C. Diff: Deadly Infection on the Rise – Consumer Reports

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http://www.consumerreports.org/doctors-hospitals/c-diff-deadly-infection-on-rise-us-hospitals/

Three people died of Ebola last year.  Everybody knew about it.
34 000 people die of Clodtridium difficile infection in the USA each year but unless you or someone close to you suffer from it, you have never heard about it.  Why ?

I Do not have the time to explain all the details concerning the most prevalent antibiotic resistant infection in our misdt.
Most of you have probably  heard about MRSA, C. difficile or C. Diff for short, is ten times more prevalent in hospitals and our communities and unless you have been touched by it, you probably have never heard about it. Yet,  C. difficile claims 34 000 lives each year in our country.

The continuous overuse of antibiotics is the main reason why we see an increasing trend of antibiotic – resistant bacterial infections. It is the survival of the fittest in action. Bacterial  strains have mutated their genetic material  in order to survive. They have and will continue to become resistant to most mainstream antibiotics.

Once limited to nursing homes, C difficile, a colon bacteria that has potential deadly consequences,  has become a community acquired infection. That is, it is not longer limited to nursing homes, or hospitals. It is indeed present everywhere.

Every time we are prescribed antibiotics, we are left susceptible to a C. difficile opportunistic  infection. Why?
Because antibiotics kill both pathogens and good bacteria in our guts alike. Our immune system, that is mainly located in our guts is weakened by every course of antibiotics we are exposed to.

Lack of information, education and aggressive control continue to prevail in our medical system in regards to C diff.

I, personally,  almost lost my life to a C. diff infection  last year.
I have decided to include this topic of extreme importance to all of us in this blog to alert and garner awareness to stop the this deadly infection in its tracks.

Main C. Difficile symptoms

Diarrhea. Very severe to the point to cause dehydration very quickly
Abdominal cramps
Rectal bleeding
Bloating
Pain that may extend to other regions beside the abdomen. Pain can be severe and disabling
Nausea
Dehydration

These symptoms may appear  right in the middle of a course of antibiotics or days later after they are finished. 

Preventive measures

Wash your hands frequently with water and soap. Sanitizers Do Not kill C. Difficile spores. ( how C. diff is trasmited is a subject for another post)

Disinfect all solid surfaces with Clorox, C. Diff spores can survive on them up to 2 years.
Desinfect your hospital room with bleach as well. Rails, door knobs, tables,  wheelchairs, gurneys, blinds, they all might harbor C diff spores.

Clorox wipes DO NOT CONTAIN BLEACH.
RESEARCH AMAZON.COM  FOR REAL CLOROX WIPES. BUY THEM AND USE THEM.

Wash your hands when visiting or staying in a hospital or a doctor’s office including dentist’s offices frequently.

Upon return to your home, wash your clothes in hot water and take a bath immediately.

Always insist that a doctor washes his hands before he touches you.

If you need antibiotics  for an infection, insist on having a culture and sensitivity test  when possible to determine what bacteria is causing your infection and  to identify the antibiotics that  it is more susceptible to kill it.
Ask For NARROW SPECTRUM ANTIBIOTICS as opposed to broad spectrum if applicable.

Major offenders antibiotics are:

Cephalosporins such as Keflex
Flouroquinolones such as cipro and Levanquin
Clandimycin
Penicillins

If you need antibiotics take good Probiotics along with them
My favorite ones are
VSL #3 and Bio k plus. Take them 2 hours apart from your antibiotic.

Everyone is different. Other Probiotics may work for you
Eat fermented foods such as Kimchee, Kefir, and PLAIN GREEK YOGURT.
Avoid all sugars. They feed the bad bacteria.

Increase fruits and vegetables in your diet
If possible, consume only organic, grass- fed meat and poultry.

Become acquainted with natural remedies such as essential oils. They are very effective against pathogens and do Not create resistance.

Work with an alternative certified practioner. Natural remedies are considered safe for the most part but they may interact with other medicines you take. 

C. Difficile infection is on the rise and it is not prejudiced against children, elders, men or women. We are all at great risk to contract it. 

The hypervirulent strain that almost claimed my life did not respond to any antibiotics. A treatment of last sorts did save my life. 

As a result of my infection, I can not take any broad spectrum antibiotics ever again – refer to the above list of major antibiotic offenders –
My life has changed drastically. I am caught between a hard and a rock place as the rest of the 500 000 people who are infected by C. Diff every single year in the US.

In lieu of the urgency of this crisis that has the potential to affect us all, I have decided to incorporate C. Difficile – related posts regularly  from now on.

Please, take the time to read this post carefully,  to implement the recommended safe guidelines, to ask your physicians how do they protect their patients in their practices from C diff infections  – remember, C. Diff is not limited to the immunocompromised, elderly population anymore.

Be safe,  be proactive and share with everyone in your life.
SPREAD THE WORD AND SAVE LIFES!