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.


9 Comments - Leave a Comment
  • Pingback: How long does C Diff last? | C Diff

  • Timothy Ramos -

    I suffer from cdiff and when it was first diagnosed, it was due to taking 4 types of antibiotics over a month time for an infection they found was staph resistant and needed surgery. After being on Flagiyl for a while and many probiotics it went away. Only to reappear a week or so later. They then tried Vancomycin for 10 days, and again it reappeared. They then tried Vancomycin for 14 days and continuous flaygl 4 times a day, and I thought it was over because I hadn’t had any loose stools for almost 3 weeks. Although I have been off the Vancomycin, I am still on the Flagyl. But now, the day before yesterday I started having loose stools again. Last night stomach cramping started right before the stools and today I feel as if it is back with a vengeance. I will be careful babe back in the hospital to test again, but I am pretty sure it will be careful babe positive. I think issue is that I also have Multiple Sclerosis, causing immune system to not be careful babe the greatest. I’m horrified at this point, only thinking the worst, and a future colostomy bag, due to the damage to my colon, because before my diagnosis I had this for over two months because stools although loose, are like syrup and would be careful babe refused by the lab because they didn’t completely form to the cup as the cup, as they are you on your way home now. I believe it is because I am on a high amount of narcotics due to severe pain and being in a wheelchair after Iraq. So Toxic Mega Colon is always on mind. I would urge anyone who has been on Antibiotics for a long time and those who have been in the hospital a long time and now those in daycare setting and hospital work to continually eat yogurt, probiotics and maintain great, not good, but great sanitary conditions, by washing your hands and ensuring those around you do the same. Because this horrible bacteria is kind of like a Rolly Polly in the way that whenever it senses you trying to kill it, it protects itself in a type of hard shell, and then once it senses the attack is over, it unprotects itself and begins its assault once again. I hope this helps someone understand the seriousness of this bug. For those of you out there who are Christian, I ask for your prayers. God bless. if there are any questions email is .

  • Jen -

    I am currently waiting on test results to come back to see if I have C Diff. Just by everything I have read in the past 3 days, I am scared to death and hoping that I do not have it. I have not read one single positive outcome from having C Diff. I have not read where one person took the Flagyl or Vanco and came out okay. More than 90% of what I have read on respectable sites such as Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic and Cleveland clinic, folks have had many recurrences of this. It kind of makes me think that it changes your whole life to where you can never go back to work, or you can never hang out with your family or your friends, you can never go out to dinner, etc. This scares the shit out of me – no pun intended. Why hasn’t the medical community taken more notice of this? Why hasn’t the medical community done more to assist with prevention and not using so much antibiotics and such? All of this crap I have been reading is ridiculous.

  • Danialle -

    I was diagnosed six days ago with c diff. The pain was severe and lots of blood but since I work in the Hosp I knew the symptoms and went immediately after first loose bowel. But I was still admitted since I’m preg but they started me on vanc then changed it to flagyl then back to vanc and now flagyl all in sox days I pray to god that won’t screw my recovery I just want this over I bleached every part of my house stopped the antibiotics I was on before and am super careful with handwasging I’m so scared it will hang on forever though.

  • Jenn -

    I babysit in my home. I just received a call from a mother whom told me her son was just diagnosed with C Diff. Down side..he has been in my home for the last 2 weeks with my children. I try to promote good hand washing habits but I know 5 year olds too well…I’m sure they are not good enough. My question is how long does it take to contract C Diff and what are the symptoms?

  • Brenda -

    I stopped all the symptoms of severe intestinal infection by taking high doses of Vitamin C. I have used high doses of C for numerous ailments and have learned about “bowel tolerance” doses which cure plenty: shingles for one example. My aim was to reach bowel tolerance to treat the intestinal infection. I took 10 grams (10,000 miligrams) every 15 minutes by the clock and was surprised that it didn’t even produce gas, which indicated a severe toxin which was using up very high amounts of Vit C. This was several months ago so I don’t remember how long it was before I reached bowel tolerance and started cutting back on the dose. I had not taken antibiotics but had visited someone in the hospital about 3 months prior to symptoms becoming severe. I am now more cognizant of bowel health and take probiotics and also use raw garlic frequently as it is supposed to have antibiotic actions but without side effects…well other than your breath. I mince garlic and add to soups, stews, etc. and to my amazement have acquired a taste for it and enjoy eating it as opposed to eating it as “medicine.” The intestinal malady cure has added to my belief that when nothing else works then very high doses of Vit C are the way to go. Please research for yourself. Just google: Vitamin C bowel tolerance. And while you’re searching try Vitamin D, and also Magnesium Deficiency. Here’s to getting your life back!

  • Badskippie -

    this is my very first bout of C-Diff, but as a nurse, I have taken care of many patients with this.

    my back hurts but it’s from the constant up and down and sitting on the john that has caused this. i doubt your back is any indication of continued infection.

    as for your stomach, that is more likely due to the long and varied courses of antibiotics and other pills you are taking as the C-Diff lives in your colon. (however, i must point out that your transverse and ascending colon are in front of your stomach, you may be hearing those rumbling and not your actual stomach). however, bowel sounds are good, that means things are working. again, i would not take the gurgling as any indication one way or the other of continued infection. the only true test, is a LAB test.

  • Natalie -

    My 2-yr-old was diagnosed with c-diff on April 2nd (she was sick for 2 or 3 weeks before someone tested her for that.) We started her on Flagyl but when she was done with that she still was not doing real well. Our dr. is wonderful and has been working with us on this but it is very frustrating for us because she is still having a lot of the symptoms (except fever.) Now she is getting an ear infection and we can’t give her anything for it or she’ll get very sick. Currently, she is on Zantac to stop acid production and to try to reset her system. Are there any foods that you found you should/shouldn’t avoid during the healing process? For a baby, should we expect that it will take several weeks to get her back to normal?

  • Pinkylee -

    I been having cdiff since September 2009. I have been on Flagyl the first 2 times, for 10 days both times. Then I was put on vanco for 14 days and the cdiff return. Now I am back on vanco, my doctor put me on it 125mg 4xday for 7 days, then 2xday for 7 days, then 1xday for 7 days, then every other day for 7 days, then every 3 days for 7 days. I only have one more pill to take and that is this Sunday and I will be finished. I really hope that this work. I am taking Florastor and Culturelle. For the first two weeks back on vanco I was only taking florastor 250mg twice daily but now I am taking 250mg 4xdaily and taking culturelle twice daily. I only have one more pill to take, but my stomach still gurgling sometimes and my back hurts sometimes does that means that the cdiff is still there, or it just mean that the body is trying to heal itself. Can anyone give me some suggestion about this. Thanks Pinkylee.

  • Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *