Tag Archives: Nutrition C diff

Maintaining Hydration + Nourishment during a Clostridium Difficile infection

Our bodies depend on water and every cell, tissue and organ depends upon water to operate efficiently. The body uses water to maintain temperature, remove waste, and lubricate joints and water makes up for more than half of our body weight.  When it comes to hydration water is the best option. There are other fluids and foods that can aid in providing water needed. Fruit and vegetable juices, broths, milk, sports drinks can contribute to the amount of water you should get each day. Limiting caffeinated beverages is recommended as caffeine may cause fluid shifts from body tissue to intestines promoting elimination and some to urinate more frequently, create anxious or jittery symptoms. A moderate amount of caffeine, 200 to 300 milligrams, equivalent to 2 to 4 eight-ounce cups of a caffeinated beverage per day. Water rich foods such as watermelon, tomatoes and lettuce can aid in warding off dehydration.

Is your body low on water?

You lose water each day when you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe. Water is lost from the body even faster when combating an infection or being out in the hot weather. Individuals exercising in hot weather, ill with a fever,or vomiting and having bouts of diarrhea are at a higher risk of dehydration. The elderly are also at a higher risk of dehydration due to decreased senses that contribute signaling the body of the feeling of thirst.  When the lost fluids are not replaced, dehydrated occurs.  Offering fluids frequently to older individuals will aid in maintaining hydration.  Monitoring urine color during the day is another way to know if the body is well hydrated: When the urine is colorless to a light yellow in color hydration is being maintained.  If the urine is dark yellow in color, the body is in need of additional fluids.  How much is enough?  The average daily intake required for a healthy body is 8 eight ounce glasses of fluids a day.  There are various circumstances for each individual.  Individuals diagnosed with heart conditions (i.e., Congested Heart Failure, etc.) may be instructed by their health care providers to limit fluids in their daily diet. Patients diagnosed with altered kidney functions will also be placed on their own daily fluid intake program.  Discussing your daily fluid intake, with your physician or professional health care provider, is suggested.

What are some symptoms of dehydration? Little or no urine, with a urine color that is of dark yellow, Dry mouth, Sleepiness or fatigue, Extreme thirst, Headache, Confusion, Feeling dizzy or lightheaded, No tears when crying

It can be very difficult to recognize dehydrated, especially in the elderly. Preventing dehydration by drinking plenty of water, and following your health care providers recommendations,  can prevent dehydration.

If you are unable to maintain hydration for any reason, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Contact your Primary care physician to report symptoms and/or visit a local clinic/hospital for medical care.

A quick and easy recipe for Chicken, Zucchini, and Spinach Soup to maintain hydration and help stay nourished.

Total prep time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:  2 Chicken breasts, 4 cups broth of choice (Vegetable, Chicken, Beef), 4 cups water, 1 large zucchini, 1 yellow onion, 1 Tomato diced, 1 bag of fresh or frozen spinach, 2 cloves minced garlic, 3/4 cup Tomato sauce.

In a large stock pot add the water, broth, and the two chicken pieces. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer allowing the chicken to cook thoroughly (approx. twenty minutes).  After twenty minutes remove the chicken from the broth and cut the chicken into cubes.  While broth is simmering add chicken cubes back into the stock pot and continue to cook on medium/low heat.  Chop the zucchini, onion, and tomato into small cubes and add them into the stock pot, stir in the spinach, garlic, and tomato sauce. Cover and cook for fifteen to twenty minutes for vegetables to cook.  *Options: In a separate pot boil water for pasta egg noodles, or rice, or orzo to be served with the vegetable soup.  This is a low fat recipe. Sodium content can be controlled by choosing a low-sodium broth. Salt and Pepper to taste.  Buon appetito.

Suggested foods to avoid during a C diff. infection

The nutritional intake during the treatment and post-c. diff. infection can be challenging. The clear liquid diet is recommended for three days, any prolonged use of this diet will result in poor nutrition.  There are certain food and food groups that a patient may consider  avoiding during this and many gastrointestinal infections/diagnosis .  No two bodies are created nor respond alike making diets a very individualized program.

Whole milk and milk products can cause additional G.I. upset and it is a known fact that  during a C. diff. infection Lactose Intolerance can occur.  Utilizing a milk substitute(i.e., Soy milk, etc.) may be more tolerable at this time.  Greasy foods and foods high in fat content are difficult to digest and may cause additional diarrhea episodes.  Additional foods that may cause additional abdominal/intestinal bloating and discomfort such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, whole grain breads, onions, beans.  The toxins in the gastrointestinal tract after eating raw vegetables produce bloating and by cooking the vegetables instead of eating them raw may reduce the bloating effects.  Fat free foods (i.e., Olestra or Olean) have shown to cause diarrhea episodes and increased bloating.  Spicy foods will elevate the symptoms of C. diff.. Avoiding large amounts of caffeine is suggested as caffeine will irritate the gastrointestinal system and prolong healing and the recovery process.  Caffeine also has diuretic effects creating a fluid shift promoting diarrhea episodes by pulling fluid from the tissue into the intestinal track.

A referral from a Primary Physician, Gastroenterologist, Endocrinologist to a Registered Dietitian (RD)  is a positive step in obtaining a healthy diet that works for your body while combating a Clostridium difficile infection, along with any confirmed diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, or IBS.  

“Here’s to everyone’s good health!”