If you or your loved one has a C. diff infection, you’re likely scared and looking for help. This page contains the most common issues facing CDI patients and information on how to find the help you need.
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The most common treatments for mild to moderate infections are an antibiotic, either vancomycin or fidaxomicin, taken by mouth for ten days. For an initial mild- to moderate episode, vancomycin 125 milligrams (mg) four times per day or fidaxomicin 200 mg twice per day for ten days.
Taking a medication that stops or slows diarrhea may be tempting. This is not recommended in the case of C. diff infection, as it can lead to more severe disease and even sepsis.
For more information on treatment, visit our Treatment Options page.
C. diff infection is a clinical diagnosis (meaning your provider determines if you’re ill based on your signs and symptoms rather than lab tests), so there is no test for “cure.” Further complicating this is that some people cured of their C. diff infection may still struggle with “post-infectious” irritable bowel symptoms for weeks or months.
If you’re concerned that your infection is back, you can ask for a stool test to look for C. diff toxins. If toxins are present, you’re likely experiencing a recurrence. Visit our Treatment Options page for more information.
If you’ve been on two or more courses of antibiotics but are still dealing with a CDI, you may want to pursue microbiome restoration. Since a lack of microbial diversity makes us susceptible to a CDI, restoring it is vital to recovery. Based on various factors (age, immunity, diet), some people’s microbiomes will recover quickly, and others will need help. Until last year, the only option for microbiome restoration was a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT). FMT is a procedure that involves processing and screening stool from a healthy donor and placing it in the gut of someone suffering from C. diff.
Now, two FDA-approved microbiome restoration therapies are now available, Rebyota and Vowst. If antibiotics fail to cure your infection, speak to your doctor about which microbiome therapy may be right for you. You can learn more about these therapies on our Treatment Options page.
Being sick with C. diff can be scary and isolating. PLF offers two ways for you to connect with people who are battling C. diff or have recovered from it. We have a moderated Facebook support group that you can join. The group has a wealth of information from people who have battled or are fighting C. diff.
If you want a more personalized experience, you can request support from a C. diff survivor or caregiver through our Peer Support Network. Our Peer Support volunteers have dealt with C. diff first-hand. While they do not offer medical advice, they can share how they managed their infection, direct you to resources, and offer emotional support.
While it is rare that multiple people in a household get C. diff infections, we know colonization is possible, and being concerned is understandable. If you or a household member has C. diff, there are some precautions you can take to reduce the risk of spreading the infection:
- Wear gloves while providing care
- If possible, have your loved one use a dedicated bathroom
- If there is no second bathroom available, every time your loved one uses the bathroom, wash all common surfaces with a bleach product
- Avoid using antibiotics unless they are necessary
For more information, download our C. diff Care Guide.
C. diff infections often come with nausea and lack of appetite, and certain foods can worsen symptoms. Still, good nutrition is necessary to help your body fight the infection. Also, pre-and probiotics are essential for restoring your gut microbiome to prevent a C. diff recurrence.
Our Lifestyle & Nutrition Guide has a ton of ideas, resources, and over 20 recipes to help you nourish yourself while you fight C. diff and build up your gut immunity for your overall health.