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Clostridium Difficile Colitis (C. Diff)

Clostridium Difficile - University studies have discovered that 40% of shoes are tracking around the nasty bacterium "C. diff" or medically known as Clostridium difficile.


Why you should remove your shoes before entering a home?

Growing up in the West I was use to leaving my shoes on all of the time at home and at friend’s homes, that is until I went to visit a neighbor who emigrated from China.


I was asked to remove my shoes before entering their home, at the time I didn’t think much of it.


I later learned that historically people have removed their shoes before enter a home as a sign of respect, particularly in Asian countries.


But there are even greater benefits than just showing respect.


According to resent studies, people and cultures that practice this show of respect are inadvertently the recipients of some major health benefits. So let’s take a look.


What nasty passengers are you bringing home?

The University of Houston (Texas, USA) conducted a study and discovered 40% of shoes were tracking around the nasty bacterium “C. diff”, or Clostridium difficile. Not only does "C. diff" cause severe diarrhea leading to colon inflammation and other serious health problems, these little bacterium are difficult to treat as well.


The problem with treating infections caused by “C. diff” is that it has built a resistance to most anti-biotics, making recovery very difficult. This bacteria attacks the intestinal lining causing colitis.


More alarming was that the study found “C. diff” spread around other areas of the household, such as the countertop, general surface areas, and toilets. These spores can survive for a long period of time on dry surfaces.


That means these little "nasties" can survive on your shoes for days and weeks as you unknowingly track them around.


What else can be found on the bottom of your shoes?

The University of Arizona conducted a study to determine the quantity of bacteria, finding over 420,000 different units of bacteria that can be placed into 9 different strains! Two of the heavy hitters are: E.coli (0157:H7) and Klebsiella pneumoniae.


E.coli 0157:H7 often causes severe stomach and intestinal problems leading to vomiting and diarrhea. While this little nasty weren’t so prevalent, let me ask you a question: How many times did you visit the restroom at work or use a public restroom today?


The other Klebsiella pneumoniae, is likely to cause severe lung damage leading to pneumonia. The death rate for this bacterial infection is as high as 50%. Definitely something to think about.


What is that public restroom hiding?

We’ve all heard about how dirty public toilet seats are, but (pardon the pun) are they? Well one study has shown that public restroom floors contain approximately 2 million bacteria per 2.5 square centimeter, while the average public toilet seat only contains approximately 50 per 2.5 square centimeter, quite a difference! These are two very good reasons to stop wearing shoes in your home, period.


The Recap, what are your shoes hiding?

Multiple forms of bacteria causing infections and inflammation of the colon, not to forget tracking fecal matter around the home, office, and children’s play areas at home. Other contaminants found were harmful chemicals, petroleum byproducts, bird droppings, animal fecal matter, and plain old dirt, making for more frequent clean up.


Perhaps next time you’ll rethink that “10-Second rule” (becoming the 5-Second Rule for Fallen Food) when you drop your food on the floor then picking it up to eat it!