How to Treat Nail Fungus Naturally
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 inside of your body.
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 Candida overgrowth. Candida is a type of yeast that naturally lives in your body. However, when there is an overabundance of candida, it disturbs a healthy gut balance.
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 the underlying cause of the infection.
How does an infection in your gut lead to nail fungus? I’ll get to that and then let you know about the natural steps you can take to 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 naturally present in small quantities in your mouth and intestines. 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 variety of symptoms, from 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 gain control of your intestines. Lifestyle factors may also contribute 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.
A Whole-Body Problem
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, leading the gut to become leaky. A leaky gut 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, as it can affect everything from your brain to your skin.
It’s also why I so often see Candida overgrowth in my autoimmune patients. 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 Candida Breakthrough® Program, I use a proven, 3-step approach to help you 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 1 cup a day. I also recommend adding plenty of coconut oil, garlic, ginger, and other foods that fight Candida to your diet.
Step two is to attack the yeast using supplements that destroy 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 combating 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 but also help repair your gut lining so that the Candida can no longer escape and wreak havoc in other areas of your body.