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What is clostridium difficile and why is it so dangerous? 

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jason Hemming
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Infectious Colitis

C.Diff is a bacteria may result is a severe infectious colitis (inflammation of the colon).
Because of which patients may have terrible diarrhea but most worrisome is toxic colitis requiring a colectomy (removal of your colon). Antibiotic use puts people at risk for c.Diff.

In brief: Infectious Colitis

C.Diff is a bacteria may result is a severe infectious colitis (inflammation of the colon).
Because of which patients may have terrible diarrhea but most worrisome is toxic colitis requiring a colectomy (removal of your colon). Antibiotic use puts people at risk for c.Diff.
Dr. Jason Hemming
Dr. Jason Hemming
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Dr. Michio Abe
Internal Medicine

In brief: C. difficile

C. Diff can be present among your normal gut flora, or you may get it from spores of the bacteria present in places like a hospital.
It gets to be a problem when someone is on antibiotics, which kill your normal bacteria and allow c. Diff to take over. It produces toxins that cause abdominal pain, diarrhea and colitis. If symptomatic, it needs to be treated to prevent bowel perforation and sepsis.

In brief: C. difficile

C. Diff can be present among your normal gut flora, or you may get it from spores of the bacteria present in places like a hospital.
It gets to be a problem when someone is on antibiotics, which kill your normal bacteria and allow c. Diff to take over. It produces toxins that cause abdominal pain, diarrhea and colitis. If symptomatic, it needs to be treated to prevent bowel perforation and sepsis.
Dr. Michio Abe
Dr. Michio Abe
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Garrett Caldwell
Family Medicine

In brief: C Diff

C diff is a normal gut bacteria that is in almost everyone.
Problems arise in hospitalized patients usually who have undergone antibiotic treatments. This kills other bacteria allowing c diff to take over. The bacteria then produces a toxin that causes watery, foul smelling diarrhea. You need to watch for dehydration from this and fluid/electrolyte replacement is needed.

In brief: C Diff

C diff is a normal gut bacteria that is in almost everyone.
Problems arise in hospitalized patients usually who have undergone antibiotic treatments. This kills other bacteria allowing c diff to take over. The bacteria then produces a toxin that causes watery, foul smelling diarrhea. You need to watch for dehydration from this and fluid/electrolyte replacement is needed.
Garrett Caldwell
Garrett Caldwell
Answer assisted by Garrett Caldwell, Medical Student
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1 comment
Dr. Jason Hemming
Although c.diff is a common colonic bacteria and may occur naturally in rare patients, it is by no means a normal gut bacteria.
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