17 Home Remedies for C-diff Infection

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home remedies for c-diff

C-diff (Clostridium difficile) is a bacteria that targets the colon. A C-diff infection causes inflammation of the colon, a condition which is referred to as colitis. By infecting the colon, this strain of bacteria is capable of causing a whole range of digestive problems. The C-diff bacteria naturally resides in the human intestines as well as in water, soil, and animal feces. Normally, C-diff does not cause any problems. However, an infection may flare up when its natural balance in the gut is disturbed and this happens most often when a patient takes antibiotics. [1] Our home remedies for c-diff provide the natural remedies you need to take when you stop your antibiotics.

Symptoms of C-difficile Infection

C-difficile bacteria releases toxins in the body that directly attack the epithelium lining the colon. Initial symptoms are non-specific and a c-diff infection is often misdiagnosed as a bout of food poisoning or a stomach virus.

The initial symptoms of c-diff are: [2]

  • Watery diarrhea
  • Tender abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain and spasms
  • Blood in feces

symptoms of c-diff infectionHowever, it is the second phases of a c-diff infection that is more malign. Typically, a C-difficile infection leads to inflammation of colon or colitis. However, in some cases, the colon gets further damaged due to increased bacterial toxins and bacterial overgrowth. If this happens, small patches of raw tissue develop in the colon which can fill with pus and bleed frequently. This condition is called pseudomembranous colitis. If a C-difficile infection escalates to this level, the following symptoms occur:

  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Pus
  • Blood-stained stool
  • Loss of appetite
  • Watery diarrhea (10-15 times a day)
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Increased heart rate
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Weight loss
  • Extreme pain in abdomen
  • Increase in white blood cells
  • Dehydration
  • Kidney failure

Given the extreme severity of the symptoms of pseudomembranous collitis, you would be forgiven for thinking whether a C-difficile infection can prove fatal? The short answer is defintely yes and so it is vital that treatment is sort immediately.

The mild forms of C-difficile infections do not require medical attention and can heal successfully following a natural course. [3] Additionally, natural treatments for treating C-difficile infections have been proven to be extremely effective and it is highly advised to use them.

Following are the home remedies for C-difficile infection that may benefit you.

home remedies for c-diff infectionHome remedies for c-diff infection

  1. Stop Taking Antibiotics

As mentioned above, antibiotics are considered as the biggest risk factor for C-difficile infection. Therefore, the best way to naturally stop its progression is to stop taking any antibiotic medicine that you are currently consuming. [4]

The reason why antibiotics are so bad for a c-diff infection is that they do not distinguish between pathogenic and good bacteria. Antibiotics destroy the good bacteria in your body and this gives C-difficile, which is a more antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the chance to take over and spread.

Stopping antibiotics allows the good bacteria to recover and compete with the c-diff bacteria, pushing it back to normal levels. This restores gut balance and relieves the symptoms to a great extent.

  1. Load Up on Probiotics

One of the most important home remedies for C-difficile infections is to increase the concentration of the “good bacteria” in the body. How can you do this? By ensuring that you consume sufficient amount of probiotics. [5]

Taking probiotics to restore gut flora is a perfect way redress your imbalanced gut, especially when you have previously been taking antibiotic treatment. Moreover, it is extremely easy to get probiotics from natural foods. Some of the foods rich in these probiotics include cultured dairy products such as goat milk yogurt, kefir, or the cultured probiotic milk made using raw cow milk.

Other food items that you can consume to load up on probiotics are fermented vegetables, raw apple cider vinegar, coconut kefir and other probiotic beverages. [6]

  1. Consume Prebiotics

Prebiotic foods are nondigestible foods that stimulate the growth of beneficial bacterial species already resident in the colon, and thus attempt to improve gut health(7)

Essentially, prebiotic foods are fibrous foods that are not broken down by the digestive system. Instead of being digested, they move through the digestive system becoming food or fuel for beneficial bacteria that live in the digestive tract.

Any home remedy for a c-diff infection needs to address the misbalance of gut bacteria in the colon caused by the excessive growth of the c-diff bacteria. Prebiotics are the food for the good bacteria and should be the basis for any treatment.

  1. Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT)

Current research indicates that the main cause of a C-diff infection is dysbiosis, an imbalance in the normal gut bacteria.

The objective of prebiotics and probiotics is to address this misbalance. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has the same objective but it is much more direct.

Bacteria from a stool sample of a healthy individual is transplanted into a patient’s intestines via a pill or via a colonoscopy. The objective is to kick start the growth of good bacteria in the colon of the infected patient.

While the procedure is certainly not for the squeamish, it has had astonishing results. C-diff Patients treated with FMT have shown a 90% recovery rate versus traditional medical treatments which are only at 60%. It has proved particularly effective for people with recurring C-diff infections. (8) Indeed, the health benefits of FMT go far beyond just a C-Diff infection, and research now links it to improvements in many gut related conditions.

Given the unpleasant nature of a colonoscopy, fecal transplant pills are now commercially available produced from stool banks. There is considerable research being conducted into this treatment because of its application for a wide range of diseases linked to unbalanced gut bacteria.

Patients interested in this treatment should consult a doctor as there are potential complications associated from ingesting samples of someone else’s stool. However, as a home remedy for a c-diff infection, the results speak for themselves.

  1. Get Help from Garlic

Raw garlic is said to possess a high level of antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. It has even been recommended by WHO as one of the most potent home remedies for C-difficile and other bacterial infections. [9]

It has also been shown to redress an imbalance of gut bacteria in the lower intestines, promoting  beneficial intestinal microflora and restricting potentially harmful enterobacteria (21)

It is extremely useful to incorporate raw garlic into your routine meals. You can either use 2 to 5 grams of garlic or one clove of it on daily basis. Alternatively, 0.4 to 1.2 grams of garlic powder can also help. Some other ways of getting all the benefits from garlic include using 2 to 5 milligrams of garlic oil or 1000 milligrams of its extract. Any other formulation that contains allicin in a quantity of 2 to 5 milligrams can also be beneficial. [10]

  1. Use Oil of Oregano

Research supports the use of oregano oil and justifies it as one of the natural home remedies for C-difficile infection. It has proven to be extremely potent against the most dangerous forms of bacteria which are resistant to most of the drugs. [11]

Despite the benefits of oregano oil, it is advised to use this remedy under the supervision of a health expert, mainly because of its high potency. It can be safely taken internally for up to 2 weeks. Remember to dilute it whenever you intend to consume it internally. For this purpose, coconut oil or water can be used.

In case you don’t feel like using it in oil form, try incorporating it in fresh and dried oregano in your daily diet.

  1. Manuka Honey

You should definitely be including Manuka honey among home remedies for C-difficile infection because of its amazing properties. Manuka honey has proven itself as an extremely powerful agent against bacterial infection. [12] Moreover, it also treats inflammation in the colon.

So, do not forget to consume it on a daily basis.

  1. Try Fermentable Fiber

Eating soft food usually means avoiding food with high level of fiber, nuts, seeds, and gas producing eatables. However, research has shown that consuming high levels of fermentable fiber can be used to treat a C-difficile infection.

Foods that are high in fermentable fiber are oats, oatmeal, oat bran, peas, beans, rice bran, citrus fruits, barley, apple pulp, and strawberries. It is also advised to eat bananas as they are rich in pectin and soluble fiber and can cure the infection. [13]

  1. Maintain Electrolytes

It is common for C-difficile to cause diarrhea. Prolongation of this problem may decrease the total water content in your body, leading to dehydration. Therefore, maintaining adequate hydration is a must-do for a C-difficile infection.

As a person suffers from diarrhea, several important electrolytes are also lost from the body. Electrolytes are essential minerals of your body which play an important role in various activities such as nerve impulse conduction, and normal muscle activity. Some examples of electrolytes include sodium, potassium, and magnesium. [14]

You will need to consume plenty of water to prevent dehydration and to replace all the electrolytes lost because of diarrhea. Additionally, also rely on other beverages such as soups, fruit juices, and broth.

  1. Avoid Malnourishment

C-difficile infection can progressively lead to weight loss and may induce a condition of malnourishment. Therefore, managing this malnourished state is an important aspect of treatment for a C-difficile infection.

A poor diet with low levels of nutrients and minerals can devastate your health and further weaken your immune system. This can further increase your vulnerability to secondary infections as well.

Therefore, assure that you consume a nutritious diet. Incorporate lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your daily routine. Maintaining a healthy diet might be difficult for people suffering from C-difficile infection as they potentially lose their appetite. Therefore, you might need a lot of motivation to follow this seemingly easy home remedy.

  1. Avoid Spicy Food

Any food or drink consisting of high level of spices may aggravate the symptoms of the infection caused by C-difficile. Spices can be irritating to your gastrointestinal system since it has already been sensitized because of the underlying bacterial infection.

Therefore, say no to everything that has a high spice level and sticks to normal food for some time.

  1. No More Caffeine

Coffee might keep you up and get you going on every other day but in case you are suffering from an infection, this might just make things worse for you.

Cutting off coffee and everything with a high caffeine level is necessary because caffeine is a natural diuretic. It can draw more water towards the intestine leading to more water loss. [15]

  1. Stop consuming Milk

Consuming milk is not advisable during a C-difficile infection. This is because the infection can cause a lactose intolerance in some patients which can make stomach pain and diarrhea worse. Milk will do nothing but worsen the disease.

Therefore, avoid eating milk and cheese unless the gastrointestinal signs are fully resolved.

  1. Greasy Foods are your Enemy

One of the home remedies for C-difficile infection includes stopping the intake of greasy food. Such foods are loaded with fats which are quite difficult to digest. The digestion of these fats become even more difficult during the C-difficile infection as the digestive system is already compromised.

Consuming greasy food will cause the body eject it quickly and make your diarrhea even worse.

Studies have also found that the bacteria in your gut adapt to your diet.

A diet packed with saturated fat will encourage the growth of bacteria that are better evolved to deal with fat. Likewise, a diet that is unbalanced and lacking nutritional variety will promote low diversity in gut flora. (16),  (17)

If your gut bacteria are already unbalanced due to a c-diff infection, the last thing you want to do is promote the growth of fat tolerant microbes. These bacteria will promote chronic weight gain after you recover from your infection, and are particularly difficult to remove once established in your gut.

  1. Maintain Hygene

The simplest home remedy for C-difficile infections is to maintain hygene levels.

Avoid contact with soiled linen in order to prevent microbial contamination. [18]

Heavily soiled linens are to be laundered separately. Be sure to use hot water and use chlorine bleach in order to kill off bacteria.

Observe proper hygiene by washing hands using warm water and soap for at least 30 to 40 seconds. As you wash your hands, do not forget to go in between the fingers, thumbs, and the top of hands. [19]

After washing your hands, dry them using a clean towel. Hand dryers can also be used for this purpose. It is also appropriate to use a clean town for turning off the sink faucets.

If followed carefully, proper hand washing can prove as effective as alcohol-based hand rubs. [20]

  1. Enjoy Oats

Because oats have a high level of beta glucans, they can help in re-establishing your gut flora. So, do not forget to include eating oats among your list of home remedies for C-difficile infection. You can either go for fine ground oats or try oatmeal made into a porridge as it is easy to digest.

Do’s

  • Eat fresh and suitable fruits and vegetables
  • Get a good night sleep
  • Store personal toiletries and grooming items in a closed cabinet
  • Observe hand hygiene after using washroom and before cooking
  • Clean areas that are prone to contamination on a regular basis
  • Change linen regularly and wash it thoroughly to stop contamination

Don’ts

  • Do not consume cruciferous vegetables
  • Avoid nuts and beans
  • Never take antibiotics

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