Funny how nonchalantly I'll usually shrug off diarrhea, thinking it's because of stress or something I ate or chewing too fast, or some food or supplement (for example, I rarely drink BP coffee because it seems to give me loose stool at least 25% of the time.)
I had about 2 weeks of weird bowel movements (not always precisely "diarrhea," but often mucusy, loose, like dust, watery, or with a lot of gas, and urgency and frequency), and occasional gassy abdominal pains, before I went to a doctor. I did a stool sample (which is mortifying to do, excreting into what looks like a plastic party hat and then trying to dump or scoop it into test tubes.) The result -- C difficile.
They prescribed an antibiotic -- Flagyl. I've started taking it. My BM's are getting less weird and I'm not having the same pains or urgency, but still have frequent and not-quite-normal BM's.
I looked at John Brisson's "Fix Your Gut" book and see that he recommends a different antibiotic as the best choice (too late as I already started Flagyl; guess I'll just have to cross my fingers), and recommends some supplements like Vitamin D3 and C, glutamine (for rebuilding damage to the gut I assume?), and a probiotic called Florastor. I'm planning to get that started soon.
I'm still very mystified about how I got it. Apparently it usually doesnâ€™t appear unless someone just took a round of antibiotics which killed off their normal gut bacteria balance â€“ then the C. diff that was naturally there goes crazy and starts overgrowing everything. I donâ€™t know how I got it, because itâ€™s probably been at least 10 years since Iâ€™ve taken any antibiotics. I have been someone who gets diarrhea more frequently than average, though. I donâ€™t know if my natural C. diff has just been waging a slow campaign against my gut and it finally got the upper hand? I donâ€™t know if maybe taking too much Vitamin C (which has anti-bacterial properties) might have killed off some good bacteria and thrown off the ecological balance allowing the C. diff to run wild???
Iâ€™m definitely feeling concerned about wanting to get this fixed and get my gut ecosystem back to normal. Apparently about 80% of cases resolve with antibiotics and maybe 20% have a relapse. And some people have SERIOUS problems â€“ like severe damage or even rupture to intestines. 500,000 Americans get C. diff per year and it kills 30,000, which means that I have a bacterial infection that kills 6% of people who get it. Thatâ€™s frightening!
What else do I need to know? My diet has not been perfectly BP lately â€“ Iâ€™ve been valuing convenience. Should I eliminate all sugars, or even go ketogenic, to starve the bad bacteria? I read that I should eat a lot of fresh vegetables â€“ salads and stuff â€“ to be prebiotic or food for the healthy bacteria. I donâ€™t want to take risks or leave anything up to chance.
Also I heard normal cleaning procedures donâ€™t kill C. diff so you need bleach. Should I order some bleach wipes to clean off those surfaces that are at high risk for contamination â€“ phone, keyboard, desk at work? I just cleaned all our toilets with bleach â€“ amazing how fast they can get messy when you have diarrhea. Fortunately we have multiple bathrooms, so I can refuse to take a dump in the same bathroom as where my wife keeps her toothbrush.
Any thoughts would be appreciated. And by the way â€“ I am feeling really appreciative of this forum. Iâ€™ve been really disgusting by what my body has been doing lately, and havenâ€™t informed anyone besides my wife and my doctor. Thereâ€™s an element of embarrassment and shame. And now that Iâ€™ve done enough reading to get freaked out, thereâ€™s that fear and worry too. So I appreciate just being able to express myself and vent some of those emotions here.