C. Diff and Lyme Disease

cdif

The Lyme disease Community and C. diff

As the Lyme community is sometimes put on long term antibiotics, C Diff or Clostridium Difficile has become an issue for many patients. Some of the websites regarding C. Diff make it seem like a simple condition that can be treated easily with a short course of antibiotics. As a patient who got C. Diff, I am finding that is anything but true, just like Lyme disease.

What Causes C. Diff?

C. Diff, colitis,  short for Clostridium Difficile  results from disruption of normal healthy bacteria in the colon, often from being on strong antibiotics or being exposed to the bacteria in a public, hospital or nursing home setting. C. difficile can also be transmitted from person to person by spores. It can cause severe damage to the colon and even be fatal.
Symptoms include diarrhea (sometimes with mucus and blood), abdominal pain, and fever.

Note: Beware of an antibiotic called, Clindamycin. Up to 30% of people who use it end up with C Diff.

What are the Treatments for C. Diff?

C. diff has become a reocurring, “hard to get rid of for good” condition and many patients are needing to turn to alternative more natural ways of treating this “superbug” infection. Back in the 70’d C dif was easier to treat with a short course of Flagyl, but now it seems to reoccur in many patients after the first course. New drugs and longer courses, including a method called, “pulsing” are being used. If Flagyl doesn’t work after one or two courses, you may be prescrived Vancomycin, Sadly this is much more expensive. If Vancomycin doesn’t work, you may be prescribed Dificid which is even more expensive. If Dificid doesn’t work, then a fecal transplant or fecal pills may be prescribed which is even more expensive and usually not covered by insurance.

Medications for C. Diff

Flagyl (Metronidazole)

Flagyl is the most commonly prescribed antibiotic used against C. diff. Sadly C. diff is becoming immune to it so some patient either have to take several courses or turn to stronger meds, but may be good in milder cases of C. diff. See Recommended Doses Here

Vancomycin

Vancomycin is used for more difficult cases of C difficile infection, for patients unable to tolerate metronidazole, or for patients without symptom resolution after completing a course of metronidazole.  Oral vancomycin is not appreciably absorbed or metabolized, but is excreted in the stool unchanged, which is ideal for the treatment of C difficile infection. See Dosing Recommendations Here.

Fixaxomicin (Dificid)

Natural Ways to Heal C. Diff

Because of the expense and lack of true cure with antibiotics many patients are turning to alternative methods on treating C. Diff. Below are some of these options.

  • Essential Oils for C. Diff: Geranium and Lemongrass are said to help with C Diff as they have heavy antibacterial properties.
    Read more about EO for C. diff here. 
  • Barley Water: Drinking Barley water is said to help with the cramping and diarrhea.
    Click here for an ongoing discussion on how to make Barley water and the patients it helped. 
  • Bentonite Clay or Charcoal: Clay and charcoal are both binders.  They are both binders, said to bind the toxins C. diff creates in your intestines to be pooped out. They will also bind meds, so take an hour or two away from taking meds. Read a patient discussion on Clay and Charcoal.
  • Kimchi Cabbage: (Fermented foods do contain small amounts of alcohol so don’t try while taking Flagyl.) Lactic acid–producing bacteria are common in probiotic supplements which is why traditional fermented foods are also known as probiotic foods. Lactic acid–producing bacteria help acidify the digestive tract, creating an environment conducive to the growth of all healthy bacteria. Read more HERE and HERE.
  • Oil of Oregano: Oil of Oregano is said to be strong anti-bacterial. Read patients discussing if it helped them with C. diff here. 
  • Probiotics: Probiotics restore the “good bacteria” that are in your gut that antibiotics kill. For more info read THIS and THIS.

Fecal Transplant 

Many people are not finding a cure with antibiotics so are turning to a new prfecal-transplant-pillsocedure called Fecal transplants. There are two routes right now for this. One is usually done through a colonoscopy. The doctor will introduce another healthy person’s screened fecal matter into the C. diff patient’s intestines. But there is a new procedure where you only have to swallow capsules full of fecal matter now. To  see if anyone in your area does this Visit Here.

C. Diff Articles

C. Diff Discussion Forums

Lyme Disease Patients Experiences with C. Diff

 Disclaimer: I am writing this post as a patient. I am not a medical provider or health care worker. I am just a patient going through this journey with you and sharing the information that I have found valuable in my own healing journey. As a patient with a chronic illness, I know how hard it is to keep all information straight, so the goal of this website is to be a sort of directory to lead you to sources of information to help you on your healing journey. None of this is medical advice. Always talk to your health care provider before practicing any of these ideas. And good luck to you on your journey towards better health.

Author and Lyme patient: Lisa Hilton

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