Superbug Alert: Antibiotic Causes C Diff

Superbug Alert: Antibiotic Causes C Diff

Although it is finally on the decline, when compared to global standards excessive antibiotic use is still high in the US.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on outpatient antibiotic prescriptions in America, “care providers in the United States wrote over 266 million antibiotic prescriptions, amounting to 835 antibiotic prescriptions for every 1,000 people.”

In extreme cases, antibiotics can be short of life saving but they are a constant bombardment to your system, particularly the microflora which is essential to optimal immune system functioning. As a result, actually taking these once considered miracle drugs could now, potentially, turn them into a life threatening superbug.

Superbugs consist of bacteria resistant strains that are difficult to control and can sometimes cause death. The medical community is finally cutting back on over prescribing antibiotics however they are also mopping up their mess at the same time. Superbugs are now a constant concern with one nasty critter affecting over half a million Americans. It is called C Diff aka Clostridium difficile (C. difficile)

A Common Occurrence 

Strains of superbugs have been in existence for some time but they have not gotten as out of control as C Diff. What makes the strain even more of a concern is its ability to stick around even after it is considered gone.

The CDC reports that this pathogen is,

“the most common microbial cause of healthcare-associated infections in U.S. hospitals and costs up to $4.8 billion each year in excess health care costs for acute care facilities alone.  The new study found that 1 out of every 5 patients with a healthcare-associated C. difficile infection experienced a recurrence of the infection and 1 out of every 11 patients aged 65 or older with a healthcare-associated C. difficile infection died within 30 days of diagnosis.”

What To Look For

C Diff causes severe inflammation of the colon (sometimes mis-diagnosed as colitis due to similar symptoms) as well as excessive diarrhea and vomiting.

WebMD cites symptoms of C Diff as:

  • Diarrhea more than 10 times a day
  • Severe cramping
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite/weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Rapid heart rate

Those at risk for a life threatening reaction to C Diff are mostly persons over 65 and small children however this doesn’t exclude veritably any age.

If You Have C Diff

C Diff is highly contagious. If you have C Diff, believe it or not, even though antibiotics may have caused it you would be put on a protocol of another set of antibiotics to fight it.

The following antibiotics that have shown to possibly eradicate the pathogen, although it is not guaranteed, are:

  • Metronidazole
  • Vancomycin
  • Fidaxomicin

You need to be closely monitored by your doctor to determine if the medications are working.

In the meantime, because it is so contagious you must keep yourself as quarantined from others as possible. Keep your hands washed at all times, wipe down surfaces with a strong anti-bacterial that includes ammonia or bleach and relegate any towels or sheets you use to yourself. At the same time, it is recommended to take probiotics as this will help rebuild your gut colony with good bacteria to re-balance the bad, C Diff bacteria which has taken over.

Protecting Yourself Naturally

It is important to know that C Diff has a high rate of reoccurrence. Therefore, protecting yourself naturally is possible and essential.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Health Sciences

“Failure rate of existing antibiotics in combating C. difficile seems to be high and increasing, and the recurrent infections are frequently observed. [] The development of alternative therapeutic approaches, including plant-source remedies that are usually used in traditional medicine, are undoubtedly needed to prevent and contain the spread of resistance and to ensure an effective therapy against CDI [C. difficile infection]”

To protect yourself or treat mild C-Diff the following is recommended:

  • Stop or avoid antibiotics whenever possible
  • Take a strong probiotic daily (if C Diff symptoms are present increase probiotics)
  • Wash your hands as much as possible
  • Follow a non-processed food, high plant-based diet
  • Keep the toilet lid shut at all times, especially when flushing
  • Incorporate natural antibiotics which include: Oil of oregano, raw garlic, Manuka honey

In extreme cases, something called a fecal transplant can be administered. This is when healthy stool is placed in the colon to repopulate with good bacteria when probiotics are not enough.

Keep yourself healthy by remaining vigilant when it comes to antibiotic use to avoid C. difficile. Try natural remedies as much as possible and stay in contact with your doctor to monitor your health.