C-diff Awareness Virtual Walk: Wrapping Up!

Wrapping up for the day! We checked out the progress on the Arts Center. We clocked 5 miles total for the day.

CdiffAwareness info:

⬆️ CDI incidence and severity have increased in recent years.

🦠 The increased incidence and severity are partially due to an epidemic strain, BI/NAP1/027, which produces higher toxin levels and is highly resistant to fluoroquinolones. Luckily, I tested negative for this super-strain! It’s much harder to kick!

➡️ ETA: the length and severity of the illness depends on a lot of factors. Everyone responds differently to a c-diff diagnosis because there are a lot of different strains of toxigenic c-diff. Some release Toxin A, some release Toxin B, some release both. Some are simply more virulent than others. And they can be life-threatening.

💊 The most important modifiable risk factor for C. difficile infection is antibiotic exposure; this risk is dose-related and higher with longer courses and combination therapy.

💊 Antibiotics in these classes are regularly linked to CDI:

➡️ Clindamycin (Brand name Cipromycin®)
➡️ Fluoroquinolones (Levaquim®)
➡️ Cephalosporins, such as cefalexin (Keflex® and Daxbia®)
➡️ Penicillins

💊 Although even single doses of prophylactic antibiotics can cause CDI, the more antibiotics you use, the greater number of doses, and the longer you take them, the greater the risk. Again, don’t be afraid to ask if three days will do. 10-14 days is a standard that isn’t always necessary (especially with those dental procedures I mentioned earlier). Also, combos aren’t always necessary. Don’t be afraid to ask why they want you on two simultaneously or back to back.

🏨 CDI is also associated with older age, recent hospitalization, multiple comorbidities, use of gastric acid blockers, inflammatory bowel disease, and immunosuppression.

➡️ It has become more common in younger, healthier patients in community settings. A recent study in Minnesota found that 41% of cases of c-diff were community acquired.

➡️ Over and over, the people in my support group said these things: ask questions; question everything; don’t just accept what you’re told; don’t let them put your concern off as NBD (esp. women!); be your own best advocate; do your own research.

➡️ Your average doctor still knows very little about c-diff. GIs know more than PCPs, and IDs know more than both, and even then, well, they’re not always up to date on the latest research and recommendations. It’s your body, your health, you know it, and you fight for it.

🙏 Thanks for doing the C-diff Foundation Awareness Virtual Walk with me! And thanks for all the questions and discussion. I’ve been sharing my journey on my blog as well…lots more research there.

💁‍♀️ I’m almost 11 months post-treatment. It can take 1-3 years for the gut to fully recover depending on the length and severity of the original illness. Isn’t that nuts?! But today we can walk five miles. And I’m not trying to eat bananas and rice. I had duck eggs and toast with peach jam for breakfast. 🙂

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