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Why is Clostridium difficult (C. difficile) on the rise in kids?

Robynne K. Chutkan, MD
Gastroenterology

There are 2 main reasons for the increase in C. difficile infection in kids:

  • Overuse of antibiotics in the community which kills off a lot of the child's "good bacteria" and diminishes their ability to fight off infection with organisms like C. difficile.
  • Overuse of acid-blocking drugs such as proton pump inhibitors which block stomach acid. An acidic environment in the stomach is one of the body's main defense mechanisms against harmful bacteria. Infection with organisms like C. difficile can be a side effect of long-term treatment with these drugs.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.