New to c diff but always had intestinal issues

Since c-diff is a disease of the "lower half", so to speak, we find that many of our members cannot refrain from discussing what comes out the bottom end. If you must do it, please do it here.
Issues
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New to c diff but always had intestinal issues

Postby Issues » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:23 pm

Hello, everyone. I've had bowel problems for years, ranging from D to loose or mushy. Very rarely would I have a healthy movement. I finally complained to my doctor 2 days ago and she ordered a stool sample, telling me she thought it was IBS and the test was routine to rule out infection. She told me to pick up meds for cramping at the pharmacy after I drop off my stool. I dropped off my stool sample yesterday and the doc called the same day. I wasn't able to talk to her, but I went to the pharmacy to pick up the stomach cramping meds only to find out she'd cancelled that and faxed a script for flagyl. I started taking it last night and got the news from the doc today: c diff. I was a little dumbfounded--I've not been on an antibiotic in at least a year or two and I haven't been hospitalised or visited anyone in the hospital in probably more than two years. I always wash with soap and water after using the facilities and usually wash before eating. Where did I get it from and how long have I had it? I know no one can answer those questions, but that's what my brain is dwelling on. I'm lucky it's a mild case (my only symptom is D [and cramping])...one of my coworker's family members almost died from it twice. It's going to be an interesting next couple of weeks...and I can't help but wonder if I've had recurring bouts of this over the years. Is it possible to have mild c diff off and on for over a decade? This is the first time I've ever had my stool tested, so I have no way of knowing what the cause has been for my ongoing issues. Maybe I do have IBS...maybe not, but I have a sinking feeling I'm in for a long journey of finding out everything wrong with my guts.

seekingcure
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Re: New to c diff but always had intestinal issues

Postby seekingcure » Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:55 pm

STANDARD INTRODUCTION:
Welcome to the site. Read the first forum “All Users Read This First” and subtopics “Site History” and “Information and Guidelines for Posting to our Discussion Boards.” (Note limits on posting.) This will guide you in using the site and answer some of your questions. Read Dr. Borody's articles. Also see the topics under “CDI” – particularly Recent CDC Report, The C. diff. Bible, Tests, Antibiotics, Hygiene, and Nutrition.

“Doctors” lists physicians our posters recommended and also a list of C. diff. specialists throughout the world with contact information. (Many perform FMT's.) See the new forum “FMT’s and FE’s” or “Media Reports” for new information on C. diff.

The majority of patients (about 80%) recover with one to two rounds of Flagyl or Vancocin. An unfortunate small percentage doesn’t and can suffer for months. Most recover unless there are factors such as advanced age or other severe health problems. New treatments include FMT's, which have a high cure rate, and Dificid. Other drugs and treatments are in the pipeline, and there is increased recognition of C. diff. You can help by educating your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Help us make others aware of C. difficle – which will lead to further advances in treating and/or preventing the infection. If antibiotics contributed to your C. diff, be careful about taking them again. Some people tolerate them; some develop C. diff again. Don’t take medications for C. diff. unless you are tested.

If a medication contributed to your case, please fill out an Adverse Event Report online at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm. Under "Resources for You," in left-hand column, click on "Report a Serious Medical Product Problem Online." (Allison provided this information.)
The best protection for you and others is thorough hand washing and good hygiene. (See Dr. Borody’s articles and “CDI.”) For more information, see other support groups on Facebook, including http://www.peggyfoundation.org, the Mayo Clinic and Web MD web sites, and “The FMT Foundation” under “Links” on the homepage.

This is a support site not a medical site. We can’t give you medical advice but can tell you what worked for us and offer support. No one will understand what you are going through except someone who has/had this unpredictable disease. All of our moderators and frequent posters had/have C. diff. (or a loved one with it) and know how physically, emotionally, and financially disabling it can be.
Again, welcome. Remember, the odds are in your favor. (End of letter.)

I have wondered the same thing, as I have also had bowel problems for years. However, I finally tested clear of c-diff after a long taper/pulse of Vancomycin and I still have bowel issues. I have to say that they are not quite as severe as they were prior to being treated for c-diff, but I am taking a boatload of probiotics on a daily basis and I credit that with the improvement in symptoms. I couldn't possibly have had c-diff for all of the time I had bowel issues, though, because I had them for over 30 years. They had gotten worse over the past five years or so, though. I actually do now have normal BM's a lot of days, but I still have the diarrhea and stomach cramps at least several times a week. Sometimes I will have several weeks of nothing but diarrhea before I get back to somewhat normal. So, who knows? I think it could be possible to have a low-grade c-diff infection for years and it would only get really bad after taking antibiotics or some other triggering factor, but that's just my opinion. This is a good question for you to ask your GI doctor.

Hopefully the Flagyl will help and you will notice improvement in a few days. Let us know if you have any specific questions we can try to help with. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Bea

getwellsoon
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Re: New to c diff but always had intestinal issues

Postby getwellsoon » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:10 am

Thats a question for your Dr. but I would think it is possible. The CDiff was beaten back by your own good flora I would guess. Some people are also carriers but they usually have no symptoms. Hopefully the Flagyl will kick out the CDiff for good. Let us know what the Dr. says.
CAROL

Issues
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Re: New to c diff but always had intestinal issues

Postby Issues » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:20 pm

Thanks, as soon as I know more I'll post an update.

Issues
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Re: New to c diff but always had intestinal issues

Postby Issues » Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:41 pm

OK, so I went to the doc today. I'm now off flagyl and am on vancomycin. Ya know, with me having a mild case, I thought the flagyl would work, but that's not to be. I knew she'd put me on the vanco because I could tell the flagyl wasn't working. I'd go from formed pieces to a mud pile and back (and forth...sometimes in the same day). I was a good little patient and kept a "diary". She said that was really helpful...and I was descriptive.

So, now I do the vanco for 14 days. I really hope this works, because if it doesn't, she told me she would refer me to an infectious disease specialist.

To top it off, I have acute bronchitis (set in after a nasty cold), so I'm on an antibiotic for that, an inhaler, claritan....(plus I'm already on meds for high bld press., depression and I'm taking vit d3 and calcium). I feel like a walking pharmacy. I'm just complaing, not looking for sympathy. : ) Just a woman in her mid 30s who is only beginning to realize how important it is to take care of myself.

I'll end my rant on a positive --because of c diff I've stopped the habit of biting my nails (clippers are my friend) and I've quit smoking (mostly due to the bronchitis, but also because of c diff. I realized how much my fingers touch my mouth when I smoke *shudder*).

I'll post an update when I can. Dang, I knew nothing of c diff before a couple of weeks ago. Hang on, newbies. You're not alone.

ResearchGrandma
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Re: New to c diff but always had intestinal issues

Postby ResearchGrandma » Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:20 pm

I think taking an antibiotic for bronchitis while being treated for C. diff with vancomycin could be quite risky. Which antibiotic are you taking? The vancomycin may not be able to control the C. diff, much less eradicate it, in the presence of another antibiotic. You should not ignore any increasing GI symptoms or other signs of illness such as fever, etc. If you think you are getting sicker please call your doctor.

Issues
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Re: New to c diff but always had intestinal issues

Postby Issues » Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:26 pm

It's Bactrim. The doc said it shouldn't interfere with the vanco.

seekingcure
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Re: New to c diff but always had intestinal issues

Postby seekingcure » Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:42 am

When I had c-diff, I also had to take concurrent antibiotics for another infection (UTI). My doctor said I should be on the antibiotics for c-diff at least a week to ten days after finishing the other antibiotic. As it turned out, I was on the Vanco a lot longer than that, but that's a long story. I kept having UTI's and just couldn't stay off the antibiotics for them. I finally got the UTI's under control with a low dose of daily Macrobid, as well as D-mannose and cranberry. My case was complicated by the recurrent infections and by my long-standing IBS, so I had a harder time getting rid of c-diff than many.

Bottom line, ask your doctor about staying on the Vanco for at least a week to ten days after you finish the Bactrim. I would also encourage you to look into adding probiotics to your diet, either with foods or supplements or a combination. My favorites are VSL-3 and s. boulardii. Kefir is a good dietary source of probiotics. There is an interesting article under Media Reports that discusses the benefits of drinking kefir while being treated for c-diff. It was shown to decrease relapses. With you being on concurrent antibiotics, I think it's doubly important that you add some probiotics, but start slowing if you decide to try them as probiotics themselves can cause GI upset for some. Everyone is different and you will have to find what works for you. Discuss this with your doctor to get his/her opinion. My doctors did recommend both the VLS-3 and the s. boulardii.

Good luck and keep us posted on how you do.
Bea

Issues
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Re: New to c diff but always had intestinal issues

Postby Issues » Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:07 pm

Yeah, I've been drinking kefir (thanks to this board, yea!) for almost 2 weeks and am eating activia (doctor's orders). I'm already feeling 50% better with the bronchitis (yea!), but I am going to call the doc to see if I can stop taking the bronchitis antibiotic a week early. If she says no, then I'll see if I can get an extra 7 days of the vanco. Thanks for the advice, everyone.

I know I just started the vanco last night, but so far I'm feeling good. I had a BM this morning, it was formed and that's the only one I've had so far today (it's been 12 hours). Hopefully the next won't be a mess. I'm already tired of obsessing over my movements.

It's amazing how I blew off my symptoms for so long. I'd assumed it was because of overeating, eating junk or whatever. I'm so glad the doc ordered a stool test. Grossest thing I've done, but glad I now have a name for it and am getting it treated. I hope I remember this lesson, but I don't want to become a hypochondriac. Hope I find the balance.

Issues
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Re: New to c diff but always had intestinal issues

Postby Issues » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:50 am

OK, now I'm getting frustrated. I was still having mud the other day, so I called the doc to tell her I'm not taking the bronchitis antibiotic anymore. She said, ok, but to call if I get worse. Well, my bronchitis is greatly improving. The c diff......grrrrrrr. I'm going to try to be positive--I've noticed that when on both medications (flagyl and vanco), I have waaaaaaaay less gas and don't have BMs as frequent. However, I'm still having mush...and I've finally noticed that all of my BMs smell exactly the same. So this must be the c diff smell? I can't describe it other than pungent...and the sameness in smell. I'm drinking kefir...and I'm going back to my regular yogurt instead of activia...and I even bought an expensive jar of Bubbies pickles...anything to help. I'm desperate. I want this thing gone. I hope the vanco starts working soon.

beth22
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Re: New to c diff but always had intestinal issues

Postby beth22 » Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:57 pm

The smell can be from the imbalance of good and bad bacteria (too little good). I got it after I took vanco for a bad relapse and only when I chased the vanco with Xifaxan, did the smell go away. Xifaxan is used as a chaser to vanco sometimes. It helped me.

getwellsoon
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Re: New to c diff but always had intestinal issues

Postby getwellsoon » Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:21 am

Mushy stools can persist for months following Vanco treatment, it did for me. I wouldn't worry too much unless you get watery D and lots of it. Check with the Dr. he can give you Questran to help with the stools or you might try Metamucil or some other fiber treatment. Hope you feel better soon and let us know how you do.
CAROL

Issues
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Re: New to c diff but always had intestinal issues

Postby Issues » Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:12 pm

Thanks...that's something I can ask the doc about. Only thing that worries me, though, is before treatment, most of my movements were mush. I had really bad cramping once yesterday...haven't had it that intense for a while. Sorry I'm complaining a bunch. I've been whiney the past week.


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