Probiotics and Clostridium Difficile

This post was borrowed from a good friend, Giulia Morelli, you can find her here on FB and here on her website.

I was compelled to share this, as the story she unfolds could happen to any of us and it will serve as helpful guidance when dealing with illness.

Health, probioticsMy husband got very very ill, from emergency room to being admitted to the hospital where he almost lost his life all because of an antibiotic he was previously prescribed because of bronchitis.

Many of us especially women know when taking antibiotics we must also be taking a pro biotic, yogurts etc… to prevent other infections to attack our body. Most of the time Doctors don’t tell you that, unfortunately you are your own advocate and that is very sad. The reason why I’m writing this is to get this message out to the MEN because the same goes for you too ! I really believe that most men think this does not apply to them, My husband found out the hard way.

In April, my husband was so sick with bronchitis, he was given an antibiotic for 5 days after 2 weeks he still was not doing well and was given a different antibiotic for 10 days and oh yes prior to the bronchitis he also had an abscess to a tooth and was also given an antibiotic in result to a root canal.

So I guess when it rains it pours huh? My husband was rushed to the hospital because he had lost 4 pints of blood nearly 50% of his body blood.

He developed Clostridium difficile (klos-TRID-e-uhm dif-uh-SEEL), often called C. difficile or C. diff, is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. Illness from C. difficile most commonly affects older adults in hospitals or in long term care facilities and typically occurs after use of antibiotic medications.

In recent years, C. difficile infections have become more frequent, more severe and more difficult to treat. Each year, tens of thousands of people in the United States get sick from C. difficile, including some otherwise healthy people who aren’t hospitalized or taking antibiotics.

People in good health don’t usually get sick from C. difficile. Your intestines contain millions of bacteria, many of which help protect your body from infection. But when you take an antibiotic to treat an infection, the drug can destroy some of the normal, helpful bacteria as well as the bacteria causing the illness. Without enough healthy bacteria, C. difficile can quickly grow out of control. The antibiotics that most often lead to C. difficile infections include fluoroquinolones, cephalosporins, clindamycin and penicillins.

Once established, C. difficile can produce toxins that attack the lining of the intestine. The toxins destroy cells and produce patches (plaques) of inflammatory cells and decaying cellular debris inside the colon.

Although people — including children — with no known risk factors have gotten sick from C. difficile, your risk is greatest if you:

  • Are now taking or have recently taken antibiotics. The risk goes up if you take broad-spectrum drugs that target a wide range of bacteria, use multiple antibiotics or take antibiotics for a prolonged period.

Complications of C. difficile infections include:

  • Dehydration. Severe diarrhea can lead to a significant loss of fluids and electrolytes. This makes it difficult for your body to function normally and can cause blood pressure to drop to dangerously low levels.
  • Kidney failure. In some cases, dehydration can occur so quickly that kidney function rapidly deteriorates (kidney failure).
  • A hole in your large intestine (bowel perforation). This results from extensive damage to the lining of your large intestine. A perforated bowel can spill bacteria from the intestine into your abdominal cavity, leading to a life-threatening infection (peritonitis).
  • Toxic megacolon. In this condition, the colon becomes grossly distended when it’s unable to expel gas and stool. Left untreated, your colon can rupture, causing bacteria from the colon to enter your abdominal cavity. A ruptured colon requires emergency surgery and may be fatal.
  • Death. Even mild to moderate C. difficile infections can quickly progress to a fatal disease if not treated promptly.

health, probioticsFortunately my husband escaped Death but had surgery to repair the hole in the large intestine and now anemic for all the blood loss. This is how I spent the rest of the summer caring for him 24/7 away from everything and anything. There was a lot of pain and lot of tears but I would always whisper to myself this too shall pass. He is now back to work as of 2 weeks feeling better but still a bit anemic and working on getting him back to normal. But I thank God everyday for not taking him away from me.

So please understand that probiotics, yogurt is not just for women…. It’s extremely important that men & children follow the same rules… the results can be fatal…

Giulia Morelli

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