Natural cures and home remedies for Clostridium difficile infection

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C. difficile, C. diff or Clostridium difficile is a bacterium which is causing symptoms that range from diarrhea to life – threatening inflammation of the colon. It is known fact that illnesses which are caused by C. difficile are most commonly affecting older adults in hospitals or in long – term care facilities and this is typically occurring after use of antibiotic medicine. There are many factors which can increase the risk of C. difficile such as taking antibiotics or other medications (taking medications to reduce stomach acid, including proton pump inhibitors; taking antibiotics for a long time; using multiple antibiotics; taking broad – spectrum antibiotics that target a wide range of bacteria; currently taking or having recently taken antibiotics), staying in a health care facility and having a serious illness or medical procedure. If this condition is not treated, then it can cause complications such as hole in your large intestine (bowel perforation), toxic megacolon, kidney failure, dehydration and death. Those people who have mild to moderate C. difficile have some of the next symptoms: mild abdominal cramping and tenderness; watery diarrhea 3 or more times a day for 2 or more days. Those people, who have severe infection, can have some of the next symptoms: fever; rapid heart rate; abdominal cramping and pain, which may be severe; watery diarrhea 10 to 15 times a day; loss of appetite; dehydration; nausea etc. Talk with your doctor if you suffer from C. difficile because he or she will tell you which the best natural treatment for you is. [1,2]

Clostridium difficile home remedies

Avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics: It is recommended that one of the first things which you should do when you find out that you have a C. difficile infection is to stop taking any antibiotics which you are currently taking (as doctors say, those antibiotics that are taken “whenever possible”). It is known that these antibiotics are killing the good bacteria in our bodies and this is what the C. difficile bacterium wants. This bacterium wants the good bacteria to be decreased so that they can overgrow and take over. When you stop other antibiotics, then they can provide noticeable improvement in the symptoms of C. difficile, especially diarrhea and this symptom is improving quite quickly. There are some cases when antibiotics are prescribed for viral illnesses which are not helped by these drugs. You should take a wait – and – see attitude with simple ailments. If you have a need of antibiotic, then you should ask your doctor to prescribe one that has a narrow range and that you can take for the shortest time possible. [3]

Good nutrition: If you have water diarrhea as a symptom of C. difficile, then you should eat starchy foods such as oatmeal, wheat, rice, noodles and potatoes. Also there are other good choices such as boiled vegetables, soup and bananas. If you are not hungry, then you may need a liquid diet at first. After your diarrhea clears up, then you may have temporary difficulty digesting milk and milk – based products.

Manuka honey: This is a natural antibiotic which you can add in your diet as your natural treatment for C. difficile. This is a powerful antibacterial agent [4]. There are some studies in which are said that the manuka honey has the ability to reduce the inflammation in the colon.

Load up on good bacteria: When you are trying to avoid the C. difficile infection or if you already have and you are trying to fight off, then one of the most important things which you should do are to add probiotic or good bacteria into your system on a daily basis. It is known that too many bad bacteria are what got you in trouble in the first place. You should take a high – quality probiotic supplement on regular basis, especially if you recently or currently have been on antibiotics. Also you can get lot of probiotic – rich foods from your diet which will help to balance the intestinal flora and this can fight against the C. difficile. Some of the top probiotic foods which you should consume regularly are: probiotic beverages (kombucha and coconut kefir), raw apple cider vinegar, cultured dairy products (such as goat milk yogurt, kefir or cultured probiotic yogurt made from raw cow’s milk) and fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchi and kvass). If you want to get the most health benefits of apple cider vinegar, then you should be sure that you buy a raw variety with the mother intact (this means that this apple cider still contains all its beneficial compounds in which probiotics are also included). [5]

Natural cures for C. difficile

Clostridium difficile natural cures

Thorough cleaning: You should carefully disinfect all surfaces in any setting using a product which has chlorine bleach. It is known fact that C. difficile spores can survive cleaning products which does not have bleach.

Raw garlic: This home remedy has antifungal, antiviral and antimicrobial properties. You should incorporate garlic in your life on a daily basis. Also you can use garlic as your natural treatment for C. difficile [6].

Plenty of fluids: You choose fluids that have sugar, salt and water, such as broths, soft drinks and fruit juice.

Contact precautions: Those people who are hospitalized with C. difficile have a private room or they share the room with someone who has the same illness. All visitors and hospital staff must wear isolation gowns and disposable gloves while they are in the room.

Shut the lid: You should close the lid of the toilet before you flush because this is another smart habit to get into if you want to prevent reinfection or the spread of C. difficile. This will be not able to do in public toilets but at your home you should be sure always to do it. This can help to decrease the C. difficile bacteria from finding their way to all kinds of objects and surfaces in the bathroom. This is a really helpful practice which can help you to get into for sanitary and health purposes.

Oil of oregano: There are some studies in which are shown that the oregano oil can be very effective home remedy against the dangerous and sometimes drug – resistant bacteria [7]. This is extremely strong oil so this is a reason why it should be used under the guidance of a natural health expert. When you are taking it internally, then the oregano oil always needs to be diluted with water or mixed with coconut oil. Also you can add fresh and dried oregano herb into your diet.

Oats: It is known fact that oats have high level of beta glucans which can help to re – establish the gut flora. You should not forget to include eating oats among your list of home remedies for this disease. You can try fine ground oats. Also you can try oatmeal made into porridge because this is very easy to digest.

Hand – washing: It is must for health care workers to practice good hand hygiene before and after treating each person in their care. If there is a C. difficile outbreak, then the best choice for hand hygiene is using soap and warm water because the alcohol – based hand sanitizers are not effectively destroying the C. difficile spores. Also visitors should wash their hands with warm water and soap before and after leaving the room or using the bathroom.

Avoid or reduce certain foods: In the next section, we will give a list of foods which most people have found helpful to avoid during a C. difficile infection:

  • Large quantities of caffeine since caffeine has diuretic effects can bother the GI tract and lengthen the recovery from infection.
  • Spicy foods which are known to increase the symptoms.
  • Processed fat – free foods like Olestra, which have been known to cause more bloating and increased bouts of diarrhea.
  • Raw fruits and vegetables so cook them to reduce the likelihood of bloating effects.
  • Some foods that are definitely healthy but may cause extra bloating, gas and discomfort such as whole grains, seeds, nuts, beans, onions and cruciferous veggies (like broccoli and cabbage).
  • Greasy, fatty foods and processed foods that are not easy on the digestive system and may lead to more diarrhea.
  • Dairy products have been known to cause additional gastrointestinal upset and lactose intolerance has also been known to occur during a C. difficile infection [8].
  • You should know that there are no two bodies which react in the same way of certain diet. This is a reason why you always need to talk with your doctor before you start using some kind of diet for your natural treatment of C. difficile.

References:

[1] Liao F, Li W, Gu W, et al. A retrospective study of community-acquired Clostridium difficile infection in southwest China. Scientific Reports. 2018;8(1):3992.

[2] Reveles KR, Lee GC, Boyd NK, Frei CR. The rise in Clostridium difficile infection incidence among hospitalized adults in the United States: 2001-2010. American Journal of Infection Control. 2014;42(10):1028-1032.

[3] Brown KA, Khanafer N, Daneman N, Fisman DN. Meta-analysis of antibiotics and the risk of community-associated clostridium difficile infection. 2013;57(5):2326-32.

[4] Hammond EN, Donkor ES. Antibacterial effect of manuka honey on clostridium difficile. BMC Research Notes. 2013;6:188.

[5] Lau CSM, Chamberlain RS. Probiotics are effective at preventing Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of General Medicine. 2016;9:27-37.

[6] Roshan N, Riley TV, Hammer KA. Antimicrobial activity of natural products against Clostridium difficile in vitro. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 2017;123(1):92-103.

[7] Lu M, Dai T, Murray CK, Wu MX. Bactericidal property of oregano oil against multidrug-resistant clinical isolates. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2018;9:2329.

[8] Pai S, Aliyu SH, Enoch DA, Karas JA. Five years experience of clostridium difficile infection in children at a UK tertiary hospital: Proposed criteria for diagnosis and management. PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e51728.

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