C. Difficile - Is This Bacteria Killing You?
C. diff. - The Deadly and Silent Killer!
C. difficile. - Is This Bacteria Killing You?
I remember I was at my mother’s hospital bedside, she was near death, and she was lying there so still, barely breathing, the heart monitor registering such a low lifeline that I was literally waiting for the straight, continuous flat line that means life has finished. But the line continued to undulate up and down, that bare thread of rhythm that said this would not end yet. My mother was in her late eighties, frail, and in the throes of Alzheimer’s. She had been in a hospital ward for several years now, and apparently an infection had attacked her immune system rendering her fighting for her life in this hospital. I glanced at her chart, and there I saw the notation - “C. diff.” Now I knew what was killing my mother...clostridium difficile...and this same silent, but deadly, killer can bring any one of us to the same place as my mother found herself, because, alarmingly, it is in all of us, and ridding our bodies of it is virtually impossible. So, what does one do?
Clostridium Difficile Bacteria
Good Bacteria Versus Bad Bacteria
To understand the solution, one must first understand the problem. Basically, there are bacteria in the body, primarily in the intestines, that are divided into two camps. One camp is the good bacteria, and these are the ones we want. They fight to make us healthy. Then, there is the other camp, the bad bacteria, and these are the ones that constantly try to kill us. What a battle. As long as we keep the good bacteria numbers higher than the bad bacteria numbers, we thrive, but when that is reversed, we head downward into a death spiral, quite literally. What is truly sad is that most people have no idea that the diseases from which they are suffering are possibly curable by the simple knowledge that I am going to share with you here. I will relate another personal experience to bring this point home.
The Gastrointestinal System
My Encounter With A Deadly Antibiotic
A number of years ago, a dentist felt that one of my teeth might be abscessed, so he prescribed an antibiotic. The antibiotic was clindamycin. One thing I should point out right here is that I always avoid medicine for the simple reason that I have always opted to allow my body to heal itself naturally. As someone simplified it to me many years ago, the more often we let the body fight things off, the stronger its defenses become, and the more we take antibiotics and other medicines, the more we are telling that body’s army to go back into their barracks and rest. Before long, when the body is attacked, those soldiers no longer come out to fight on our behalf, because they know we are going to throw something external at the attacker. Furthermore, all medicines are poison, sad to say, so every time you take any medicine, there is a deleterious side effect, some of them so powerful that death can follow. This is why people are always seeing drugs come on the market only to see commercials on television later by law firms seeking people who were harmed by these very same drugs. Pharmaceuticals are a risky business, and even though we need them, for every drug, there is another drug that is used on standby just in case a person has a reaction. Sad, isn’t it? Thus, when my dentist prescribed this antibiotic, I was very reluctant to take it, but felt I had no choice and went ahead with his directions. I was taking four of these pills a day for ten days, but I knew the very first day that I began to take them that something was going on. Looking back, I wish that I had simply never gotten the pills, but hindsight is twenty-twenty. When I finished the ten days of dosage, I woke up one night out of a sound sleep, and I was itching from head to toe...severely. The only relief was to get out of bed, go into the bathroom and find a bristled hair brush and use it to scratch all over my body. That was temporary relief, and several times an hour, I would have to repeat that routine. I thought that maybe a hot shower would remove whatever it was, but to no avail. Shortly after that symptom cropped up, another one came on the scene. This one was that the gastrointestinal tract was so irritated that diarrhea followed right on the heels of the first symptoms. The diarrhea was severe and disturbing in ways that I don’t need to go into here, but trust me, once the next symptom appeared, red rashes all over my body, enough was enough. I went back to my dentist to see if he had ever encountered anything like this. He took one look at the rash and said that I should head for the ER.
Being a person who has always had a strong desire to study health and medicine, and having done so for decades, I chose not to head for the emergency room, and instead, opted to do some research on the symptoms. I typed in the name of my antibiotic, clindamycin, and the words “adverse reactions.” The screen lit up. There before me were the testimonies of literally thousands of people dating back several years, page after page of people who had experienced exactly what I was going through and worse, and all from taking this antibiotic. What were their cures, I wondered? Was there a relief that would work? By now, I was desperate. One of the first things that struck a chord of plausibility was probiotics. I raced out and bought probiotic yogurt. The results of adding probiotic yogurt to my daily diet worked as long as I ate it every day. For the skin rash, I used a mild antihistamine. However, within days of stopping this routine, the symptoms came roaring back, and this was very disheartening, to say the least. I did not want to have to be a slave to this new diet for the rest of my life, not that I am against yogurt, but just the fact that this meant that I was not cured, and likely would never be, just was not good enough for me. I wanted complete relief from the symptoms, permanent relief, and I did not want to have to rely on yogurt as a daily supplement to achieve these results, nor did I want to have to take antihistamines for the rest of my life, either. But, no one had the answers. Troubled, I went back to my research.
Saccharomyces boulardii - The Good Guy
If clostridium difficile was the bad bacteria, the one that can kill us if it becomes dominant, then what was the “good” bacteria, the Superman that always comes to save the day and knock out the bad guys? The answer, I found, was another bacteria called Saccharomyces boulardii. When this good bacteria reigns supreme, clostridium difficile, or c. diff, as it is often called, does not stand a chance. I realized that I was going to need a good source of large amounts of this good bacteria, so more research was in order to find out if that was possible. To my sheer joy, I found that one can purchase Saccharomyces boulardii just like one can purchase vitamins. But, what was the dosage? Was it toxic in certain quantities? How safe was it to take orally in a capsule? Lots of questions, and no matter how desperate I was, I was not going to be buying or ingesting anything until I had my answers.
For Many People, This Is THE Cure
The probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii is actually a yeast, a strain of baker’s yeast. As it turns out, doctors have been prescribing it for nearly forty years to help patients with diarrhea. This wonderful yeast helps to regulate our intestines, protecting them from pathogens that could damage the linings of our intestines. Furthermore, Saccharomyces boulardii modulates different parts of our immune system, working to keep the intestinal barrier function in a healthy condition and good order. When this intestinal good working order is out of balance due to the over-abundance of clostridium difficile superseding Saccharomyces boulardii, gastrointestinal diseases follow. How well I know! Here are just some of the many issues that can be dealt with by simply increasing the intake of Saccharomyces boulardii:
Antibiotic associated diarrhea, diarrhea, rotaviral diarrhea, traveler’s diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, Lyme disease, relapsing Clostridium difficile colitis, short bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, urinary tract infections, yeast infections, high cholesterol levels, hives, fever blisters, canker sores and even acne.
Amazing, isn’t it? Just think of all the bodily reactions that stem from increased levels of clostridium difficile and decreased levels of Saccharomyces boulardii. Going back to that hospital scene so many years ago, there lay my mother on her death bed, the chart noting C. diff., which was our culprit, clostridium difficile, and the doctors gave her another antibiotic that fights C. diff., instead of giving her Saccharomyces boulardii. Actually, this is common practice, and in my mother’s case, fortunately, it did bring her back from the edge of death. But people should remember that, even though the introduction of an antibiotic is fighting a bad infection in one part of the body, that same antibiotic is killing and flushing good bacteria out of your system at the same time. Gastrointestinal takeover, as it is called, is nothing to take lightly, and here is what I find sad about all of this - many people think that they have to suffer from whatever illness they are currently experiencing, but, if their illness is from gastrointestinal takeover, it can be cured. The greater sadness, to me, is that they do nothing, and eventually, the symptoms and suffering can increase to the point of death, a death that could have been avoided.
How soon does the suffering stop once a person ingests Saccharomyces? Virtually the same day. Amazing to hear, especially if you are someone who has been suffering from any of these gastrointestinal disruption illnesses.
Doctors have even found that Saccharomyces boulardii has proven beneficial in treating diarrhea associated with the HIV virus. Amazing, don’t you think?
The question then comes up, how much Saccharomyces boulardii should I take, and how often? People usually take Saccharomyces boulardii in tablet form, and some doctors begin by testing to see if prescribing four daily doses of 250-500 milligrams will do the trick. It is also recommended that, if you are pregnant, or if you are allergic to yeast, you should check with your doctor before taking Saccharomyces boulardii. The first bottle of Saccharomyces capsules that I purchased were from a manufacturer named Floraster, but after that was finished, and I had such success that I no longer even needed the antihistamines, I searched for the best recommended source that I could find, and after a bit more research, I came across a brand that was fortified with MOS (MannanOligoSaccharides). MOS discourages bacteria from adhering to the epithelial cells and, thus, reduces their ability to proliferate. Combining Saccharomyces with MOS is a great, two-punch, attack force against the bad clostridium difficile. I found a great company named Puritan Pride, ordered a bottle of 90 capsules, each capsule containing 5 billion viable cells, and even though the directions say to take one or two per day, I have found that I can take one per week and still feel great. Just knowing what benefits come from having the good Saccharomyces boulardii in my system, ever combating the evil clostridium difficile, I will continue making this a regular part of my life. I sincerely hope that this article helps others who have been suffering needlessly from symptoms that are attributable to the harmful effects of clostridium difficile taking over internally. When I think back to all of those pages of testimonies written by thousands of people who were suffering just from taking clindamycin, I cannot even begin to imagine how many more suffer from other similar symptoms, no matter what it was that caused the imbalance between the good and bad bacteria.
So, here’s to your health! Happy days are ahead for you, I sincerely hope.