How bad is a colon infection?

Hi all! So yesterday my mom was taken to the hospital for a colon infection and I was told today that she won’t be able to leave until Friday :/ I’m pretty scared and there are a few things I’d like to know though. First is how serious is a colon infection? One main reason why I’m scared is that I have no idea how dangerous a colon infection is. Another thing I would like to know is can it get any worse? My mom told me that she feels a little better than yesterday but she’s still in pain (both from her infection and from her sinus headaches >_<). I also read that in some cases a colon infection can turn into colon cancer. This thought scares me more than anything. I really hope that it doesn’t get any worse so that she can come home soon. 🙁


  • George McKenzie

    The most common type of colon infection is caused by bacteria known as Clostridium difficile. Medical professionals usually shorten the name to C. difficile or just C. diff. Many people get it when they’re taking antibiotics, and it tends to be fairly common in hospitals and nursing homes where a people are taking a lot of medications that are designed to kill bacteria in their systems that are causing other health problems. The antibiotic does too good a job – it kills off good bacteria that you need for digestion along with harmful germs. Taking an antibiotic not only kills harmful bacteria that you have in your system, kills beneficial bacteria – the" good "bacteria that aid digestion and other bodily functions easier. C. diff thrives when there is no good bacteria around. Once it gets into your digestive tract, it makes toxins that attack the cells and the lining of the intestines and colon. The result is inflammation in the colon.

    Sometimes if a colon infection is mild, it goes away on its own when you stop taking medications. But if the case is more severe, you may need a different type of antibiotic just to deal with the C Diff.

    There aer several antibiotics that typically lead to C Difficile infections, including fluoroquinolones, cephalosporins, clindamycin and penicillin.

  • It really depends on the type of infection, specifically the type of bacteria causing the infection.
    Many colon infections will resolve with antibiotics and some bowel rest. In some cases of severe infection surgery is necessary. This is only done when more conservative treatments have failed.
    The doctors may perform an endoscopy to see the inside of the colon and the severity of the infection. A CT scan can also show signs of infection.
    Ask the doctors what is causing the infection and what the treatment options are.
    Best wishes to your mom.

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