c diff and parasite infections

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madabs
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 388
   Posted 7/22/2008 5:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I have seen lots of mention of c diff on this board and I wonder.  Is it a common problem among people with IBD to get it or is it just a common test performed on people with IBD so it gets discussed a lot.   
 
Because I have been seeing the same GI for nearly three years and he has never tested me for anything like parasites or infections.  Now, since my intestinal symptoms have changed recently (for the worst), he all of the sudden thinks of c diff or parasites? 
Seems like his first reaction would be that my UC symptoms have changed and not that perhaps, it could be, I have a spore or even a bug up my butt. I am sorry for my crudeness, but not enough to edit it out I guess :) 
 
But the bottom line is that I went to doc today hoping for quick miraculous relief.  I didn't even realize I had set my hopes so high until I left the office and realized I was utterly disappointed.  I guess I really wanted to be better before I leave Friday for a beach vacation.  To his credit he did give me a new prescription for rowasa which I have never tried before.
 
Boy I really must be tired...
UC diagnosed 10/05, first symptoms 1983
canasa and lialda daily
Trying out Digestive Fitness Probiotic
 


ediekristen
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 1366
   Posted 7/22/2008 5:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Sometimes when we flare, our doctors like to test for parasites/bacteria just to be safe, because sometimes UC can look just like C Diff or food poisoning or something of the like, so I think they figure they might as well rule that out before trying things like prednisone/different medications. Everytime my symptoms get worse my GI's usually ask for a stool sample. I'm glad my new GI didn't ask for one... I Hate doing them!!!

Female, 23, Ulcerative colitis (pancolitis) diagnosed at age 15; GERD; gastritis; osteopenia in femur head & lumbar spine from long term prednisone use. 

Current Meds:
Lexapro 10mg
Trying out Lialda, 2 pills/day

 
 


madabs
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 388
   Posted 7/22/2008 7:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, Edie, it was totally gross giving the samples.  Your explanation makes sense.  Have you ever tested positive for anything?

UC diagnosed 10/05, first symptoms 1983
canasa and lialda daily
Trying out Digestive Fitness Probiotic
 


JewelsOK
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 7/22/2008 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Every time my son gets a new flare he gets tested for parasites and c. diff, some times more the once, just in case. One time (maybe twice, my memory is foggy) he did test positive for Staph Aureus which the doctor was really surprised about.

Thankfully my daughter hasn't had a new flare since the once she was dx with so I'm not sure how her doctor will handle it (they have different doctors), but I would guess she would test for bugs since she did initially as well.

I hope you get some relief and can enjoy you beach vacation!!

For our sample, we are given a "hat" to put on the potty and are allowed to do the samples at home and then I run it into the lab - fun times, lol!!
Julie

Mom of Son 16 UC dx 07/02, Sulfasalazine, Imuran, folic acid, L. Reuteri, Zyrtec, Iron, Vit/Min

Daughter 9 UC dx 08/07 Colazal, 6MP, Iron, Vit/Min., Culturelle


P-Fit
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 419
   Posted 7/22/2008 8:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Yea, giving samples is totally gross. My GI doc only tested me for c-diff 2 times-after antibiotics for ear/sinus infections. Tests came up positive both times. He told me to have my primary Dr double check any antibiotics she gives me b/c some can cause me to get c-diff.
Dianosed with colitis 2004-Fibromyalgia 2008
750mg colozal 3 pills 3x a day
.5mg clonazepam
5mg Lexapro
Colonoscopies-3 and one on the way 8/12/08


ediekristen
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 1366
   Posted 7/22/2008 8:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Nope, I've always been negative for c diff, girardia, salmonella, and whatever other fun stuff they test for. Which kind of sucks after you spend all that time scooping your poop into a little vial with a teenie spoon [blah] just to find out it was your colitis all along like you thought. Oh well, better safe than sorry I guess.

beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 7/22/2008 11:02 PM (GMT -6)   
It was an actual c diff infection that led to my finding out that I had UC. I was told that c diff was usually found in older people, who had been in hospital settings, on antibiotics, or people who had been out of the country. We never figured out how I got the infection because at the time I did not fit into any of those catgories. My new GI doc told me that c diff is becoming more prevalent, so I think that is why people might be getting tested more often.
Mild to moderate UC diagnosed May '06, prone to c diff infections
Had UC symptoms since 1999
Allergic to the 5ASA family of drugs
Probiotics 3x day
Multivitamin, Wellbutrin XL 300mg, Prozac 20mg, Allegra 180mg 1x day
Fiber supplement 2 caps 1x day
Currently experiencing a flare due to being in med limbo...
 


at wit's end
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 569
   Posted 7/30/2008 8:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I wonder if that is why they asked me at the hospital today if I had been out of the country? I have been on an antibiotic for 7 days for a urinary tract infection and I know Ciprofloxacin can cause that, but no more than I took it I would not think I would have this. I did show to e dehydrated this morning at the hospital. I have a history of UC but are having no problems other than gas on and off. I have taken Ciprofloxacin in the past for a urinary tract infection.

How would one know they have C-Diff? Is there diarrhea involved??? How sick would you be??? I would not think one dose of Ciprofloxacin would cause it.
Diagnosed with left sided UC in sigmoid colon and rectum 1986.
Put on Azulfidine 2 X 3 a day and Rowasa enemas 60mg.
Have been pretty much in remission overall other than a few flares over the past 21 years.
Medicine changed to Asacol 400mg 2 pills X3 times a day. Taken off all meds in 2004.
Diagnosed with acid reflux 2005. Put on Protonix 40mg.
Have been using Canasa 1000mg suppositories nightly since January 2007.
Was put back on Asacol 400mg 2 pills 2X a day in July 2007 maintenance. 


at wit's end
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 569
   Posted 8/1/2008 9:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Ok, since I was diagnosed with klebsiella bacteria in my urinary tract, that would not get inside my intestines and cause this c-diff or giardia would it? I have not been out of the country, I have not been in a hospital at all, just my gynecologist office for certain issues. I drink water here at work out of the tap on ice and drink water at home and in restaurants. Memphis has the best water and it is well filtered.
 
The only other place we go is my mother-in-law's house every other weekend and it is filthy. She has a septic tank system and it constantly gets backed up into her kitchen sink and stinks like raw sewage of course. But I rarely drink any water down there ever. We won't even drink anything out of her refrigerator down there. And there is cat feces inside her house everywhere upstairs. I hope we are not picking things up down there. I don't even like sitting on her toilet down there as many times there are flies on it. The last time we were down I would not sit on her toilet, I squatted above it. We won't even eat her cooking at all. We get something out.
 
My husband never has picked up anything down there. And I wash my hands all the time with soap and water, antibacterial to be exact. I need to quit reading things, this just keeps me nervous as I have been diagnosed and treated for dehydration over the past couple of days, probably due to all the urine I have been passing trying to keep my kidneys clear of infection, and didn't drink enough water to replace it.
 
I hope she does not have this c-diff and has given it to me. And have been on an antibiotic for the urinary tract infection. My stools have been totally normal until the past couple of days, have been looser but due to the dehydration I have been on more of a liquid diet of jello, popsicles, ice pops, gatorade, water, etc, but no diarrhea or cramping. I've got to quit thinking I've got everything I read about.
 
 
Diagnosed with left sided UC in sigmoid colon and rectum 1986.
Put on Azulfidine 2 X 3 a day and Rowasa enemas 60mg.
Have been pretty much in remission overall other than a few flares over the past 21 years.
Medicine changed to Asacol 400mg 2 pills X3 times a day. Taken off all meds in 2004.
Diagnosed with acid reflux 2005. Put on Protonix 40mg.
Have been using Canasa 1000mg suppositories nightly since January 2007.
Was put back on Asacol 400mg 2 pills 2X a day in July 2007 maintenance. 


beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 8/3/2008 2:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Wit's end -

I can totally agree with you that reading causes new illnesses! Sometimes reading stuff can even cause new symptoms in me...

If you've just been on antibiotic recently (last couple of weeks), any symptoms you are having are probably not related to c diff. It takes a while for the c diff to populate your intestines to the point that you get ill. Symptoms resemble UC closely...bloody stools, diarhea, urgency, gas, dehydration. As far as your mother-in-laws, it sounds extremely un-hygienic and gross, but you sound like you are taking very good care of yourself when going there. Yes, c diff can be spread via those conditions, but as long as you wash your hands constantly with anti-bacterial soap, especially before eating or drinking, you should be okay. If you are really worried, have your doc do a stool test, just to ease your mind.

Giardia is a whole different bacteria, with different conditions in which it is passed along. I've had giardia before as well (I get all the cool bacterial infections!). Giardia is usually found in water that has been tainted with animal waste. People mostly get it from drinking untreated water while out hiking or rafting. I got it after spending a few days out white water rafting on a river that passes through a lot of farmland upstream of the rapids. My companions and I managed to flip our raft several times, and ended up doing quite a bit of swimming. I think of the 6 of us, 4 got giardia. A few days of flagyll cleared me up. Never had a problem with it since.

Hopefully you'll be feeling better soon enough from your UTI, then can get back to relative healthiness, and you can forget about your recent affixiation on c diff and giardia. Keep in mind that neither bacteria are very common, and as long as you take decent precautions, you should be fine.
Mild to moderate UC diagnosed May '06, prone to c diff infections
Had UC symptoms since 1999
Allergic to the 5ASA family of drugs
Probiotics 3x day
Multivitamin, Wellbutrin XL 300mg, Prozac 20mg, Allegra 180mg 1x day
Fiber supplement 2 caps 1x day
Currently experiencing a flare due to being in med limbo...
 


MitzMN
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 648
   Posted 8/3/2008 8:54 AM (GMT -6)   
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


at wit's end
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 569
   Posted 8/12/2008 5:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey MitzMN thanks, I got a call yesterday from my gastro doctor's office and my stool test did come back negative for C-diff. I didn't think I had it but I was paranoid as to the dehydration I had and I read C-Diff can cause that. But I think I would have really bad loose stools and stuff with that. And I had not had that issue. I do feel a good deal better but my urine test did show a urinary tract infection twice, even after completing one round of Cipro. My nitrites were high.
 
 


Diagnosed with left sided UC in sigmoid colon and rectum 1986.
Put on Azulfidine 2 X 3 a day and Rowasa enemas 60mg.
Have been pretty much in remission overall other than a few flares over the past 21 years.
Medicine changed to Asacol 400mg 2 pills X3 times a day. Taken off all meds in 2004.
Diagnosed with acid reflux 2005. Put on Protonix 40mg.
Have been using Canasa 1000mg suppositories nightly since January 2007.
Was put back on Asacol 400mg 2 pills 2X a day in July 2007 maintenance. 


MitzMN
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 648
   Posted 8/12/2008 8:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Great news, at wit's end, that you don't have c-diff. And I'm glad you're also feeling better!

Mitz
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

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