(Updated: June 2021)
Hi friends! It’s been a while! I thought I should come on here and update this C. difficile FAQ page for you all. Since publishing this page, I’ve made drastic improvements in my own health. I’m not 100% where I’d like to be. I’m still working on myself every day… and I probably forever will be, because really, that’s just the type of person I am 🙂
Since writing this post, I’ve learned that many of the problems I have faced in my recovery were due to a vaccine injury. It took me years to put the dots together, but I’m glad I finally did. It’s helped immensely in my detox healing process. I think for me personally, the influx of heavy metals really kicked off the overload of acidity in my body, helping c. diff flourish. And the antibiotic I took after India really pushed it all over the edge.
The good news is that there is a good chance many of you aren’t coming here with a history of vaccine injury, so it should be an easier process for you to heal. The bad news is that for any of us to deal with an overload of c. difficile means that our bodies were struggling long before the diagnosis and the best way to truly heal is to go deeper than the base level. But I’m certain you all can do it.
While I’m happy to get a thank you email from you guys, I have set up all these healing posts to answer your questions. I’ve put A LOT of work, time, and effort into these posts to help with your personal journeys. I’m sure you can find much of the info you’re looking for in my personal c. difficile posts and dietary recommendations. If you’re looking for more, feel free to email me and we can set up a one on one call.
Please know/remember that I am not a doctor or medically trained in any way. I am just a regular human in the world that has put her body through hell and back after decades of poor eating and terrible lifestyle habits. After my hospital stay, I turned a corner. Falling ill from vaccines and c. diff has been a blessing in many ways. It changed me for the better. Since falling ill, I have put in countless hours studying, learning, reading studies, and overall using myself as a human guinea pig. I have changed my diet multiple times and tried countless healing modalities. Again, I’m not perfect now, but at the very least, I know, for certain, that I’m on a healing path. I feel a thousand times better since my initial diagnosis.
What I am putting out there is just my personal experience dealing with and recovering from C. difficile. I have theories and ideas on things, but those are just that. I can only speak from my own experiences and thoughts. Nothing more. Unfortunately, doctors are not well-trained in C. difficile or nutrition/diet in general either. Time and time again (daily) I’m being reminded (through my own experiences and so many of you guys’ experiences) of how little doctors know when it comes to c. diff. It’s very, VERY discouraging. But here we are. Working forward in healing in the best way we can, right? Right. I’m grateful to feel alive and well. And soon you will too.
The most asked questions man answers in regards to recovery from c. difficile.
How long after c. diff did your bowel movements return to normal?
A few months at least. I don’t remember exactly. But my bowel movements were loose and strange for a very long time. About a few months after c. difficile I switched to this probiotic and within about three days they improved drastically. Was it back to “normal”? No. It became a new normal. I’d say they’re normal now though for sure.
Did diarrhea return without the presence of c. diff/ a positive stool sample?
Yes. Often. I went in for multiple stool tests after my initial c. diff diagnosis due to diarrhea. All tests came back negative. Diarrhea would come and go and I would panic, but there was not much I could do other than keep taking probiotics.
Here are my thoughts on this: we all know that stool tests are not super accurate. Even a doctor will admit that to you. So you can have a negative test result, but be positive for a lot of things. It’s a really tricky place to be in. On one hand, I wanted to demand more antibiotics because of diarrhea. On the other hand, antibiotics will cause more diarrhea (with or without c. diff) because they kill off any good biome left in your gut.
Depending on the severity and length in which you had c. diff, your bowel movements are going to be messed up for a while. At the end of the day, I’m happy I didn’t demand more antibiotics, and I went the probiotic route instead– after my initial treatment of antibiotics.
But you have to trust your gut and be your own advocate. If you’re absolutely convinced that you still have a bad and attacking case of c. diff living in your system, then you need to speak up to your doctor.
What do you think helped most to keep c. diff from relapsing?
Replenishing your gut with healthy floral through probiotics and a healthy diet is crucial. The healing phase is not the time for alcohol, carbonated waters and sodas, fried foods, and other low-quality crappy and processed “foods.” Rebuild your gut with natural, fresh, and organic vegetables and fruits. And probiotics are crucial for sure. Antibiotics kill your gut flora. Probiotics replenish your flora. You can find probiotics in a supplement, in raw organic tree picked produce, and in fermented foods.
I did have one infectious disease doctor tell me that he didn’t trust probiotics– but this is also the same doctor who told me, “Children don’t get c. diff because God protects them.” Wrong. Children are dying because of c. diff every day.
I saw a noticeable difference in my healing when I added a new probiotic and upped the dose.
This is the probiotic I took. (this is another brand option). I’m a big believer that everyone should take some sort of probiotics after c. diff. It’s been proven to be more effective in fighting c. diff strains. I added this one in after, I recommend it to everyone. Both are good, but the second one has multiple strains which are more beneficial in replenishing the biome. Another great option is this one.
You can take any combination of the ones listed above. I would start by adding in one new option at a time and seeing how you do. Just know, that many will make you feel worse before you feel better, that is part of the die-off process of the bad bacteria.
I have sporadic and random fevers too, did you get those without the return of c. diff? How long did the fevers last?
Yes, I had on and off random fevers for probably about a year+. I had constant fevers in the beginning and then they became less and less frequent as time passed. They usually flared up after more amounts of movement/activity. I wasn’t super functioning so I noticed the times I got out of bed and tried to be more active, it would sort of “stir everything up.” Even up to a year and a half later, something as simple as yoga could give me a random fever.
My theory is one similar to herxing. It’s like a slight detox process, even if the c. diff is no longer present there are leftovers that need to be worked through the liver and digestive system. As I got better, the fevers became less frequent and shorter-lasting.
In the beginning, I would get a fever at least once a week. Then it became every two weeks. Then three weeks. Then once a month. Then only after harder physical activity like yoga. And now, I don’t get them at all.
I have joint pain after c. diff, how long did your joint pain last?
It is now 3.5 years after my first c. diff diagnosis I still will get sporadic joint pain– this now only happens when my stomach flares (typically due to gluten or other dietary allergy contamination).
C. diff can cause a lot of long-term problems due to the damage inside your colon. This can be felt in all parts of the mind and body. I believe that with proper diet and eating habits, a lot (but maybe not all) of the other weird symptoms can subside.
When I paid attention, I noticed that the time everything in my body hurt, my stomach had flared. Pay attention to your body. See what triggers it. And go from there. Any inflammation in your body can be felt elsewhere. Your inflammation is likely to be starting in your colon now. Remove the root cause, remove the pain.
Which probiotics should I take?
S. boullardii is the one most recommended by doctors since there has been the most research on this and c. diff. I took this in the beginning. But the reality is that antibiotics kill basically almost all the flora in your gut– so you need to replenish more than just S. boulardii. The thing is that everyone reacts to different bacteria differently. The same way that doctors didn’t realize the damage random antibiotics could do on the gut– there is still not enough research done on what probiotics should be living in our guts and not. It’s a tough place to be in. In a perfect world, we’d all be living off natural organic grown produce picked off trees and never going near an antibiotic ever. Then we could all have super healthy probiotic-rich guts– naturally. But that’s not the case. Today, due to toxins in our food, air, and water, heavy metal contamination from vaccines, processed food add-ins, a constant bombardment of radiation, and more, we have weakened guts and we’re lacking in crucial and beneficial flora. (Not sure how radiation increases yeast and dangerous bacterial overgrowth? Check this post to learn more).
I recommend taking this probiotic after c. difficile because it worked best for me. And while it will probably be great for most people reading this, you have to test and see for yourself. But again: Please do keep in mind that you might feel worse before you feel better with probiotics. I needed about three days of crappy days before I started to feel the positive effects. Some people might need a week or two. Start slow and up your dose mindfully.
If at the end of it you notice more diarrhea or overall that you feel worse, you might want to consider a different probiotic. When choosing a probiotic, it’s good to find one that has a variety of strains and minimal to zero fillers.
Also, I want to put out there that a new, crappier company has bought out Garden of Life. I still use the probiotic and haven’t felt the difference, but I’m certain the quality has gone down. So while store-bought probiotics are good, one of the best and most natural ways to get probiotics is through raw organic foods and fermented foods.
How much/how long/how many probiotics should I take?
That’s up to you to decide. In the last three and a half years I’ve gone through periods where I stop taking probiotics altogether and then add them back in as needed. Sometimes I feel better without them. But usually, I feel better with the addition of one in my daily life.
Most doctors probably wouldn’t recommend this, so you decide if it’s the right choice for you– but just as a doctor might give you an extra high (therapeutic) dose of vitamin D if you’re lacking, maybe consider initial therapeutic doses of probiotics (after you’ve worked your way up to it). Again, I’m not a doctor, but if I were to find myself back in the place I was, I would start taking therapeutic doses of probiotics from the start.
How long and how much will vary from person to person and with the severity of c. diff. I had light diarrhea/stool problems for a while (post vaccines) before it turned into full-blown c. diff diarrhea (for about 2.5 weeks) after taking clindamycin. But I also was taking the occasional probiotic and eating/drinking loads of probiotic foods at the time. So while my situation was severe, it would have been much more severe (id probably would have been dead) had I not eaten like I did. I took the recommended dose of probiotics for myself and did not relapse. But like I said, I would take more if I could go back in time.
If you’re eating a healthy diet with loads of fresh food (consider juicing) and probiotic foods, you might find yourself able to skip the probiotics after a few months. But only you will be able to judge how you feel.
I have become allergic to alcohol, were you able to drink alcohol again?
I have not even tried to drink alcohol in the past year. I’ve taken a sober approach to it. I know I feel better both physically and mentally without it, so it’s not worth it anymore.
My two theories on alcohol allergies after c. diff are this:
- Antibiotics killed off all your good bacteria. Some of these good bacteria were the ones that converted alcohol sugar into something your body could tolerate. Over time it might be possible to develop these bacteria again. This is just a theory. So maybe one day again I or others who became intolerant could drink again, but again, I don’t plan to, but maybe I could– I haven’t tried.
- Our poor livers are struggling and working so hard for us to filter all the crap from c. diff and antibiotics– how do we expect our livers to filter alcohol as well? It might be possible that once our livers have finished with c. diff and been cleansed and detoxed, that maybe it can go back to filtering alcohol without making us sick.
But again, I don’t know. These are my two theories on why people can no longer tolerate alcohol after c. diff.
Have you been able to eat gluten again?
No. Definitely not. I basically have full-blown celiac now. I even have to be careful with oats and corn. My colon flares up so painfully bad and I end up with diarrhea then constipation after gluten contamination. again, this is just me and my gut. Maybe others can eat it again. I cannot. Though this is likely due to vaccines, not c. diff. It’s hard to know.
You mention kombucha, is it okay for me to drink kombucha? Will the sugar cause problems?
I don’t know. Test it and see. On one hand, you don’t want to eat processed sugar (it’s not good for anyone). And there is a trace amount of alcohol in it (more or less depending on the brand– read your labels). On the other hand, there are loads of probiotics (especially S. boulardii) in it as well as much-needed B vitamins. I found that even kombucha can trigger a headache for me sometimes. I don’t avoid it completely, but I don’t drink it every day like I used to. Now I tend to stick with eating things like tempeh, kimchi, dosas, miso, and sauerkraut for probiotics. (On top of a daily probiotic).
Can you drink coffee again?
I can. I choose not to, except occasionally when traveling. I find myself a bit more dehdrated than I would like after.
I have extreme weakness/can’t get out of bed, how long will that last?
I don’t know. Again this varies from person to person. How healthy were you before c. diff? How long did you have c. diff? What strain of c. diff did you have? How much work are you willing to put into your diet and body after c. diff? All these things make a difference.
For me, the absolute biggest difference (outside of adding extra probiotics) was changing my diet from a high fat/high protein diet to a much easier-to-digest high carb /low fat/ low protein diet). Within three days of my diet change, I was out of bed and my weakness and brain fog was gone. Even now I can notice the difference when more fat slips into my daily diet. I become more tired and low energy when I don’t mindfully eat the foods my body was designed for.
How do you take your slippery elm?
What supplements should I take?
I have pain in my pelvis, have you experienced this?
Oh yes. And I had a few ultrasounds because it was so hard to tell whether it was my colon or ovaries. This eventually went away. If I have a colon flare now (after gluten) I might experience some pelvic pain, but it’s not as common anymore.
Can we connect on the phone?
Yes. I offer paid phone calls and skype sessions. Send me an email and we can set up a one on one chat.
What type of brand of yogurt is best?
Homemade is best. Store-bought yogurt is not true yogurt. It is pasteurized and then the probiotics are added back in. I really don’t think it’s any different than you mixing a probiotic into a smoothie. But if you can, I’d suggest looking up some homemade coconut yogurt recipes and making them. Or maybe check your local farmers market– you might be able to find some there. On top of being pasteurized, store-bought yogurt has added sugar + loads of preservatives and fillers in it. I enjoy the taste of coconut best. But that is my taste preference. There are loads of different kinds out there these days. This should go without saying, but avoid dairy-based yogurts. Dairy is the number one food-based cause of inflammation in the body.
Also keep in mind that yogurts tend to be high in fat. So even a healthy coconut yogurt can be a bit tough on the digestion process. Eat mindfully.
Can I eat avocado?
Try it and see how you feel. But for the most part, avoiding all fats will make you feel much better, especially through the initial healing period. Fats and protein are very difficult on the digestive tract. But if you’re going to eat something with fat in it, avocado is probably the best one, as it’s the most natural.
It hurts every time I eat, what does this mean?
Your digestive tract is damaged. It’s going to take time to heal. Eat things that are easy to digest– bananas, smoothies, pureed soups (raw or lightly cooked), vegetable juices, etc.
When I eat or even when I drink water my stomach bloats. Why would water bloat my stomach?
It isn’t necessarily the water that’s bloating your stomach. When you eat something, drink something, even a sip of water, triggers your digestive process to start. Hell, even chewing gum or getting a good whiff of delicious food can kick-start your digestive process. So let’s say your digestion starts, things start moving, and bacteria, toxins, undigested food, and whatever might be in there (that shouldn’t be) can cause bloating.
I struggled with this from time to time. Really cleaning up my diet, chewing better, practicing proper food combining, and being mindful of what goes in my body in general helped.
What can I eat?
My stools are still watery, how do I know if the c. diff is there?
The biggest indicator is usually when it’s super yellow/mucusy. You can always go back to your doctor and ask for another stool test if you’re concerned. Your stools might stay watery and unformed for a while until you replenish your flora.
I am always starving now, will this go away?
Yes. It took some time, but it did go away. Different causes for extreme hunger after c. diff could be:
- your bacteria (both good and bad) demanding sugar/fuel.
- post. c. diff blood sugar issues.
- you’re actually starving. You’re obviously going to the bathroom A TON. your body is being depleted of its nutrients, you need more food.
- speaking of nutrients, you may or may not be digesting your good properly. Undigested food in stools after c. diff is not uncommon.
- yeast overgrowth.
Whatever the cause is, it should eventually subside. You might even notice when switching probiotics (even a healthy person) will find that their metabolism picks up. More or fewer bacteria can change things. Our bodies are sensitive. It should balance out eventually. I definitely over-ate like crazy after c. diff. I felt best when my stomach was REALLY full. And I felt shaky and weird when it emptied out.
I’m thirsty all the time. Did you have this?
Yes. I complained of dehydration all the time since I developed c. diff. No doctors or amount of research has been able to help with this. It has gotten better through the years though.
I’m dizzy and have ear ringing too, were you able to fix this?
My dizziness has gone away when I reduced my inflammation. My ear ringing took longer, but eventually, I was able to heal this too.
I’ve been told to eat a bland, no fiber diet/the brat diet, but this seems crazy, should I be eating bread and crackers?
I personally think that eating bread, crackers, and white rice is a terrible idea post c. diff. I’m honestly shocked that some doctors still recommend this. Bananas are not a bad idea– but I would be sure that they are RIPE! Do not eat bananas with green on them! You want a yellow banana with brown spots. (Check out this banana icecream post HERE). I would focus on soups, vegetable juices, ripe – low sugar fruits, boiled potatoes, sweet potatoes, or other tubers. Avoid animal products, grains, high fat, and processed items as much as possible. You can see my food recommendations /what foods to eat and avoid after c. diff list HERE.
I’ve been told that I can eat whatever I want after c. diff, but everything I eat hurts my stomach/makes me feel bad, what do I do?
Don’t eat whatever you want. Eat foods that are gentle and will heal your stomach– or at the very least, foods that will not cause more pain to your stomach. Fats, high protein, gluten, animal meats with antibiotics and/or contaminated with c. diff, foods high in phytic-acid like grains, or things high in molds like nuts, or fake food filled with processed chemicals should probably be avoided.
You might still notice pain or discomfort with digestion, but at least you’re starting the process to heal and feel better. You can read my personal experience trying different foods and diets in recovery. I tried high fat/high protein/ Chinese medicine/ ayurvedic diets, everything until I found something that works: RAW + EASY TO DIGEST WHOLE FOODS. This book and this book inspired me. I recommend them to everyone— fighting c. diff or not.
You mention juicing, what type of juicer do you recommend? What type of juice should I drink?
Yes, juicing is great. Think about it– there is very little digestion involved and vegetable juices are packed with nutrients. The inability to digest food properly/absorb nutrients after c. diff is high. Vegetable juices are an easy way to get all those vitamins to your cells quickly. The downside of juicing is that it can get very pricey, but think of it as the most natural and healthful medicine you’ll be able to take.
I own and love this juicer. It’s a slow-speed masticating juicer. I like it because it’s easy to use and easy cleanup. I used to own a juice fountain before but I found it more difficult to clean it up afterward. Still worked great though– and it’s cheaper. Depends on what you’re looking for.
I don’t recommend drinking a lot of fruit juice. It’s probably better to stay away from the fruit in juices– unless you have cut out all other fat sources. Sugar absorbs super quick in your bloodstream without the fiber. Try making a simple juice of your favorite green, celery, lemon, ginger, and cucumber. Or keep it simple, maybe just cucumber and celery. Whatever you prefer really. It might quicken digestion a bit, which can be scary, but it’s not a bad thing to flush out bad toxins.
If you don’t already have a juicer, I highly recommend you invest in one. Just one juice a day will drastically improve your health and your gut.
Do you have problems drinking juice?
No. Sometimes you might find that you need to go to the bathroom for a bowel movement right after, but that’s not a bad thing. I typically juice a whole lemon or lime in my green juice and have no problem with this either. Find what works best for you. I also love fennel in my juice– which is maybe weird, but it’s great for gut health.
I’m nervous about candida/ did you go on a candida diet? Did you recover from candida after c. diff? Does eating fruit affect candida?
I had some pretty bad yeast/fungal issues after all the antibiotics. I did a round of anti-fungal medicine, they helped a bit, but not completely. I tried the traditional “candida diet” for about a year and a half, maybe a little longer, but I didn’t see any improvement. If you’ve been considering switching to a candida diet then I suggest you research candida and blood sugar and learn more about how fat intake affects candida. I saw my candida issues like brain fog, itchiness, tiredness, and more go away when I switched from a low carb/high-fat candida diet to a high carb low-fat diet. Eating fruit will affect candida if you have high-fat levels in your bloodstream. Cut out the fat, and you can eat the fruit. Read THIS book or THIS book if you’re curious to learn more about fruit carbs/fat and gut healing.
Do you have meal ideas for me?
But if it were me, starting over, I’d probably just juice like it’s my job until symptoms subsided. This is the juicer I use and recommend. If you want some other, more filling ideas, then here are some c. diff-friendly recipes on my blog.
Oatmeal (please make sure you buy clearly labeled gluten-free oats).
Green oatmeal (again, only certified gluten-free).
Tropical green smoothie bowl
Acai bowl recipe
Cauliflower bites (eat sparingly, can be gassy)
Carrot Ginger Dressing
You can find all my recipes HERE. Many are c. diff friendly some are not.
Did you develop gall bladder issues after c. diff?
Not that I know of. But I’ve had emails from people who have.
Did you develop kidney problems after c. diff?
I had some serious hydration issues after c. diff. as well as kidney pain. No matter how much water I drank, I was dehydrated. I constantly had low blood pressure due to dehydration. I would go to the doctor/hospital and they would say I needed more water. I’m only 100-ish pounds and was drinking about 80 ounces of water a day but being told I needed more. Eventually, this got a bit better, but I still feel under-hydrated, no matter what I do.
Now, I definitely have to be aware of my hydration levels more than before. I drink a lot, but I still find that even going to the bathroom can leave me feeling dehydrated.
Did you develop liver problems after c. diff?
Well, I can’t filter alcohol anymore, so there’s that. But emergency liver problems, no. I just make sure to eat and drink really clean to not have to make my liver work any harder than it needs to after processing all the junk from c. diff. But do believe I need to take extra time to detox my liver— but not just from c. diff. From years and years of abuse. That’s on my agenda this year.
Did you develop celiac after c. diff?
I never underwent testing to get officially diagnosed (no point to), but I get seriously crippling ill after I eat gluten, oats, and corn.
Did you develop allergies after c. diff?
Yes and no. I’m not sure if it was the vaccine injury or the c. diff that caused my allergies. Prior to c. diff, I was allergic to dairy. I am now allergic to mango (trees/flowers), gluten, corn. And I have sensitivities to cashews, almonds, strawberries (sometimes– it’s a seasonal thing), peaches, and probably more.
Did you develop anxiety/PTSD after c. diff?
Yes, this is not uncommon. C. diff is obviously a huge stressor. On top of the fact that most causes of anxiety and mood disorders begin in the gut. If your colon is inflamed, the rest of you will not feel well. Not only that but it’s an illness of your gut– and your gut is everything when it comes to mental health. Without a healthy gut, you can’t be a truly healthy and clear-minded person. It was really bad for me. Even loud noises or simple body actions (like digestion) would startle me after c. diff. I have been working on being mindful of my anxiety and healing for years– and it’s working. Now I only experience anxiety when my gut gets inflamed (let’s say from gluten). Almost all anxiety and depression is linked to the gut— not just after c. diff, but in general.
Did you develop heart palpitations after c. diff?
Yes. They are scary! It eventually went away. They came back after my miscarriage last year but went away again. If I had to guess, I think magnesium could be the supplement that benefited me most with my heart palpitations.
I’ve been told that I’ve developed post c. diff IBS, do you know anything about this?
I have not heard of a single person who has recovered from c. diff without long term gut issues of some sort. The severity of your gut issues will vary with a lot of different factors. It’s basically the doctor’s way of saying, “something is wrong, but we dont know what it is. Here is a label, we can’t fix it.”
Do you think your book, the plantiful table, would help after c. diff and getting my gut back to normal?
Not really, sorry. It’s weird when you put out a cookbook and the year it comes out you have to drastically change your diet and you’re unable to eat most of the foods from it. I still make a lot of my own recipes, but I modify every single one of them. I now make the recipes from my book gluten-free and low in fat. It’s possible to modify the recipes, but unless you’re really good at doing it in the kitchen, you might find it more work than it’s worth. I’m hoping to fix this problem soon 😉
Do you have tips for healing my gut?
I have an entire list of gut-healing supplements I took HERE.
When will I be normal?
Well, you won’t ever be who you were before. Even without c. diff, we’re all changing daily. You’ll find a new normal and a new sense of self. Embrace it.
How can I get rid of c. diff?
You have to kill the c. diff bacteria through natural or prescribed antibiotics. And you have to replenish and strengthen your gut with probiotics, healthy foods, and healthy stomach acid. People live with small amounts of c. diff in their gut with no problems, it’s when your gut health is suffering and your good flora amounts drop that the c. diff takes over.
Do you have advice for me?
C. diff is freaking scary, but you’re not alone and you can get through it. Work on strengthening your gut and taking care of your body, and you will eventually feel better. Obstacles are put in front of us every day, this is the opportunity to learn more about your body and your health and be proactive about your gut and overall health. What we eat, what we do, and what we think affect everything. Make changes and breathe through the hard parts.
Alright friends. There are tons more questions I get asked, but this is a majority of the questions I am asked about C. diff. If you’re currently fighting c. diff, I hope you find some answers and help here. I have an entire tag dedicated to my c. diff recovery– both in things that helped me as well as the emotional process of trying to recover and find relief in all the strange lingering symptoms. It wasn’t an easy road. And if you’re on it, know you’re not alone. It takes time, but you too can feel better <3