Welcome to the C. diff. Support Site. This site was formed to provide Information and to help people deal with Clostridium difficile infection (also called C. diff. and CDI). C. diff. is a spore-forming infection of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. There are thousands of different types of good bacteria in your gut totaling nearly a trillion organisms. Antibiotics can kill the bad invading bacteria which infect your bowel and make you ill. But they can also kill good protective bacteria in your GI tract, letting C. diff. (a “bad” bacterium found in 2 to 5% of all people) to enter and stay in your GI tract and to produce toxins which cause cramping, diarrheoa/diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and dehydration. The medications used to treat C. diff. kill the bacteria in the majority of infected people. Sometimes, however, when the medication is stopped, the C. diff makes spores which germinate, more C. diff bacteria are produced, and symptoms return. The spores are difficult and perhaps impossible to kill with antibiotics and can linger a long time, even life-long.
In the past, C. diff. was difficult to diagnose. (“Difficle means “difficult” in Latin.) There are more accurate tests now. See Dr. Borody’s articles for medical information and check other areas of the site for hygiene and treatments. In l998, Sam and Lori Porter founded the Original C. diff. Support Site. The current owner has owned the site for over 14 years, improved it, and provided a professional webmaster. (There are now other sites. Some are on Facebook; we will have information there, too.) This is a support site. We can't give medical advice but can tell you what helped us. Volunteers (non-medical) staff the site. We all had or have C. difficle and/or a family member with it. The site is usually open. If someone posts, a moderator responds. Membership is free.
Approximately 70 percent of C. diff. cases respond to one or two rounds of antibiotic medications. The unlucky 30 percent can suffer much longer. C. diff. is a lonely, frightening disease. It is physically, mentally, and financially exhausting. No one can understand how you feel except someone who has had it.To help stop the spread of C. diff, ask your medical personnel to wash their hands. Soap and water are more effective than alcohol gels. Limit the use of antibiotics as much as possible.Take precautions, but live your life. Don’t let C. diff. rob you of more than it already has.
We’ve come a long way, but we still have mountains to climb. Learn more about C. diff., be proactive, and tell others about it. Together, we can win the war against it. Again, welcome to the site. You are not alone. You will overcome C. diff., and some day there will be more ways to prevent and cure it.