How I Cured My Toenail Fungus (Onychomycosis)
What Is Onychomycosis?
Onychomycosis is a fungal condition that affects nails—most commonly, the toe nails. It is very common, and it accounts for around 50% of all nail abnormalities. Nail abnormalities affect about 7% of the adult population. It seems there about four different types of onychomycosis affecting different parts of the nail, nail bed and nail fold.
Onychomycosis is thought to be caused by a compromised immune system that leaves the nail beds unable to fight off fungal infections. Treatments with anti-fungals can be challenging because the fungi are hard to reach and because nail regrowth is slow.
How I Got Rid of My Toenail Fungus
The idea was to restore proper immune system function by retraining the central metabolic control system to maintain an optimal body temperature. My temperature never cycled around a normal temperature of 37 ºC; it chose to cycle at a lower temperature.
It took me about two weeks to reset my temperature set point and about two years to maintain it. After this time, my temperature started to cycle around 37 ºC naturally—and it still does. I also noticed that I began to feel a lot healthier overall. At the same time, I was also increasing my daily vitamin C intake in an effort to boost my immune system.
It took several months to see any difference in my toes, but the fungus did begin to disappear. After about 18 months, I only had one toe that still had a stubborn patch of fungus on it.
My toenails are now pink and healthy, and my skin is smooth and soft. My fingernails also look pink and healthy, with well-attached cuticles. I have not had a recurrence of toe fungus.
I Lived With Onychomytosis for Over 10 Years
In my late teens and early 20s, I used to wear nail varnish on my toes. However, in my 30s, I noticed my nails were no longer smooth and shiny. They seemed to be softening and felt spongy. Any varnish I applied looked ridged and sometimes didn't dry properly. This was a bit concerning, but I had a busy life—with a job and a young family—so I simply ignored it.
After a few years, I noticed white patches appearing on some of my toenails that I later learned were fungal growths. I could scrape most of it off, but it extended so deep into the nail that I could never remove it all. My quick fix was to cover it up with more varnish.
One summer, I tried going without shoes, opting to wear sandals instead. I stopped the nail varnish. I carefully dried my feet after showering, made sure my toes got as much air as possible, and threw away old shoes that I thought might be contaminated with the fungus. I also used talc powder and anti-fungals. These preventative measures were time-consuming and didn't really fix the problem.
In the winter, I was back in brand new, closed-toe shoes, and my toenail fungus became worse. My condition became worse and worse over the next 10 years—spreading to all of my toenails.
At age 51—after a few other minor ailments were beginning to accumulate—I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I couldn't put it off any longer. I had to find out what was wrong with my health.
How I Found the Cure That Worked for Me
Could It Be Thyroid Dysfunction?
The first thing I did was search online for conditions that could result in all of my symptoms. Amazingly, I quickly found that I could have a low thyroid connection. I spent a great deal of time—about a year, in fact—researching this condition. I also spent a great deal of money visiting various thyroid doctors.
The idea that the thyroid was operating sub-optimally made sense to me. After all, the thyroid regulates the body's energy usage and blood flow, so it seemed logical to fix it and get my body functioning properly again. However, medical tests showed that I had normal levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), indicating that my thyroid was functioning normally. Regardless, I tried to boost my T3 production by taking glandular supplements. However, it didn't seem to make a big impact.
Could It Be Low Body Temperature?
The more I read about the thyroid, the more I became confused. On almost every thyroid dysfunction forum, I found people talking about a holy grail: maintaining normal body temperature. However, this seemed like an elusive goal since no one had managed to achieve it. I felt like maybe I was looking in the wrong place.
I started to search again—this time to see if anyone had fixed a low body temperature by any other means. I found a lone voice in Steve Richfield on an obscure website. He described the brain as the master control organ—capable of orchestrating and maintaining an optimal immune system. He talked about what happens when the immune system goes awry—even providing some reasons why it might go wrong. He also claimed that he fixed his idiopathic illnesses by optimising his own immune system.
I contacted Steve to see if he would be able to help me since I wished to fix my low body temperature. To my surprise, he came back to me immediately and supported me through my journey to reset my body temperature back to normal.
How My Toes Are Now
After nearly four years with a body temperature of 37 ºC and several months of increased daily vitamin C intake, I still have no problems with toenail fungus.
I now have a very different perspective on the immune system. I believe that the brain is in charge of my health and that unless it goes wrong, the brain can enable the body to operate a very efficient immune system. Various factors, such as genetics or stresses to the body, can cause the brain—more accurately, the central metabolic control system—to select incorrect set points. If you are going through something similar to what I went through, talk to your doctor about the possibility of an abnormal body temperature set point. I was skeptical at first, but I am delighted I considered this as an option because after more than a decade of onychomycosis, I no longer have any toenail fungus.
Poll: Do you have Onychomycosis and a low body temperature?
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. I am only sharing my experience with this unorthodox strategy. Consult a licensed healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and a discussion of treatment options for your specific situation.
© 2013 Janey Hood