Clostridium difficile also known as CDF/cdf, or C. diff, is a species of Gram-positive spore-forming bacteria that is best known for causing antibiotic-associated diarrhea. C - difficileis a bacteria in your intestines. It is found normally in healthy and ill people alike. There are millions, perhaps billions of different types of bacteria in your body. Bacteria are an important part of your health. They help break down and digest food. They also ward off many "bad" or foreign bacteria that you may come in contact with. In fact, the "good" or normal bacteria on your hands can kill certain bad bacteria which you may pick up handling food or touching everyday items and fixtures.
Your body has lots of "good" and necessary bacteria. It also has some "bad" or dangerous bacteria. Clostridium difficile is a "bad" bacteria. Fortunately, when you are healthy and not taking antibiotics, the millions of good bacteria in your system keep the c - diff under control and in smaller numbers. However, when you take an antibiotic, the levels of good bacteria are reduced down to a smaller number. If your c-diff is strong and doesn't get killed by the antibiotic along with the good bacteria, then it is possible that the c-diff will overpopulate inside your intestine or colon. When this happens, you may get the illness called clostridium difficile colitis.
When you have an imbalance of bacteria and c-diff takes over, it creates two main types of toxins that affect your body and give you the symptoms of the actual disease. The toxins attack your intestinal wall and left untreated may cause ulcerations. Your symptoms may include diarrhea and cramping at first. The later stages are commonly flu-like symptoms of weakness, dehydration, fever, nausea, vomiting and in advanced stages - blood in your stool / feces.
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