C. Difficile Colitis
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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. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with, or suspects, C. difficile colitis, you have expert help at your disposal through the board-certified gastroenterologists at GI Alliance. As the nation's leading physician-led network of skilled GI professionals, GI Alliance aims to bring you the latest in innovative care for C. difficile colitis and other conditions.
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 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 given space for up to a few months. Once contaminated, a person may unknowingly swallow the spores and become infected with C. difficile bacteria. Anyone can develop a C. difficile infection and, once infected, they can spread the infection to others, even if they are not symptomatic themselves.
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 the stool
- Weight loss
If you experience any one of, or any combination of, these symptoms persistently you should contact a GI Alliance gastroenterologist today. If you are having a medical emergency, you should call 911 immediately.
How is C. difficile colitis treated?
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 board-certified GI Alliance gastroenterologist about the best treatment option for your case. If left untreated, this condition can lead to complications including severe dehydration, kidney failure, toxic megacolon, and bowel perforation. Serious infections can even be fatal. If you have C. difficile colitis, seek treatment with a GI specialist immediately.
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Hope for patients with colitis
While C. difficile colitis symptoms can vary drastically from person to person, intervention to stop the spread and eliminate the threat of serious damage to the colon is vital. When seeking care for C. difficile colitis, we advise you to trust the experts in gastrointestinal care and choose a board-certified GI doctor through GI Alliance, the nation's leading physician-led network of gastroenterologists. Contact GI Alliance to learn more about the treatment for C. difficile colitis and the measures you can take to better protect you, and your loved ones, from infection.
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