Pseudomembranous colitis and antibiotics, the first is the inflammatory condition of the colon and the antibiotics are the cause. This condition develops when antibiotics upset the equilibrium between the good and bad bacteria in your colon, causing overgrowth and spread of detrimental microorganisms.
Pseudomembranous colitis inflammation is linked with an overgrowth of the bacterium Clostridium difficile (C. diff). The symptoms can be serious and even become critical. Despite this fact, treatment for the majority of cases of pseudomembranous colitis is successful.
Symptoms of pseudomembranous colitis can start one to two days after you embark on a course of antibiotics, or they may not come about until a number of weeks after you finish the antibiotic course. These signs and symptoms of pseudomembranous colitis include diarrhea which is sometimes bloody, fecal urgency, mucus or pus in stools, nausea, dehydration, fever, and stomach pain and cramps.
Some other medical conditions such as parasitic and bacterial infections, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis cause(s) diarrhea and other signs and symptoms comparable to those of pseudomembranous colitis.
Tests that aid in diagnosis include a sampling of stools to detect the toxin released by C. difficile. A colonoscopy, may show swelling and raised, yellow plaques or wounds in your colon if pseudomembranous colitis is present. Blood tests, because an unusually high white blood cell count can be another indicator and a CT scan can show a thickening of the colon wall, which may again indicate pseudomembranous colitis.
If the disease doesn’t receive the correct treatment at the time of diagnosis, a number of complexities can develop. These include low levels of potassium in your blood due to excessive diarrhea, low blood pressure, and dehydration, connected to the large loss of fluids owing to diarrhea, kidney failure, low levels of protein in the blood, a hole in the colon and toxic megacolon. Pseudomembranous colitis can be fatal without effectual treatment. The possibility of death is higher the older you are. However, nearly everyone responds well to treatment.
The first choice of drug is usually the antibiotic metronidazole as it is efficient in treating disorders related to C. difficile bacteria. If the illness is severe then the antibiotic vancomycin may be prescribed first, because it produces a quicker response or maybe a combination of the two.
Pseudomembranous colitis treatment may involve yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii or different probiotics to help reinstate your colon’s normal bacteria and avert a setback. Probiotics are dietary supplements or foods that contain beneficial bacteria usually found in your intestinal tract and are used to promote intestinal health.
It may seem bizarre to use antibiotics to cure a disorder caused by antibiotics, but this treatment eradicates C. difficile and allows for the cultivation of normal bacteria to restore the original balance. In about one percent of people, antibiotic treatment doesn’t reduce inflammation and ease the symptoms, surgery then becomes an option.
There are a few self-help measures that may benefit your bowel health and support treatment of pseudomembranous colitis such as drinking plenty of water and apple juice, eating foods that ease diarrhea including baked potatoes, bananas, rice and toast and avoid fried, high far or spicy foods. Eating several small meals is better than eating two or three larger meals as this tends to encourage more normal bowel movements.