Published Jan 03 2023

What is C. diff and Why Haven’t I Heard About It?

office recurrent c.diff

Roughly half a million C. difficile infections occur each year, yet only 30% of Americans are familiar with this debilitating condition.

Here at GoodNature™, we are supporting the development of potential therapeutic treatments for serious diseases, such as recurrent C. diff. Read on to learn more about this disease to understand our mission and how you may be able to join us in the fight against recurrent C. diff. 

What is C. diff?

Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, is a bacterium that can occur in the human gut and cause severe diarrhea and colitis (an inflammation of the colon). These bacteria can be found in the air, in water, or on everyday items such sinks, countertops, and doorknobs. If C. difficile bacteria manage to get into your intestines and grow out of control, the result is infection.

C. difficile has been classified as one of the greatest microbial threats to human health by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 2019. It is the leading cause of hospital-acquired infection in the United States and is responsible for the deaths of more than 20,000 Americans each year.

A considerable portion of patients suffer from recurrent episodes of C. diff infection (CDI), with one in six patients reportedly experiencing recurrence within the following 2-8 weeks of their first infection. Understanding this disease and developing effective treatment options are pressing issues. Currently, one in 11 people over age 65 diagnosed with a healthcare-associated C. diff infection die within one month. 

Infection can be mild to severe, and the most common symptoms of CDI include stomach cramps and watery diarrhea. Some people with CDI can become very sick, and severe cases of C. diff can be life threatening.

Symptoms of severe CDI may include:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Watery diarrhea (as many as 15 times) lasting more than two days
  • A swollen, tender belly
  • Fever
  • Blood or pus in bowel movements
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

In addition to the physical symptoms, recurrent C. diff, can take an emotional toll, filling patients with fear and anxiety and affecting their psychological wellbeing as well.  

Today’s Treatment Options Are Not Optimal; Learn How You Could Help

Now that you know about C. diff, recurrent C. diff and the potential severity of the disease, you may be wondering what you can do to help. There are a few ways that you can get involved in the fight against this serious disease.

Education and Awareness 

One way that you can help fight C. diff is by learning as much as you can about the disease and raising awareness. The Peggy Lillis Foundation is a great place to start if you want to learn about C. diff and the progress being made on potential treatment options. You can also find resources related to donating monetarily and attending programs and events that support the cause. If you have had experience with C. diff you might want to consider volunteering as an advocate for the Foundation and supporting their patient support network. 

Become a stool donor

If you really want to go the extra mile in the fight against serious diseases, such as recurrent C. diff, consider becoming a stool donor through the GoodNature Program where we are pursuing the development of a new breed of potential treatments known as microbiome therapeutics. If you satisfy all of our eligibility requirements and successfully make it through our health screening process, you may get the chance to make a difference. If you want to find out if you qualify for the GoodNature Stool Donation Program, apply now. If you satisfy the initial criteria, you will be contacted with next steps.

Want to learn more about what we do at GoodNature? Check out our FAQ. To stay up to date with the latest happenings, you can also join our mailing list. Make sure to express interest in being a donor for research and development too. If you’re not qualified to be a daily donor, you may be able to support future research instead.

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