C. Difficile

Below you will find more information about C. Difficile from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of C. Difficile it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with C. Difficile and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to C. Difficile comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

C. difficile (Clostridium difficile) is a type of bacterium that causes a widespread and serious illness. This bacterium can be found almost anywhere and can easily infect people.

Diagnosis

If Clostridium difficile is suspected, the following tests may be done to confirm the diagnosis: stool test; colon examination; and imaging tests such as a computerized tomography (CT) scan.

Treatment

To treat a Clostridium difficile infection, it may be necessary to stop the antibiotic or medication that triggered the infection. For most patients, this step may be sufficient to relieve symptoms. However, in some cases, further steps are necessary, including: antibiotics such as oral metronidazole or vancomycin; probiotics; and surgery for those with severe pain.

Symptoms and Signs

Some patients infected with the C. difficile never demonstrate any symptoms, although they remain contagious and can still spread the infection. In symptomatic patients, the infection presents with: nausea; profuse watery diarrhea; severe abdominal pain and cramping; pus or blood in stool; dehydration; and unintended weight loss. In severe cases, Clostridium difficile infections can lead to a number of serious complications, such as colitis and pseudomembranous colitis, both of which are life-threatening disorders characterized by severe inflammations of the colon.

Causes

Clostridium difficile bacteria are practically everywhere and can be found in air, soil, water, feces, and most surfaces. In humans, the infection is triggered by taking antibiotics or other antimicrobial drugs. The organism causes illness by multiplying and growing in abnormally large numbers in the intestinal tract.

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