Avoid this food if you have C. diff

There are a number of foods that seem to aggravate C. diff’s symptoms.

One of them is gluten, which is a sticky protein in grains like wheat, rye and barley.

These foods are eaten every day by most people, but they can cause all the same symptoms as C. diff  itself.

When C. diff gets into the bowel it releases toxic chemicals that cause inflammation and damage to the intestine wall.

Well it turns out that gluten can also cause lots of inflammation in the intestine, and can result in the same or similar symptoms.

I’ve read that up to 80% of us have a genetic trait that makes us prone to have this reaction to gluten.

Furthermore, the reaction may also spread round the body like a fire, causing all manner of symptoms around the body – depression, fatigue, aches and pains, headaches, and others.

I eliminated gluten from my diet a long time ago, and I found my digestive system felt a lot better as a result, even before I got rid of C. diff.

There’s no harm in eliminating gluten at all – it can be replaced with lots of delicious alternatives and I talk about those in my newsletter.

I hope this helps!

Steve.

C. diff and fatigue / low energy

Probably my most annoying and debilitating symptom when I had C. diff was the fact that I constantly felt exhausted.

Feeling tired is about as bad is at gets because you can’t get the stuff done that you want to. It’s even worse when you have no idea why you feel so exhausted.

As a nutritionist with a good understanding of how the gut works, I figured out that something like C. diff could easily stop me digesting food and absorbing nutrients from my foods.

On its own, this could have been making me feel tired.

I also figured that because C. diff is an infection, my immune system would need to be fighting against it 24/7 (along with the H. pylori).

I don’t know about you, but when I’ve ever had a cold in the past, I’ve never felt energized and it’s the immune system going to work that causes all those cold and flu-like symptoms.

So I suppose the fact that my immune system was fighting the C. diff made me feel tired as well.

The moral of the story is this:

If you feel tired, there may be a weird reason why. I say weird because nobody would generally think to look in your digestive system for the reason your energy levels are low.

Thus, I recommend you talk to your doctor about whether a stool test for C. diff, or any other symptom for that matter, might be a worthwhile exercise.

This would be especially useful if you have digestive trouble as well as those feelings of fatigue and low energy.

Hope this helps and more like this in my newsletter.

Steve.

 

Possible complications of C. diff

Fortunately, I didn’t have any major complications with my C. diff infection.

I caught it and treated it before it got ugly, though I did have all manner of weird symptoms that don’t seem to get listed in many place, like low energy, depression and irritability.

Unfortunately, in some people do have complications, and I think it’s worth listing them here so you can choose whether to see your doc sooner rather than later.

Here are some of the complications that can develop with C. diff:

  • 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.
  • Pseudomembranous colitis is an inflammation of the colon. It is often, but not always, caused by C. diff. Because of this, the informal name C. difficile colitis is used. It is characterized by offensive-smelling diarrhea and abdominal pain. It can cause toxic megacolon.
  • 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.

If you have any really nasty symptoms, PLEASE go visit the doc ASAP. Don’t let a simple infection ruin your health, or threaten your life.

Cheers,

Steve.

C. diff risk factor checklist

It’s generally thought that C. difficile problems occur after taking antibiotics, or when people spend time in hospitals.

This isn’t always the case, though, as I didn’t take any antibiotics or spend time in hospital before I was diagnosed with C. diff.

Nevertheless, if you’re struggling with symptoms related to the checklist below, I recommend you see your doc to get tested for C. diff ASAP:

  • 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.
  • Are 65 years of age or older. The risk of becoming infected with C. difficile is 10 times greater for people age 65 and older compared with younger people.
  • Are now or have recently been hospitalized, especially for an extended period.
  • Live in a nursing home or long term care facility.
  • Have a serious underlying illness or a weakened immune system as a result of a medical condition or treatment (such as chemotherapy).
  • Have had abdominal surgery or a gastrointestinal procedure.
  • Have a colon disease such as inflammatory bowel disease or colorectal cancer.
  • Have had a previous C. difficile infection.

(this list comes courtesy of the world famous Mayo Clinic)

Hope this helps!

Steve.

New agressive C. diff discovered

The Mayo Clinic is one of the most highly respected medical institutes in America.

On their website I recently read an interesting article about a new strain of C. diff that’s been discovered.

It’s really important because this C. diff strain appears in people who have NOT been in hospital. It’s also resistant to many antibiotics.

In other words, unlike the majority of C. diff cases, these little critters cause problems when they’re picked up in communities, most likely through water and food that’s contaminated by people handling it.

Here’s what Mayo Clinic says:

“An aggressive strain of C. difficile has emerged that produces far more toxins than other strains do. The new strain is more resistant to certain medications and has shown up in people who haven’t been in the hospital or taken antibiotics. This strain of C. difficile has caused several outbreaks of illness since 2000.”

Yuk. A strain that produces even MORE toxins than normal C. diff.

I think this just goes to show how important it is to get a stool test if you have longstanding digestive symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, abdominal pain, etc.

My advice would be to not wait – get yourself to the doctor and ask for some testing.

Steve.

C. diff is in meat

When I was researching to try and figure out how I picked up C. diff, I came across some interesting info about C. diff being present in meat.

Although I can’t be sure how I picked up the pesky bug, I suspect it was from food or water, because I hadn’t had any antibiotics for years, and I’d certainly not been in hospital.

Two studies I found showed that C. diff gets into meat:

In the first study, they looked for C. diff in different types of meat collected from three grocery stores in Tucson, Arizona over a three-month period (I always think of The Beatles song, “Get Back”, when I see Tuscon, Arizona written – “Jojo left his home in Tuscon Arizona for some California grass” – lol).

They found that more than four out of 10 of the samples tested positive for C. diff. Ready-to-eat products were more commonly found to have C. diff in them.

Pork braunschweiger and ground beef were the products that most commonly tested positive for C. diff.

The second study tested for the presence of C. diff in samples of ground beef and veal chops from across Canada.

They showed that 6% of the samples tested positive for C. diff. The Canadian authors also looked at whether C. diff was more likely to be found at certain times of the year and discovered that it seemed more common in January and February (go figure that one out!).

I’m now really picky on the kinds of meat I eat.

I suggest you really look at your food intake too – it makes a big difference to the health of your gut.

There’s more regular info like this in my newsletter.

Thanks,

Steve.

Hidden symptoms of C. diff

As you know, my C. diff case was a bit weird.

Unlike some people, I didn’t have the typical diarrhea and fever symptoms experienced by many folk.

In fact, in addition to my bloating, wind and tummy pain, I actually was more constipated. I couldn’t go, and when I did, it was hard and sometimes had some blood in it.

…the OPPOSITE of diarrhea.

Because of this, I never even considered that C. diff could be causing my problems, and neither did my docs. But it was.

So I wanted to figure out why my case was so weird, and I uncovered a Pandora’s Box of weird symptoms associated with C. diff.

Looking at my own symptoms, and how I felt when I got rod of C. diff, I can only conclude that C. diff can cause a ton of symptoms outside the gut as well as in it.

Non-digestive C. diff symptoms might include:

  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Mood disturbances, especially depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Food allergies
  • Headaches
  • Skin disorders
  • Joint pain
  • Menstrual problems in women (I spoke to one lady whose PMS went away when she got rid of her C. diff)

Oddly, some carriers of C. diff are completely asymptomatic, meaning that they have no symptoms at all.

It doesn’t mean these people shouldn’t get rid of C. diff – what if they pass it to someone else who reacts badly to it and becomes unwell?

Others may have mild, long-term symptoms such as low energy, stomach and abdominal pain, bloating, and general low energy (this was me).

I also had some blood in my stool, and the docs’ testing still didn’t find the C. diff.

This kind of situation is where a stool test at home can be helpful.

Others still – including a friend of mine who picked up C. diff in hospital – may have severe diarrhea, nausea and dehydration.

If you have significant symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue, for more than 2 days, get yourself to a doctor as quickly as possible and get tested.

Don’t sit at home wondering why you feel unwell – get the doc to perform necessary tests.

I hope this helps and remember there’s more in my newsletter.

Steve.

C. difficile in salads

My intrigue as to why I picked-up C. diff led me to a study done in Scotland.

They looked at 40 ready-to-eat salads and found that three of them (7.5%) contained C. diff.

I thought this is pretty interesting because they don’t mention C. diff in foods when you go to see the doc.

The scientists are still not sure whether C. diff in salads and meats leads to infection, but I suspect it does.

If the C. diff bugs get through the stomach and into the intestine there’s no reason why infection wouldn’t occur.

Thus, I recommend seeing your doctor to get a stool test if you have a bunch of unexplained symptoms, like I did, and you’re looking for answers.

More like this in my newsletter.

Hope this helps.

Steve.