The bacterium Clostridium difficile, also called “C-Diff”, causes a range of symptoms in the human digestive symptoms ranging from severe diarrhea to a life-threatening inflammation of the colon.
To avoid serious complications of C-Diff, it is important to learn its causes and recognize the symptoms.
Causes of Clostridium difficile Infections
Clostridium difficile is a very contagious bacteria. Because of this, it can sometimes be difficult to determine the origin of a specific C-Diff case. However, there are are common factors that contribute to C-Diff infections.
Feces transfer: C-Diff bacteria are passed from feces when an infected person does not wash their hands thoroughly.The bacteria can be spread through food, surfaces, and objects. The spores produced from the bacteria can live for weeks or months on unclean surfaces.
Healthcare facilities: Hospitals and long-term health care facilities have a higher percentage of people with C-Diff.
Antibiotics: The inside of a human intestine contains millions of bacteria, which . helps protect the body from infection. Antibiotics can destroy the normal, helpful bacteria while helping the body destroy the harmful bacteria. In the absence of helpful bacteria, C-Diff will grow uncontrollably.
The following antibiotics are most likely to case a Clostridium difficile infection:
Symptoms of C-Diff
A C-diff infection can present itself in different levels of severity. In fact, some people can carry the bacterium without ever getting sick. Although they may not experience C-Diff symptoms themselves, these people can still spread the disease to others.
Mild cases of C-Diff infection symptoms are:
- Mild abdominal tenderness & cramping
- Water diarrhea that occurs more than three times a day for two or more days
A severe infection of C-Diff happens when a person becomes dehydrated. Colitis and bleeding or pus in the stool indicates a severe infection.
Other symptoms of severe Clostridium difficile infections include:
- Watery diarrhea 10 to 15 times per day
- Abdominal cramping & pain, which may be severe
- Blood or pus in the stool
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Swollen abdomen
- Kidney failure
- Increased white blood cell count
If you believe you have a C-Diff infection, it is important to consult your Salt Lake City healthcare professional. If left untreated, symptoms can become worse and, in sever cases, be life-threatening.
Salt Lake City C-Diff Clinical Study
Jean Brown Research is currently conducting a Utah clinical study on a vaccination for C-Diff. We are seeking Salt Lake City residents between the age of 40 and 75 to participate. Qualified participants may receive the following:
- Study related exam
- No charge investigational C- Diff vaccination
- Compensation for time and travel related to the study