Quick Survey: Vitiligo and Auto-Immune Disease
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Vitiligo and Auto-Immune Disease

I have a friend who has long struggled with vitiligo. Are there any natural remedies or dietary supplements that can ease this condition? Should she consult a natural health care practitioner?

Vitiligo is a skin disorder in which patches of skin lose their pigmentation. Depigmented white patches are particularly obvious in dark skinned people, appearing on the face, hands, armpits, and groin. Affected skin is very sensitive to light. Vitiligo usually occurs in early adulthood and affects one in 200 people. Spontaneous remission can occur in 30 percent of people.

A common fungal infection of the skin (tinea versicolor) can result in white patches in the skin over the trunk that do not tan, and should be distinguished from vitiligo. Treatment consists of applying selenium sulphide lotion from the neck to the waist daily and leaving it on for 20 minutes for 7 days, then weekly for month. The alteration in pigmentation may take months to fill in.

Vitiligo is thought to be an auto-immune disease. It can also be associated with adrenal or thyroid dysfunction. In addition, vitiligo is strongly associated with a lack or insufficiency of hydrochloric acid (HCL), which can then lead to multiple nutrient deficiencies especially vitamin-B-12.

Treatment may involve the use of hydrochloric acid and pepsin under the direction of a practitioner. Swedish bitters are often useful to improve digestion.

Dr. Elson Haas, author of Staying Healthy With Nutrition (Celestial Arts, 1992) suggests as an alternative to HCL tablets, that you drink the juice of half a lemon squeezed in water, or a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water, twenty minutes before meals.

Many nutritional doctors believe that there is a strong relationship between auto-immune disorders and food allergies, candida infections and parasite disorders.

Treatment of auto-immune disorders involves a multifactorial approach including high doses of vitamin-C, vitamin-E and bioflavonoids, testing and treatment of food allergies, treatment of candida and parasites as well as adrenal support. Supervision by a practitioner skilled in natural medicine is essential.

Nutritional support of the adrenal glands includes licorice root tea; vitamin-C and pantothenic acid 500mg of each four times a day; adrenal glandular tablets two twice a day at 8 a.m. and between 3 and 4 pm.

Gerovital H-3 face cream from Rumania has been reported to give excellent results.An ancient Mediterranean plant known as khella (amni visnaga) has also been studied. Oral and topical use with subsequent exposure to sunlight has stimulated melanin synthesis and repigmentation in about one third of patients.

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