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What causes pseudomembranous colitis (PMC)?

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Pseudomembranous colitis (PMC) is inflammation in your colon that happens when there's too much of certain bacteria in your system. C. diff is the most common bacteria that causes PMC. It lives in soil, air, water, and feces and sometimes in foods like processed meats. You can get it when you touch a surface that has the bacteria on it and then put your hand near or in your mouth. Once it's in your body, C. diff makes a kind of poison.

The good bacteria in your colon usually keep the amount of C. diff in your body under control, but antibiotics can kill the healthy bacteria and let C. diff grow too fast. This damages your colon and causes PMC.

From: What Is Pseudomembranous Colitis? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Hempel S. , 2012 May. Journal of American Medicine

Kawamoto, S. , 1999. RadioGraphics

Kufe D. , BC Decker, 2003. Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine, 6th edition

Mayo Clinic: "Pseudomembranous colitis," "C. difficile infection."

Medscape: "Pseudomembranous Colitis Surgery."

St. Luke's Health System: "Pseudomembranous colitis."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on April 24, 2017

SOURCES:

Hempel S. , 2012 May. Journal of American Medicine

Kawamoto, S. , 1999. RadioGraphics

Kufe D. , BC Decker, 2003. Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine, 6th edition

Mayo Clinic: "Pseudomembranous colitis," "C. difficile infection."

Medscape: "Pseudomembranous Colitis Surgery."

St. Luke's Health System: "Pseudomembranous colitis."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on April 24, 2017

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What conditions can pseudomembranous colitis (PMC)?

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