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How long does C Diff last?

I am not a physician and you shouldn’t use this as advice.  Seek your own qualified physician’s advice for curing C Diff.

“How long does C Diff last?”

I’ve been asked this question many times and can relate.  Most colds and flu’s go away on their own in 2-3 weeks.  So, the first time you get C Diff your thought is, ok how long is this going to last?  Then, there are others who have been dealing with C Diff for months or longer…how much longer will their C Diff last?

Most People Will Have it Easy

The answer is tricky and not fun.  Typically you go on antibiotics after you are diagnosed.  The antibiotics (metronidazole, vancomycin, or whatever your physician prescribes) will last usually 10-14 days .  At this point, you’ll find that 80-85% of patients will be fine.  So, for most people it’ll appear to only last a week or two.  I say “appear” because there is an unknown number of people who will harbor C Diff in their colon or small intestine after that with NO SYMPTOMS.  So, is it over for them?   I was one of those people and a year later when I took amoxicillin for a cold (dumb idea) the symptoms of C Diff came back in full force and I tested positive again!

Some Will Take A Little Longer

So, for the 15-20% who relapse you go on antibiotics for 10-14 days again, or you may find physicians using the tapering method.  This is where your physician might ask you to go on antibiotics for a week or so, and slowly taper down the strength or amount of antibiotics over a month or so.  You may also be asked to try a pulsing method which is similar except you might take antibiotics every other day while tapering down to lower levels of antibiotics.   So, these methods will vary in time, so let’s assume it takes another 30 days.   Now we’re up to what, 45 days?

A Few Will Have a Long Battle

Well, you may stop the symptoms there, or you may be one of the 65% of patients who relapse AGAIN.  Yup, 65% of patients who relapse once are likely to relapse multiple times[1].  So, people who make it to this point just don’t know when it will be over.  I was one and it isn’t fun.  But, you cannot give up!

So, there we have it.  It’s not a very clear answer, but most people will be without symptoms in a few weeks.  At the other end of the spectrum, you may dealing with this a while.  But, you cannot give up on pursuing treatment.  C Diff is deadly serious, but the vast majority of people will find a good end to C Diff.   (check out the “what works” page)

No One Cares About Your Health More Than You Do

I believe that no one cares more about your health than you do.  YOU need to persist in finding your cure until you get it.  Keep going back to physicians and going to new ones.  Question them, and don’t give up.

I am not a physician and you shouldn’t use this as advice of any kind.  Seek your own qualified physician’s advice for curing C Diff.

[1] http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/186458-followup

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