One of the best “treatments” for C. difficile (or C. diff) is to simply stop taking antibiotics. Because C. difficile infections are a common side effect of certain antibiotics, stopping your antibiotic treatment is often enough to stop your C. diff infection. Some antibiotics are more prone to causing C. diff than others, especially the more common broad-spectrum antibiotics prescribed for other types of infections.
One of the big downsides of antibiotics is how they weaken and can disrupt your body’s immune system. That’s your body’s first line of defense against infections. When your immune system is weakened, it can lead to bacterial infections like C. diff, secondary yeast infections or other bacterial infections, including recurring C. difficile.
One of the biggest advantages of natural forms of C. diff treatment is they actually help your immune system, not tear it down. And unlike antibiotics, natural C. difficile treatment approaches are much harder for C. diff to become resistant to.
Of the many natural and alternative remedies for C. difficile, probiotics are perhaps the best known and most accepted by mainstream medicine. Probiotics are products that contain one or more types of healthy or “good” bacteria, usually in a capsule form. Special diets, toxin binding agents and fecal transplant therapy are some of the more common alternatives that have been successful. In addition, medicinal herbal preparations and specific medicinal essential oils have been used successfully for C. diff treatment. These approaches can also reduce the side effects of infection and help speed the body’s ability to repair and heal itself.
Not all C. difficile is the same
A new and more dangerous strain of C. difficile was discovered in 2004. According to the CDC, this new strain is more toxic, virulent and much more likely to cause recurring infections than normal strains of C. difficile. This new strain is also more resistant to antibiotics than normal C. difficile infections. Unfortunately, standard lab tests can not tell the difference between the new strain and normal strains of the bacteria.
Because bacteria can change and evolve very quickly, C. difficile and many other infections will only continue to grow stronger and more resistant to antibiotics over time. The growing problem of antibiotic resistance is one of the key reasons why you need to become familiar with natural and alternative C. difficile treatment methods for handling these infections.
Different infections often require different C. difficile approaches
One-size-fits-all approached to treating C. difficile often don’t work well in the long run. Every person, every infection, and everyone’s internal body environment are different. Any treatments you use should be adjusted to best suit your needs. Just as your doctor would never prescribe the same antibiotic for everyone, there’s no natural remedy that’s perfect for everyone either.
For example, it’s common that a probiotic that works well for one person may do nothing for another. There are powerful essential oils that can work well for C. difficile infections that are not recommended if you are pregnant. And one particular herbal remedy is quite strong and effective but should be avoided if you are scheduled for surgery or taking anticoagulants.
It’s also very important to consider the root cause (or causes) of any infection and to tailor your treatments accordingly. Infections rarely happen by themselves and multiple underlying factors usually set the stage for infection to occur. Addressing these underlying causes is the best way to stop C. difficile and keep it from coming back again.
While taking antibiotics may have triggered your infection, the underlying cause is actually an imbalance of healthy intestinal bacteria. Why not treat that imbalance directly, in addition to killing the C. difficile bacteria? And consider that many people take antibiotics without any problems, so what made your prone to the intestinal imbalance in the first place? A weakened immune system is typically a deeper underlying cause. Addressing the long-term chronic imbalances in your body that weaken your immune system is often one of the best ways to guard against recurring outbreaks of C. difficile.
Mainstream Treatments: Pros and Cons
- Best option for surgeries, trauma care and acute life threatening illness.
- May provide immediate symptom relief.
- Widely available and covered extensively by insurance.
- Methods considered “proven” using controlled clinical trials (within the limitations of the study design and statistical methods used).
- Usually does not treat the underlying cause.
- Poor record helping chronic diseases.
- Treatments are often invasive and have undesirable side effects.
- Treats the body in parts, not as a whole.
- Medical schools structured by organ-specific departments, with little or no relationship to each other.
Learn more about mainstream treatments here.
Natural Treatments: Pros and Cons
- Focus on proactive measures.
- Treats the cause of illness and disease, not just the symptoms.
- More cost effective.
- Methods target whole body, as an interrelated system.
- Generally safe with minimal side effects when used according to directions.
- Best option for chronic disease.
- Requires more personal education and self direction because it’s not taught to most medical doctors and most patients never hear about it.
- Can take longer to see results because addressing the root cause is more involved than simply masking symptoms.
- Despite long history of use, large controlled studies are less common for many natural methods.
Learn more about natural treatment methods here.
Find out more
I cover more details about C diff and supplements that have helped others recover. Be sure to get my free report to find out much more, including a natural supplement program (you’ll see it on the left sidebar). I also have a new book covering all of these topic in detail here.
Photo credit: ©iStockPhoto/catenarymedia