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C. diff (Clostridioides difficile) is a bacteria often found in the digestive tract. Normally, good bacteria control C. diff and do not allow it to grow. When your child takes an antibiotic, the levels of good bacteria go down. This makes it possible for C. diff bacteria to increase. Too much C. diff can lead to C. diff infection, which can be life-threatening.
Early symptoms are diarrhea and cramping. Later signs may include weakness, low fluids, fever, nausea, vomiting, or blood in the stool.
When C. diff takes over, the bacteria make toxins. These toxins attack the intestine wall. If not treated, the toxins may cause an ulcer, or a hole in the wall of the intestine.
The lab staff tests a sample of your child’s stool to check for C. diff infection.
If you have questions about C. diff, talk to your child’s doctor or nurse.
Reviewed: September 2022