Anyone here dealt with vitiligo? I've started developing small white patches on my face and all over my body, and they're kinda freaking me out. :eek: Thankfully I'm pretty pale so they're not very noticeable, but I'd like to try to stop it before it spreads more.
I have hypothyroidism, slightly high cortisol, gluten intolerance, seriously slow-healing skin, and digestive issues that all developed over the course of the last two years, and think they're probably contributing to it somehow. It seems like something is throwing my immune system out of whack, and this is just another issue to add to the pile.
I eat pretty much 100% primal, lots of red meat, butter, veggies, coconut oil. Vitamin D levels are great, B-12 is mid-range, ferritin is low in range. I supplement with D, Magnesium, Calcium, Iron, Selenium and Borage Oil. Just started taking HCl, as well. I had been taking 30mg of Zinc nightly for about three months, and just recently stopped because I was afraid of copper and calcium depletion.
Anyone have any tips on slowing the spread of the spots and achieving repigmentation?
I don't have vitiligo, but I know that it's an autoimmune condition and is very likely connected to your other symptoms of being gluten intolerant and hypothyroid (I'm going to bet that you have Hashimoto's, even if you haven't been diagnosed!)
It's possible you also have a casein sensitivity, and some people cross-react to coffee the same way they do to gluten, so there are two possible factors. Another possibility is that you have an antigen (like a virus or bacteria) that is firing up your immune system.
Another possibility is that you're taking an herb or supplement that could be stimulating your already overactive immune system (examples: for some people, echinacea, licorice, medicinal mushrooms, beta glucan and astragalus are a problem and for others, resveratrol, green tea, caffeine, chocolate, pine bark extract, pycnogenol and grape seed extract are a problem.)
Iodine can really cause the immune system to flare, so until you know for sure that you are negative for thyroid antibodies, don't take it! The amount of zinc you were taking is fine- it shouldn't cause problems (or you could take a zinc/copper combo.)
There are ways you can balance your immune system so that it stops attacking your thyroid and melanin cells. You can determine which immune pathway is the culprit and modulate it.
I'm going to recommend that you find a functional endocrinology practitioner to help you put all the puzzle pieces together. It made a huge difference for me (I was already Primal but my Hashimoto's was still giving me symptoms and my immune system was not yet balanced).
Check out the practitioner list at [url]www.thyroid.com[/url] and if there's no one in your area, I know that a number of them will work distance with you (I know for sure that Dr. Peterson in MO will).
Hey hazyjane, thanks so much for the detailed and helpful response! :) I'm not sure if I have Hashi's because I had a few antibodies but they were well within the range, and no one in my family has thyroid issues. The only supplements I take are those I listed, and the only one that might have weird effects is the borage oil, I think. Thanks also for the info about the zinc, I'll probably start taking it again because I am very deficient.
curious to hear if you get any signs of reversal on the vitiligo. I have it, have had it since 8th grade or so. Became more pronounced in my late 20's-30's. I see the patches "growing" more every year. Luckily I am naturally fairly pale, so with sunscreen, etc, it's not so noticeable. Seems to be most extreme on my hands, but most of the time when i'm out in the sun i have full finger gloves on b/c i'm on my bike.
no one else in my family has it.
First time poster here, but I saw this and had to respond.
I've had vit for about four years now. It waxes and wanes. Or rather it waxes, stops waxing, and then waxes some more. I've done so much research on it, and know pretty much as much as the experts know, which is to say not a lot. It seems to be caused by a combination of genetic/environmental/stress factors, and apparently, it might even confer an evolutionary advantage; the latest research shows that it's on the same gene locus as skin cancer and those with vit have much lower chances of getting melanoma. This is all to say that there are treatments, and some of them work for some and some of them don't work for others, but it seems to be a gene mutation, and you can't "cure" it.
This is really none of my business--and please forgive my impertinence--but I would really caution you against taking supplements without some medical oversight. Hie thee to a naturopath, or a vitamin-friendly doctor! There was one thing that really jumped out at me, which was that you were taking Zinc, but stopped because of copper depletion. Which was smart. There's some evidence that some with vit MAY be lower in copper. You see, copper binds with tyrosinase to produce melanin. And of course, you need to take copper with zinc together anyway, and lots of people seem to be low in zinc too. It's back to what causes vitiligo--some people may have the mutated gene, but never display vitiligo because the "right" (or wrong) environmental factors may not be present. And those factors are different for everyone.
Anyway, I pretty much stopped worrying about it because it was stressing me out too much. It is what it is, and, in my experience, my face starts out the summer with some whiter spots, but seems to repigment by the end of the summer. I can deal with the other stuff. (Or so I like to tell myself.) Back when I was freaking out a lot, I did a lot of researching and posting about it. If you google "on the general lack of vitiligo information" you'll be taken to my blog, and there's a lot of info there. Sadly, I'm not up to date anymore