Hey, at wit's end:
I got c-diff from taking Cipro for a bladder infection that turned out to not really be a bladder infection. I took it for three days on a preliminary result that my urine tested positive in a quick initial test on a Friday, but stopped taking the Cipro on Monday when the longer test result showed no infection. about six weeks later, I was so sick with colitis. I went for a flexible sig to see what was going on, and in the meantime, I'd done some Internet investigation on what might be causing these symptoms (I had not yet been diagnosed with UC, just proctitis), and discovered information about c-diff.
Upon performing the flex sig, my doc pointed to the picture of UC on the chart in the scope room and pronounced that I had a pretty bad case of UC. I insisted he test for c-diff; he was reluctant, saying it was a disease of older folks and/or nursing homes and hospitals. I got started on some pred for the UC diagnosis and I left on a trip. Two days into my trip, I got a phone call while in Arizona that indeed the c-diff test came back positive, so I was started on Flagyl.
One thing about the c-diff test: You can get false negatives quite easily, but you will not get a false positive.
Since that time, I have been diagnosed with UC. It's kind of a chicken/egg thing as far as the c-diff and my UC.
I am unsure if I had asymptomatic UC and that caused me to be more susceptible to getting c-diff, or if my c-diff caused my previously asymptomatic UC to become symptomatic, but since that time I've had to treat daily for UC.
C-diff is called antibiotic-associated colitis, so its symptoms will mimic those of UC. For some folks, getting rid of c-diff is as easy as stopping their antibiotics. Those are the lucky few. Their good bacteria take care of business and get things back in order. For others, a course of Flagyl eradicates the nasty bugs. For some, myself included, I had to get out the big guns (vancomycin) to get rid of it, after a couple of courses of Flagyl failed to do the trick.
Of course you can become dehydrated with any kind of colitis, including c-diff. The role of your large intestine is to absorb water out of the waste that has gone through your stomach and your small intestine, so when your colon walls are ulcerated and are unable to perform this function, you have watery (and bloody, with c-diff) diarrhea, that water being what your body would have normally absorbed to keep you hydrated had your gut not been ill. I know the times I've had really bad flares, once with c-diff and once with a UC flare, I was really dehydrated. Being really dehydrated makes you feel just awful, with no energy. I ended up in the emergency room with my first bad flare of UC, and they put in three bags of fluid. I felt like a new person!!! The next day was my colonoscopy, and I couldn't keep my head up. Overnight, I had again become so dehydrated that I could hardly function. Didn't help that I had to prep the night before, either. Talk about insult on top of injury! Having to prep for a colonoscopy on top of an ugly flare was the worst.
Anyway, I hope I haven't gone on too long with this little primer on c-diff. It has, as others have said, become much more prevalent, and in fact, since I had my c-diff infection about eight to ten years ago or so, I've had a nephew get c-diff and an aunt get c-diff. My nephew got it from Clindamyocin, and my aunt got it from Augmentin. Both had quite a time getting rid of it.
Good luck, and hope you're feeling better soon.
Sporadic proctitis since about 1985. Mother had J-pouch surgery 1983.
DX'd with clostridium difficile in 2000. Pred, two courses of Flagyl, then Vancomycin finally got rid of it. 2001 colonoscopy dx'd left-sided UC. . Treated with prednisone, Rowasa, Asacol. Asacol not working, switched to Imuran. Three small flares since in 2002, 2005, and 2007, brought under control with steroid and Rowasa enemas. Lap Chole performed October 26, 2007, after gall bladder attack in June, '07.
Daily meds: 100 mg Azathioprine and 225 mg Effexor XR (for chronic, longstanding depression), many vitamins and Primadophilus Reuteri