Almost exactly four hours after eating leftover sushi one Saturday night, I found myself with an awful case of diarrhea. By Sunday evening, it progressed to be full-on bloody and frequent, with pain throughout my abdomen.
Concerned, I went to my local ER. After a CT scan showing that my entire colon was inflamed, and my appendix was normal, I was passed off to gastroenterology. By Monday afternoon was prepped for an emergency colonoscopy.
After the procedure, the gastroenterologist told me she thought I had C. difficile (or Clostridium difficile) colitis, a bacterium that can cause diarrhea and colon inflammation. I promptly started on my first antibiotic.
Fast-forward three days, and I’d received IV hydration at home, seen the osteopath, and was still having bloody diarrhea and pain. Then, I got started on two different antibiotics. Thankfully, these did the trick, and the blood stopped within two days, and the diarrhea within three.
While grateful for the remedy, I also knew that research suggests taking antibiotics can alter the human microbiome. I imagined my gut to be a newly blank slate, like a newborn’s, and decided that the most important thing at that point was to focus on rebuilding my strength and crafting a healthy, balanced microbiome. Using my experience as a functional medicine doctor, here are the measures I chose to take to help support my gut: