Posted by Irelandseyes (Topeka, Ks, Usa) on 01/27/2012
Hello everyone! I've been reading a lot of the posts regarding nail fungus, and I too have struggled. I never ever had a problem with my nails until I was in college living in a dorm and sharing community showers with about 50 other girls. Before that time my nails were strong, clear, pink and healthy. I had gorgeous nails and people would even tell me how beautiful my nails always were. Well.... It all started when I was 21 (I'm now 39) and I will tell you that you can aquire an isolated fungal infection apart from anything systemic going on in the body, and it can spread from that one nail to the others. Mine did not spread UNTIL I began having my nails professionally done just about a year or so ago. Then I began to see other toes and even fingers showing signs. That's when I declared war.
I would like to add that I am an RN. I've been practicing since 2005. I have an extensive background. And before I was a nurse I also struggled with systemic candida (I was 28 at the time) and that is an entirely different story. But I will say that during the time I was treated for the Candida my nail fungus did not improve in that one respective toe. I was treated with naturopathic herbal remedies such as colloidal silver, peppermint, numerous tinctures of essential oils, organic diet, Vit C and a plethora of natural flora. With this I experienced an explosive and lifechanging breatkthrough in my general health and my other nails did improve that were not already affected. Oh, but that toe! Oh my goodness...
I am so grateful to have found the posts from people who have been as desperate as I am to find help for this. I plan to try the vinegar and Vicks. I think that would be the safest. I will say that bleach, although it may be effective, can and will absorb into the system through the skin and kill natural flora in the body. That is precisely what you want to avoid. Bleach is very caustic. It is hard on the lungs when breathing the fumes and it can have potentially toxic and even fatal reactions with other substances. Please, please avoid bleach. There are so many other options.
However, as a nurse, and with my experience there are eight key things I would like to share with about preventing the spread of the nail fungus you already have and things you can do to aid your fight, which you may not have thought about.
#1. PETS and SHOES!!! First lets talk about pets. Pets (especially those who roam outside) bring all kinds of microorganisms into your home. If you are healthy and your immune system is strong, you generally don't need to worry. But if you have carpet, I promise you these microogranisms are hiding and reproducing there. If you are currently treating nail fungus and are walking barefoot on an infected carpet then beware, because you could be potentially reinfected. Here's what I would suggest to those of you who have pets OR are living in an apartment or other home where previous residents have lived (because you never know the lifestyle of the tenant before you). Keep in mind that you need to keep your floors clean. If you or your leasing agent can afford to change out your carpet then by all means do so. If you cannot, at least have it cleaned properly. I would recommend doing this in the warmer months such as Spring and Fall when it can dry completely and easily, and I recommend doing it often (twice a year). I don't believe Winter time is the best time to do this because it cannot dry as easily or quickly. Okay, so case and point -- keep your pets clean, keep your carpet clean, and don't roam barefoot. As for shoes... You drag plenty of microorganisms into your home as well. Wear sandals or socks to protect your feet, even when you're in the house. Have a pair of house flip flops you can scuttle around in. And if that doesn't suit you, then clean cotton socks are perfectly acceptable because you're feet will still be able to breathe. Personally, I try to NEVER wear my shoes inside my house. I keep that minimal, because when you wear shoes in your home you WILL inevitably track in organisms (including fungal spores) that can hide in your carpet.
#2. Enough cannot be said for good hygiene and housekeeping. Keeping your bathroom clean is a MUST. Carpeting in a bathroom is a recipe for fungus. Good grief, there is no worse combination. The resident moisture in any bathroom is enough to breed fungus. And even if you have tile, any bathmats used need to be washed routinely, at least every week if not more, depending on the traffic in your bath. Towels need to be hung up to dry, washcloths need to be wrung out, and wet surfaces need to be wiped down. Keep your bathroom ventilated. Keep it clean. Whether your shower or bathe, you need to be diligent in cleaning up after yourself and wiping things down the best you can. I suggest using a natual peppermint mist when you're done. I mix peppermint essential oil with a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid. It does wonders. That peppermint will halt the growth of any bacteria or fungus and your bathroom will smell fresh and clean. Get into a good habit, be diligent with it, and it will work for you. Develop a routine cleaning schedule for your bathroom!
#3. Do not ever use the same manicuring set on your hands that you use on your feet. EVER! I am convinced this is why I saw problems once I had my nails professionally done. I just spread. And once you've manicured your feet, place your manicuring tools in a clorox soak overnight. Not many of us have any home sterilization/decontamination other than a reliable dishwasher--and for God's sake that's the last place you want your tools to be! Use nail files that are made of metal, stone or glass. Do not use files that cannot be soaked or cleaned, because they harbor fine dust from your nails that is full of the infection you are trying to eradicate. Such files that are made of wood or sandpaper are meant for a one time use and need to be thrown away. If you do a lot of filing, clean up the dust and wear a mask if you think you might be breathing it in. However, excessive filing is really not necessary. I suggest a once-over and that should be sufficient for most to create a nail that will soak/absorb treatments.
#4. Washing your feet. I truly believe this fungus we deal with is such a huge issue because we fail to wash our feet frequently enough, and we fail to do it properly. We touch things all day long with our hands, right? But we get dirty and we wash them! If we are civilized at all, we're always washing them. But our feet? Not so much. We walk around all day long, even barefoot, and neglect to wash our feet. If you are one to roam barefoot, then perhaps this is something to consider. Simply practice good foot hygiene!
#5. Keep toenails trimmed. The longer the toenail is, the more it can harbor. Honestly, long toenails pack it in! We've all seen sock fuzz. We've all seen toe jam. We've all seen it! But if you leave toenails long, then all of that natural oil, dead skin, dirt and fuzz gives a breeding ground for fungus. Long toe nails are a big no-no!
#6. Use an antifungal powder when wearing socks. Most are cheap and it works for me at warding off other types of fungus such as athlete's foot, etc.
# 7. Enough cannot be said for a healthy diet. Believe me, I know. I was dying from a systemic Candidiasis infection that was literally decomposing me from the inside out. My organs were shutting down. I was at death's door before I found help. And I want you all to know that modern medicine didn't save me. I was too far gone. My MD told me I needed natural medicine because anything they were going to prescribe would have finished me off. I simply could not metabolize it safely. And as you all know, those antifungal medications are extremely hazardous. They DO damage to vital organs! I found an ND (Naturopathic Doctor) and with God's help, I turned around. It was a three year journey, but by the time it was over I was a radiant, glowing picture of health. And I am not exaggerating. I had compeletely rebuilt my body through painstaking regimen of herbs, hydration, organic diet, deep detox cleansing... It goes on an on. I am truly a miracle. Even my doctor couldn't believe it. And I can tell you that I am not the same. I have learned the value in investing in your body. We invest in all kinds of things --houses, careers, cars, education. But come on people, why aren't we investing in our health?! Isn't it amazing that we miss that? We have so misplaced our values. Here's the hard core truth: living healthy cells create living healthy cells. Period. You don't get them any other way. If you are eating junk, that is all your body has to work with. And when I say junk, I am talking about processed, canned, dead food that has no nutritive value. It may give you calories (energy), but there are no viable nutrients. If you eat like this then the results you will get in maintaining your health and creating your health will be fleeting and minimal. And you are setting up shop for disease. I encourage EVERYONE to please, please, PLEASE respect your body. Invest in it. If you invest in anything, invest in your health. Invest in your body. It is the only one you have. If you will take the time and resources you have to pay your dues and eat right, get adequate rest/sleep, fresh air, sunlight and exercise -- you will be glad you did. This is not rocket science. Eat well! Healthy living whole foods that provide you nutrient-rich energy are not hard to find. You need green food! At least one salad a day as a rule of thumb. They are quick easy fixes! Change it up! Lean meats, whole grains, fresh fruits, veggies, and yes, dairy (yogurt and buttermilk are FULL of awesome flora). Go buy a cookbook. Develop a menu for your palate (personal taste) that is healthy. Determine a budget. If you invest in anything, invest in your health--your body. And you will live a better life. Here is the rundown. Please take a look...
Living Healthy Food will contain the following 7 core components:
1. Kilocalories: the energy provided in food comes from three sources which are in all foods in varying ratios regardless of their origin:
--Carbs (sugars) 4 kcal
--Proteins (amino acids) 4 kcal: proteins are subject to heat. Their structure changes when they are denatured.
--Fats (lipids) 9 kcal
2. Water: all food, even if it is dry, has a resident amount of natural moisture inherent within it, even it if is not readily detected.
3. Microminerals/Macrominerals: these are readily stable in the presence of heat and light).
4. Water soluble and Fat soluble Vitamins: these are destroyed with heat and light.
5. Enzymes: these are the lovely little guys that help you ABSORB your nutrition and break down your food. You cannot obtain health from any food you cannot break down or absorb. Enzymes are inherent within living whole foods. They are destroyed with heat.
6. Fiber: soluble and insoluble. It's in every whole food. Fiber is destroyed the longer you cook something. It is indeed subject to heat.
7. Flora: Last but certainly not least! These are your very, very, very best friends. They come in all kinds of strains and actually account for approximately 80% of your immunity. They fight for you in ways you cannot imagine! They work synergystically and produce oxygen in the body through a production of a type of hydrogen peroxide which wards off fungus! Wow! All natural whole foods will contain flora (or should contain flora). Some contain more than others if they are organic, because pesticides will kill flora. If they kill bugs--they kill flora. So try to eat organic if possible. If you want to incorporate flora rich foods you can focus on supplementing with yogurt, buttermilk, natural sour cream, and a variety of cheeses. Not all cheeses are made with mold. Yes, heat and light destroy these friendly and lifesaving flora. If you do not like yogurt, buttermilk or cheese you can purchase flora in capsules, tablets or powder. Make sure the strains are DDS-I, so they can SURVIVE STOMACH ACID! Yea!
As you can see, dead, processed, canned food does not have all the necessary components to create living healthy cells in you. And we wonder why there is so much disease. We take processed, canned, previously cooked food and cook it again! Now, we all need to cook. But when you do cook, use low heat, and methods such as blanching or steaming that preserve nutrients as much as possible. Do not ever overcook your foods.
#8. Hydration and Alkalizing fluids and foods. Drink plenty of water and get lots of Vitamin C. Water should be your closest ally. It is the miracle worker! It is the fundamental fluid of every living thing. Your body is made of water, and it cannot cleanse without it! Water is the only fluid your body readily recognizes and can utilize to remove wastes and hydrate vital organs, joints and skin. When we don't drink water, we fail to "bathe" internally. We become cesspools. Cellular wastes, debris, and toxins build up in our cells, tissues, and organs which can cause disease. Fluid should be alkalizing to the body. It should bring moisture, rehydration, cleansing, and establish a pH balance that your cells can thrive and reproduce in. Water is by far the best, but other wonderful fluids are coconut milk, almond milk, natrual fruit juices that are high in Vitamin C. Any green food will create an alkaline environment. Now please understand (those of you who know chemistry will know this), Vitamin C is ascorbic acid, but when it comes in contact with your body, it turns alkaline instantly. Your body uses Vitamin C like a car guzzles gasoline. It's potentcy is very shot lived, so you need a lot of it throughout the day, especially if you are stressed or healing. The more you feed your body Vitamin C, the healthier your cells will be. Berries of every kind are WONDERFUL! Grapefruit is excellent as well --very rich in Vitamin C. Bananas are great. Now they are full of potassium, but they are also an alkaline forming food. Limes and lemons are awesome avengers! Add their juice to your water, smoothies, etc. Vitamin C helps carry oxygen and it is wonderful for cellular health. And that is really where health begins -- at the cellular level. If you can provide what your body needs to create living healthy cells, then you will live as a healthy person. So with that being said, drink, drink, drink! By the way, Vitamin C is destroyed in sunlight and excessive heat. So keep any Vit C supplements in the fridge and store Vit C rich foods away from direct sunlight. This is why citrus fruits have such a thick skin. It protects their Vit C content.
For those of you who have taken time to read this, I pray it truly helps you. Perhaps you can made some changes or adjustments. Just remember to look beyond your infected nail and realize that there are other factors contributing to your health (or the lack of it), your success in treating this infection, and possible reinfection. The old addage is true, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"! Be diligent, invest wisely where it really does count, and you will see positive lasting results.
One last thing... I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but plantar warts are a VIRUS. They are not fungal. Treating them with fungal medication/remedies will not cure them. This virus circulates in the bloodstream; it can pop up anywhere on the body creating a wart, and they are CONTAGIOUS, just like any other virus. The only way to deal with plantar warts are to have them cut out (surgically removed). They bury deep beyond the dermis of the skin, and are painful. Surgery is many times necessary and is not always lasting. So please keep this in mind if you are struggling with plantar's warts. So sorry for this bad news, but to treat these properly a physician is a must. Even still, keep in mind the aforementioned, and I believe it will help you in your fight.
Blessings to all!