Guest Author - Arrow Durfee
Discovering that you have a C-difficile infection often comes at the worst of times. Many people who get this disease are also fighting off some other kind of infection at the same time. Your ability to combat and fight this disease will depend on the skill of your physician or naturopath and your ability to stand up to the onslaught you are under. There are a number of things you can do at home to facilitate your cure.
Most likely your physician will want to start a new antibiotic. The two predominant choices are vancomycin and Flagyl. You need to be aware that although these drugs take care of most c-diff infections they do not always cure and they bring with them their own risks.
Usually the first drug of choice is Flagyl (metriondizole). This drug is taken in pill or IV form, but generally pill form for this disease. It has numerous side effects including dizziness and nausea. Some people have a very difficult time taking it.
Vancomycin is known for risk to the kidneys and the hearing, and especially amongst the elderly. A larger proportion of the C-diff infections occur amongst the elderly. Long term usage will require toxicity studies and a daily creatine level should be done to assure the kidneys are holding up. Vancomycin requires that serum peak and trough studies be done to assure that you are in a safe range of drug blood levels. Sometimes during a c-diff infection the causitive antibiotic will be stopped, but not always. The two antibiotics may be given at the same time which will double your risk to all the microbial floras within your body, especially in your gut. Generally IV vancomycin is given if the patient is in very serious condition. In lessor cases they will be given vancomycin in a pill form that does not carry all the concerns as IV application. But its effects on the gut flora will still be extreme.
More and more cases of C-diff are uncured. The most important concern is that this disease can cause death and can spread from one person to another. Some people have the disease for a year or more before cure finally arrives.
If you have this disease you must take responsibilty for protecting your gut from further damage from the antibiotics you may be taking. A proven flora replacement like VSL#3 is recommended to take daily along with a live culture yogurt. You can improve the results of such cultures by adding inulin from NOW company. This is a fiber that feeds the culture in your gut. VSL#3 can be taken along with Floraster to further promote gut health.
In extreme cases fecal transplant therapy may be recommended where the body has not been able to restore normal flora. Human fecal matter is administered per enema from a tested "clean" donor. This has proven to re-establish healthy floras in the gut. This may be avoided with early intervention of supplements. You will be surprised how many doctors still do not prescribe intestianl floras during or after antibiotic use.
Other supplements that will be supportive will be a B100 complex vitamin as well as weekly B12 shots. As flora is distroyed by the use of antibiotics as well as the disease itself, the capacity to produce B vitamins decreases, as it is the good flora that produce B vitamins. With a lack of B vitamins the whole system declines. To mount an internal autoimmune defense B vitamin levels must be maintained and boosted.
Toxin binding trials have been underway for a time and are not available to most C-diff sufferers. You can read about it at pubmed. The article discusses using bovine colostrum. Bovine colostrum is available over the counter and on the internet and has a long history of promoting a strong immune defence response. It way be worth supplementing with along with the other floras. This is a therapy you will most likely find from a natuopath rather than a medical doctor at this time.
Grapefruit seed extract has a long history of mediating all kinds of diarrhea diseases and it often recommended by naturopaths. It has proven along with oil of oregano to cure giardia. I have a friend who likely had a community acquired case of c-diff contracted from eathing a salad at a resturant. While under the care of Dr. Michael Biomonte ND, a board certified and licensed naturopath, she was given the following protocol and this is what she has to say about it.
50 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract, 5 drops oregano oil, 5 drops Betaine HCL in water 3 times a day.
"After a month of taking this 3x a day every day I was 90% cured, after two months, 100% cured.
"It's a very bitter drink but it's nothing compared to symptoms and and danger of the c. diff. Bitter is good! Bitter means killing pathogens."
"Based on the protocol my naturopath uses for intestinal infections and has a lot of success in doing so, the most important thing is to kill the infection. That's number one, everything else is sidelined. Once it's killed then you can build up the friendly bacteria and work on the immune system. He said one of the biggest reasons for failure is that healing must take place in stages in the correct order. Trying to do a bunch of things hoping something will stick is not the best way and often will fail. You don't want to kill an infection partially and have it come back, often stronger with resistant strains."
"Friendly bacteria should be at optimal levels to prevent an infection but once you have an infection is is often useless to supplement with probiotics because a raging infection will just overcome the friendly bacteria. Once the infection is mostly killed then you can supplement. Then you work on the immune system, nutrition and other factors which may have led to your being susceptible to an infection."
"I believe the reason you take the GSE, oregano oil and Betaine HCL in water is so that it kills everything from the mouth on down since c. diff, if not caused by antibiotics causing overgrowth, is 'caught' orally (I got mine from a salad bar) and the spores can survive outside the intestines for a long time."
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