What is C. Difficile Colitis?
Colitis refers to any time that the colon becomes inflamed. C. Difficile stands for clostridium difficile, also known as clostridioides difficile and is a bacterium that can infect the body and cause symptoms in the colon. Therefore, C. difficile colitis is a condition in which bacteria infect the body and cause inflammation of the colon.
What Causes C. Difficile Colitis?
C. difficile colitis is caused when the body becomes infected with the bacterium C. difficile. C. difficile bacteria are found all throughout the environment such as: in water, food products, human and animal feces, soil, air, and more. The spores of the bacteria can pass through direct contact, or through the air and can persist in a space for up to a few months. Once contaminated, a person may unknowingly swallow the spores and become infected with C. difficile bacteria.
What are the Symptoms of C. Difficile Colitis?
Some people can be infected with the C. difficile bacterium and never become sick. Symptoms of C. difficile colitis can range from very mild to very severe.
The most common symptoms of C. difficile infection are:
- Watery diarrhea
- Abdominal cramping
- Abdominal tenderness or pain
- Blood or pus in stool
- Weight loss
If you experience any combination of these symptoms or anyone symptom persistently, you should contact a GI Alliance gastroenterologist today. If you are having a medical emergency, you should call 911 immediately.
What are the Treatments for C. Difficile Colitis?
C. difficile colitis can generally be treated using antibiotics that target the C. difficile bacteria. Occasionally, in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the diseased portion of the colon. You should speak to your doctor about the best treatment option for your case.