Mercy's Dr. Anurag Maheshwari Discusses Treating Recurrent C-Diff
Antibiotics can knock out an illness, but for some people, these drugs can trigger a potentially life-threatening infection, caused by bacteria commonly known as clostridium difficile, or C. diff.
It's basically when bad bacteria in the gut attacks the good bacteria.
C. diff can lead to a life-threatening form of diarrhea. It is often spread in health care facilities and people with compromised immune systems are more at risk.
According to Dr. Anurag Maheshwari of The Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy Medical Center, C. diff relapse can occur in 40 percent of patients.
"The reason for the relapse typically tends to be this upset of the balance in the colon of the healthy bacteria versus the C. diff, so when the proportion of healthy bacteria goes down, C. diff has the chance to rise up and cause the production of toxins, which then causes diarrhea," Dr. Maheshwari said.
One option to treat recurrent C. diff is a fecal transplant.
Healthy stool from a donor, usually a family member, helps replenish bacterial balance. The procedure is similar to a colonoscopy.
View Mercy’s Dr. Anurag Maheshwari’s interview regarding recurrent C-diff.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.