C Diff Colitis On The Increase

C diff colitis, an inflammatory condiition of the colon, is on the rise since the rapid increase of the new NAP1/BI/027 strain of Clostridium difficile.

Clostridium difficile is now the leading cause hospital-caused diarrhea in the USA, where it accounts for 30% of patients with antibiotic associated diarrhea (AAD), 70% of those with antibiotic-associated colitis (AAC), and the majority of cases of pseudomembranous colitis.2

People with Inflammatory Bowel Disease are more likely to get C diff colitis than people without IBD and, having got it, if admitted to hospital are more likely to have a longer stay and a higher mortality rate.1

It is known that overuse of antibiotics is a leading cause and more recently proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) which suppress gastric acid are also believed to be a leading cause of this problem2.

Furthermore, it has been shown that the antibiotic Clindamycin actually makes it more likely that a person will get C difficle colitis3 - not the outcome most of us are hoping for when we take an antibiotic.

Taking just one dose of this particular antibiotic reduces the amount of bacteria - both good and bad - in the intestines for one month.

There is a 90% reduction of the normal bacteria found in the cecum!

The cecum is a large bag that forms the begining of the large intestine. This bag or pouch is supposed to contain an emormous number of bacteria to begin the process of breaking down plant material that is passing thought us.

So when a single dose of the antibiotic Clindamycin can reduce this diversity by 90% - it leaves the person wide open to the ravages of the oportunistic C difficile.

Both inulin and FOS are know to help with chronic intestinal inflamation. In animal studies, C diff colitis was reduced in all animals that were fed FOS and inulin reduced inflamation in half of the study group.

These are two easy to buy supplements that are added to many probiotics. You might be interested in this page on nondigestible carboydrates which explains what things like FOS and inulin are and where you find them.

The two best probiotics for this are Bio K and florastor. You can read more about these two probiotic treatments for c diff.



1. Perry Hookman and Jamie S Barkin. Clostridium difficile associated infection, diarrhea and colitis. World J Gastroenterol. 2009 April 7; 15(13): 1554–1580.

2. O'Keefe SJ. Tube feeding, the microbiota, and Clostridium difficile infection. World J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jan 14;16(2):139-42.

3. Buffie CG, Jarchum I, Equinda M, Lipuma L, Gobourne A, Viale A, Ubeda C, Xavier J, Pamer EG. Profound Alterations of Intestinal Microbiota following a Single Dose of Clindamycin Results in Sustained Susceptibility to Clostridium difficile-Induced Colitis. Infect Immun. 2012 Jan;80(1):62-73. Epub 2011 Oct 17.