How to Treat Nail Fungus Naturally
January 7th, 2018
Do you deal with pesky and persistent nail fungus? Have you tried everything in your health arsenal—from prescription antifungals to expensive creams and lotions to nail polish—and still had no luck in eliminating the infection?
If so you are not alone! In fact, it’s estimated that 10% of the population deals with stubborn nail fungus1.
Not surprisingly, conventional medicine’s answer to this widespread problem is to prescribe antifungal pills that are often ineffective and come with serious side effects, ranging from rashes and GI issues to potential liver damage2.
However, as with all skin issues, I find that nail fungus is typically an outward manifestation of an underlying health issue on the inside of your body.
In fact, after working with thousands of patients in my clinic, I’ve seen time and again that relentless skin issues—including nail fungus, eczema, dandruff, psoriasis, hives, athlete’s foot and ringworm—are most often caused by the systemic overgrowth of Candida, a type of yeast that lives in your body.
So while you may be doing all you can to control your nail fungus superficially, they key to eliminating the issue for good is to address this underlying cause of the infection.
Let’s dig a little deeper to find out how an infection in your gut can lead to nail fungus and explore what natural steps you can take to finally rid yourself of nail fungus for good.
The Nail Fungus and the Candida Connection
So what exactly is Candida, and how does it become a problem? You might be surprised to learn that Candida is a type of yeast that is naturally present in small quantities in your mouth and intestines. Normally, it helps you digest and absorb the nutrients from your food. However, when it overgrows and gets out of control, it can lead to a wide variety of symptoms, including skin issues such as nail fungus, itching, psoriasis, and rashes, to brain fog, chronic fatigue, mood issues, bloating, constipation, seasonal allergies, and even autoimmune conditions.
Candida overgrowth can be triggered by any number of factors. For example, a round of antibiotics may kill off the good bacteria that keep yeast in check, allowing Candida to wrest control of your intestines. Lifestyle factors may also be contributing to yeast overgrowth in your gut. Diets high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol feed the yeast naturally present in your body, while factors such as birth control pills or a high-stress lifestyle may disrupt the delicate balance of your gut flora, providing the ideal environment for yeast to flourish.
Now you may be wondering, how does Candida get from my gut to my nail beds? Pathogenic fungi such as Candida have evolved to survive in a human host through morphogenesis, meaning they can change their cell shape and size3.
Candida in particular changes from a rounded cell to an elongated hyphal cell. These elongated hyphal cells can then permeate your gut lining, causing leaky gut. This allows the yeast to escape your gut via your bloodstream and colonize other areas of your body, including your toenails and fingernails.
This is how Candida can quickly escalate from a gut issue to a whole-body problem, and why it can be so difficult to pinpoint, since it can affect everything from your brain to your skin.
It’s also why I so often see Candida overgrowth in my autoimmune patients, because the Candida causes leaky gut, which then leads to autoimmune disease. That’s another major reason why it’s key to correctly identify Candida as the underlying cause of your nail fungus, so that you can treat it effectively before it leads to more serious health conditions.
How to Overcome Candida and Eliminate Nail Fungus
If you suspect that your nail fungus stems from an overgrowth of Candida in your system, don’t worry! There are simple, natural steps you can take to stop Candida in its tracks and restore optimal gut balance. In my clinic I use a 3-step approach over 30 days to help my patients beat Candida overgrowth.
Step one is to starve the yeast by eliminating the foods that feed it. This includes cutting all sugar and alcohol, and limiting carbohydrates such as fruit, starchy vegetables, grains, and legumes to no more than 2 cups a day. While doing this, I also recommend adding in plenty of coconut oil, garlic, ginger, and other foods that fight Candida.
Step two is to attack the yeast using supplements that destroy the Candida’s cell walls. I use Candifense™, a powerful blend of plant-based enzymes that break down the cell walls of Candida, and Caprylic Acid, a short chain fatty acid derived from coconut that pokes holes in the yeast cell walls.
Finally, step three is to repopulate your gut with the probiotics, or good bacteria, that usually keep the yeast in check. While dealing with Candida, I recommend a 100 Billion Probiotic, which contains 100 billion colony forming units (CFUs) of high-quality, pharmaceutical grade bacteria. This will not only help restore your gut’s healthy balance, it will also help repair your gut lining so that the Candida can no longer escape and wreak havoc in other areas of your body.