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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » C. Difficile Symptoms? Help please

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Author Topic: C. Difficile Symptoms? Help please
justwondering
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This is a disgusting topic, but I need help...

I began Ceftin 3 weeks ago, followed by Biaxin 1 week later. I was taking Saccromyces Boularrdi (sp?) and eating Activia daily, however I did miss a couple of days.

My doctor mentioned I needed probiotics, but never stressed how important it was at all or told me complications could arise if I didn't take enough.

For about 5 days or so I noticed my stools were more frequent, much softer, dark green and had a very strong odor. I did not have any significant cramping or pain. I assumed it was just a side effect from the antibiotics.

When I looked online for info, everything pointed to C. Diff. I have not had a fever or pain or even any watery diarrhea.

On Sat. a nurse on call said to stop my meds and go to the ER if I ran a fever. I stopped having the frequent bowel movements almost immediately when stopping my meds.

I cannot get into see my doc until tomorrow now! Right now my stomach feels a little crampy and bloated, but my bowel movements are way less frequent. They are, however, still dark green, fairly soft and odorous.

Does this sound like C. Diff to you? Maybe mild? I did a search on old posts about this and found some helpful info. I am just so scared I won't be able to treat my Lyme, Babs and Ehrlich. now! What will I do if this is what I have?

THANK YOU

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randibear
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hmmm, i'm not certain hon. mine was the classic case -- watery diahrrea at least 5 or more times a day, nausea, vomiting, weight loss due to dehydration. and the worst was this awful burning sensation throughout my entire abdomen. i was also bloated and you couldn't touch me anywhere i was so sore.

even tho i was tested for c. difficile, the tests came back normal. the doc gave me flagyl anyway.

i'd say no but others can help out more than i can. unfortunately my pain has persisted and i go for a colonscopy tomorrow.

good luck.

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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justwondering
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Randibear, sorry to hear about your situation. I actually read some of your earlier posts about this! You will do fine on your colonoscopy. I had one a couple of years ago - piece of cake!

I do have IBS. I thought maybe the antibiotics were just aggravating it. The green color could be from it passing through too quickly. But the strong odor and gassy bloated feeling? It just doesn't seem right...

Thanks for your help. Hopefully others will share, too!

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justwondering
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Desperate for help! Does this sound like it could be ANYTHING but C. Difficile?

Will my doc prob treat me with Flagyl to be on the safe side?

Thank you

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tailz
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Ceftin turns my stools yellow now, and years ago I used to do well on this antibiotic.

Have you ever been on minocycline? That helped my GI problems almost instantly.

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justwondering
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Thanks, Tailz, I have not been on anything except Ceftin and Biaxin.

I feel a little relieved knowing others can experience stool symptoms from antibiotics, though.

My symptoms began after the Biaxin, I think. They went on for about a week and never got worse.

I am scared b/c everything about c. diff notes the distinct odor and even a greenish color, which I have. But it also notes very frequent and watery movements, which I don't have.

I just want to treat this Lyme and Co's - aaarrgh!

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AZURE WISH
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For me it was high fever vomiting nausea and diareaha.

C. diff does have a very distinct odor. Horrible one.

I took flagyl for awhile to treat the c diff then went back to treating lyme...

so dont worry even if you have c diff (which isnt fun to expereince) it doesnt necessarily mean you will have to take a long break from treating lyme. Actually I took flagyl (an abx) to treat the c diff and I had previously taken it to treat the lyme.

Hang in there. Just make sure that you give the dr all the details of your symptoms (color odor etc.)

My fever increased kinda rapidly so I would take that nurses advice if you start to develope a fever go to the er.

Try not to worry (I know easier said then done)
[group hug]

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justwondering
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Thank you, Azure Wish, and sorry to hear about your experience with C. Diff. I am glad you made it through!

I have an appt. in the am.

Maybe it is not what I have. If I do, it must be very mild...

Thanks!

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terri3boys
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I was glad to see this *topic* here! I had been wondering if my experiences were coincidental or not.

I've been off my doxy for 12 days, in order to do my IGeneX testing tomorrow. I've noticed that my BMs have changed since I stopped the abx.

I was having these smelly, dark green BMs........and I was connecting them to when I was ON the abx. As I've been OFF them, I haven't had those kind of BMs.

Since I've got a lot of intestinal issues anyway, I didn't know whether to chalk it up to that, or what. I have something called Hollow Visceral Neuropathy - basically, my brain and GI tract don't communicate very well!

Now I'm even more confused! I was thinking that maybe the nasty BMs were actually GOOD in some way......maybe flushing out some die-off?

What connection, if any, is there to abx and those kind of BMs? Am I totally off base?

Thanks,
terri3boys

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justwondering
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Terry3boys, I had thought the same thing for days - dieoff of bacteria... But a search for others experiencing the same symptoms only brought up C. Diff., which worries me...

Are you going to check with your doc? I go this morning.

Keep me posted on what happens with you!

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Peacesoul
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Activa? As in just the yogurt?
Eating that small amount of probiotics while on all these abx is not enough.
Have you started higher does of probiotics?
Are you being treated by an LLMD?

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justwondering
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No, I am not seeing an LLMD b/c I cannot afford it. My doctor tried to send me to one, but finally agreed to treat me.

She told me I needed sachromyces boulardii (sp?), but never stressed the importance of probiotics.

I guess that is why some people go into debt to see an LLMD, which is where I am headed. I am pretty furious at this point.

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Peacesoul
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quote:
Originally posted by justwondering:
No, I am not seeing an LLMD b/c I cannot afford it. My doctor tried to send me to one, but finally agreed to treat me.

She told me I needed sachromyces boulardii (sp?), but never stressed the importance of probiotics.

I guess that is why some people go into debt to see an LLMD, which is where I am headed. I am pretty furious at this point.

If you cannot afford an LLMD, get as much info as you can and advise your Dr on how to treat you.
Do you have books on Lyme or have Dr Burrascao's guide lines? Take this to your DR.
http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/drbguide200509.pdf


I would think any smart Dr would know to advise a patient to take a probiotic when on abx.
Are you taking probiotics now?

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justwondering
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hi PeaceSoul,

I just got back from my docs. She is pretty sure I have mild c. diff but I won't know for sure until the tests come back.

She started me on flagyl and possibly vancomycin (sp?) if my symptoms don't resolve in a few days.

She seems confident I will be able to resume antibiotic treatment for my lyme and co's once this under control.

She had told me about probiotics, but says I obviously need more than most people so she has told me I will have to up my intake of them.

She also attends ILADS conventions and follows Burrascano's protocal, so I like to believe she is knowledgeable!

I was feeling very frustrated but feel a little better now after the appt!

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Peacesoul
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Glad you're feling better. Also happy your Doc is on the ball.
Keep up the probiotics and keep the sugar and yeast to a min. Drink tons of water and detox as much as you can.
I have faith you will be ok :-)

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justwondering
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Thanks, PeaceSoul, I appreciate your help and concern.

I am going to go overboard on pampering my tummy now b/c I do NOT want this to be a huge setback!

Thanks:)

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daise
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Hi!

I had c. diff by a stool test, however my PCP used that as an excuse to pull all antibiotics. You see, she'd called an infectious disease doc ....

I did not have diarrhea.

I took 2 courses of flagyl and one very expensive 15 day course of oral vancomycin. But I got the same positive stool result.

One or two brands of Good quality probiotics (when on more than one antibiotic, 3-4 different brands) is cruicial to helping prevent c. diff.

Yogurt won't protect you as there isn't enough probiotic in it.

Is your tongue whitish--even a little cloud of white? That's yeast. Probiotics + an antifungal presc., like Nystatin, etc.

Boulardii is good, as well. Plus probiotics.

I got a colonoscopy. I thought it was just to check for colon cancer. But, no! A gastroenterologist can check for all kinds of things, if they know ahead of time what to specifically look for. They can tell c. diff infections, directly, and the degree.

My blood tests were saying: positive c. diff. However, the gastroenterologist said I do not have c. diff, or if I did it was very minor.

The stuff to drink for a colonoscopy has changed. It's much better, now.

All the while, I changed docs and got back on my LA Bicillin shots: bicillin doesn't get processed through the GI tract.

Along with an endoscopy, they can see some other infections, too. Yay!

I would encourage you to tell your doctor about your green stools.

Tell a gastroenterologist about the antibiotic (s) you're taking; what antibiotics in the recent past, and all signs and symptoms now (including Lyme and gut/stomach reactions.

Hope this helps.

Daise [Wink]

[ 08. November 2007, 12:36 PM: Message edited by: daise ]

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justwondering
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Daise,

Wow, you know your stuff:) Sorry you went through all of that.

I didn't know bicillin treated Lyme and didn't go in the GI tract. I will keep that in mind.

I just spent a ton of money today on Probiotics and supplements.

In the meantime, I will take my Flagyl and maybe the Vancomycin if I need to.

So do you worry about getting c. diff all the time now?? I think I will. I have been in school trying to earn my pre-requisites for Nursing School and now I feel like I have to toss my dream out the window if I have to worry about battling c. diff infections for the rest of my life... I will ask my doc what she thinks about that...

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justwondering
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Lyme ED, thank you, thank you for all your info, too... I hope you didn't deal with c diff in the past. I had never even heard of it until this week:(

I am waiting on the test results and even if I don't have c. diff I am so terrified at this point of having it I am going to treat my body like I already had it!

Maybe I should have done that to begin with?!

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daise
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Hi Justwondering,

Don't worry, c. diff is not the end of the world--unless you don't get it under control, due to bad quality probiotics, etc.

There is a lot you can do to keep it under control or to get rid of it. Actually, it's pretty common. Seems docs only suspect it if you have diarrhea and are in the hospital--or recently were. Or you take heavy duty antibiotics,like Lyme patients do.

I wonder how much of the general population, who have diarrhea, are tested for c. diff? Not many, I suspect.

For more on LA Bicillin IM shots, go to www.ILADS.org, to "Treatment Guidelines," and then to Dr. Burrascano's 33 pages of tips. This is excellent information.

LA Bicillin is actually a natural antibiotic that's injected into your butt muscles, for slow release from the muscle.

You're on your way, controlling c. diff. Sometimes flagyl gets rid of it, sometimes a second course of flagyl. Sometimes it takes a couple weeks of oral vancomycin, along with the preventative stuff: good quality probiotics, boulardii and an antifungal, like Nystatin, etc.

And the usual veggies and fiber.

Take care,

Daise [Smile]

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justwondering
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Thanks, Daise.

So you think I can still be a nurse one day? I don't have to live in fear of being around hospitals?

I read that once you come down with C. Diff. you are much more prone to a relapse after simple exposure.

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WildCondor
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When you go testing for c.diff, it has to be THREE tests, done 3 separate days and all THREE have to be negative. One test is not enough.
Make sure you test a liquid diarrhea bowel movement and get it to the lab within one hour. If it will take you longer, put the sample on ice. Get it to the lab as fast as you can.

There are new strains of c.diff that are not detected by the standard lab tests.

If you do 3 tests in a row and all 3 are negative, then you are probably c.diff free.

In any case, you might need a colonoscopy so they can rule out other things and you can get a diagnosis. Colonoscopies are not a big deal, you are put out for it.

I hope you do feel better. Do more stool tests, make sure they check you for parasites and other bacteria too.

if you do end up with a colonoscopy, make sure it includes biopsies of all parts of the colon to rule out Crohn's, IBD, and microscopic colitis, plus c.diff.

Do not collect your stool samples for testing of you are on Flagyl or Vancomycin, it will alter the test and give a false negative. If so, your test can easily be a false negative. You also have to wait 2 weeks after you finish it to re-test. After a full course of Flagyl, usually 500 mg 4x per day for 3 weeks, wait 2 weeks, re-test. C. diff has an extremely high relapse rate.

Florastor is key in treating c.diff along with Flagyl and oral vancomycin. Fecal enema/transplant is the best treatment in bad cases.

Hope you get a diagnosis soon! let me know if I can help you.

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daise
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If you can get past the Lyme and your c. diff is under control or you get rid of it--then who knows? Maybe you can work in a hospital!

As I understand it, having a really healthy colon is the key, to working in a hospital. I say, do everything you can to keep watch over your colon for other troubles. If c. diff is stubborn, colonoscopy--yes!


Thanks, WildCondor, it's more info for her.


The best to you. [hi] Look to a good future!

Daise

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lpkayak
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shouldn't you be taking nystatin too? and be sure you have high quality probiotics-and keep them cold. when i had trouble-taking the probiotics and nystatin on an empty stomach helped straighten me out

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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Keebler
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-

WildCondor mentioned Florastor. Here's more info. and you can type in your zip code to see who carries it.


www.florastor.com/

Florastor (Saccharomyces boulardii lyo)

--------------------------------------------------
Miso soup also contains good probiotics. You can find miso soup paste in small tubs at most health groceries in the fridge case. Mix a spoonful with a little cold water and then add hot water from stove. Do not boil as it destroys the nutrients.


Brewer's yeast (or nutritional yeast) has a similar probiotic that also is helpful. Brewer's yeast also has good B-vitamins.
-------------------------------

http://tinyurl.com/2domm6
How Brewers Yeast can help Vitamin B Uptake

excerpt:

Don't confuse this with baker's yeast, which is used to make yeast breads. Uncooked baker's yeast can rob your body of valuable B vitamins.

Beneficial nutritional brewer's yeast does not contribute to yeast infections such as Candida albicans. Food yeasts are not infectious. Nutritional yeasts are not live yeast cells. . . .

-

[ 10. November 2007, 08:53 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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WildCondor
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If you are taking Nystatin of Diflucan or any anti-fungal drug, do not bother to take Florastor (s.boulardii) because the antifungals will just kill off the beneficial fungi.
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justwondering
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Thank you all for the info, it is very helpful. I think I have "cured" myself of my C. diff. after a week on Flagyl and tons of probiotics.

Although I hope taking the probiotics right now isn't pointless while taking the flagyl...

Again, thanks so much.

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