Many years ago when my younger daughter was in college, she and her girlfriends would go for regular pedicures.
Unbeknownst to me, she had developed a fungal infection on both of her big toes. I was unaware of this since her nails were never without polish, no matter the season of the year. Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) not one nail technician ever turned her away after seeing what the nails looked like when the old polish was removed. (I have plenty to say about that, but I don’t want to deviate from the main focus of this blog article.)
My daughter subsequently realized that her toenails were getting worse and that it was high time that she told me about it. I was horrified to see that they were yellow, thick and rough in appearance. I’ve seen this on diabetics and elderly people with poor leg circulation, but never on a young person.
I immediately scheduled an appointment with a local podiatrist. He diagnosed her with onychomycosis which is a fungal infection that affects toenails. She was instructed to apply a medicated polish for a period of time. When that proved unsuccessful, he wanted to write her a prescription for an oral medication that would require regular blood work to be certain that it was not adversely affecting her liver. As far as I was concerned, this medication was not an option!
Truth be told, my daughter’s entire immune system was a disaster. Since infancy she was continually getting colds, viruses, and ear infections. She was a magnet for germs. At seven years of age, she contracted mono and had to miss a few weeks of school. As a young teen, she was also plagued with sinus infections, yeast infections and urinary tract infections. She had pneumonia and bronchitis in college.
Why was she always sick?
Why was her body chemistry so different from her older sister who rarely got sick?
Why did she always need antibiotics to get better?
That was it!
The difference between the immune systems of my two daughters must have something to do with antibiotics! My younger daughter was given antibiotics at least 4 times a year; whereas, my older daughter had only been on antibiotics once since she was born.
Antibiotics work by killing bacteria in the intestinal tract. Unfortunately, the good bacteria which we need for proper digestion and overall good health, are eradicated along with the bad bacteria when we take antibiotics. When our good bacteria levels are reduced, our immune system becomes compromised and does not work optimally.
The superhero of this story is —-> probiotics!!
My daughter completely turned her immune system around…
She began taking a good quality probiotic on a regular basis. Probiotics provided her digestive system with the good bacteria which had been destroyed by the antibiotics. (In the beginning, she also added prebiotics which are food ingredients which help to feed the probiotic bacteria.) As her immune system strengthened and the good bacteria started to flourish in her intestinal tract, the new toenail growth came in healthy and smooth without a hint of yellow discoloration.
It is truly amazing how the body can heal when given the proper nourishment. So much of our health is tied in to our digestive system. My daughter rarely gets sick these days and has probiotics to thank for that!
NOTE: If you are considering adding a probiotic to your diet, please discuss with your personal physician or health care provider. I have shared this story for informational purposes only.
Lori Weintraub is a licensed skin care therapist, holistic health coach and a hair removal expert. She offers consultations, skin care lessons, exceptional products and hand-holding guidance to help women over 40 regain their youthful glow. Learn more here.