C. diff. infection is diagnosed by the presence of:
- C. diff. in a stool sample
- Other signs and symptoms
Regular stools must not be tested for C. difficile. C. diff. infection may be diagnosed without medicines.
- Stool tests. Strains of bacteria that generate toxins may be identified in laboratory testing of a stool sample, allowing C. difficile infection to be diagnosed.
- Colon Examination. Flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy may diagnose C. diff. infection and rule out other reasons in rare situations. A flexible tube with a tiny camera is inserted into the colon to detect inflammation or abnormal tissue.
- Imaging tests. An abdominal X-ray or CT scan may detect C. difficile infection consequences such as a hole in the lining, bowel enlargement, and a thickening of the colon wall.
Treatments are only administered if a person exhibits signs or symptoms of C. diff. infection. Individuals who are carriers of the bacteria but are not ill are not treated.
Antibiotics are the primary treatment for C. difficile infection. Fidaxomicin (Dificid), Vancomycin (Vancocin HCL, Firvanq), and Metronidazole (Flagyl) may be used in conjunction with vancomycin to treat severe C. difficile infection. Your doctor may advise you to take a different antibiotic that is less likely to cause diarrhea.
In certain circumstances, surgery to remove the diseased part of the colon may be required, such as:
- Organ failure
- Inflammation of the abdominal wall lining
- Severe pain
- Toxic megacolon