Health for a Lifetime


Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Don Mckintosh (Host), David DeRose


Series Code: HFAL

Program Code: HFAL000175

00:49 Hello and welcome to Health for a Lifetime.
00:51 I'm your host Don Mackintosh.
00:52 Today we're going to talk about an unusual topic but something
00:56 that many people struggle with and that's fungus.
00:58 Talking with us today about fungus is Dr. David DeRose.
01:02 He's started a ministry called "CompassHealth. "
01:05 compasshealth. net
01:07 Dr. DeRose you're a specialist in internal medicine and
01:11 preventive medicine, you've got a masters in public health
01:14 this is kind of a blending of both the medical and the
01:17 ministry in CompassHealth, isn't that right?
01:20 That's exactly right.
01:21 Basically we do things for churches, community groups,
01:25 we do things for the general public as far as materials that
01:28 we write, we have some videos out, book, a number of things
01:32 that really can put more practical health information
01:34 in people's hands, as well as the media things that we do in
01:37 radio and TV.
01:38 You work together as a family and this is kind of a family
01:42 thing as well.
01:43 Well, some of it is.
01:44 Of course a lot of the technical work I'm doing.
01:46 My wife is also a physician but she's a busy
01:50 homeschooling mother as well, trying to run the house, keep
01:54 me in line as well as three children, doesn't give her
01:58 much time to do the medical end of things in CompassHealth.
02:02 She has a large corpas callosum.
02:03 She has to keep all those things together.
02:05 Ok, lets talk then about fungus today.
02:09 What is a fungus and do a lot of people struggle with a
02:13 problems with fungus?
02:14 Well, there's no question fungus or yeast is actually a form of
02:21 infectious condition.
02:23 These are potentially infectious organisms, if you will.
02:27 They're different than virus or bacteria.
02:30 They can cause human illness and disease.
02:33 The most common things that we see in most general practices
02:37 are skin fungus infections but there are a whole host of fungus
02:42 infections that can effect the lungs and other parts of the
02:44 body and can be very serious and even life threatening.
02:47 Candida is it a fungus?
02:49 Candida, sometimes called Candida other times Canada
02:53 but it's one of them histoplasmosis, coccidiomycosis,
02:58 blastomycosis, mucormycosis - people's eyes are already
03:04 glazing over. - laughter -
03:06 These are all just names for fungus.
03:07 These are different types of fungus.
03:09 Some of those are very bad fungus infections
03:12 that are systemic.
03:13 These other funguses, that we call dermatophytids, they're
03:17 funguses that reside on the skin and cause skin problems.
03:20 So the causes - what causes a fungus?
03:22 I'm sure it depends on where it is, but some general causes.
03:26 Well, the general perspective at least on these skin fungus
03:29 infections is that these fungi are ubiquitous -
03:35 they're all over.
03:36 Different host factors, whether it's genetic things,
03:40 whether it's lifestyle things predispose certain people
03:44 to get skin fungal infections.
03:46 We know certain environmental factors have a role.
03:50 For example if your skin is broken down it's more
03:54 susceptible to a fungal infection.
03:55 Fungi in general do best in warm, moist environments.
04:01 So warm, moist conditions that can cause just a
04:06 proliferation of this?
04:07 It can cause a proliferation.
04:09 It really sets the stage, if you will, for ideal environment
04:13 for these organisms.
04:14 We're seeing this more and more in our country because people
04:18 are providing... they're literally... it's like they're
04:20 building houses for fungi.
04:22 Have you ever thought about this?
04:23 No, and I don't think that's what they set out to do, but
04:25 what do you mean?
04:27 Well, as we gain weight and we get these skin folds, especially
04:31 if we gain lots of weight, what happens is those skin folds
04:35 tend to be moist, warm areas and people will often get what we
04:41 call an intertriginous - between the skin layers - dermatitis -
04:47 an infection with these fungi often times, these dramatify.
04:53 And so they get this fungal rash under their abdominal fat
04:59 or in other fatty areas of the body.
05:01 So this is something really that's becoming a big, big
05:04 problem in our country as we're gaining weight
05:07 and becoming larger.
05:08 What about having a depressed immune system?
05:12 This is important too, Don.
05:14 People that have diabetes, people that immune system
05:18 impairment they are more predisposed to these infections.
05:22 So in other words, if you're a diabetic...
05:26 how does that really work?
05:28 Well, actually blood sugar, we've known this for years,
05:32 is something that actually interferes with normal
05:35 immune system processes.
05:37 It's actually not just in diabetes.
05:39 Many of our viewers have probably heard of studies that
05:42 were done many years ago where people ate simple sugars.
05:46 The classic studies with just plain sugar but they've done
05:49 this with juice, honey, and other things.
05:52 You raise the blood sugar quickly and that actually
05:55 interferes with the ability of the white blood cells to fight
05:59 micro-organisms.
06:00 So whatever's happening with blood sugar is likely part of
06:05 the connection with diabetes and why diabetes has
06:08 immune suppressing effects.
06:10 We also know that those high blood sugars complex, they join
06:14 up with important proteins in the body, and this probably also
06:17 plays a role - especially in uncontrolled diabetes.
06:21 So depression of the immune system comes as a result of
06:23 the elevating sugars, but I've also heard that when someone is
06:26 obese or someone overweight they're in a state of infection,
06:31 is that right or wrong?
06:32 Well, it's an inflammatory condition, if you will.
06:35 What happens is, as we gain weight, especially around the
06:39 middle, this visceral fat, this fat around the organs,
06:42 it actually stimulates some inflammatory hormones in the
06:47 body that do have a number of deleterious processes.
06:52 It seems like this is some of what drives insulin
06:55 resistance some of these metabolic products that are
06:59 actually inflammatory chemicals.
07:01 So diabetes these other things if you have them, they certainly
07:05 can set you up for fungal infections as well.
07:07 What about Cushing's syndrome?
07:10 Well, Cushing's syndrome is another basically hormonal
07:14 condition.
07:15 Often times people with Cushing's will have excess
07:18 weight so they have those skin fold problems, they have
07:21 the disordered blood sugar - we could go through a whole list
07:25 of examples like this - HIV infection, we could talk about
07:29 people who have had transplants, kidney and liver transplants.
07:34 These people are taking anti-rejection drugs that are
07:37 suppressing their immune system.
07:38 So the common denominator that we have here are these
07:42 host factors - whether it's a drug you're taking or whether
07:45 it's a disease - it's increasing the risk.
07:47 So we've got the host factors that increase the risk for
07:50 fungal infections and then we've got the environmental factors.
07:54 One of the things that people don't often think about
07:56 when it comes to the environmental factors is the
07:58 clothes they wear.
07:59 Like clothes that cause moisture and all those bad stuff?
08:03 That's right!
08:04 Nylon for example holds in moisture.
08:07 Cotton is the best type of clothing to wear.
08:10 If you've got athlete's foot - wear cotton socks.
08:16 Wear more breathable shoes and if you can wear sandals
08:20 or if you don't have to wear socks in the summer time
08:24 wear the sandals and go without the socks.
08:27 What you want to do is you want to get a cool,
08:30 cooler at least, dry, and more air circulating.
08:36 These are the things that we want to keep in mind when you're
08:40 trying to suppress these fungal infections or remove
08:43 the possibility for them arising.
08:45 Are there genetic factors that drive fungal infections?
08:48 There seem to be genetic factors.
08:50 I'm going to be honest with you, I'm not an expert
08:54 in the genetics of host factors when it comes to
08:57 fungal infection but there definitely seems to be some
09:01 pre-dispositions host wise as far as the individual whether
09:06 it has to do with skin quality, whether it has to do with skin
09:10 oil production.
09:11 There's a variety of things that theoretically may be
09:14 impacting how well a person can fend off these organisms
09:20 that are all around us.
09:21 You have something written down here - atopy?
09:25 That refers to atopic conditions.
09:30 These are allergic conditions.
09:32 Skin is often affected in this, like young children many times
09:37 have an atopic problem.
09:40 And they may get facial rashes or other things.
09:42 There maybe some food relationships.
09:44 The bottom line - if you've got an allergic condition that has
09:48 skin manifestations, that is lowering resistance to the skin
09:54 to other problems and so these fungi can then get in and cause
09:58 a fungus infection.
09:59 Now if someone has a question normally they would see their
10:01 general physician and maybe a dermatologist
10:04 for some of these things?
10:05 Exactly.
10:06 If you know it's a fungus infection or it's just related
10:08 to the skin, dermatologist... I mean they're the experts
10:10 when it comes to these skin infections.
10:12 Many general practitioners, though, have a lot of experience
10:15 dealing with some of the more simple things that occur
10:18 frequently because they just see it so often.
10:20 So, we're going to look at some practical ways
10:22 to treat these things.
10:25 Are we ready to move there?
10:26 Is there anything else we need to understand?
10:27 No, I think that's where we want to go because we want
10:30 to make the program practical.
10:31 Ok, let's look at some of those practical things.
10:34 Work us through some things we can do.
10:35 Because these fungal infections can effect all different parts
10:39 of the body, one of the common ones is athlete's foot
10:42 we've mentioned it already.
10:43 Let's talk about that first of all.
10:44 Strategies again.
10:47 Remember the environment you want to keep cool and dry.
10:51 We've talked about the clothing.
10:53 We've talked about something that may have passed by people.
10:58 That is, when it comes to moisture content, they may have
11:01 read between the lines, but where is the most common
11:04 place that you're exposed to moisture when it comes
11:06 to your feet?
11:07 Probably in the shower, sometimes a collective shower
11:10 maybe where all the other athlete's have taken a shower.
11:12 Ok, you're right.
11:13 Is that where you pick it up?
11:15 Is it contagious?
11:16 Yes, there is evidence that people who are using communal
11:19 bath facilities, like athletes, are at higher risk
11:23 of these things.
11:24 My mother really wanted me to be a "sissy" when I was a boy,
11:28 you know that?
11:29 No, I didn't know that, but...
11:30 'Cause she didn't succeed, hopefully, is what you
11:31 were thinking! - laughter -
11:33 But what she wanted me to do, was when I was a high school kid
11:36 she wanted me to wear thongs, sandals, in the shower room!
11:40 Because of this athlete's foot?
11:42 Yes!
11:43 I wasn't going to do that!
11:44 And so you got athlete's foot?
11:46 Did I tell you this already?
11:47 No, but I can almost guess!
11:48 I did and then I started wearing the thongs so I wouldn't give
11:51 it to anyone else!
11:52 Whether that helped or not... but you see the point?
11:55 Mom knew best again!
11:57 I should have listened to her.
11:59 But this is an important risk factor.
12:01 But here's the other point.
12:03 We're talking about treatment now.
12:04 You got the athlete's foot already.
12:06 What do you do when you come out of the shower?
12:08 You dry your feet off, you open them up to air, you put sandals
12:12 on maybe... I don't know.
12:14 But how do you dry your feet?
12:15 This is the question.
12:16 With a towel.
12:17 Well, you know what?
12:18 Often people dry the area that's effected by the fungus
12:22 incorrectly.
12:23 If they've got it affecting their feet, under a layer of fat
12:26 in their abdomen, in their private area, and around their
12:29 bottom, these are all common places to have these
12:32 fungal infections, and people say, "I got to keep it dry. "
12:35 So they go ahead and get that terry towel and they dry between
12:38 their toes or they dry in some other areas - that's wrong.
12:42 It's wrong because the skin when it's moist is very
12:45 susceptible to physical agitation or
12:49 physical irritation.
12:50 So what you do is dab it.
12:53 You blot it dry.
12:55 To get it really, really well dry, use a blow dryer
12:59 on a low heat setting.
13:01 Spread you toes apart, use the blow dryer after you've
13:04 blotted it dry, just kind of pat on top of the feet or
13:07 under the areas that you're treating and then get it
13:11 really dry before you put the clothing on.
13:13 If you didn't listen to your mother about the thongs
13:16 it's not going to be too many people listen about the
13:18 blow dryer but - laughter - but that's still good advice.
13:20 Yes, it is good advice.
13:22 I'd say my mom's advice was good.
13:24 We've got to give all the wisdom that's out there
13:27 because you know what?
13:29 Most people don't get motivated to prevent something,
13:33 they get motivated to treat it.
13:34 That was the case for me.
13:35 Aside from drying it off and aside from doing all the things
13:37 you said that are natural things, are there any
13:39 medications that you need for athlete's foot?
13:41 There are medications many people have used, the ointments,
13:45 the lotions, the over-the-counter things.
13:47 And those things are fine.
13:48 They're often effective.
13:49 The problem is most people don't use them long enough.
13:54 Lot's of times it's the itch cycle or something like that,
13:59 that you noted on your webpage.
14:02 Talk to us about the itch cycle.
14:04 There's what we sometimes call the scratch-itch cycle.
14:08 I can tell you, Don, listen, we're on the air, maybe your
14:13 mom told you this, "Don't scratch yourself,
14:15 people are watching you!"
14:17 During the public times or during the waking hours
14:23 we can say even if no one is watching us, we're going to say,
14:26 "Look it, the Doctor told me if I scratch this area it's
14:29 just making it worse because I'm disturbing the skin integrity. "
14:33 What happens at night?
14:35 What happens when you're sleeping and you've got
14:38 an area that itches?
14:39 What do you think you do?
14:40 You scratch it.
14:41 You don't have any higher cortical control while
14:44 you're asleep.
14:45 So it is important many times if the skin is being disturbed
14:49 to break that scratch-itch cycle.
14:51 Many of these anti-fungal preparations, medications,
14:56 will have something for the itch in it as well.
15:01 A classic one will be some Hydrocortisone.
15:04 Now this is ironic because cortisone drugs actually
15:08 suppress the immune system.
15:10 So they are not good over the long haul?
15:12 They are not good over the long haul.
15:14 They also, the more potent ones, can thin the skin.
15:18 Hmmm, not good, because that makes it easier to be
15:21 introducing secondary pathogens perhaps.
15:25 That's right.
15:26 So really, although these are sometimes included and we can
15:29 get away with it sometimes, some people if they have a real
15:33 resistant fungal infection, using these common preparations
15:36 that have the steroids in them will only frustrate the problem.
15:39 We're talking with Dr. David De Rose.
15:40 We're talking about fungal infections and other things
15:44 that can afflict us in America with our skin.
15:47 Join us when we come back.
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16:50 Welcome back.
16:51 We're talking with Dr. David De Rose.
16:53 We've been talking about fungal infections.
16:55 Much of the information that we cover today
16:58 is going to be covered more in depth on Dr. De Rose's webpage
17:03 compasshealth. net
17:06 Thank you for providing that expansion on what we're
17:12 talking about today.
17:13 We're talking about fungal infections and you've noticed
17:16 several basic things: avoiding moist conditions,
17:20 communal baths, immuno-suppression, and then
17:24 some more specific conditions that can lead to
17:27 Cushing's syndrome, or HIV, or these other things that can
17:30 break down the ability for the body to fight
17:34 against these things.
17:35 We've talked about atopy, genetic predispositions, and
17:39 we started to talk about treatments.
17:40 Question comes to mind though.
17:42 Are fungal infections the same as eczema?
17:44 Is there a difference?
17:45 Oh no, very different.
17:46 Eczema is not a fungal infection but eczema is related in that,
17:51 like the scenario we were talking about earlier, any type
17:54 of skin problem can lower the resistance of that skin
18:01 to fungal infection.
18:03 Eczema actually has some seasonal variations
18:07 in people when the air is colder and dryer, containing less
18:12 moisture.
18:13 People that are predisposed to eczema will often have
18:14 more problems.
18:15 Doctors and nurses we're at high risk, washing our hands
18:20 so frequently, often get a hand eczema.
18:24 So the idea is to moisturize as well as washing the skin.
18:29 Use a good moisturizer as well after you wash.
18:33 The reason it came to my mind is because one of the treatments
18:35 you were suggesting for a fungal infection is something
18:38 that sometimes they use with eczema that being a
18:41 cortisone based cream.
18:43 Exactly.
18:44 The cortisone does not actually treat the fungus.
18:46 So just using a cortisone cream on a fungal infection will
18:50 actually tend to make it worse.
18:52 What they often try to get away with doing...
18:56 I'm more of a purist.
18:59 I sensed that. - laughter-
19:01 You did? - laughter-
19:02 I like to treat the problem.
19:03 So I tend not to use the cortisone containing
19:06 preparations initially.
19:07 But many of my colleagues will say, "Look it De Rose get off
19:11 the purist kick and just be realistic, you can give a little
19:16 cortisone mixed in with these things. "
19:18 There are many commercial preparations and like I said
19:21 many people can get away with using these but others don't.
19:24 They've got to drop the cortisone out of the preparation
19:27 then use something else for the itching.
19:29 Whether it's an antihistamine orally or something topical
19:33 I'll tell you an interesting thing.
19:35 A lot of people don't know this but Calamine lotion,
19:38 you know a lot of people think of using it for poison ivy,
19:42 well it's a drying lotion.
19:44 So you could use it for a fungal problem.
19:46 You could actually use it... it's not a treatment for a
19:50 fungus but if you've been treating... if you've got like a
19:53 chronic fungal infection, chronic athlete's foot problem,
19:56 you don't want to take one of the oral anti-fungal medications
19:59 because you're afraid of the side effects.
20:01 And there are some reasons to be afraid.
20:02 Some of these are very potent drugs that cause
20:05 liver irritation and other things.
20:07 You say, "Look it, I just want to keep the area very clean,
20:10 dry, cool. "
20:12 The Calamine lotion or a Caladryl that includes Benadryl
20:16 with an anti-itching compound may actually help.
20:18 If you can break the cycle sometimes with that itching,
20:22 sometimes that in and of itself will allow it to heal and that
20:25 may be what was perpetuating it.
20:27 So, just like in athlete's foot you said to dry it by blotting
20:32 or dabbing rather than irritating it because that's
20:35 almost like a itch cycle.
20:37 Exactly.
20:38 So, if you have things in other places, your private areas,
20:39 you'd do the same kind of thing - keep it dry.
20:42 Well, the private areas are really difficult areas to
20:49 handle sometimes.
20:50 There are several reasons for that.
20:52 One of them is there is the micro biologic environment
20:58 there is different.
20:59 Especially if you think of where the colon empties out.
21:02 We're continually exposing that area to some of the
21:06 bi products of our digestive system.
21:09 Some of the strategies that seem to make a difference
21:13 in people that have problems in those areas is actually
21:17 looking very closely at their diet, avoiding lots of
21:19 simple sugars.
21:21 The theory behind that is we're going to provide less food for
21:24 the yeast that thrive on those simple sugars
21:28 in that environment.
21:29 Another strategy that is sometimes used is probiotics,
21:32 these so-called "good bacteria" like lactobacillus.
21:36 These can be taken orally.
21:37 And there are some suggestions that this may help to address
21:40 some of the problems that you may have in the rectal area
21:44 or other areas.
21:45 So we're talking about two different things - things that
21:48 stop the itching cycle and all that, but then the actual
21:52 treatment of the fungus - what should people take
21:54 for that, it's not just sometimes go away on it's own?
21:57 No, actually many times you do need something.
21:59 There are some natural strategies that work.
22:02 It depends where the fungal infection is
22:04 whether or not you use these.
22:06 Garlic has anti-fungal properties for example.
22:11 Some people have had success using garlic powder.
22:15 It's not something that I've actually used but the natural
22:18 things that I tend to use first are tea tree oil.
22:23 This you have on the webpage?
22:25 That's right, it's on the webpage.
22:27 Tea tree oil has natural anti-fungal properties.
22:31 You have to be careful with it though because there's a
22:34 significant percentage of people that do get allergic to the
22:38 tea tree oil.
22:39 So you need to be mindful of that.
22:41 If that doesn't work, what is your second line?
22:42 Well, not necessarily the second line, but another one that's a
22:46 actually can be effective is vinegar.
22:49 Vinegar actually has anti-fungal properties.
22:52 Garlic powder?
22:54 Garlic powder and calendula is another herb.
22:57 Calendula, what's that?
22:58 Calendula is an herb that has some anti-fungal properties.
23:01 There's a number of these herbs and natural products
23:04 that can be used for people that gravitate in that direction.
23:08 And then there are some of the over-the-counter, you don't need
23:11 a prescription, anti-fungals: Lotrimines, Monistat,
23:15 Mycostatin, things like this that can be used on
23:19 fungal areas.
23:20 Usually they work quite good - Tinactin powders
23:22 and things like this.
23:24 Many times they do work well.
23:26 And then there's probably a whole class of drugs or
23:29 regiments that you can only get from your
23:31 doctor, dermatologist or your general practice person?
23:34 Yes, especially if you've got a resistant fungal infection
23:37 and it's going to require something oral.
23:39 Some of these prescription drugs can be very expensive, they need
23:44 to be monitored, and some of them do have
23:46 significant toxicity.
23:48 Do you make a difference on the webpage between topical
23:51 anti-fungal preparations and systemic drugs?
23:54 I appreciate you highlighting that because sometimes
23:58 the terminology we use in professional circles is not
24:02 familiar to lay people.
24:03 Topical is what you put on the skin.
24:06 Generally these topical things are readily available,
24:10 many options at least, over the counter.
24:12 The thing is, Don, while we're talking about the topical,
24:14 I'll mention the systemic again.
24:16 That's the oral things you take that go through out the body.
24:19 People need to make sure that they treat these things.
24:23 Usually what we'll say is a minimum sometimes of two weeks.
24:27 And make sure you continue the treatment for a week after
24:31 the infection is cleared.
24:32 That's one rule of thumb for going about this.
24:34 So it's like an antibiotic?
24:35 Yes, a lot of people will treat it, they'll knock it out, and
24:39 what they've really done is they've allowed, at least
24:42 theoretically, that fungus or yeast to become resistant
24:48 to whatever because they've knocked it down enough
24:50 but they didn't wipe it out.
24:51 So make sure you use it for a week after you've eradicated
24:56 it - at least visibly eradicated.
24:58 You have some specifics here in applying vinegar - kind of a
25:03 formula: 1/2 calendula, 1/2 oz. myrrh, 1/2 qt. vinegar
25:10 you have these on your webpage for actual treatments if you're
25:15 going that natural way.
25:16 That's right.
25:17 Myrrh is another agent that's been used in these preparations
25:20 like you point out.
25:21 So there are recipes that have been used in more
25:24 natural combinations and that's one of them.
25:26 Fungus under the nails?
25:27 Fungus under the nails or nail fungus it's really a fungus
25:31 that actually infects the nail itself.
25:33 Those can be very resistant especially the toe nail.
25:36 There is research data done in the medical research literature
25:41 showing that tea tree oil in a percentage of people is
25:45 an effective treatment.
25:46 Now when I say "effective treatment" we're not talking
25:49 50, 60, 70 percent.
25:51 It's a minority of people but if someone wants to go with a
25:55 natural treatment, you're talking a 3- 6 months
25:57 whatever you do.
25:58 If you're doing something topical on the toenails
26:00 they're slow to grow and you need to be committed to the
26:04 long haul for applying this treatment topically.
26:08 Garlic?
26:09 Garlic like I say does have these anti-fungal properties.
26:12 The problem with garlic is it is an irritant as well.
26:15 So is the vinegar.
26:16 You've got to be careful if the skin is very raw you're not
26:19 going to want to put vinegar on it.
26:21 It's not going to necessarily win you any popularity contest
26:26 at least me, because I'm the one talking about
26:30 it here on the air. - laughter -
26:31 As always these suggestions are always helpful and there's
26:36 a lot more that could be talked about.
26:38 There's some of this on the webpage compasshealth. net
26:42 You're a Christian clinician and I want to hear a spiritual,
26:46 hopeful thought perhaps that we could share as we're closing
26:50 out this segment.
26:51 You know we've been talking today about two strategies
26:56 treating a problem once you have it and then preventing it
27:01 from ever occurring.
27:03 I find that the Lord is so wonderful doing that
27:06 in scriptures.
27:07 He both provides treatments for our point of need.
27:11 He offers us the help that we need.
27:14 We can come to Him with our health problems,
27:16 spiritual problems, but He also has a preventive program.
27:20 I really see as a physician His Word often is a textbook
27:23 on public health preventive medicine.
27:26 Well, thank you so much, Dr. De Rose, for joining us.
27:29 And thank you also for putting the material together on the
27:33 website compasshealth. net and for the ministry of actually
27:38 service, I mean seminars, and working with people, making this
27:42 material accessible to the public.
27:44 We're just glad we can do it.
27:45 Thank you for joining us on Health for a Lifetime.
27:47 Today's program has been very practical and I hope that it has
27:51 immediate use for you.
27:52 If you need more information visit those resources.
27:55 Thanks for joining us.


Revised 2014-12-17