C. Diff?  Do you have any tips for treatment or prevention?

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{ 134 comments… read them below or add one }

Dianna February 28, 2011 at 6:52 am

Really good info, Kris. Thanks for sharing. How do they know when it is C-Diff and when it is just a bad intestinal bug? Do you know of any good probiotics for kids?


Kris February 28, 2011 at 8:04 am

Dianna, there is a Culturelle For Kids product that is supposed to be good. It is expensive though. (However, C Diff isn’t very cheap either…)

If the ‘stomach problems’ happen during or shortly after antibiotics, be suspicious. Diagnosis requires a stool culture. (Sorry everyone, I am sure this isn’t a good breakfast topic.) Whatever you do, if you suspect C diff, do NOT use Immodium. You want those toxins out of your body.


101 Centavos February 28, 2011 at 7:07 am

Really good point on the bleach solution, Kris. Glad to hear that your boy is responding well and on his way to recovery.


Kris February 28, 2011 at 8:04 am

Thanks 101. I just keep praying that a relapse is not in his future. Very stressful!


Nicole February 28, 2011 at 7:27 am

How frightening! I’m glad he’s doing better now.

Thanks for the information! I also hate how some doctors give out antibiotics like candy, and even more how some parents demand them even when the illness is known to be a virus.

Yogurt is awesome.


Kris February 28, 2011 at 8:08 am

Nicole, the ‘candy’ antibiotic issue is a big part of why the occurrences of C Diff have risen so much. Not to mention that many doctors don’t suggest patients take probiotics along with antibiotics.

This has been quite an education. I know more than I ever wanted to, and I liked life much better before this ever happened. I will be terrified if he ever needs an antibiotic again. Once you have it once, you are at high risk with each antibiotic exposure. Have I said I hate this?


Nicole February 28, 2011 at 8:47 am

I’m glad you know about probiotics now. They’re pretty amazing. I had yogurt (Stonyfield Farm) with my cereal instead of milk this morning because of you.

(Just don’t start taking colloidal silver orally.)


Kris February 28, 2011 at 10:34 am

I did know about probiotics, but I didn’t realize about spacing them out from the meds and such, and I didn’t take them as religiously as I should have.

Stonyfield Farm is a great yogurt for probiotics, good choice!


Moneycone February 28, 2011 at 7:50 am

At first I thought C. Diff was the name of a doctor you are outing! Never heard of it, but those are excellent tips (not just for C. Diff, even otherwise).

I hope your son gets well soon.


Kris February 28, 2011 at 10:39 am

Thanks MoneyCone! I hope you never have to hear of it in your own life either!!


MoneyCone February 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm

I hope not Kris! 🙂


The Biz of Life February 28, 2011 at 9:14 am

Best of luck to your son.

Overuse of antibiotics has become a real problem as bacteria mutates and the drugs become less effective. Doctors have over-prescribed for decades and now they are becoming much less effective.


Kris February 28, 2011 at 10:33 am

Thanks Biz. You are so right. Antibiotics have done a lot of good, but they have definitely been abused.


First Gen American February 28, 2011 at 10:20 am

Thank you for detailing this out. My son has a hard time kicking infections on his own so he is on antibiotics much more frequently than anyone else in the family. I will make sure to force feed him yogurt every time he’s on them moving forward. That is a GREAT tip. Plus, my mom has to take antibiotics anytime she goes to the dentist because of her knee replacements, so yogurt for her too.

I’m so glad you wrote about this so I can take preventative measures for my own family.

Do you know of a way to kick infections without antibiotics? My son literally had an infection that wouldn’t quit the first 12 months of his life. It wasn’t until he was on antibiotics for 3 months straight before he finally was well again.


Kris February 28, 2011 at 10:32 am

First Gen – Don’t let Babci take Clindamycin! Dentists love to dispense it, and it is possible the worst antibiotic you can take when it comes to C. Diff.

Discuss this with your doctor, but when your son starts to come down with something, consider starting a probiotic then. You want to build up as much great flora as you can. (Warning though, probiotics do not agree with everyone. As I said, discuss with your doctor.)

My son started coming down with what I figured was a sinus infection right after the C Diff started. I of course panicked because the last thing I want is an antibiotic for him. I read up on some natural things and boiled some raw garlic in water and had him breathe that in. It really loosened the mucous, and so far, no infection. (Knock on wood!!!) Constant hand washing is the only other suggestion I have. Oh, and change toothbrushes after every illness.


barb May 2, 2012 at 9:35 am

I’m living the nightmare myself, as we speak. I had ruptured appendix in March of 2010 was hospialized for 8 days and of course given massive amounts of IV antibiotics, prior to that had hardly ever been on antibiotics as I know the damage they can do. January of this year had dental work done and yes they prescibed clindamycin, I read the side effects but thought oh probably one round won’t hurt me… Well I was wrong have been fighting c-dif since the end of January, just finished my second round of Flagyl and I’m starting to have the symptoms again. It is so discouraging and upsetting. I feel I was haboring the bacteria and when i took that anitbiotic wham it became active, of course I can’t prove this but that’s my theory. Another tip I have done, is if you have a second bathroom make sure rest of family members use that bathroom, and you use your own, if you use good techniques your family will be spared.


Kris May 9, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Great tip on the second bathroom Barb.

You will never know exactly how you contracted the stupid little beast, so best to let that go.

If Flagyl isn’t working for you, consider talking to your doctor about Vanco. I know how upsetting this illness can be, especially since it is so unpredictable. However, try to focus on eating a varied diet if you can to build up that gut flora (assuming you don’t have any food intolerances) and find a doctor that you totally trust. (If you don’t have one already.) If you are a repeated relapser, you might want to consider a specialist.

Let me know how you are doing.


barb September 24, 2012 at 9:32 am

Well I have an update. I have been c-diff free since the second sunday in August. After another trip to er, and GI doc putting me on the tapered dose of vanco. I think that did the trick. I did follow up with a GI doc. and he stated that c-diff is being seen in younger people and is a much more resistant strain. It didn’t really sound like he was a big supporter of pro-biotics, although I’m sure it can’t hurt. I took mucccch of it when I was having episodes and I really didn’t see a major difference, but of course each person is different. All I can say, is hang in there, you will eventually get better…Stay Pro-active when it comes to your care…


Kris September 24, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Glad to hear you are doing so well.

I am hearing more and more about C.Diff affecting people of all ages. Now doctors just need to get the message that it isn’t just the elderly that get this dreaded illness.

Regarding probiotics, nobody seems to agree on the same protocol. I drink Kefir which is loaded with probiotics for my overall health. I love how it tastes though, so it is a win-win. However, I know some people really overdo the probiotics and end up with cdiff type symptoms!

Stay healthy!!!!


Money Reasons February 28, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Wow, very scary Kris!

I didn’t realize the degree to the problems that your son caught! It’s a good thing you keep up on your medical readings!

That for the info, and wow, I hope things go much better now that you and the doctors know what the problem is.

Thanks for the warning about antibotics (I knew there was a reason I didn’t like them)!


Kris February 28, 2011 at 9:55 pm

MR- The good thing is, my son is doing really well at this point. If nothing else, I have learned a ton, and I will be much more careful about antibiotics in the future.


Squirrelers February 28, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Of course I’m sorry you son’s been dealing with this, and I’m also glad he’s on the mend.

Antibiotcs are not to be taken lightly. Often times, we have illnesses that are viral – but we want antibiotics anyway. And many times we’re prescibed antibiotics. It’s best to use them when truly necessary, and there are certainly times when it is very necessary to do so. I know several times I have felt miserable, and taking an antibiotic has helped immensely.

The thing is, it could be like killing an ant with a slegdehammer in some cases. Taking an antibiotic when you have a virus might be doing more harm and less good than many people think. With a true infection, an antibiotic can be a real savior – but it’s understanding the distinction in symptoms. Also, not all antibiotics are the same – as you alluded to when referring to broad spectrum ones. Better to take the right one, which hopefully your doctor is prescribing.

I’ve been the type to think “when in doubt, go for the big gun and get rid of the problem”. So, I’m more likely to take an antibiotic than shy away. But, it’s something I want to change. Like anything, there’s some kind of price to pay and you can’t get something for nothing. It’s the way things are.

With respect to C. Diff, I didn’t know about the 20% relapse rate. Really, your tips on protecting oneself and family from this are useful. Thanks for sharing in detail.

One more thing – I really like your comment on insisting that health care workers wash their hands. We all have the right to make such requests, and shouldn’t be shy about doing so. If it feels uncomfortable to ask them to be more hygenic, thenthink about the price you might pay in terms of health consequences if they aren’t. They won’t deal with the consequences. If we pay, and it’s our health, we have the right to nicely and politely ask or even insist on hygeine meeting safe standards.


Kris February 28, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Squirreler – I too have always been in favor of using antibiotics. We have so much asthma in the family that doctors tend to prescribe antibiotics very easily as they never want the asthma to get out of control.

Thank you for the well wishes!


krantcents February 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm

The message should be if there is anything abnormal going on, get to your doctor. I am glad your son is okay.


Kris February 28, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Thanks Krantcents. It is definitely good to see a doctor, but it does help to educate yourself somewhat too. All the probiotic stuff I learned myself.


DoNotWait February 28, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Oh my God Kris, I didn’t know why you were a bit away in the last weeks. It must have been hard times for your son, and for you as a mom. I’m glad everything seems to go better.

You’re right, antibiotics have a dark side. When I was younger, I got a lot of bacterial infections until one doctor realized that all the infections may have been caused by too many antibiotics. I know, it seems weird since I needed them to get better… but anyways he was smart enough to give me a different kind of antibiotics so it does not hurt as much. I had to eat smashed bananas for a while (it helps for the flora) as well since we did not have access to much probiotics back then.

Really good tips. I wish everyone could read them!


Kris February 28, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Thanks DoNotWait. That is strange that antibiotics were causing your problems. Has your health improved?


Crystal @ BFS February 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I really am glad your son is doing so much better. I will have to keep this in mind. I didn’t know about C Diff but I’m already a pro-yogurt person since they stave off bladder infections (which run in my family pretty badly…). 🙂


Kris February 28, 2011 at 9:59 pm

BFS- Keep eating that yogurt, and seriously look into probiotics if you have to take something for a UTI.


Jeff @ Sustainable Life BLog February 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm

I’m glad that your son is doing better – I do know the potential to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” but it has never happened to me.


Kris February 28, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Jeff – thanks for the well wishes!


Car Negotiation Coach February 28, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Kris, Real sorry to hear about your son, but glad to hear he’s doing better.

I’m in the camp that probably wouldn’t have lived to adulthood without antibiotics (because I seem to catch everything), but I certainly agree that they can cause as many problems as they help. Seems like a catch 22, but I paid close attention to your list for my daughter’s health.


Kris February 28, 2011 at 10:01 pm

CNC – Do you still catch things easily? Or, have you grown out of it?

I have been on antibiotics numerous times the past year. As I said, they do have their place, but they are way overprescribed.

Thanks for the nice words.


Roshawn @ Watson Inc February 28, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Yes, antibiotics should be used judiciously. That often doesn’t happen. C. Diff is a nasty pathogen, and I’m so sorry about you’re son’s experience.

Not only should some consult their doctor if they have diarrhea (especially persistent diarrhea) while on Abx therapy, but they should also make sure to stay properly hydrated in addition to the probiotics


Kris March 1, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Shawn, very good advice on the hydration. This bug was just awful, and I pray that it is gone for good. Poor guy couldn’t drink fast enough to stay hydrated.


Linda March 1, 2011 at 5:36 pm

What a scary cautionary tale! The over-prescribing of antibiotics is slowly being changed. Most of the doctors I’ve seen in the past 10 years or so have been pretty adamant about not prescribing antibiotics unless they can verify that the illness is caused by a bacteria known to be treatable by that drug. The fact that we as a society expect there to be a quick fix is still a big problem, though.

In January I had a pretty bad cold and ended up taking a week away from my workplace and to work a heavily reduced schedule. Another friend had the same cold (I probably got it from her, actually) and she continued to go to the office and work through it. She took OTC meds that masked the symptoms as much as possible, but she continued to do what was expected by her workplace: work, work, work.

Even at my workplace it was questioned why I didn’t go to the doctor after the third day I was out sick. My response: I have a virus, the doctor can’t and won’t do anything other than tell me to stay home, rest, and to take OTC symptom relievers if I choose to do so. Taking a week off sick without going to the doc to beg for drugs was seen as nearly subversive! At least no one at my work encouraged me to come to the office; they really support you staying home to telecommute so you can keep your germs away.

Until we all allow for schedules to get disrupted occasionally due to illness we’ll continue to push doctors and the health care system to just give us drugs to make it all go away. That’s unsustainable.


Kris March 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Linda, you are so right about how hard it is to miss work, school, whatever. There is so much pressure nowdays, people feel like they cannot miss a day of anything.

Good for you for staying home and doing the right thing!


Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer March 7, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Thank goodness your son is doing better. I’m really glad I eat lots of yogurt and rarely get/need antibiotics.


Kris March 8, 2011 at 9:54 am

Kay Lynn, it is great you rarely need antibiotics. I will now do everything in my power to try to avoid them at all costs from now on. Unfortunately, my son hit a bump in the road and relapsed 17 days after treatment ended. Sure hope this round of meds does the trick.


Jill March 10, 2011 at 9:16 pm

My 5 year old daughter is almost all recovered from a terrible bout with c. diff. She was on an antibiotic for scarlet fever when her severe diarhea/fever/fatigue began. She became severely thin and was absorbing NO nutrients. She has improved greatly after a round of flagyl and restricted diet, however I will be seeing a nutritionist who is going to help me settle on what/how to give her the proper probiotics and any other supplements and nutrition advice I need to get her completely better w/no relapses. Very scarey, and I pray she doesn’t need any other antibiotics for a very long time!!


Kris March 10, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Jill, I am so sorry for your daughter, that must have been so scary- scarlet fever then C diff. Has she put her weight back on?

My son relapsed this past weekend. Fortunately, he did not lose any further weight. He may be having an issue with lactose, so we are keeping him away from all milk products now.

I just talked with a specialist yesterday and he said that bronchitis is almost always viral, as are sinus infections. He was going on about how antibiotics are very overprescribed. I have very similar fears as you regarding my child needing an antibiotic in the future. I hope things go great with the nutritionist. It is very hard to figure out what the right thing to do since many doctors are not even well versed in diet and probiotics.


Kevin@InvestItWisely March 14, 2011 at 6:40 am

A healthy balance in our insides is so important to proper health and mental function; I’ve had problems with a “foggy head” in the past that I believe were caused by imbalances in the gut, since my brain was structurally fine.

C. Difficile has been a major pest in the Canadian hospitals as well, and I am skeptical of anti-biotics simply because I sometimes see them being used as a catch-all. They have their place and I have taken them in the past, but I think they need to be taken prudently and cautiously.

I hope your son gets through all of this safely and in good health!


Kris March 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Thanks for the well-wishes Kevin. Keep being skeptical about antibiotics as they are way way overprescribed!!! (Which it seems you already know.)


Dre September 21, 2011 at 11:48 pm

I have also been battling c diff for over 6 weeks now. I never heard of this until i was diagnosed. My doctor never warned me thid could happen or take probiotics. A week into having non stop diarrea we had a phone appointment and she said it was a normal side effect to keep on the antibiotics and take immodium. A week later i lost 11lbs and was getting dizzy. I went to a dr out of state as i was in business trying to work and the dr knew what it was and was confirmed by stool test. 10 days on flagyl symltomd returned a few days later. I ended up in er from dizziness and dehydration. They gave me ivs and another dose of antibiotics vancomycin for 14 days. The nurses didnt wash hands only used hand sanitizer but posted a nice sign out front announcing to be cautious in my room. After the second treatment my abdomen continues to have pain and stools are getting loose again. After seeing gi dr eas prescribed another 14 days vanco. She wants me to do a colonscopy in two weeks to rule anything else out. How much longer will i hsve to endure this pain and frustration? A friend of mine was just diagnosed with c diff and was given the same antibiotic i took that gave me the illness. Keflex should be banned from the market! Why are doctors making people sick like this. Im at my wits end and taking 80 billion count probiotic two times a day. 🙁


Kris September 22, 2011 at 11:07 am

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, I am just giving advice based on our experience)
Dre, I am so sorry for your experience, that is terrible. I also think Immodium should be taken off the market because so many people take it when they are having antibiotic caused diarrhea, and if it is cdiff, it just keeps those toxins in the intestines, mutliplying like crazy. Well, maybe not taken off the market, but people need to be aware they could really be harming their bodies if they take it under the wrong circumstances. Your doctor was foolish to give the advice they did.

There are other less invasive tests that can be done to look at the colon, maybe you can ask about that? Maybe they could do a vanco taper/pulse instead of the 14 days and then consider testing if that does not work? The pulse/taper works for a lot of people, and helped my son. This was his schedule:
Week 1: 125 mg vanco 4x day
Week 2 125 mg vanco 2x day
Week 3 125 mg vanco 1x day
Week 4 125 vanco every other day
Weeks 5 and 6 125 mg vanco every 3rd day.

The theory is that if you take the meds every few days, it will knock out the hatching spores that think it is safe to come out again.

My biggest piece of advice is this: Find a doctor you trust. We have had GREAT success with the infectious disease doctor my son sees. He fully understands the risks of antibiotics. He also was curious about damage to my son’s colon, but instead of ordering a colonoscopy, he ordered a calprotectin test first. What that test does is it indicates if there is inflammation in the GI tract, but doesn’t say where it is from. If the number is low, there is less chance of inflammation. If it is high, then there may be inflammation and more invasive testing may be warranted.

This is your body and so be the best advocate for it you can. Colonoscopies carry their own risk too, so make sure you really need it. I believe there are scans that can show issues in the GI tract, perhaps that would be a better choice if meds don’t take care of your symptoms?

Good luck and keep in touch.


Black Man October 8, 2011 at 10:54 am

Kris, Real sorry to hear about your son,
but glad to hear he’s doing better.


Kris October 10, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Thank you so much. It was an ordeal and it is something we will have to keep an eye on for a long time. I appreciate your support!


Sarah October 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Kris. I am a 37 yr old mother of 3. I just recently was diagnosed with cdiff. After reading so much stuff (frightening) stuff on the web, your post about it seems to be the most informative one. It actually seems to be my story as the culprit was clinda. I think I caught it fast. Maybe at the end of it’s first week of symptoms. I am on Flagyl for 10days and loading up on probiotics and fluids. On a scale of 1-10 pain, I’d say it’s a 4 at most. I’m slightly crampy trying to find a good position and exhausted. Not sure when the Flagyl will kick in – today is day 3 🙁 I’ve lost 10lbs in a little over a week – I am not hungry at all. The D isn’t so bad (only 1 day of it) but I have soft yellow skinny stool (sorry tmi) I pray that I won’t need to coarses of Flagyl – do you know if it’s possible or heard of to kick it with 1? I fear the end of Flagyl too because I worry about relapses. I heard the cdiff grows rapidly and I’d want to catch it right away before I’m back at square one. I’m scared.


Kris October 26, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Sarah, I know cdiff is scary, I just about lost my mind over it, and I wasn’t even the one that was sick. I can tell you now that my son has been healthy for a few months now that I rarely think about it anymore. I know you can’t picture yourself being at that point, but you will be.

What can be so difficult is it is a waiting game. Many people get better after just one round of flagyl. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict who will relapse and who won’t. However, you know what to look for, and if you do relapse, you will just nip it in the bud. For us, the anxiety of the relapse was worse than the relapse itself. Just remember that the treatment for cdiff is very good at controlling symptoms, so if you do start down the relapse path, you will get medicine and start to feel better!

I am not a doctor, but if Flagyl isn’t improving your symptoms, then ask for some vanco. Liquid vanco is wayyyy cheaper than the pill form, so if your insurance doesn’t cover it, there is an affordable way to get the medicine.

One thing to keep in mind too is that too much probiotics can affect your system and your ‘output’, so you have to try and find the right balance that works for you. Kefir smoothies were great for my son, and Kefir has a ton of probiotics. Just make sure all probiotics are taken at least 2 hours after antibiotics. I know you aren’t hungry, but the more you can eat, the more flora you will build up. You might want to keep an eye on dairy as some people seem to have trouble with it after having cdiff. In other words, it is hard to know what is causing what with all the different variables. (is it cdiff? probiotics? dairy? ibs? So hard to know!)

Please let me know how you are doing, and comment anytime.


Invest It Wisely October 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Hey Kris,

I’m glad to hear that your son hasn’t had a relapse. I was wondering how that was going. That must be a huge weight off of your chest…


Kris October 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Oh thank you Kevin! The thing about cdiff is that it can sneak back whenever you take antibiotics (theory is that spores go dormant until the environment is right for it to come back and multiply). So, we have to do everything we can to keep him healthy and antibiotic free basically forever. I am so enjoying the healthy days though, and you would never know he was ever sick in the first place. He looks great! Thanks again!


Sarah October 27, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Thanks Kris for the reply. I pray that by the end of this 10 day Flagyl course it’ll be gone. Probiotics are my daily thing now for now on. To make matters worse, I’ve developed a skin rash on my face as a result of tge antibiotic I’m on to treat cdiff. It feels like a sunburn but responds quickly to benadryl. I was advised to treat with benadryl or allegra or of the sort to keep it at bay. If it travels down trunk, I was advised to stop Flagyl. I feel like I can’t win! I saw an allergy immune dr yesterday and she wasn’t too concerned about rash. I’m just so scared of the possibility of stopping meds! Today is day 4 of Flagyl. Almost 1/2 way there. I also had a reaction to clinda but it came on day 8 of a 10 day course and I stopped a day early. It was worse. But these are 2 totally diff drugs so say the pharmacies – so I shouldn’t have this prob and I don’t know why it’s happening 🙁 im glad your son is feeling better. How old is he? Just curious what age bracket. thanks for writing back. I appreciate the support.


Kris October 27, 2011 at 7:17 pm

My son is 17 now, was 16 when it struck. Do not panic if you have to stop the Flagyl, a lot of people have troubles taking that drug. You will just move on to Vanco if you have to stop Flagyl. So did the allergist tell you to keep taking the Flagyl and someone else told you to stop?

I have a piece of unsolicited advice: Think about seeing an infectious disease doctor. They understand cdiff so well, and they can also treat a myriad of other things. Our ID doctor has saved my sanity! Remember, you intestines are a huge part of your system and responsible for so many things. Put it in the care of someone who will help it best!


Sarah October 28, 2011 at 12:02 am

Kris. Thank you for getting back to me so fast. Your son is so young to have this!! Poor guy. So as of today my allergic reaction to cdiff got worse. Red face/sunburn feeling/ red burning chapped lips/ red neck and collar bone area. I was advised immediately by a nurse on phone and on call dr to stop Flagyl I’m going to see a dr tomorrow about further treatment. I’m so frightened about not being treated right now but know Flagyl is still in my system – so maybe I am. My big fear is being allergic to a new drug. I was allergic to clinda, now Flagyl & was told these are totally different drugs – so I have to fig out how to treat it. I’m scared. My mom came over to be with me as my husband was not home yet. I think I may have cried for 2 hours straight out of fear! Is your son all better? Is he living a normal life now? Thanks for your ear. Oh and the allergist said and so did my dr to keep taking Flagyl and and treat allergy with benadryl but if worse stop. It got worse 🙁 so I stopped. I will have missed two doses of Flagyl before I see dr tomorrow.


Kris October 30, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Sorry, don’t know how I missed this. How are you doing?

I know you are nervous about allergies, but there are a lot of treatments besides Vanco. There is also Dificid that is getting good reviews too. Then again, there is also the transfer option, which has a reported 92 percent success rate.

My son is great and lives a completely and totally normal life. He was able to still play varsity baseball through treatment, and he just finished his varsity soccer season. He eats what he wants, exercises, you name it. As I said, you will get to that point, you just can’t see it right now.

If you are having a lot of anxiety with this, talk to your doctor. I know many people who have had cdiff and needed to get some anti-anxiety meds to just help them along the way. Now, I am not advising you to ask for meds, but just encouraging you to talk to your doctor. I hate the thought of you crying like you have been. There are so many people out there who have beaten cdiff just fine. I personally had to stop reading what was on the internet because it was just too distressing. Knowledge is good, but there comes a point where you have learned all you can and then you just end up scaring yourself.

Please keep in touch. Feel free to email if you like at kris(at)everydaytipsandthoughts.com


Sarah November 1, 2011 at 2:14 am

Hi Kris. I’m four days into vanco and switched Dr’s. I love my new one and felt pretty good about everything. The rash/sunburn stopped yesterday & was a result of Flagyl. It’s healing now – I feel like I had an acid peel! Fresh skin is returning & no redness or burn. Thankfully. I had a good day today! Energy up etc. Then around 6 started having cramping on left side (still am but not as bad) and also came down with a low fever 99.2. I have that now too. I haven’t had a fever this whole time! I spoke to an after hour Dr on phone and she said it sounds as if my intestines are inflamed from what I’ve been eating (my appetite returned 2 days ago and I’ve had pasta, sandwiches) more food than almost 2 weeks. She said if pain worsens or fever to 100 go to ER?? I’m scared. She reassured me everything would be fine and I’ll recover. She has yet to see a case not recover and I’m young. I just don’t get the fever! I was feeling so good today! Anyhow, wanted to update you. Thanks for your interest. Did your son get fevers?


Kris November 1, 2011 at 8:16 am

Oh yeah, my son got fevers. If you think about it, you do have an infection and your body is fighting. Plus, 99.2 is really within normal range for body temperature. There will be ups and downs as your gut is trying to fight this bug plus digest food and absorb nutrients. Unfortunately, you won’t feel better immediately, but you are doing so much better now, and that is a great thing!

I am glad you found a doctor you liked and you found a medicine that is helping instead of hurting you! Also, your doctor is right, you will get through this!!!


Sarah November 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Hi Kris! Thanks for your reply. Had to find your blog again. I lost it but will subscribe:) this whole last week was perfect normal life! My smile could not be larger! Everything returned back to normal and my last day of vanco was the 11th. I was looking forward to that day but also so scared because I hear about relapsing. Well this morning I woke up with a tummy ache and it’s still here 🙁 not too bad at all and no watery stool. I am worried of course. I don’t want to be that 30 some percent that relapses :((( I’ve emailed my dr already this morning. Thank you for your support.


Kris November 14, 2011 at 10:53 am

Sarah I am so glad you wrote back! Isn’t ‘normal’ a great thing?

How are you feeling today? Remember, even before you had cdiff you would have stomach problems that were perfectly commonplace. Some say it can take up to a year for your gut to be fully ‘normal’ again, so ups and downs are to be expected.

Are you doing better??


bethany November 18, 2011 at 11:47 pm

thanks for the info! it was very helpful!


Rudey January 17, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Great tips! There is a probiotic called Bio-K Plus that is amazing to help keep c-diff at bay. My ID doctor told me about it. It is a heavy duty amount of probiotics. It can be found at Whole Foods. It is expensive – $5 for a 5 ounce jar of yogurt, but it does the trick. 50 billion live per jar. Combine that with Florastor. When I was fighting c-diff, I did 1/2 jar of Bio-K Plus a day, plus Florastor twice a day, usually two capsules at a time – 500 mg. I also ate Stonyfield yogurt everyday. I got c-diff from Clindamycin.


carla January 29, 2012 at 6:52 am

can anyone give more info on probiotics. Can I take too much? How many billion cells per pill is needed? Do I take it for the rest of my life to keep better flroa balance and prevention of C diff returning?


Kris January 29, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Carla, probiotics are great to help re-establish gut flora. However, some people have trouble digesting probiotics, especially if they don’t “need” them. In other words, some people take many probiotics while dealing with C. Diff, then have to cut back some during recovery as some of the flora returns naturally on its own. Regarding probiotic strength, there is no hard and fast rule as everyone is different.

C diff is a tricky illness since relapses happen, and there is no way of knowing who is at risk for relapse and who is not. If you ever need an antibiotic in the future, it might be wise to take probiotics during the course of antibiotics and after. Some people also take precautionary Vancomycin or Flagyl along with their antibiotic to prevent relapse. Some people also consult Naturopaths to help them recover from C. Diff. All of these things are good to discuss with your doctor if you do need an antibiotic in the future.

I am not a doctor, and I don’t know if even a doctor can tell you how long you will need probiotics for. Your body just might tell you itself by how it reacts to the probiotics.


Carla January 31, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Thank you Kris. I am learning more about this everyday. I appreciate your help.


Nicole February 12, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Thank you for all the information. My daughter was 3 when she first had c-diff. She had been taking an antibiotic for a UTI which then led to the c-diff. She took liquid Flagyl for 10 days and it worked well for her. It was hard getting her to take it as it is the most horrible tasting stuff you can imagine. I tried mixing it with his favorite drinks, having the pharmacy flavor it…nothing helped. However we made it through the 10 days. It was very stressful. Now, about 2 weeks ago I had to bring her in to see the doc as she was complaining of her ear hurting. This is not common for her so I knew something else was going on. Sure enough, she was diagnosed with an ear infection, started on Amoxicillan for 5 days. It has been about 4 days since she finished the antibiotic. Today she started complaining of her stomach hurting and went she went to the bathroom he stool was slightly loose, not diarrhea, but it reminded me of her symptoms from last year. I also believe i saw a little blood. So now I am freaking out and will prob call the doc tomorrow and have a sample of her stool tested. I am just frustrated and hoping for the best. Thanks for listening and sharing your story.


Kris February 12, 2012 at 8:48 pm

I know it is all very scary, but one thing to keep in mind is that only 20 percent of antibiotic related diarrhea is caused by C-diff. However, if her pattern continues, I would get a sample done, just for the peace of mind. As a matter of fact, I did the same thing a few weeks ago when my son came down with stomach flu. He hadn’t had antibiotics or anything, and it had been 9 months since he recovered, but I just wanted to know for sure. (he tested negative)

CDiff is hard on the gut, and hard on the mind. Don’t hesitate to test and don’t worry about bothering the doctor. As a matter of fact, if you pick up a testing kit from the doctor’s office, ask for two just in case you ever need one again in the future.

Have you thought of trying Culturelle for kids or giving her some Kefir to drink? Lifeway makes a very tasty kefir drink that tastes similar to yogurt and it has tons of probiotics. Just a thought. (Remember, I am not a doctor, just a mom! 🙂 )

Please let me know how things work out. Email me or comment at any time.


Joan Doyle March 28, 2012 at 11:10 am

Very helpful information. My neice who is 20 suffered from this last year while being treated for ulcerative
colitis. She is now having a relapse and I was wondering is stress plays a role in this at all. Both this year and last her symptoms came after a very stressful situation.


sandra hansen April 18, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Hi Joan, Very interesting question. It could possibly be related, in that stress can lower the immune system. Stress, combined with poor gut flora due to the u.c issues may set up a more desirable environment is my guess. I am not sure why ulcerative patients are more prone to relapses. Off the topic, I just talked to a really awesome nurtritionist and author, Tracie Delessandro. She wrote a book called “What to Eat with IBD” She gives some great recipes and nutrition advice to boost the immune system. You may want to get a copy of this for your neice. I am assuming she is newly diagnosed? She suggests an probiotic called healthy trinity by natrem, eating pureed soups, foods with high nutritional content, and things like yoga, meditation, and excersise. Maybe some of these things will help after she comes up negative with the cdiff. Hopefully she is better by now, and has been taking florastor or a saccharomyces boulardii probotic while treating it and is continuing that. Sorry can’t be of more help, just wanted to pass that info about the book. It is interesting to think that stress may indirectly be related to relapses in U.c patients.


Gloria Herrera April 5, 2012 at 11:21 pm

My son just got diagnosed with Cdiff. He got an infection in his bone when he shattered his ankle last July. Long story short and 4 antibiotics later and an ankle fusion and now this. The doctor started him on metronidazole because he is allergic to vancomycin. He is also on a probiotic and acadopholyus pills (misspelled) I know. He is only 25. He hasn’t walked on his own since July of 2011. It has been a total nightmare. Now after reading all of this, I fear we will never get rid of this. Especially, since he is allergic to vanco. What do you think?


sandra hansen April 18, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Thank you so much for your written words, and everyone’s comments. I have ulcerative colitis, and somehow caught c.dif. I thought I was going to die. I can’t imagine a child getting this or an elderly person. I was on flagyl for 3 weeks, and it has been one week since I stopped taking it ,after a negative stool sample. I’ve been taking saccharomyces boulardii once or twice a day, and eating activita once a day, and watching my sugar and certain foods for a low yeast diet, as i don’t want to get thrush or a vaginal infection now either. I am going to make an appointment tomorrow after reading this with my internist so that we can figure out how much probotics will help, and make sure i am doing the most I can to boost my immune system to not get any repeat infections of any kind. Though at this point….even a dr.’s office is scary as far as germs! It is really important for people to get the stool sample if they feel like they have food poisoning of the butt. I am so happy that my G.I. recognized this very quickly and requested to have the lab test. Thank you for the wealth of knowlege. You explained this bacteria and the course of treatment as well as any dr. or better! Very helpful.


Farmchick April 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Hi…thanks for the post on c diff. Unfortunately we learned, first hand, many of the things you discussed. Our little boy had c diff….the most awful, traumatic event in our lives. I believe his gut is still healing and will take time. Hope all is well with your son.


Kris May 9, 2012 at 11:06 pm

How is your son doing?? How old is he?

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary since my son took his last dose of Vanco. (Knocking on wood furiously right now.)

It will take time for his little gut to heal. Things your son tolerated before might not be eaten so easily for awhile. Try to vary his diet, and maybe introduce kefir if he tolerates it well. The more flora the better (as I am sure you probably already know).

Please keep us updated.


Doris Perez May 24, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Hi Kris: very Interested your research, I’m 33 y old mom of 2 boys and whith that problem I think, since 2 years a go my dentist send me clyndamicin for a minor molar problem, she send me to take it for 20 days and since that date I had all the symptoms you put, I use to have 147lb and now I’m in 96lb, lost a lot of weight, after lots of treatments I start with metronidazol , u’m in my 5th day and is really hard with this medication, I’m start taking a fermented lacteo product every time that I take the metro 3 times a day and I fell better and eat more, but my concern is if you can take both at the same time, if this product don’t interfere whit the treatment??
The product have lactobacillus, streptococcus thermophilus and lactobacillus casei.
What do you think???


Kris June 23, 2012 at 10:59 pm

I am so sorry I did not see this comment sooner. I had to step back from my blog for a little while to tend to other matters. How are you doing now???


krissy July 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm

Hi All:

i had an abscess (tooth) and they prescribed Amoxicillin (I have a minor heart murmur, so being on the safe side, too) well it didn’t work so they prescribed Clindamyacin. Got in to Endondontist, had root canal, stayed on antibiotic ended up getting sick. Thought I had stomach flu that wouodn’t get better … went from being in bathroom 3-4 times/day (at the start) to up to 25-30 times a day. Terrible. Went to GI specialist – tested pos for C Diff. Just finished Metrodonizole. But man I get these terrible waves of nausea … no biggie in terms of diahrea or anything (still not back to normal, but at least it is ok) but the nauseau is becoming unbearable. I am scared the C Diff is gonna come back and I have to go back to endontist b/c root canal didn’t work (long story) and they did to do a minor surgery… which means, more antibiotics…. Any advice or comments?? Thanks so much! :))


Kris July 19, 2012 at 8:55 am

Sorry for the delay on this, I was out of town.

Have you retested for C diff? One thing about a relapse is, you usually can’t miss it. (That is USUALLY). C diff tends to make itself known in an insidious way.

Are you drinking kefir or taking any probiotics? Has your stomach settled down at all?

Do not hesitate to be retested if you suspect a relapse. If you are having symptoms, don’t hesitate to call a doctor. Also, if you do relapse, you may want to ask for vanco instead of flagyl. They love to push the flagyl because it is so cheap, but the relapse rate is so much higher. (Remember, I am not a doctor, just sharing from experience.)

Please check back in and let me know how you are doing.


krissy July 15, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Ooops … didn’t proofread – I am GOING in for a minor surgery (Aug 2nd) for the tooth! :))


Helene July 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Hi Kris, Thank you for sharing you story, and your knowledge and to all the people who post. I contracted C Diff in may after being put on three different antibiotics, needles to say my hole life has been turned into a nightmare, I never heard of C Diff before, and now I will never forget it, as I thought I was going to die. Its been about four weeks since I finished the Flagly for the CD infection, but now am dealing with very bad stomach pain, abdominal cramping, and still get very tired, I have been to many doctors including the one who put on this poison, and they just keep telling me it takes time, you will be better in a few more days, they write me out of work another day or two, but the pain continues??? I recently saw a GI specialist, they did and Endoscopy, and Biopsy, everything was normal, and again I was told it would take time, I rest and watch my diet, eat small health soft meals, but my stomach, i was always hurts, I was told I could take galvston for the stomach pain, occasionally it helps, but for the most part I am left to deal with all the pain. I am close to loosing my job, and my possibly my home. Is stomach, abdominal pain normal after CD? Doctors here do not seem to know what to do, or even say, I am still very scared, and always in pain.


Kris July 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Helene, I am so sorry for all your pain.

C. Diff can have residual effects for sure. Sometimes people are left with food sensitivities, especially to dairy. Have you tried eliminating dairy at all?

A great resource for people suffering for C. Diff is cdiffdiscuss.org There are a ton of experienced people that are very helpful, so you might want to check out that site too.

On the positive side, you got some great test results, which is good. However, you may not want to settle for the ‘it takes time’ if you are at risk for losing your home. I would consider making an appointment with an infectious disease doctor. The one who treated our son was worth his weight in gold.

Please check back and let me know how you are doing.


Lucy August 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Kris, what a wonderful article which I wish every doctor would read. I am 44 years old and I got c-diff July 2012 after taking Ceftin for a sinus infection. I was told by an urgent care doctor that I wasn’t sick enough to have c-diff. I finally went to the ER after two weeks of having diarrhea up to twenty time a day. I have taken two rounds of Flagyl during July & August and this past weekend relapsed again.

I researched on line and found the information on the pulse/taper Vanco treatment from the Harvard Medical Review. I presented this to my doctor and he just referred me to the gastroenterologist who can’t see me until next week. Now my symptoms are getting worse. Should I go back to his office and insist on Vanco, or wait until next week to see what the specialist says? I fear I will get worse every day that I go untreated. I am very frustrated with the medical community who seem so oblivious to this problem, but yet continue to cause such devastation.


Kris August 21, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Let me reiterate, I am not a doctor.

Typically, only 2 rounds of Flagyl are given, and then the patient moves on to vanco. If you are feeling worse, I would definitely insist on getting in to the specialist asap. Sometimes, your doctor’s office can get an appt with a specialist sooner than you can.

If you cannot get into the specialist, then I would consider demanding vanco. You don’t want to get dehydrated.

You are right, much of the medical community is pretty ignorant when it comes to cdiff. That was absurd that the urgent care doctor said you weren’t sick enough to have c diff. Going 20 times a day must have been a nightmare.

Let me know how things go, and best of luck.


Vicki September 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I had colon resection and rectocele repair in July. I developed c diff right after. The diarrhea was so bad, I ended up losing 20 lbs. They tried me on Flagyl, but due to the surgery I kept vomiting.So I was started on Vancomycin. Because of the c diff I developed more complications. Upon discharge I have had 2 courses of Vanc. Things slowed down, but now the diarrhea has restarted. I have been off work for the last 2 months. I am an RN in an ICU. What should I do now?


Sandra September 24, 2012 at 8:38 am

If you showed any response to the Flagyl, perhaps they should put you on flagyl once again. I only say this because my treatment was the same….tried Flagyl, then did 2 courses of vancomycin…then had to do Flagyl for one more month. It took 3 months total to get rid of the C.diff. It’s good new that things slowed down, that means your body is responding. You probably just need a longer course like I did. Keep hopeful. Hopefully you can take some more time at home to be safe and get better.


Kris September 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Vicki, I am guessing your employer needs you to be cdiff free for a certain amount of time before you can return to work?

What type of doctor are you seeing? We had great luck with an infectious disease doctor, others have good luck with gastroenterologists. Find a specialist and see what they say. They may try a vanco taper with you, or prescribe Dificid. (Assuming you still test positive. Some people have IBS issues after C. Diff, and the symptoms are very similar.)

Are you taking any probiotics?


Vicki September 24, 2012 at 5:08 pm

I think I need to stay out longer. I am still very weak and now am feeling sick to my stomach.


Healing mom December 11, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Thanks for the information…my husband was on Vancomycin but had a rare side effect and all his white blood cells were wiped out! So now he is on Clidamyacin and I am so worried about him getting C Diff…can he prevent it some how??? We need some luck…


Kris December 12, 2012 at 8:54 am

Can you check with the doctor to see if there is any other antibiotic he could take? Many doctors do not know much about probiotics, but as far as I know, probiotics are the only defense. However they have to be taken at the right time and such.


jenn December 28, 2012 at 8:46 am

My 5 year old (just yesterday) was diagnosed after having taken omnicef. Usually they would have put her on augmentin. What is worse is that my 4 month old was put on the same thing and her stool looked very suspicious yesterday. I am so angry at the doctors for not being more proactive. They did the culture test that took 3 days to get results. While waiting for those results we also confirmed a UTI and guess what they did – precribed augmentin!! This has been nuts! They didn’t tell me that bleach was the only way to kill it. They didn’t tell me to use gloves when helping my daughter in the bathroom. They didn’t tell me that you have to use warm water. My daughter had been using cold water because we taught her not to turn on the hot water out of fear that she would burn herself. We haven’t been told how to disinfect her room of toys that can’t be bleached.
Just to possibly add to the conversation, I have been reading about sporicidals that are designed for hospital use there is one that has been approved by the EPA and doesn’t have the harmful affects of bleach.

I am completely frustrated, exhausted and even angry.

Thank you for sharing your story and the information.


amy January 1, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Thank you for sharing. I pray that your son stays healthy. We lost my 76 year old father to c-diff 4 years ago. He was as health as a horse before breaking a hip and requiring surgery. Within 2 weeks, all chaos happened. I could go on and on regarding his 3 month deterioration (which included removal of intestines) but will spare all those details. Our frustration was also with the medical staff of the hospital (good samaritan in downers grove illinois) and rehab facility (resthaven in downers grove.) By the time diagnosis was made he was already septic…this happened twice–in renal failure the second time before the nursing home administrators decided to send him back to the emergency room. The “professionals” simply dont seem to have a consencus on this serious problem nor did many of them seem to take it very seriously once diagnoses was made… a very helpless feeling we were left with…and left us with the death of a wonderful and caring father, grandfather, and husband.
Now a friend’s father (68) is also suffering with this. The nursing staff just told his daughter that they dont do “probiotics and that is not part of their program.”) He has been bouting with it for 2 months now–“cured” and sick again!
Thanks again for your great info. I wish I had seen this before my dad died.


GA January 8, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Thank you for the infomation, I have almost the same story. Your infomation did help me.
I did use 2 probiotics that seem to be a good combination.

1. GNC probiotics Ultra 25


Lisa January 16, 2013 at 11:18 am

I have an id doctor who said that after 3 months your risk of getting c. diff again is the same as the general public. In other words, if you don’t relapse with 3 -6 months it is considered a new infection, not related to your previous one. But then I hear of people getting it a year later once they are on antibiotics for a separate illness. I had no risk factors when I got C. diff – no antibiotics, hospitalization or immune suppression. If anyone can share their experience with later antibiotic use and re-occurence of c. diff , I would like to know. Thanks


Sandra January 16, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Yes, I’d like to hear more about those experiences as well. It’s been 8 months of being c.diff free, and I haven’t had to take any antibiotics thankfully for anything. But I do wonder if I had too, if I am at higher risk until what point. I’ve been faithful about taking my saccamyosis boullardi, or my Align. Good question.


Kris January 28, 2013 at 9:28 am

Lisa, I too have heard varying opinions on how long you are at higher risk when taking antibiotics. My son’s pediatrican said that since it has been well over a year for him, he would be fine. However, his infectious disease doctor has implied he will basically be at higher risk for years. I know people that did get it again after taking antibiotics years and years after having an initial c. diff episode. I have also known people that never had trouble with antibiotics again. I am guessing it is just if you have spores lingering in your system or not, and how in the world do you figure that out?

For us, we will just avoid antibiotics until we have no choice.


Rhonda January 26, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Not only have I had it, my uncle died from c-diff. It is nothing to play around with. A church member also came very close to death. It has been 5 years and I still can’t take antibiotics without symptoms starting. So I quit the antibiotics and let time heal me. It’s a hard life not being able to take antibiotics. People don’t understand my anger when they go out in public ill and my boss struggles to understand why it takes me so long to recover. I eat yogurt daily, drink aloe vera juice, and vitamines. Hand washing, and avoiding ill people like they have the Black Plague. (Btw, I despise perfect attendance awards – I always say “there are the germ spreaders”. If your sick, please stay home. It may not be severe for you but could cost another their life.)


Kris January 27, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Rhonda, I am so sorry you and your family have suffered so much. My son has been antibiotic free for almost 2 years now, and I am terrified for when he does have to take them again. I am sure you are very frustrated with having gone 5 years and having symptoms creep up when you start antibiotics.

Have you tried kefir at all?

Stay healthy!!!


Fran January 31, 2013 at 2:24 pm

I had a colon resection two weeks ago, due to divertiulitis. About a week later i developed c-diff. I have read so much on the internet it is scary. I am seeing a ID doctor. I am currently taking vanco and probiotics. This site has been so helpful and made me feel a little more at ease. There is a lot of good advise. I am glad your son is doing well. I originally thought you got this when you were older. I am 64 years old. The only thing I want to buy a better probiotic but I don’t know what is the best. Thank you for your site. Take care.


Sandra January 31, 2013 at 10:11 pm

I went back and forth with vanco and flagyl prescriptions for my cdiff last march 2012. While I was taking those I took 2 doses/ day and night of saccharomyces boulardii hours apart of the antibiodic. My Dr. recommended that probiotic, and also what I read seemed to back that up. This is the brand that I take. http://www.naturalhealthyconcepts.com/saccharomyces-boulardii-OM60-p-ortho-molecular.html Also, I found that Align worked really well too. My dr. advised against that brand due to fillers and artificial ingredients but I thought it helped get me to that final point of beating the cdiff and along with the Flagyl helped my U.C issues to be the best it’s been. It’s been since may that I’ve had no symptoms of c.diff. I still take the probiotic twice a day, or the Align. Florastor is the other brand name of the sacchar…probiotic. Both Florastor and Align are sold at Walgreens. The Florastor may have lactose, so that is why I just take the reg. version of it with no additives. Hope this helps.


amy January 31, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Fran–best wishes to you and prayers for a full recovery from your surgery and infection. Stay proactive. There is nothing wrong and dont feel guilty for asking your infectious disease doctor questions… I prefer and have been using Brenda Watsons products for over 2 years as part of my vitamin and maintenance program. I have had different gastrointestinal and yeast problems, and these probiotics help that. I know that she offers one called “critical care” for those just going to or done with surgery. There are many different probiotics to choose from ..I have been healthy and have fortunately never had a bout with c-diff. My father did though, and we found that doctors just dont really know what to do with this problem…My friend’s father has been fighting c-diff but has been drinking keifer while taking his antiobiotic. Maybe that is something you could also incorporate…


Tammy February 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Hi everyone,
I came across this website, which is very helpful. Aug 18,2012 I had just run, worked out , walked my dogs and yard work. August 20, 2012 at 2am I woke up with severe diarrhea, 102 fever, very painful abdominal pain, and vomiting. Took tylenol for fever and OTC meds thought I had the flu.I had diarrhea every 10 mintues. At 6am I was so weak I could not walk, so my husband drove me to ER. ER dr stated I had food poison, so gave me med for nausea and morphine for pain.I went home from er around10 am and slept until 6pm. When I woke up I did not make it to restroom and had an accident on the tile. My fever had gone to 105, diarrhea was watery, abdominal pain were unbearable, vomitting clear liquid. Husband took me back to ER. The ER nurse had put a portable toilet in my room. I still had diarrhea every 10 mintues. When the er nurse came in she smelled my stool and stated I had c.diff. She went to get the dr and then put sticker on my room door stating in isolation. DR came in and ask if I had been in contact with feces or had been taking meds for a long time. Which I was on meds for two mouths. I dont know about probiotics but did eat yogurt. At the time I was taking the meds I had cut down to two yogurts a week due to getting back into bodybuild. Dr did all kinds of test and stated if I had not eaten the yogurt I would I died Because I was admitted into hospital for UTI, C.diff, severe dehydration, salmonella poison and typhoid fever. I had lost 7 pounds in 24 hrs. I was in hospital for a week and sent home with a picline for 2 weeks.After a week the picline got infected and blood was backing up in the tube. I woke up with blood every where. Had to go back to the Er to have it removed. I then had to continue with treatment in hip. I felt better but far from being normal. Oh I also have anemia.I had a menstrual cycle from August 2,2012 -Sept 17, 2012. I felt I could go back to work but on sept 17 the diarrhea was back 10 times worse. I had called the infectious disease dr and he stated the stool test I had done a week before was positive. I was admitted back into the hospital for a day. I then took a leave of absence from work. I started to see a GI dr due to having diarrhea 6 times a day . I had a colonoscopy and it showed I have colitis. So the GI dr had prescribed me asacol for colitis and prednisone. I started to feel like my normal self again. Then the worse happen I got sick with fever, cough, sinus problems, blood in stool, severe diarrhea again and colitis pills were in my stool whole. I took OTC meds but nothing helped. At this time it was Christmas and we were heading out to NC. When in NC I got worse and on Christmas day I had to go to ER. ER Dr stated upper respiratory viral infection and of course he did not give me antibiotics just predisone and told me to call infectious dr. When infectious dr called me back my fever was gone. He stated to only take antibiotics if I have a fever. I now as of January 4,2012 have upper respiratory infection, from day one been nasuea, lower abdominal pain and diarrhea 3 times a day and colitis. I’m seeing a new GI dr and he wants to do a stomach biospy and check my gallbladder. But I’m so wore out with all of this. I have resigned Nov 1, 2012 from job due to all of this and just sit at home praying I feel better. Does it ever get better?


Sandra February 3, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Tammy, It gets better! Remember the body is designed to heal itself. If you’ve been taking prednisone for awhile, you may not feel yourself at all! Don’t be afraid to ask for another C.diff test, if you feel you still have symptoms. The symptoms of colitis and C.diff are very close. It took me 6 years to get my U.c under control, and it hasn’t been until my bout with C. diff that it get better oddly. Once you figure out what is going on you will get a plan and start feeling better. It’s very easy to become dehydrated with diarrhea. and that can cause more bad feelings. drink drink drink and take a good probiotic for sure. I couldn’t work at all either for a long time. Try to use this time to do projects and connect with people so you don’t fall into a depression. Keep in close contact with your G.I and nurse. Don’t be afraid to call and ask questions. Good luck!


Tammy February 4, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Sandra,Thank you. Its nice to hear from someone that understands. My husband is very loving and understanding but doesn’t understatnd what he can do or how he can help make me feel better. I wish c.diff and colitis was better known. There are no support groups were I live. So I have to find things out on the internet. Again thanks


Kris February 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Tammy, sorry for my delay in response. A spammer attacked my site and I just got it back online. Anyway, what an ordeal! I agree with all the great things Sandra said, things do get better, and keeping in contact with people that care about you is paramount. C diff can be awful on the emotions, so do everything you can to try and keep a positive outlook. (I know that is hard, trust me.)

How are you doing now?


Sandra February 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Tammy, if you want to email me when you are feeling low, please do. Sjphansen@yahoo.com It took my husband a long time to understand. He slowly read things about colitis, and read up on c.diff. too, which helped him understand how serious and how rotten it is. When I had c.diff last spring I’d curl up in a ball on a lawn chair because the fresh air and sunshine was the only thing that took that pain away.


Tammy February 25, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Sorry to hear about your site. I still have a lot of GI problem due to Colitis. The new GI dr I’m seeing wants to do a stomach biospy and look at my gallbladder again.A problem that I’m having now is that when the dr needs blood, my veins keep blowing. Last week the nurse tried in three diffirent areas and all three blew. Do you know what may be causing this problem? I could alway give blood before all this. Thanks for responding.



Tammy February 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Thank you, I’m trying to think positive. My husband is trying to understand more.I know its hard on him because we loved being outside. I guess if it would stop raining everyday I could go outside and feel better. I would love to get healthy and gain my weight back. I’m coming to realize that having Colitis and dealing with c.Diff is a mental thing you have to deal from within. I just started having anxiety attacks. Is that part of it?



Sandra February 25, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Tammy, I don’t know too much about blowing veins, but I do know that you need to make sure you are not dehydrated, and drink lots of liquids before a blood draw. ( plump them up so to speak) and keep the arm warm. If a nurse can’t get it the first time, ask to have someone else to try next. This has been the protocol in our hospital, and dr. offices. You shouldn’t have to be stuck three times in a row. I’m sure a nurse on here could give you more specific advice from their knowledge. I speak as a patient who’s have countless blood drawas and I.v’s. I think many people here can agree that from the start of having C.diff it takes such an emotional toll, and you can’t help but be anxious. Vitamins, supplements, and understanding your diet, are a huge part in getting your energy back and healing. This sounds so odd, but acknowlege your fears, and tell yourself that its ok to be scared. Sometimes we mock ourselves in our heads that we are being foolish, and shouldn’t be feeling a certain way and it makes it worse. So be positive, but don’t forget to acknowlege your feelings. When you are trying to figure out your health, it’s so confusing isn’t it? I really appreciate the above article.


Amanda March 12, 2013 at 1:57 pm

This is such a great site. I am 27 years old now, and when I was 5, had one of the first diagnosed cases of C. diff in our state. I almost died from it…they didn’t know what they were dealing with and kept increasing the original antibiotic as I kept getting worse. Finally an intern, to whom I will always be grateful, recognized that the antibiotic was what was making me worse, and they finally diagnosed me. I had C. diff three more times after that, the last time being when I was 12. I have not needed an antibiotic since that time, but I am terrified of needing one someday. I was so sick when I was 12 that I missed three entire months of school. I did find a doctor who is very cautious about prescribing antibiotics and always takes a “wait and see approach,” and also recommends various homeopathic remedies. And overall I have been very healthy since my last bout with C. diff. Still, I am sure I will need an antibiotic someday and am quite nervous about it! Thank you for the great tips and the information on possible treatments and prevention. I am glad that C. diff is gaining awareness. When I had it almost no one knew what it was, and those that did often didn’t take it seriously.


Kris March 13, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Wow, what a scary story you shared. It is amazing you have gone 15 years without an antibiotic, that is a wonderful thing.

I know it is easy for me to say, but try not to live in too much fear of a future antibiotic. You have built up such great flora over these years. Plus, as you said, the medical community knows so much more about the illness. If you do get sick in the future, ask for a ‘low-offender’ antibiotic and load up on probiotics and kefir to protect yourself as much as possible.

Good luck to you, and I am glad it all worked out for you. Thanks for sharing.


Kelly March 19, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I was diagnosed with c diff feb 16, 2013 after 2 stool cultures taken and multiple blood tests. Back in September I had a gallbladder attack and another in October. At that point I was scheduled to have surgery in February. However in January I had 6 attacks in 5 days. I went back to the doctor and without any testing done he put me on antibiotics, siting that he suspected I had an infection in my gallbladder. I took them thinking the doc knows best. I was off the antibiotics for about 10 before surgery. I even asked if I should reschedule since I was told you shouldn’t be on antibiotics before surgery. The surgeons office told me to keep my appointment. I went through with the surgery. During the surgery I was given preventative antibiotics. I didn’t think anything of it as I hadn’t heard of c diff. I was released the same day but gradually felt worse and worse. I didn’t know what recovery was suppose to feel like so I thought that was just part of recovery. 2 days after surgery I had severe diarrhea. I was going 8 to 14 times a day. 5 days after surgery I thought I was dying and honestly wish I had just died at this point. I was re-admitted to the hospital where I was pumped full of fluids and given a nausea drug they give cancer patients which did nothing for me. I suffered and I mean suffered till they figured out what was wrong and given flagyl. This took days to figure out. And when I say the flagyl made me feel better it stopped the constant diarrhea which was a big relief. The side effects however made me unable to participate in life. Couldn’t think, walk, stand on my own etc etc. After my first round of flagyl I was doing pretty good. However 10 days later the pain and diarrhea came back. Went to the doctor today and I feel like he really downplayed my condition. He said its not a big deal, it’s not cancer. Yet I had read everyone’s struggles with this infection which had me believing it is a big deal. I hadn’t been able to leave my house for more then an hour or two. Am unable to work which let me tell you hasn’t gone over well (no one understands how painful and debilitating it is…they think you look fine so you must be making it up). And I worry that at 34 years old I can’t peruse my dream career as a police officer or travel or go out with friends. I was confronted with the reality that life will no longer be normal. I may have to wear diapers just to be able to go to the grocery store. Anyway, I’m starting my second round of flagyl today. I’m taking probiotics and eating lots of yogurt. Hopeful this round works. Only time will tell. I wanted to share my story so that others are aware that this can happen. Don’t let doctors put you on antibiotics unless they are certain that you need them. As well, don’t let doctors put you on several antibiotics within a short time frame. I’m certain my c diff could have been prevented if I didn’t have back to back antibiotics given to me. I regret trusting my doctors and not knowing what risks were involved. I may have to live a new normal now thanks to over prescribed antibiotics and my lack of questioning. Best of luck to anyone else who is suffering.


Kris March 22, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Kelly- don’t give up on life! You just have to find the right drug for your body. Most people do recover using 2 rounds of Flagyl. If you, you will probably move on to Vanco, which has a huge success rate. There are so many steps/protocols they can try. Keep in mind, the dreaded fecal transplant is a God-send to many, and it has a greater than 90 percent success rate. You will be able to pursue your dreams.

Don’t regret trusting your doctors. Almost every surgery requires a preventative dose of antibiotics- you don’t want an infection from surgery either.

In the future, if you need antibiotics, ask for ones that are low offenders, and really discuss if the antibiotic is necessary. Do not take responsibility for getting this illness. People who are not on antibiotics are getting C diff nowdays, it is just getting more and more prevalent. This is NOT your fault. It is life. Every decision in life has a risk/reward. You would not have wanted to go septic from a gall bladder infection either. You will never know if being on the antibiotics was the right decision or not, so please just let that go.

I know you feel like there is not light at the end of the tunnel. That is exactly how I felt when my son was sick. However, 2 years have passed and I rarely think of c diff anymore. He has fortunately been antibiotic free since that time, but he went away to college and lives a wonderfully normal life. You will get there, you just can’t see it right now.

Feel free to email me/comment anytime.


Reganrain March 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I just started Amoxicillin for the treatment of Group Strep B UTI (not pregnant) and am so afraid I will get C-Diff again. Group Strep B is a nightmare, but C-Diff was worse. They are both natural bacteria in the gut…that can sometime flourish in the right conditions.
I had a bout with it for about 6 months in 2010 from taking Clindamycin for BV. I had to go the natural path way to get rid of it. I could not afford the cost/risk of the Vancomycin not working and $500 for a one time prescription with insurance. And multiple Metronidazole treatments were not working. I took a super strong probiotic called HMF Replete along with a few other things from my doc and it worked to rid my body of the horrible super bug. I am on the HMF Replete now with the Amoxicillin and my fingers are crossed. Has anybody else had C-Diff before, then after Group Strep B? Did you take an antiboitic to get rid of it?


Kris March 22, 2013 at 11:55 am

Reganrain- Unfortunately, antibiotics are still necessary for a lot of bacteria, and it becomes a cost/risk analysis on what to do. I don’t really know much about the treatment for Group B strep, except everyone I know who was diagnosed with it had to take antibiotics. (These all happened during delivery.) Fact is, you are taking the medicine now, and all you can do is try to keep your flora built up while you are taking the amox. Are you taking the Replete at least 2 hours after you take your amox? You can try Kefir too.

The good thing is, you have had a few years to build up your flora from your bout with C Diff. Remember, if you ever do need vanco again in the future (and hopefully you won’t), the liquid form is much more affordable. Look into getting that as opposed to the pills.

Please let us know how you are doing.


Yolanda March 24, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Hi Kris, I was wondering if my 7 yr old so could be having a relapse of c diff. He was admitted into the hospital Dec 16th 2012 for severe abdominal pain, the didn’t realize until the evening of the 17th that his appendix had ruptured. That just started a bunch of problems for him, h formed 2 abscesses, then a 3rd with an underlining hernia, then 1 of the abscesses started draining into the left side of his scrotum, he had 3 surgeries in the almost 3 weeks that he was there, then a week at home before he returned to school. We had a 2 week follow up with his doctor that preformed the final surgery on boxing day and everything seemed fine but within the following week he was re admitted into the hospital with diarreah and abdominal pain again. They tried to pull the constipation crap on me again, and I told them flat out, he has diarreah, he can’t be constipated, so finally they tested his stool and volia found the c diff. He was given oral flaygil for 10 days. That was 6 weeks ago now. I asked my doctor if a follow up sample could be taken to make sure its gone but he says they don’t do that, it depends on the patients symptoms and that my son was fine. He has now had a pretty nasty cold/flu .. no fever at all (but he didn’t have a fever with the appendicitis either) and as of yesterday he has started to have very watery diarreah again with a bad smell .. I have a cold too and I can still smell it. He describes it as his tummy is pounding .. which is what he called it when his appendix burst. I’m wondering, if after 6 weeks .. can it still be the c diff ailing him? I don’t want to be one of those overly paranoid parents but I do want my son to be healthy ( oh and he has been eating yogurt every day since he was discharged from the hospital in Jan 2013)


Kris March 29, 2013 at 10:08 am

I am so sorry I didn’t see this sooner. My best advice is- if ever in doubt, have the test done. Never, ever worry about bothering the doctor. You can always have ‘testing supplies’ on hand, and if you ever worry, have the doctor call the order in to the hospital, collect the sample, and drop off.

How is your son doing???


Mom of Two with CDIFF April 2, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Thank you for sharing your story!! My daughters, age 5 and 7 months both have Cdiff. The battle began the days just before xmas and my 5yr old has already had 5 reoccurrances. Doctors tell me there is an 85 percent chance of it returning. We are tapering vanco for 9 weeks but are expection to need a fecal transplant. I found three that will perform the procedure. One is Dr George Russell at Massachusettes General – he has performed 14 with excellent success. Also the Mayo Clinic and Ochsner in New orleans, but neither has done it on a child. My infant is less symptomatic, so we have been treating with probiotics.

One of the hardest things about having children with Cdiff is cleaning. I primarily use bleach but I have to be careful around the baby because she is sensitive to it. I was recently able to find bleach wipes online through amazon. Were you like me assuming clorox wipes at the local store had bleach – I was so frustrated to find that they didn’t.

I have now taken more control of my children’s medical care. As their parent – must be the one to advocate for them!!


Kris April 2, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Oh my, having two little ones with C Diff must be so trying- I am so sorry your whole family has to go through this.

Fecal transplants have over a 90 percent success rate, but I hope the vanco taper takes care of it for your daughter. It is such a frustrating illness as you know all too well.

I realized Clorox wipes didn’t have bleach during our C diff experience too. I laughed when I read the label and it says ‘bleach free’. I do know you can buy bleach wipes online. My whole house has been bleached, I even bleached wood tables I was so desperate. Having a baby around though definitely complicates matters.

Good luck to you all, and please let us know how you are doing.


Chrissy April 28, 2013 at 1:46 am

I am such a huge advocate for probiotics and avoiding antibiotics.
I wish I has know before I ended up getting C DIFF. I thought I had
It bad, but after reading others stories, maybe I was lucky. However I
Did end up with colitis and didn’t feel ‘right’ for about a year after.

Now I’m concerned I have it again after about 2 years. I have a kidney infection and was prescribed
One of the safer antibiotics. However after a few days of the antibiotics, I’m in the
Bathroom more often than normal. ;-( I reallu do not want to deal with this again. I was taking a strong probiotic and drinking Kefer… Nothing more I could have done.
Hoping that we can skip some steps, like the sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, blood tests and
Flagyll (which made me feel worse) it was vancomycin that worked for me.

I’m left wondering what happens if/when I need antibiotics again after this… How many times can a person get c diff??


Kris April 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Lisa has made a lot of good points. You rarely hear from the person that spreads the word all over the internet that they successfully took an antibiotic after having C Diff. I personally know 3 people who have had C Diff. One person was able to take zithromax multiple times after C diff without issue. The two other people have been able to stay antibiotic-free since they had it, so I don’t know what will happen in their case (my son being one of them). I also know one person that had it very badly and he is only 22 years old. He tried treatment after treatment, and the FT is what finally cured him. He was doing better that very day.

It is a very unpredictable illness and all you can do is exactly what you are doing. I suggest taking in a sample, just to ease your mind. As Lisa said, antibiotics can cause intestinal distress period. Odds are on your side it is just routine side effect, but as I said, it doesn’t hurt to test.

Let us know how you are doing.


Lisa April 28, 2013 at 10:28 am

That seems to be the question everyone wants answered, yet there are no follow up studies that I know of showing how many people are able to take antibiotics years after having c. diff. Anecdotally, doctors have said that people get over c. diff and are able to take antibiotics without problems. On this board, several people have written that they felt they got it again after being free for years but rarely is there follow up on these reports. People post when they are scared or worried but don’t post the final outcome. Likewise, people who successfully take antibiotics following c. diff don’t post. Everyone wants to forget about it if they can, of course, and i don’t blame them!
I have been told that after three months following treatment of c. diff, you are at no greater risk for getting it again as the rest of the population who never had c. diff. In other words, if you do get it again, it is considered a new infection, not a relapse.

Antibiotics can cause diarrhea that is not c. diff. I am sure you’ve already thought of contacting your doctor. Please post what happens long term. I feel for you – it is very frustrating.


Tammy April 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm

As you have read back in Feb 2013 my ordeal, I have been doing ok, good and bad days . But the past three days have been really bad. I have had mild diarrhea( one day it was bloody), very nauseated, bloated, gassy, lower abdominal pain, not able to eat or drink, no fever. I have only taken pamprin the day before the symptoms started. I don’t know if its my colitis or if I should get test for c.diff? I don’t really want to see my Dr because the last time I went to see him for a physical, he stated “That people that have had c.diff get symptoms like c.diff and always want to get test, when it’s just a mental thing!”




Kris April 30, 2013 at 3:07 pm

If I remember correctly, you were going to have further tests done. Did you get any results?

The doctor that is dismissing your symptoms- is the the Infectious Disease doctor, GI or GP? Whoever he is, he needs a good lecture on C diff, that is for sure. I am shocked he said that given everything you went through. It would be very difficult to differentiate between colitis and returning C Diff I am sure. Have you taken any antibiotics recently? Have you ever had a negative C Diff test?

Of course, I am not a doctor, but I know a few people who have suffered like you have. Many have a standing order and can get C Diff tests whenever they want. I also know of one individual that had cdiff and then ended up with long term colitis. He recently had a FT and he is a million times better. Would your doctor consider the transplant foryou?


Tammy April 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm

My Md told me that statement. I have not had a chance to find a new GI dr, also since I felt better I didn’t feel the need to find one quickly. I was told in the past that since I had Salmonella poison that my nausea maybe coming from my gallbladder. That my gallbladder may need to be removed. I have not taken any antibiotic. The last c.diff test I took was in Sept 2012, it was negative. I have talk to my ID in the past about FT and he was not for it.


vicki May 1, 2013 at 10:39 am

I’ve developed food intolerances after having cdiff. Lactose intolerant and probable histamine intolerance. Supposedly the cdiff bacteria puts out lots of histamine in the intestines, which can contribute to overload with many symptoms including diarrhea. Not having health insurance puts a damper on getting tested on being able to afford many of the probiotics. I believe taking ambien for menopausal insomnia led to acid reflux and nexium. Soon after, a pediatrician talked the whole family into taking antibiotics when a kid had only one bout of strep throat. Then, a visit to a relative i the hospital, a child giving me giardia (according to pediatrician) resulted in cdiff showing up in my test. I got over it but been miserable trying to tolerate food ever since and about 20 lbs underweight now seven years later.


Kris May 5, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Yikes, that is a rough road Vicki. It is shocking how over-prescribed antibiotics are sometimes. Obviously they are warranted when someone actually has strep, but I have heard of a lot of people who have taken antibiotics for ‘just in case’ scenarios.

Sorry about the food intolerance. Does your doctor have any thoughts on that?


Anna May 6, 2013 at 11:13 pm

When I got c diff I felt like I was coming down with the flu, but without the aches, pains and fever associated with the flu. Now whenever I need to take an antibiotic, I look for those symptoms. I do a lot of alternative medicine and oregano oil and colloidal silver are great alternatives for antibiotics without the risk of getting c diff. I try those first, before taking any prescribed antibiotic. Many times that is enough to knock the infection without the use of antibiotics. Hope that helps.


Kris May 7, 2013 at 9:38 am

Anna, have you successfully taken antibiotics after you had C. Diff? If so, which antibiotic worked without causing a relapse?

Glad you are doing well!


Julie June 29, 2013 at 9:00 am

Hi Kris!

I just wanted to leave you a note to say thank you so much for this posting. My youngest son went through the C-Diff experience a couple of years ago also, after being prescribed too large of an antibiotic. I wish that I would have had a “go-to” like this for the basic information, and the fact that you are responding to posts 2 years later really says a lot. 🙂

Yesterday that same son was diagnosed with Lyme Disease, and started on Doxycycline 100mg
twice a day. I found your site when searching using Doxycycline after history of C-Diff. I wish you knew about Lyme Disease, because I though C-Diff was misunderstood, but Lyme Disease is understood even less from what I can find.

My son was bit June 2, and now is exhibiting symptoms. There are differing opinions for treatment – some say Doxy 100mg twice a day, others say Doxy 200mg twice a day, and some say IV antibiotics. Of course to kill the Lyme, I would want to give him the max, but with the possibility of C-Diff, part of me is hesitant. The nurse practitioner he saw gave him the Doxy for 7 days, which is very conservative for Lyme, but this was the first time she had ever treated it. I will probably try and get him to an infectious disease doctor first thing this week for a second opinion. I will also start him on the Culturelle today (hope it’s not too late!)

It is strange because with Lyme there is this mainline conservative treatment approach and then an almost vigilante approach where “Lyme literate physicians” are available but names are only given out through support groups “private messages”…….very strange and frustrating.

I will keep searching, this is only day 2 in the research, but wanted to say thanks again for sharing – it was very helpful!


Kris July 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm

You are truly in a conundrum with the combination of C Diff and Lyme.

First off, I would definitely see someone other than a nurse practitioner for Lyme. Personally, I would consider seeing an Infectious Disease specialist, as they know about both C Diff and Lyme. For standard treatment, 7 days is not enough for sure. I regret only have 2 weeks of treatment, but I do know you have the C Diff complication.

How is your son doing on the antibiotic? Fortunately, doxy is on the low offenders list, but your son is still at a vulnerable stage. Please keep in touch!!!


Julie June 29, 2013 at 9:04 am

Hi again Kris!

I just noticed you have another post referencing Lyme Disease. I will go read that post and send you a note. Thanks!


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Teri August 7, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I had c diff in March was in icu 3 days then on a regular unit for 4 more days. They said I was c diff free and released me. But they hadn’t done another stool sample just blood work. It is now 5 months later I have not been able to gain my weight back, and I am very fatigued. Is this part of the recovery? I do take probiotics 60 million per day. I eat lots of greek yoghurt. Any suggestions or is the recovery just a very long process. Thanks


Joanne September 3, 2013 at 1:17 am

Kris, your posts are wonderful and so informative, the best that I’ve seen on the Internet. I am so glad that your son is now doing well! I am 71 years old and in pretty good overall health. I had emergency colon surgery after a colonoscopy resulted in a perforated colon after the doctor tried to remove a large polyp one year ago, 9/5/12, and I was hospitalized and on antibiotic IV’s for 8 days. My recovery was going well until Nov. 7, 2012, when I was diagnosed with a sinus infection and prescribed Amoxicillin. (No one warned me not to take antibiotics so soon after my hospitalization, surgery and antibiotic therapy!) Three days later, I awoke in the middle of the night with terrible nausea and diarrhea, which I assumed was a stomach flu. After 3-4 days of continued diarrhea and growing weakness and stomach cramps, I contacted my GI doctor, and his physician’s ass’t ordered a c-diff test, which tested positive. I was put on Flagyl for 10 days, but still tested positive two weeks after the course of Flagyl ended. I went through a second 10-day course of Flagyl, but still tested positive although my symptoms were better. At that time, I was prescribed Difficid, which finally did the trick, and I was so thankful to finally get a negative culture result on New Year’s of 2012. I was very weak and literally couldn’t eat more than a few bites during that two months, and it took a few more months to finally start to feel like I was actually regaining my health. Like so many of those who have commented previously, I am terrified of having to take antibiotics again, and about a week ago, I started having symptoms of a sinus infection and have been feeling really crummy for about a week. I have a doctor appt. tomorrow to see if I have a sinus infection or if it might possibly just be a virus. I am so tempted to just try to tough this out and see if I can get better without taking an antibiotic. I NEVER want to have c-diff again! I will keep you posted and let you know if I am able to get past this upper respiratory dilemma without taking antibiotics. Thank you again for all your informative comments and encouragement. Again, your posts are the most helpful and positive ones that I have read!


George J. Birds Jr. September 12, 2013 at 12:31 am

JOURNAL ENTRY 09-02-2013 12:33 PM

Yvonne Birds 08-10-40

Yvonne is still having her problems with urinating and now because of the antibiotics she has been taking for urinary tract infections, she has a gut infection caused by all of her good bacteria being killed. The medical problem is Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) which our local clinic diagnosed from fecal tests done a few days ago. It is a serious medical problem for the elderly; but has an excellent cutting edge treatment that offers a 90% cure rate according to Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/medicalprofs/fecal-transplants-ddue1012.html
It is a simple treatment where Fecal Transplantation imports from a donor’s healthy “POOP” such as a family member. The healthy “POOP” is liquefied in a blender with water and then the mixture is place in an enema tube to be inserted into the bowel of the sick person. I did it once using my “POOP” about 6:00 PM yesterday. I did not provide more than about 100 ml fecal matter but I think it may be a beginning. I mixed it with bottled water in the old blender for about one minute to make about 350 ml of mixture which I strained through a piece of standard plastic window screen into two “FLEET” enema bottles which I purchased yesterday morning from Wal-Mart. Everything was washed with Ajax and hot water before and after the treatment. The original contents of the “FLEET” enema bottles was dumped out and not used before being filling with the blended mixture. Each bottle contained 100 ml of mixture which I inserted into Yvonne’s butt hole. She kept the infusion for about a half hour at which time she could not hold it any more. But she did get her first Fecal Transplant. I intend on doing it at least one more time today if I can provide enough “POOP.”
Yvonne has been taking the latest antibiotic from our local clinic for the C. Diff problem which is Metronidazole 500 MG every 8 hours as prescribed up to yesterday morning when she stopped because of the Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) which I have been performing.
As far as Yvonne’s urinary problem, I think we may have found a solution. The doctor in Fresno told her to stop taking neurontin because it is not needed for seizure control. She stopped taking neurontin and starting to take small doses of another anti-seizure medication (Lamotrigine 25 MG) to be able to get off of Keppra which the Fresno doctor said is discharged thru the kidneys. He said this may be the reason for her “PEE” problem; but may not know until she stops taking Keppra too. The Keppra was not stopped yet, but because of her C. Diff problem the new anti-seizure medication was stopped. We thought it may be causing her gut problem. Keppra was shown to be the good seizure control medication about three weeks ago when she stopped taking it for just a couple of days because we were thinking it may be her “PEE” problem. She was taking only neurontin for those few days and had a seizure. A Quick dose of Keppra normalized her seizure. This was before seeing the Fresno doctor who told her to stop Neurontin because it did not help her seizure problem. Now Keppra only is definitely a good medication for her seizure control. A good outcome from our experimenting with medications is that her “PEE” problem is getting much better. She is urinating by herself now for several days and my “CATTING” her doesn’t get more than 300 ml in the morning of the 30th of August. The 29th she urinated a total of 675 ml during the day. She urinated 1110 ml on the next day all by herself. She keeps urinating 200 to 300 ml several times a day now.

JOURNAL ENTRY 09-02-2013 12:33 PM

Mainly because of my giving her Fecal Transplantation, Yvonne is feeling better as the time passes. She is hungry and is taking food. She does not feel nauseated. The simple Fecal Transplantation just one time about 18 hours ago has already helped her with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). She said she seemed to poop it all out this morning which seemed a bunch of long strings. Even after not being able to hold the injected material yesterday after I gave it to her, strings of poop came out. I really don’t know how such a simple treatment can help so fast. I will give her another fecal transplant later today.

JOURNAL ENTRY 09-04-2013 8:11 AM

Yesterday about 10:00 AM I did a second fecal transplant for Yvonne. I could only provide about 100 ml of fecal matter; but I was able to do this second transplant just like the first one a few days ago. She is recovering but still weak. At least she is eating and not throwing up. She doesn’t complain of a headache. I want to do a third transplant when I can provide another fecal sample. I haven’t spoken with any doctors about my attempts to help Yvonne; but my words and procedure will fall on deaf ears.

JOURNAL ENTRY 09-04-2013 1:43 PM

I just finished doing a third fecal transplant for Yvonne. It went well with a bit more than the 100 ml of fecal matter as used in the first and second transplant. She seems to only be able to hold the mixture in her bowel for only a few minutes; but she may be receiving enough of the good bacteria. I will just have to wait if more implants will be needed. Again, I will emphasize that all the containers and parts are soaked in bleach water overnight and rinsed well before using. The “FLEET” enema units work well and are easy to wash and reuse. I do two containers of 100 ml each of mixture for implantation.

JOURNAL ENTRY 09-11-2013 8:11 PM

Yvonne had to go to the emergency hospital again on 09-05-2013 because of nausea and just not feeling good. She came home yesterday evening. I guess her fecal transplant was not enough in the right spot for proper good bacteria cultivation in her gut. A GI doctor has seen her and hopefully she can recover. But again more antibiotics are given for her to take for the next two weeks. Because of your web-site, I feel that more intervention is needed. We live about an 8 hour drive from Mayo Clinic in Arizona; and we may take a drive over to see them for both my wife and I to request a complete workup. The Mayo Clinic may be able to do a proper fecal transplant. I just do not feel that doctors listen to patients because we do not give them free drug samples. My contributions to this web-site would be to remember the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Do not give up for a better life. Take note of drug interactions because if doctors looked at Neurontin given with Keppra causing an inflamed urethra, the several months of different antibiotics would not have been needed to try to cure her bladder infections. Not being able to urinate properly is a good source of bladder infections. I realize now that antibiotics are no good. If hot honey vinegar can pass your nose, it is good drink for a sore throat. Look into the new medical device which is ”NasoNeb” a Nasal Nebulizer which can be used to administer “Loxasperse” for antifungal, antibiotics, and steroids up the nose for the common cold. I must get some dentistry care soon; but worry about antibiotics the doctors require as pre-treatments. My main goal will be to keep my families gut bacteria as abundant and healthy as possible should future antibiotics be absolutely required. I must get my wife to eat. Her appetite is very bad and she gets nauseated too. She is urinating fairly well now on her own. Her poop is not much, but not all liquid. But she must remember the basic requirement that food intake is required to go “number 2.” I hope those nine months of using a catheter twice a day is ending for her to get rid of her urine. With all of your help, I feel that her gut will start working as it should. Thanks , George J. Birds Jr.


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