Probiotics and Toenail Fungus: Can it Cure it? Is it Safe to Use?

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are the name given to live bacteria and fungi. This helps maintain a healthy digestive system.

According to popular thinking, bacteria and fungi are bad for your health. However, on the contrary, some of these are healthy. Probiotics only contain microorganisms that are good for your body.

Are there any types of probiotics?

Certain types of bacteria come under the category of probiotics. These have different benefits. You will have to refer to your doctor about which probiotic is useful for your health

Lactobacillus is the most common type. A lot of doctors usually prescribe this as the base of probiotics. It helps with diarrhea.

Bifidobacterium is available in some of the dairy products. It mostly helps with irritable bowel syndrome.

Saccharomyces boulardii is quite different from the rest of the two types. It is a type of yeast probiotic.

How Do Probiotics Work?

There is no definite mechanism about how probiotics produce their effect. Some of the proposed mechanisms that experts suggest include

You lose good bacteria when you take antibiotics. Probiotics help to refill the number of good bacteria in your body.

Probiotics help create a balance between good and bad bacteria. This helps to maintain an equilibrium in the body.

Is probiotic helpful for the toenail fungus?

An alternative treatment for toenail fungus other than the medicines includes probiotics. Now that we know the mechanism of probiotics, we will discuss how probiotics are helpful.

Doctors usually prescribe probiotics with a yeast infection. However, the causative organisms of toenail fungus is a fungus.

According to experts, a person with fungal infection usually has a yeast infection as well. This is how it may be effective in people with an underlying yeast infection.

Having a combination of yeast and fungal infection can aggravate the toenail fungus.

Other experts in alternative medicine have other suggestions. Many illness arise due to irregularities in the balance of microorganisms.

This is where probiotics come in. They help in restoring the balance. Furthermore, there is a high chance that toenail fungus can recur. So, people usually have to take all the measures even after they get rid of the toenail fungus.

How to use probiotic for toenail fungus?

This is just an alternate medicine that may aid your regular treatment of the condition. These are some of the ways that you can take probiotics

  • Intake food that contains a high content of probiotics

In case you do not find food, you can also take probiotic supplements. These are available in the form of powder or capsules.

Intake both prebiotics and probiotics to help in achieving good gastrointestinal health.

  • Natural Sources of Probiotics

You can get good bacteria in your body with two natural sources. These include fermented food and dietary supplements. However, fermented food is one of the best sources of probiotics.

The reason that fermentation has high probiotic content is because of the fermentation process.

The fermentation takes place with the help of natural bacteria. Hence all fermented products have that good bacteria in it.

However, not all fermented food have probiotics in them. Here are a few examples of natural sources of probiotics

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Sauerkraut
  • Pickles
  • Miso
  • Tempeh
  • Kimchi
  • Sourdough bread
  • Some types of cheese
  • Supplements for Probiotics

There is undoubtedly another way by which you can intake probiotics. This includes probiotic supplements. You can start taking these supplements in different forms. These supplements can be used in the form of pills, powders, and even liquids.

One of the best things about the supplements is that it contains a combination of both pre and probiotics. Experts refer to this combination as synbiotic. Prebiotics are just carbohydrates that help keep the good bacteria healthy.

Can Probiotics be applied topically

The topical application of probiotics is also possible. This topical application helps in the promotion of a good balance of bacteria in the area.

However, the topical application of probiotics for toenail fungus may not be useful. In such cases, oral intake helps more than topical application.

Can I Take Probiotics and Antifungals together?

The answer is yes. Many of the fungal and yeast infection treatments include a two-way approach

  • Killing the organism
  • Restoration of the good bacteria in the gut

The antifungals work on the elimination of the organism from the body. Whereas, the probiotics that you take help to restore the good bacteria in your body.

However, there are certain reasons not to take both of these together. A fungal infection requires a special diet.

Furthermore, a person may get confused about what to eat and how to manage the diet. Another reason is that antifungals can kill bacteria. Hence, the probiotics may be of no use if antifungals continue to destroy the good bacteria. However, this is not true.

Probiotics and antifungals go hand in hand together. Many doctors recommend this, as well. According to research, taking both of these together creates a more potent effect. Furthermore, probiotics also help to reduce the side effects of the antifungals.

Is there any side effect of probiotics?

The good bacteria is naturally present in your body. This is the reason that probiotics are generally safe.

You can take probiotics in the diet as well as in the form of supplements easily. Probiotics may trigger allergies in some of the people. However, these allergies are mild, and you may have to discontinue the products.

  • Some of the mild side effects that people usually suffer from include
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal gases or flatulence
  • Bloating
  • Upset stomach

These adverse effects are temporary and may go away after a few doses. However, if these symptoms persist, then you may have to contact your doctor. Certain people need to use probiotics with caution. These include the following people;

  • People who have a weak immune system. This includes those on chemotherapy.
  • People who are suffering from a critical illness.
  • People who recently had surgery
  • Infants

Conclusion

If you are suffering from toenail fungus, then trying the alternative treatment is not harmful. In case of doubts, you can contact your health care provider.

When buying probiotic supplements, always read the labels. Purchase from companies that are authorized dealers.

Taking probiotics may not only improve your toenail fungus. It may also help with several other health conditions that you have.

References

https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/what-are-probiotics#1

http://www.healthynailblend.com/can-probiotics-help-nail-fungus.html

https://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/probiotics-toenail-fungus/2015/11/05/id/700738/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-get-more-probiotics#:~:text=The%20most%20common%20fermented%20foods,sourdough%20bread%20and%20some%20cheeses.

https://www.dermatologytimes.com/view/topical-probiotics-may-restore-skin-microflora-decrease-acne-lesions

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14598-probiotics

https://www.thecandidadiet.com/probiotics-and-antifungals/

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