The Way to BE

Preventing a Dangerous Gut Infection: C. Difficile and Chronic Diarrhea

It’s not fiber that makes up the bulk of your stool - it’s bacteria! About half of the weight of human feces is composed of bacteria.

The balance of bacteria in the intestinal tract is extremely important. If this balance is at all thrown off, the results could be devastating.

Which is exactly what happens each year to tens of thousands of Americans.

An infection with the bacteria Clostridium difficile leaves many people battling with diarrhea for years.

Many times, an infection can be acquired during hospitalization. Or, after a round of antibiotic therapy, C. difficile bacteria are given just enough opportunity to flourish and dominate the intestinal environment.

C. difficile can inflame the colon and cause chronic, unrelenting diarrhea. An infection with C. difficile can claim lives.

As antibiotic resistance continues to grow, and as physicians continue to use antibiotic therapy indiscriminately, C. difficile is more common than ever.

Diarrhea is a growing cause for concern.

Symptoms of an unhealthy digestive tract, like diarrhea, shouldn't be taken lightly. From 1999 to 2007, fatalities related to gastrointestinal conditions rose to a whopping 17,000 deaths per year!

The number of people who are dying from illnesses that involve diarrhea has more than doubled between 1999 and 2007. (1)

According to Dr. Aron Hall of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during this 8 year time span from 1999 to 2007, all deaths related to the gastrointestinal tract doubled:

  • Number rose from 7,000 to 17,000 deaths per year.
  • This means an increase from 25 per 1 million persons/years to 57 per 1 million.

Dr. Hall pulled records from the National Center for Health Statistics and found that the majority of these deaths were due to the intestinal bacterium C. difficile.

  • C. difficile deaths represent 71 percent of all deaths related to the gastrointestinal tract.
  • These deaths have recently increased five times over.
  • 83 percent of the deaths occurred in adults who were at least 65 years old.

Many times, a C. difficile infection will persist even with the use of several rounds of the toughest antibiotics. When an infection continues for months on end, the antibiotics are only suppressing the full range of a C. difficile infection.

A stool donation can save lives.

While admittedly unusual, a new therapy for C. difficile infection is on the horizon: fecal transplant.

Fecal transplant therapy (otherwise known as fecal bacteriotherapy, fecal flora reconstitution, or fecal microbiota transplantation) is radical, inexpensive, and extremely effective.

In a healthy digestive tract, the friendly bacteria are constantly working to keep the unfriendly bacteria in check. While it is possible for this balance to get thrown off, it almost always returns to a point of stability.

Sometimes, the friendly bacterial community loses the ability to maintain balance. And, in the case of C. difficile infection, it seems like this loss is permanent. Physicians have found that inserting a diluted sample of feces from a healthy donor can cure months, sometimes years, of diarrhea.

Often, the effects of a successful fecal transplant can be seen in days.

Fecal transplants are a niche therapy.

You may be hard-pressed to find a doctor willing move one person’s feces into another person’s colon.

Considering the growing threat of antibiotic resistance and the minimal costs involved in performing the transplant, many people are working towards a standardization of the therapy.

Unfortunately, feces do not neatly fit into any category under Food and Drug Administration standards. In order for a new therapy to undergo the rigorous testing necessary for health professionals to accept it as legitimate, the FDA must approve its status.

Just recently, it was reported that two Canadian laboratories are working together to create a synthetic stool transplant. (2) This would be something that the FDA could consider.

It is crucial that we maintain a healthy inner ecology.

It remains to be seen whether or not synthetic stool can be just as effective as healthy human feces in treating a C. difficile infection.

The results that physicians see with fecal transplant therapy illustrate the value of a healthy inner ecosystem.

In addition to using antibiotics only when absolutely necessary, we can safeguard our digestive tract and our lives when we eat a diet that nourishes a healthy inner ecosystem. This means:

  • Consuming truly fermented foods on a daily basis. These foods are bustling with a wide range of friendly microflora that naturally check the growth of any disease-causing bacteria.
  • Drinking probiotic beverages.
  • Supporting the body’s detoxification pathways. By making our body hospitable to good bacteria, we make it inhospitable to unfriendly bacteria. We can open up the detoxification pathways when we cleanse the bowels and the liver with products such as LivAmend.
  • Eating for alkalinity. By following the 7 Principles of the Body Ecology Diet and using Vitality SuperGreen and Super Spirulina Plus, we maintain a slightly alkaline state. This is one more way to ensure that disease-causing bacteria are unable to form a community and multiply.

What to Remember Most About This Article:

In actuality, the bulk of your stool is made up of almost 50% bacteria - not fiber, as many people believe. Having a healthy balance of good bacteria in the intestinal tract is critical to preserve health.

A bacterial infection of C. difficile can cause serious repercussions, including chronic diarrhea and even hospitalization. In some cases, the infection can be fatal. Even with rigorous antibiotic treatment, a C. difficile infection can persist. In extreme circumstances, a stool donation, or fecal transplant therapy, can be used as an inexpensive yet effective treatment to restore health to the digestive tract.

Until this new therapy is approved by the FDA, it's more important than ever to maintain a healthy inner ecosystem to prevent potentially fatal bacterial infections.

This can be achieved by using the following tips today:

  1. Eat fermented foods each day.
  2. Drink probiotic beverages.
  3. Support natural detoxification in your body to flush out unfriendly bacteria.
  4. Eat to promote alkalinity by following the 7 Principles of the Body Ecology Diet. An alkaline environment in your body will prevent disease-causing bacteria from growing and multiplying to negatively affect your health!

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    • Provides healthy food for beneficial microflora - a potent, mineral-rich blend of fermented algae and red marine algae4
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  1. Hall AJ et al. “Gastroenteritis deaths on the rise in the United States: The emerging roles of Clostridium difficile and norovirus.” 8th International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases, Atlanta Ga. March 14, 2012
  2. Queen's University. "Synthetic stool a prospective treatment for C. difficile." ScienceDaily, 30 Apr. 2012. Web. 28 May 2012.

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  • Cathy Shea

    As a colon hydrotherapist, we are now collaborating with some very progressive doctors who are recommending the fecal transplants. Many of them are also supporting colon hydrotherapy as preparation for colonoscopy. Visit my website for more details at

  • Jerry Jennings

    My mother in law is 83. She has C Difficile, plus, congestive heart failure, diabetes, dementia, amputee below the knee. She was such a lovely person before all of this hit her! Seemingly all at once! She took a veggie culture starter, and her tummy got better, which is the reason she is still with us now! If ohly her Dementia could be fixed. She was such a good lawyer, taking cases a lower rates than anybody else in the area!!!! Her gardening knowlege was second to none. She would make her own fertilizer, harvest her own seeds, graft plants to grow new ones, plus lead her legal firm! Well, that was more than 20 years ago. But she had built up a great reputation, and shows signs of acute awareness, and shoots legal terms at random. Big words from what is now a simply mind.

  • Amy

    I was sicck with Cdiff for over three years. The cycle of antbiotics they use make it almost impossible to get well. After much research I used my daughters tested stool for a "at Home fecal transplant" I could not find any medical professionals that would help me. So it was life or death choice for me at that point. Not a fun option but I am so glad I did it, I was cured from that day on...its been over 5 years now.

  • Skep

    Check out fecal transplants or implants on YouTube... very interesting! Lots of people very interested in this for sure!

  • shakeh

    I have had chronic diarrhea for years. After years of different stool, tests that never showed any bacterial or viral infection, and after using many kind of anti fungals and probiotics, I decided to see a chinese medicin doctor. They told me the reason for my diarrhea is an extreme damping in my digestive system and especially my spleen is very cold and needs warming foods like ginger,hot chilis and pepers , cinimon
    dates and figs. No salads,vegies raw or cooked, not fruits for several months. No dairy or cold water, nothing from refregerator. I had my first session of acupunture that day and had close to normal bowel move the next day. I think people should know about yin and yang foods (damping and warming) The way we eat is not right we have to have balance in both kind of foods to help our. . digestive.Good bacteria is not always enough. Aging body becomes increasingly yin meaning goldness that is why allot of older people can't eat raw vegies and cold salads. People with this kind of dampness have an unhappy spleen which in chinese medicin is a very important organ. Also these people have edema
    sinus problem, loose stool, swollen thong,cholestrol. Warming and drying foods are important. I wish Donna Gates will give us more info for this digestive problem.

  • Lenora Richter

    My aunt almost died from C-Diff about five years ago (she was 70 at the time). She had knee surgery and afterward took antibiotics to ward off infection and it flared up quickly. They should have caught it during pre-surgery testing, since she was already having some diarrhea. They ignored the diarrhea and went ahead with the surgery and anitbiotics. C-Diff can reside in a person's gut for years, held in check by healthy bacteria. But once those good bacteria are killed off from an antibiotic, the C-Diff will rear it's ugly head. Normal antibiotics have no effect on C-Diff, and that's why it will proliferate once all the other bacteria are gone.

    My aunt had to be hospitalized in the ICU, and by the time they figured out it was C-Diff, her life was in grave danger. The antibiotic drip they had her on wasn't working fast enough, and they had to take a radical step and remove her entire colon. She had less than a 50% of making it through the surgery (due in large part to her weight). Miraculously, she made it through, but had to be put into an induced coma for a month while her body healed. Even after waking up from her month long sleep, she was still in grave condition, having to eventually be air vacced to a better hospital a couple of hours away, continued to stay in the ICU, had to go on dialysis, had to have another surgery to fix a hernia that happened at the surgery site (and they re-attached her colon at the same time, so she has a foot long functioning colon now). She was eventually transported to a nursing facility to receive physical therapy and dialysis. She was in ICU for about 6-7 months total and in a nursing facility for another month or two. All in all, the ordeal lasted 8 months.

    C-Diff is nothing to mess around with. It makes me sad that my aunt had to have her colon removed, but the surgery was emergency, given the grave state of things. I wonder if a fecal transplant would have been performed, how long it would have taken to work? In my aunt's case, she may not have had time. Early diagnosis is critical in order to treat it effectively.

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