Today I have an interview from a nice young woman I met on a vitiligo Facebook group I belong to. Her name is Aine Anderson and she has graciously offered to share her story on how she has been able to reverse her vitiligo in hopes that it may help those who want to heal, but may be confused about what to do and where to start.
I hope you find her story as helpful and inspiring as I have. Enjoy ;)!
1. When and how did your vitiligo start?
It began when I was 19 years old, and then it just snowballed from there. On my inner thighs, chest, upper inner arm. I had lost maybe 95% of my color by the time I was 25 and my other health challenges were also particularly stressful at this time… that’s when I decided to stopped eating processed convenience foods.
My rate of color loss turned the corner and I started getting little freckle islands of color back at 26. My face was definitely getting the benefit of sunlight, but for the rest of my covered body, the tiny freckles didn’t do much else until I added more lifestyle changes two years later. I am now 30, and I’m guessing around 90% repigmented. My face (mouth and eyes), hands, and neck have been the slowest to repigment.
2. Where is it located? Is it active or stable?
All parts of body affected. I still occasionally see new depigmented spots, but the freckle islands also appear inside them pretty quickly these days. In the past year, I’ve seen two or three pea sized spots develop, but they all show signs of beginning stage freckling repigmentation.
3. What do you feel caused or triggered your vitiligo?
There are all sorts of ideas about what triggered it, but I’ve always had particular sensitivities to innocuous things that other people had no problem with. Whatever triggered it already had the perfect setup with my aggressive immune system.
4. Did you change your diet? If so what changes did you make?
I did change my diet, I’ve always been conscious of my food quality, so it was bound to happen, haha. My diet wasn’t bad before now, but there were a lot of things I was consuming that were distressing my body, and I had no idea. Two years ago, I went raw for a while, but it was hard on my GI tract. Interestingly, I was regaining some color on this diet, but not as fast as I am with my lifestyle now. About seven months ago, I started a semi-paleo (primal) diet. That’s when the recoloring really took off.
5. Why do you feel diet is important when it comes to vitiligo?
Food intake is important for *everything* concerning the body and its functions. Removing things that irritate your digestive tract and body tends to manifest itself outwardly. For me, going gluten free has made a tremendous impact on my quality of life.
Wholesome food makes you feel, look, and perform in a more energized way. It really is that simple. I’ve had digestive problems my entire life until I started making serious changes to my food. Curiously, healing my GI tract brought about other positive physical transformations, among them, reversing the white spots that vitiligo caused.
Our functions are all interconnected. For every condition that manifests itself visually, there is probably at least one or two things going on internally that need a closer look. My diet goes completely against the grain of conventional dietary recommendations, but the kind of feedback my body systems are giving me tells me all I need to know.
6. Have you used any supplements? If so, which ones?
I take Vitamin D3 in liquid form. The common form of Vitamin D that I see being sold in stores is D2, much of which is not readily available for our body to use. I also take cod liver oil, which boosts both my Vitamin D and Omega 3 levels. When I increased my Omega 3 levels daily, I noticed that the chronic swelling of my legs and ankles reduced greatly, pretty much immediately. I’m really sold on the power of these supplements!
7. What topical treatments have you used to help you repigment?
I never used topical treatments for repigmentation. The reviews and testimonials I read online about that were discouraging, and I didn’t want anymore synthetic chemicals going into my bloodstream.
8. What do you feel was most important to your success?
A determination to increase health for the whole body… that was my ‘aha!’ moment. There were too many problems I was having concurrently to think that they weren’t all related. I knew that simply throwing potions on my skin wouldn’t actually address what was going on in the cellular level in the way that I needed. But diet, mental health, and play/exercise did, and then some.
9. How long after these changes did you see results?
Immediate changes were observed, within a week I would say, I noticed my body changing in positive ways. I think my color coming back was incidental to all of that healing. I have actually been spontaneously regaining color for about 4 years now, but the rate of change I can attribute to diet.
10. Any books you recommend?
I hesitate to recommend specific authors because I don’t want to endorse any cult trend. I will point to reading materials that are about paleo diet principals, food fermentation benefits, and the research of the late Dr. Weston Price.
I’m not a perfect adherent to all three approaches, but it laid the foundation in creating the kind of food lifestyle that has allowed my body to regenerate much of what popular medicine and conventional science suggested were “impossible” and unlikely. Clearly, it’s not impossible or unlikely if it’s being achieved with very little hardship on my part.
Books are primers for continued understanding and research. There is a lot of wisdom out there, and probably in more places than I mentioned here, but there is no one dietary guru whose opinions substitute for the signals your own body gives you.