I've had persistent fungal infections (athletes foot, jock itch, dry/itchy hand, acne and nail fungus) since pre adolescence...I'm now 45. Eating paleo has improved these conditions as well as many others, but has yet to completely cure them. For the past 15 months, I've basically eaten a SCD/GAPS version of paleo, including 2-3 servings of fruit and 1-2 teaspoons of honey close to a daily basis. Recently I've began to include small amounts of rice and potatoes (without digestive discomfort) hoping that the added glucose would help per PHD recommendations. I've been reluctant to discontinue all forms of sugar, maybe I need to try this. I've been using topical anti fungal treatments without much success. I am beginning to consider taking lamasil, however, I would prefer a dietary intervention. If fungus lives on the surface of the skin, why are the topical treatments less than effective. Is there something in my blood that would need to be addressed by taking Lamasil? Needless to say, these issues are not painful or life threatening. However, they continue to cause lingering embarrasment and shame. Any advice is appreciated.
Get Free Paleo Recipes Instantly
A previous PH thread about fungi has this great answer from JitzGrrl:
The glucose does increase the hydration of the mucus linings, which makes you more resistant to infection, but it seems the larger problem is that many fungi can use ketones for energy, while our defenses require glucose to function at peak effeciency. So swinging away from VLC/ketone metabolism and adding more glucose-based starches can increase the bodies immune response to these invaders, while decreasing the health of the fungi.
And from Paul Jaminet (Perfect Health Diet):
Low-carb diets, alas, impair immunity to fungal and protozoal infections. The immune defense against these infections is glucose-dependent (as it relies on production of reactive oxygen species using glucose) and thyroid hormone-dependent (as thyroid hormone drives not only glucose availability, but also the availability of iodine for the myeloperoxidase pathway). Thus, anti-fungal immunity is downregulated on very low-carb diets.
Moreover, eukaryotic pathogens such as fungi and protozoa can metabolize ketones. Thus, a ketogenic diet promotes growth and systemic invasion of these pathogens.
As the fungal infection case studies on our “Results” page illustrate, low-carb dieters often develop fungal infections, and these often go away with increased starch consumption.
I used to get Tinea Versicolor infections on my chest. Since going paleo, I don't get breakouts anymore, and my moderate acne has also cleared up. My carb intake varies considerably, but tends to be on the high side, and doesn't seem to affect my skin conditions. The other change I've made is that I don't shower as frequently, and when I do, I use soap (traditional soap made from lard and lye) only on the "smelly" parts. My thinking is that, just like with the gut, we want to encourage a healthy microflora, and that those bacteria and fungi will prevent an overgrowth of unwanted fungi.
Before going paleo I did have success treating it (though it would come back later) with topical anti-fungals. I would make sure to use multiple anti-fungals (alternating from one day to the next) with different active ingrediants to prevent the fungus developing resistance to the medication. I haven't seen any data on whether human fungal pathogens develop resistance to medications, but in agriculture, it can happen very rapidly. A central tenent of a conventional spray program in agriculture is to rotate active ingredients to prevent resistance issues.
I would think that sugars and starches would make it worse, but you might have to test that theory on yourself.
I temper my occasional body fungus problems by spraying hydrogen peroxide on the affected (afflicted?) areas near the end of my shower. I keep a sprayer on my hydrogen peroxide bottle for this purpose as well as occasional cleaning uses.
We keep a short salsa jar (just about the perfect size) in the bedroom with only coconut oil in it for skin applications (there's another jar in the kitchen for cooking, and there's a big jar in the pantry). Coconut oil has anti-fungal properties. This reduces my athlete's foot when applied to my toes.
Creams for fungal skin infections take a long time to work (at least a month.. probably longer even). I would keep up with it.. and if you want to get a pill for the infection the only way to get it is to go to your doctor. It doesn't even necessarily have to be a dermatologist... you could go to your primary care physician.
One more effective solution is herbal remedies like Cymbopogon citratus (lemon grass), Calendula officinalis and Tabebuia impetiginosa are well-known for their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties so we can use these to treat fungal skin infection. These herbal remedies are too much effected. With the use of these herbal remedies, fungal infection can be easily controlled by us.
It's really very irritating to go through with all this and it need's to take extra care while you suffer. Going for any solution that is not recommended by doctor can make the problem worse. I have read about defense soap which helps and act as a miracle in all these problems. Hope it will help you to solve your problem. Here is the link: