ComplicationsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Complications of C. difficile infections include:
- Dehydration. Severe diarrhea can lead to a significant loss of fluids and electrolytes. This makes it difficult for your body to function normally and can cause blood pressure to drop to dangerously low levels.
- Kidney failure. In some cases, dehydration can occur so quickly that kidney function rapidly deteriorates (kidney failure).
- A hole in your large intestine (bowel perforation). This results from extensive damage to the lining of your large intestine. A perforated bowel can spill bacteria from the intestine into your abdominal cavity, leading to a life-threatening infection (peritonitis).
- Toxic megacolon. In this condition, the colon becomes grossly distended when it's unable to expel gas and stool. Left untreated, your colon can rupture, causing bacteria from the colon to enter your abdominal cavity. A ruptured colon requires emergency surgery and may be fatal.
- Death. Even mild to moderate C. difficile infections can quickly progress to a fatal disease if not treated promptly.
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