Shoes and your health….not what you think

by Dr. Alan Kadish NMD


Often times we unknowingly bring strangers into our home. Strangers you ask….bacterial and other less than desirable stuff. Ever think about what’s on the bottom of your shoes ? A study in Dallas did and their findings should be a wake-up call.

Over 39% of the shoes checked had a bacteria, known as C. diff in medical circles,(Clostridium Difficile) a really difficult to treat bacteria. It’s grown resistant to many antibacterial treatments, and can be fatal for those with a lackluster immune system. Think about sick folks, seniors, and very young children.

How did this bacteria get on our shoes ? From bird and other animal droppings, spores in the air and think about where your shoes have been. Shoes shed their contents all over the rugs and other abrasive surfaces and now you have a house full of undesirables. When was the last time you cleaned your front rug or the outdoor surfaces next to your entrance ?

Solution: Take the shoes off upon entering the house or better yet, if possible, leave em outside. If you have a mudroom, use it.

Cleaning the bottoms of your shoes may prove a bit daunting and they will get re-inoculated fairly easily so…..not certain it’s worth too much effort unless of course they are packed with crud. Do you recall in the “old” days there was a shoe cleaner outside of the home ? Probably a good investment especially if you want to handle the stuff on your shoes, less.

And the other key…..  keep some “house shoes” for inside use and wash your hands after handling your shoes. No need to bring in more stuff than necessary and get it everywhere….

Lots more healthy ideas and great medical services are available at the Center of Health. Call us at:  541-773-3191


Anaerobe. 2014 Jun;27:31-3. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2014.03.002. Epub 2014 Mar 19.

Investigation of potentially pathogenic Clostridium difficile contamination in household environs.


As Clostridium difficile spores are resistant to many household cleaning products, the potential for community household contamination is high. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of toxigenic C. difficile from environmental sources from a large urban area. Three to 5 household items or environmental dust was collected from 30 houses in Houston, Texas. A total of 127 environmental samples were collected from shoe bottoms (n = 63), bathroom surfaces (n = 15), house floor dusts (n = 12), or other household surfaces (n = 37). Forty one of 127 samples (32.3%) grew C. difficile. All 41 isolates were positive for toxin A and B genes and no isolate was positive for binary toxin genes. Shoe bottom swab samples had the highest percent of positive samples (25/63; 39.7%) followed by bathroom/toilet surfaces (5/15; 33.3%), house floor dust (4/12; 33.3%), and other surface swabs (7/37; 18.9%). Strains were grouped into 25 different ribotypes, the most prevalent type was 001 (5 strains). In conclusion, a high rate of environmental contamination of C. difficile was observed from community households from a large urban area.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Dr. Kadish is an unusual physician often referred to as a "doctor detective". His expertise is the evaluation and treatment of complex disorders, typically after other physicians have been stumped, is renowned. He provides care for all family members and has additional training in autistic spectrum disorders and chronic complex diseases.