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What are the symptoms of a C. diff bowel infection?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of a C. difficile infection in the intestines include watery diarrhea, abdominal cramping and abdominal tenderness, according to Mayo Clinic. Some individuals with C. difficile infections experience no symptoms.

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In cases of mild to moderate C. difficile infections, patients may have watery diarrhea three or more times every day for at least two days in a row, and they may experience mild cramping and tenderness, confirms Mayo Clinic. With severe infections, symptoms may include watery diarrhea occurring 10 to 15 times a day, severe abdominal pain and cramping, nausea, and loss of appetite. Weight loss, abdominal swelling and fever can also occur, and increased white blood cell count and kidney failure are possible. Patients with severe infections are likely to become dehydrated and may require hospitalization. C difficile causes colitis, or an inflamed colon, and raw tissues sometimes form, leading to blood or pus in the stool.

Patients should call a doctor if they experience three or more episode of watery diarrhea per day for two days or more, especially during or within the months following antibiotic therapy, according to Mayo Clinic. They should also contact a doctor if they have blood in the stool, fever or abdominal pain. Although healthy people occasionally become ill from C. difficile infections, the bacteria more commonly causes issues in hospital patients and people in long-term care facilities, states WebMD.

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