A Fading Problem
I first noticed small white patches under my arms as a college student. I was under a lot of stress and felt somewhat alone during that time. The clinic nurse was unable to diagnose the spots. Five years later I fell down and scraped my knee. When it healed, I had a new patch. Little patches on my hands appeared five or more years later. It was near the birth of my fifth child at the age of 35, almost 20 years after my first patches appeared when I noticed a small de-pigmented patch at the corner of my mouth. When that son was approximately 5 months old, family stress was high, church going had subsided, and my marriage was in need of counseling, I had made certain dietary changes, and I began to de-pigment on my face at a relatively rapid rate.
My family doctor was willing to “think with me” on the topic but had no firm solutions. The dermatologist was less than hopeful informing me of the relatively poor results her group was getting with vitiligo patients. The dermatologist even sent me to the cosmetic-laser surgery section of the hospital to look for help. I felt like I was in a pinball machine hitting flashing lights, each of which required co-pays and babysitter fees to no avail. Believing firmly that health can be found outside of the current medical establishment, in fact feeling just a bit safer a few steps away, I launched out on my own an effort to heal.
I did get some good information from Dr. Zyblot, a naturopath doctor in Austin, concerning auto-immune diseases and nutrition. His thoughtful approach was an encouragement to me. He introduced me to the theory that (my interpretation here of course) auto-immune issues might spring from improperly digested proteins re-enter the system sparking an attack on the body whether it be thyroid cells or melanin in the skin.
Vitiligo must eventually be healed from the inside out, but taking care of the outside can help reduce the stress which may be a factor of the internal cause; therefore, I worked hard at diet, stress management, and exercise for the inside while working on external topical solutions so that the damaged melanin my respond.
Diet: Eat Fat Lose Fat
My healing journey had begun months early in an effort to restore my thyroid. I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis six years prior to this rapid depigmentation and had taken Synthroid for years. I wanted to wean myself off of this medication. I did not want to be dependent on medicine for the rest of my life, and I have since heard of the medication can, in some cases, eventually cause the thyroid to go into a state of atrophy.
Finding hope for the thyroid, I decided to follow a diet protocol from the Eat Fat Lose Fat book. I had a high regard for the author Sally Fallon and her previous work called Nourishing Traditions. I took 2-3 tbs. of coconut oil and drank one or two glasses of “milk tonic” which consisted of raw milk and raw egg yolk amongst other things. Since I have been lactose intolerant for as long as I can remember, I was surprised to drink raw milk with no problem.
The rapid de-pigmentation began to happen near this time. In the article “Allopathic and Ayurvedic Approaches to Leucoderma” Rama D. Napolitani CAS Intern suggests that, “Intake of mutually contradictory food, and drinks which are liquid, unctuous and heavy” is a cause of vitiligo. I have since read about and tried to incorporate proper food combining into my diet.
I now believe the large amount of acidic foods in various combinations overloaded my system, specifically it may have overworked my liver. (Liver issues are a concern for people with autoimmune issues. This makes more and more sense as I learned about regaining my health. It is hard to think of a generally healthy person having liver issues, a condition we usually associate with the very sick. In Chinese medicine, it is an organ that commonly needs attention.) Though I still think highly of Sally Fallon’s various works, I don’t believe that the Eat Fat Lose Fat diet was right for me.
In 2005 I was absolutely thrilled to hear Sally Fallon speak at a chapter meeting of a Nourishing Traditions group in Austin. It was suggested at that meeting that starting out with very small doses of coconut oil would be advisable especially if a low fat diet was followed for many years.
Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type
I read several popular and/or classic diet and health books. I’ve learned tidbits from each. When I read the protocol for my blood type in Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type I sensed that the list agreed with my needs and even contained foods that I have really loved over the years like miso, spinach, blueberries, figs, etc.
I adopted some of the principals of Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type. I did not agree with the author on all points, but it just so happened that the foods that agreed with my blood type, which is type A+, seemed to be more easily digested and healthful than other dietary choices I had made. Generally, the Type A diet emphasizes fruits and veggies, fish and legumes and specific ones at that.
The Brand New Deodorant Rotation Diet!
Okay, I’m going to get a little personal here. As I began to consider the suggestions in ER4YBT, I changed deodorants from a popular anti-perspirant/deodorant to a simple more healthy deodorant with natural ingredients. What I found was that when I ate certain things, like dairy and chicken for instance, not in the Type A protocol (or not in a typical pesca-vegetarian diet), the natural deodorant was insufficient. When I stuck to the list, I found the natural deodorant worked great. I think this has to do with the body’s inability to break down certain things. I believe that odor is a red flag, maybe one signaling those that might cause an allergic or auto-immune reaction that is missed when we use regular, chemical deodorants. I’ve even realized that with a carefully restricted diet, I don’t have to use deodorant at all. (The food items specifically were creamer (Half and Half) in my coffee, other diary, chicken, and wheat products. Having just gone through the ’06 Christmas season and reintroducing wheat in the forms of cookies, sourdough bread, and udon noodles and having gained 5 lbs. in a relatively short time along with underarm odor, I can easily continue to strike wheat off of my list.) I mention this simply to suggest that our bodies to speak to us. We have to learn to listen. I currently use witch hazel mixed with a few drops of essential oil as deodorant and am odor free unless I stray from what I know is right for me or combine them improperly or during hormonal fluctuations due to my cycle.
An interesting point here is to consider if the weight gain is due to dysbiosis in the bowels causing the undigested foods to stay and ferment and then leak into the gut or reproduce bad bacteria that weigh in a little heavy or a little bit of both. The weight usually disappears within a few days of avoiding complex carbohydrates.
I then transitioned to a vegetarian diet. The company that creates Anti-Vitiligo oil suggests that people who continue to eat beef, eggs, dairy and fish rarely have complete recovery. At http://www.leucoderma.com/diet.htm Dr. Rajesh Shah, M.D.(Hom.) suggests that “Non vegetarian foods are also to be avoided as they act as a foreign body to pigment cells” He also suggests that sour foods be avoided included citrus and pickles. See his explanation at the aforementioned website.
I do notice that I seem to have more rapid re-pigmentation while on a diet of fruits, nuts, veggies, non-glutinous grains such as rice and legumes. (Though I have heard lentils should be restricted by various sources perhaps because they are considered sour.) I have also had some fish during my re-pigmentation. (’07 update: the more I read the more it seems that cooked starchy carbs may be of detriment. When I avoid all of them, I generally eat more of the fruits and veggies and still a bit of quinoa and feel very good.)
I’ve scanned information from the book Break the Vicious Cycle which is a book that helps the broad spectrum of brain disorders such as ADD and Autism and attributes them to leaky gut. They suggest no cooked grains. I’ve found this to be helpful in the healing process.
The pH Miracle
Dr. Robert O. Young’s theories have interested me greatly. He is the author of various books including The pH Miracle. When I read Dr. Young’s books, I knew I had found something different and powerful. His books illuminated all that I had learned up to that point and then some. Was it blood type or pH that really made the difference? It looked as though my slow elimination and rotation of foods were pointing to the diet Dr. Young suggests to alkalize the body.
Dr. Young believes that it is not too little hydrochloric acid (many with vitiligo think they need HCL supplementation) but too little alkalizing minerals to buffer the acidic foods that come down. He believes hydrochloric acid is the product of this sort of breakdown. This is taken from one of his free newsletters called The Truth about the Stomach:
6) The hydrochloric acid residues in the stomach are not a digestive enzyme but an acidic waste product of sodium bicarbonate production by the cover cells of the stomach.
7) The biochemical equation is as follows:
NaCl + H20 + CO2 <=> NaHCO3 + HCL or
Sodium Chloride (Salt) + Water + Carbon Dioxide equals Sodium Bicarbonate + Hydrochloric Acid.
Vegetarian à Alkalarian
From vegetarian or veganism I switched to an Alkalarian protocol suggested by Dr. Young. I have also tried weeks on various raw food programs but always find my way back to the pH Miracle diet. (I tried the 80/10/10 diet which suggests 80% of the diet come from raw fruit and soon had candida issues and was back to my pH Miracle books.)
I especially have benefited from Dr. Young’s daily emails and believe pH balance is huge in healing. I am still learning about this: it is quite a science, but the alkalarian diet he suggests seems to make me feel the best.
Part of the reason that Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type had worked for me was because it took many acidic factors out of my diet. Still, something was wrong. I had plenty of grains in my diet and had no idea about the need to balance my pH and just how many greens I would need in order to do this. After numerous books on health, I have been parked in front of Dr. Young’s theories for quite some time. He continues to amaze me with his understanding of health.
Recently, he was kind enough to respond concerning vitiligo. His theory is of special interest because I tend to allow myself to get rather dehydrated and coffee is one of my greatest battles. His theory would make sense that I was not eliminating toxins through urination and the acid was making its way all the way out to my skin cells. I suggest of course reading two of his books: Sick and Tired and The pH Miracle for Weight Loss (this book has better pictures than others to help illustrate what he has found in the blood) in order to truly understand what he says below. At the end of this document, I also have his website and sites with interviews with Dr. Young. His blog is especially helpful as it is a log of his daily emails. “The change of the skin color is the destruction of the melanin cells by dietary and metabolic acids that are not being eliminated through urination but through the pores of the skin.
The cure for vitiligo is simple - redirect acid wastes through urination rather than perspiration via the lymphatic system. You have to pee your way to healthy skin. Of course you will need to build new and healthy blood cells through the pH Miracle Lifestyle and Diet in order to regenerate new and healthy melanin cells and skin. They are both a product of the blood.
Two research groups are now using ordinary skin cells to turn them into virtually any kind of human tissue, just as embryonic stems cells do. Science is beginning to catch up with me.
I have said for years that the primary embryonic stem cell is the red blood cell. The skin and the melanin cells are products of the red blood cell.
Kyoto University's Shiny Yamanaka, the principal author of the study published by the journal Cell, stated, "skin cells created in the lab could replace embryonic cells."
The key to regenerating healthy skin cells is in the blood bathed in an alkaline environment.
We have had success with reversing vitiligo using the pH Miracle Plan. The process though is long and patience and persistence is important for success.
PS Hormones are not the answer. They are acidic waste products and just make things worse.” He also said, “Yeast or fungus (same thing) in the condition of vitiligo is a result of the biological transformation of the melanin cells that are being fermented by metabolic and/or dietary acids. In other words, yeast/fungus is an effect not the cause but the evidence that cells are breaking down not the cause of the breakdown.”
I highly suggest becoming familiar with this great protocol and implementing it to heal the internal cause of vitiligo. The external repigmentation will come and is discussed later in this document.
I’ve gone from 1-3 cups of coffee with half and half and sugar daily to one cup of cold-brew, acid-free, free-trade coffee. From there I have transitioned to Royal Vitality tea and Teecchino herbal no-caffeine coffee. Teeccino is not decaffeinated. It is an herbal product that brews like coffee. If you can’t break the coffee habit because you are hooked on something delicious, dark, rich, and impossible to see through, then Teecchino is for you. The good news is that it contains dried figs, which contain a natural psoralean and are on our list of do-eat! Here’s a bit of info from their website. They claim their product is alkalizing to the body whereas coffee is acidifying.
“Drinking Teeccino is a natural way to increase your daily intake of inulin and get the health benefits inulin creates. Inulin is known as a pre-biotic because it is food for the beneficial microflora in the intestines. You need inulin to establish a healthy population of Bifidobacteria that increase the efficiency of digesting your food plus create vitamins and enzymes that further promote good digestion and boost the immune system.”
The company claims to contain I like the mocha flavor. The Chai is too strong unless you drink it like traditional Chai—with sweetener and crème. I like the other flavors black.
Interestingly, Teeccino is somewhat bitter like coffee. I wonder if it is a flavor that I crave in order to heal or in order to stay in a diseased state. I think a Chinese doctor might be able to shed some light on this for me. (Often times people crave what keeps them sick as in someone with yeast overload craving sugar.)
I used Nettle Tea as a therapy for healing the acid damage caused by regularly brewed acidic coffee. (I believe healing is several small choices and adjustments as is the road to dis-ease.
Coffee continues to be a regular battle for me. I quit. I start. I get dehydrated and disgusted and try again. My husband is helping me to get off coffee for good right now. It seems to be my own acidic hindrance (and it doesn’t take more than one problem food to keep us in our dis-eased state).
Really Teecchino is sort of a diving board off of the coffee. I usually drop it after a week of coffee and go for alkalized water instead. Dr. Young suggest a lot of alkalized water and I am finding that I have to start early to get drink all that I’m supposed to.
I did an IgG panel through Great Smokey Diagnostics. I at first thought I was allergic to various foods, but realized that my total IgE reading was very low and the suspected foods were not serious allergies but merely items that needed rotation. I did learn that a very tiny percent of the population actually develops full-blow allergies. The items that show up on these test are often foods that your body has had a bit too much of in its recent history. However, interestingly, many of the foods that did show up were foods that are suggested as not beneficial to people with type A blood. For instance, dairy products, such as cottage cheese and cow’s milk, kidney beans, and lamb are on the “avoid” list and showed up on my IgG screening.
Cleanses and Detox
I have done various cleanses during the course of the year. I believe they have played a part in my recovery. I have found authors such as Don Colbert, Raymond Francis, M.Sc., and Hulda Clark very helpful. I believe that pH balance is an important part of healing. I followed Hulda Clark’s protocol for a kidney and liver cleanse with success. I would now just follow the pH Miracle protocol for healing, but at the time, I did not know of it.
Information and Resources
Early in my journey to fight vitiligo, I read Emily’s Vitiligo written by a father determined to heal his daughter’s vitiligo. It was inspiring and pointed to natural healing and dietary changes.
From that site I hooked up with the Vitiligo Support and Information Group (VSIG). The goal of the group is to discuss natural healing methods for vitiligo suffers. Sadly, the list owner and I had various ideas about how to heal vitiligo (I think I was too alternative even for alternative thinkers) and I was eventually invited to start my own list. I have instead joined something called Vitiligo Friends, which is currently not extremely active. They do have a place for blogging, pictures, etc. This site also has up to date vitiligo “in the news”. I just devote much less time to vitiligo at this time because I have had success in treating my most troubling areas.
During this time I researched various remedies available globally. I found an extremely helpful and informed customer service representative named David at Dermabest in Canada, who answered numerous questions with informed detailed answers. I ordered a product called Novitil (previously Sinvitil) and soon began freckling!
“DermaBest® Novitil® is an advanced skin preparation for topical use. There are virtually no side-effects associated with its use. It can be added to any appropriate schedule of light treatment. Once a phototherapeutic schedule is defined, adding Novitil® is straightforward (see below). It can be used in combination with standard treatment options like topical steroids, PUVA, etc.
Ingredients: Lipoproteins, Polypeptides, Distilled Water, Glycerine, Aloe Barbadensis, Carboxymethylcellulose, Camphor, Menthol, Kathon and Oligoelements.”
Along with Novitil, I took various supplements listed in Emily’s story including St. John’s Wart, which contains a natural psoralen. As I began to see light freckling I drew this facial map in an effort to be encouraged by my progress. I knew I was starting to repigment, but sometimes it was hard to know if that one little freckle was there the day before.
Following the coloring method in a picture book, I shaded the skin using various colored pencils. This reminded me of the need to eat various-colored, nutrient-dense foods while healing--how all of the primary colors mixed together make various shades of brown.
Physiological and Spiritual Aspects
Feeling Completely Outside of Things
When the vitiligo appeared relatively rapidly on my face, I had a real sense of helplessness and sadness. It was during that time that I headed out for the day and seemed to feel everyone was looking at me. A little boy followed me around the YMCA asking what was wrong with my face. On that same day, I met Amy Reynolds who is the support and advertising half of a sister duo. She and Polly are the owners of a company called Climb On!, a skin care company in Wimberley, TX. The company’s primary goal is “to create 100% pure skin care products with powerful healing properties.” Because Polly was doing a research project and because these women are dedicated to healing skin, they took me on as a case study. They made wonderful, hand- and home-made products with ingredients to aide in my healing.
I do believe were nourishing to my skin and encouraged my healing directly and indirectly. Directly in the sense that their products have no parabens, fillers, emulsifiers, etc. and were custom blended with various essential oils that appealed to me. The aromatherapy and quality ingredients prompted me to make even further changes in the products I choose for my body and home. Indirectly, in that the meeting I had with them caused me to evaluate my voice and the state that I was in. However, I did not pigment any faster w/ these products. Another side note was the my thyroid numbers changed for the worse during that time though I am not sure if it was due to my forgetfulness in taking my medication or if it had to do with the ingredients in the products.
During my visit to Wimberley, Amy and Polly provided me with a psychological perspective on the cause of vitiligo. This perspective suggested, “Feeling completely outside of things. Not belonging. Not one of the group.”
While the vitiligo spread rapidly on my face, I was not involved in church, my marriage needed counseling, I felt disconnected from many of my friendships and familial relationships due to the overwhelming task of trying to home educate and raise 5 boys all under the ago of ten. I believe I had made a sort of idol out of family and was left to tend it.
Though I didn’t want to agree with this “out-of-circle” perspective, I certainly could not disagree. The psychological perspective on thyroid issues was a similar issue of “When will it be my turn.” Well, this sentiment was buried somewhere inside of me. Perhaps that was part of my problem, and a key to my healing. I think I needed to find a place where I was alive not only for my children but for God and for myself and that God desired the same. I kept thinking I needed to crucify my flesh, but God surprised me with a “Lazarus, rise up!”
We put 3 of the boys in public school for various reasons, which allowed me to focus on various things that had been neglected during the reproductive/educational years of our family. These things included: getting marriage counseling, joining a church, joining the YMCA (and later starting the T-Tapp program—see website references at the end), making time for writing, allowing myself time for health research, and home remodeling.
There was a time when we decide to have church at home. In so doing, we were not connecting with others and soon our services had dwindled. I call it our Out of the Body Experience –not being a member of a local body of believers can be a lonely.
During that year (2005), I have connected with some of the ladies at our new church. I went to a great women’s conference and am excited about the future I have growing with these women. I have also gone on something called artist’s dates, which are opportunities to get out and be inspired. I’ve had some very special field trips with friends and all of this has allowed me to be more alive.
From an email by Karen Paubel of VSIG
“I just got this book this week. "Be In Health"
Very interesting read about the emotional healing that needs to take place in disase.
People come from all over the world and go to these seminars and are cured when dealing with the emotional issues. The book is fulled of testimonies of healings when the emotional issues are cleared up.
Even though the book doesn't address vitiligo, the skin disases have all the root causes fear, stress anxiety, self hatred, self rejection,lack of self-esteem, and conflict with identity.”
Interestingly, I have found that I had some areas of unforgiveness that were causing a root of bitterness in my life. These have been released and given to God and I believe that has been a major source of healing and change for me. This aspect is also discussed in the article Allopathic and Ayurvedic Approaches to Leucoderma. The web link is at the end of this page.
A friend named David sent me a website concerning Christian spirituality. The description of a tape stood out to me.
“FORGIVENESS IS THE KEY
Ps. 66 v. 18 tells us that if we regard iniquity in our hearts He will not hear our prayers. Unlock your healing!”
I had held unforgiveness in my heart against some key people in my life for the last few years. My prayers have been hindered; in fact, I had pretty much quit praying feeling my words absorbed into the room.
Two major analogies:
Iniquity has the words I QUIT in it. My iniquity had caused all functional living to cease. The life flow of God had ceased, my iniquity has caused death. My iniquity among other things was mainly unforgiveness.
A beloved spiritual mentor of mine, Gene Veal, taught me that forgiving was Giving Forward people to God. While working on my sister's wedding, the idea of "Who give this woman?" was clear in my mind. I realized that I was holding people in the bridal room by not forgiving while Christ waits for His Bride at the wedding alter. Who am I to not Give Forward those on whom Jesus waits?
God has given me the grace to give forward with joy. My heart feels as if a gnarly root has been pulled out. This root was substantial and those in my life, especially my husband are rejoicing with me. Forgiveness is a key to healing.
“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;…” Hebrew 12:15
Dr. Young suggests that acidic emotions are as dangerous to our health as acidic dietary habits.
The day that the custom made Climb On! products arrived in the mail, my sister Annette arrived at the front door informing me that she would take my boys for a couple of days. My husband would take over for the weekend. I was packed in minutes and headed to a wellness center called The Crossings where I spent all four days resting, detoxing using the protocol of given to me by the founder of Genesis Today products who was kind enough to speak with me over the phone concerning my condition, applying Novitil and Climb On! products and attending a Writing Seminar by Julia Cameron.
I could not believe my good fortune in having the opportunity for some much needed time to heal. I have to attribute this to God planning that very weekend for me since so many elements came together at once. I’m putting this fun stuff in as well because I think that part of my healing was getting out there and living a little bit.
During this weekend, I had the good fortune of going to a session on creativity with an Austin favorite Sara Hickman. Okay, it looks as though I’ve had a few too many hours in the sun. I couldn’t figure out exactly why I looked super dark (or strangely orange) in this picture until recently. “L” on our VSIG listserve group suggested that taking an internal psoralen would cause more dramatic darkening of all of the skin.
I think this was the case for me. I was taking St. John’s Wart as an internal psoralen when I started using Novitil. (I am guessing that taking Bakuchi (see below) internally would do the same.) I soon became disheartened at how dark my unaffected skin became during my initial sunning because it made the contrast between the affected and unaffected skin even more obvious. Nevertheless, the freckling was encouraging. Also, the color is very orange as if my skin was not just tanning but possibly responding negatively.
Since I found the pictures in Emily’s Story so useful, I decided to make a photo journal of my own healing. I hope you will find the following pictures an encouragement. I used natural sunlight once a day and applied Novitil twice a day. I did take various supplements and did various test, but I can’t say that any of the results came back giving me any greater insight or that I’m absolutely any particular supplement was the answer. However, I do believe the cleanses were very beneficial. Again, I’d start with the pH Miracle protocol now if I were starting over.
It was hard at first to actually just lie out and start tanning. It seemed so opposite of our current understanding to just expose my face to the sun. Still there was something about that early morning light that was very healthy and refreshing. It was time I would not have taken without this “medical pass” but with it, I was reminded of the art of sitting still and soaking in those warm rays. God has also recently reminded me of the need to sit still before Him and soak in the Son for those areas of my spirit that have gone undernourished and pale. I believe these pictures span from May 05 to Dec 06.
I am sorry to say that I don’t have exact dates for these pictures, but the first three pictures show progress over the course of a couple of months. I was not always able to sun everyday or remember to apply Novitil, but I did my best. Soon my skin without vitiligo was getting extremely dark. [Photo] I decided to quit St. John’s Wart and use a local topical psoralen. I bought Anti-Vitiligo oil, which contains Psoralea Corylifolia. (Watch websites from “True Herbals”. There are other sites claiming to be the real thing. I believe they are changing the name of the product to DermaTint. There are also various warnings on the internet about the use of psoralea corylifolia that should be thoughtfully considered.) This oil also contains blackcumin and barberry root.
Psoralea Corylifolia is also called bakuchi and is the primary ingredient in common bakuchi oil used in Ayurvedic practice. Ordering this oil is much more cost effective though I am not sure it works as well as the aforementioned product because my primary progress with with Anti-Vitiligo Oil. You can also order this herb directly from the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, N.M. If you order from them, you may ask them how to make your own oil with the bulk herb and save even more money. If you order their pre-mixed oil consider that some bakuchi oil formulations are combinations of various herbs and often include turmeric. (There are other sources of bakuchi oil online that are not combination products.)
Combining this oil with the Novitil, I got even more rapid repigmentation. A typical sequence is displayed in the top two pictures of an area turning red and then progressively freckling. I think that a topical psoralen caused the troubled areas to react instead of the all of my exposed skin!
However, one day I used the oil on my underarms that had not been sunned in a very long time. Just ten minutes or so caused this severe burn, which lasted 2 weeks. I show these pictures with a cringe, but it is my hope that we can learn from each other and avoid various mistakes.
(Update: I believe this is the same underarm but the picture is flipped. You can see how the spot is shadowing in. Of course, I don’t recommend this method. I think the burning and peeling caused a rapid shedding of unhealthy layers thus getting some that had not been affected.)
Another thing I noticed about using the topical psoralen is that care was necessary when applying it. I now use a small brush to apply a mixture of coconut oil, Anti-Vitiligo Oil and Novitil each morning and evening directly on my spots. I continue to see weekly progress and am 95% healed on the treated areas.
Soon after that I also experienced hyper-pigmentation in a previous unaffected area on my thigh. I did not apply anything topically, but had exposed that skin at the same time as the picture above. Maybe I got some of the oil on my leg. This hyperpigmentation disappeared within a few months.
Near that time, early March 2006, I was also diagnosed with unspecific dermatitis that started as an itchy patch on an elbow and with a month and a half had spread to both forearms and eventually covered both of my legs. The itching at times was almost unbearable and affected me both physically and mentally for approximately 6 weeks. Both my family doctor and my dermatologist suggested topical steroids as a solution. I chose not to use those. The dermatologists diagnosis was non-specific dermatitis and Keratosis pilaris on my legs, though I do not certain I agree with that diagnosis. Finally, feeling half crazy from the itchiness, I read about using sulfur in Healing with Whole Foods and found it in a product called Sulfa Derm at People’s Pharmacy. Within a week of using this product, the spreading subsided and has healed.
There is a fantastic article on the web about vitiligo that includes itching in the disease progression. Many people with vitiligo have said that they too have experienced itchiness especially in the spring but not restricted to it. I believe that many people are actually dealing with fungus in their body that causes itchiness just prior to depigmentation.
I recently read of a connection between vitiligo and another skin disease called lichen planus. I believe this was most likely what I had or it was a reaction to the Anti-vitiligo Oil. I am thankful that it has not flared up since March and I hope that it never does again.
One additional thing that I’d like to add is that around February I started skin brushing to help promote new, healthy skin. I was worried that it might cause greater trauma to the skin, but my theory is that it helps get to lower more healthy cells. If you are interested in buying a brush they usually have them at local health food stores. I got my in the Skin Tightening System from T-Tapp. I thought this may have been the cause of the itching, but I bought a new brush and continued to skin brush after the rash had cleared and have had no problem, but the general health of my skin is much better and has tightened due to this brushing. It also helps the skin detoxify.
Along those lines, I generally need sun exposure to see progress. The progress is extremely slow without it.
I continue to aim for Dr. Young's alkalarian diet.
Books I have found inspiring and informative along the way. Really this is a list of books that have a variety of info that I know agree and disagree with. It was just my reading list as I began to explore healing the body.
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (I no longer think some of the food combining practices in this book are wise, but the grain and nut preparations are insightful.)
Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul Pitchford
Toxic Relief: Restore Health and Energy through Fasting and Detoxification by Don Colbert
Never Be Sick Again: Health Is a Choice Learn How to Choose It by Raymond Francis, M.Sc.
The Cure for All Diseases by Hulda Clark
The Seven Pillars of Health by Don Colbert
The pH Miracle (The pH Miracle for Weight Loss) by Dr. Robert O. Young (The second book has better pictures and a better understanding of how are blood is effected by our diet.)
Sick and Tired by the same author and his Harvard Lectures are very useful along with the Media section of his website where there are good interviews to get one started. (I suggest these books above all of the others.)
Also see and hear interviews with Dr. Young.
This exercise program gets the lymphatic system moving, is easy today and has helped me lose inches and pounds.
External and Internal Supplements:
I am extremely thankful to David at Dermabest for his thorough and knowledgeable responses, to Dr. Robert O. Young of the pH Miracle diet and all of his wonderful sharing and knowledge, contributing members of VSIG like Veronica, Andre, Karen, Elana, James, Scott, Melissa, Christina and others, Polly and Amy from Climb On! for quality, personal-care products, to Shawn at Whole Foods for her constant encouragement and fantastic advice. To Wendy, Tammy, Jennifer, Annette, Belinda and Elizabeth who listened and cared during the couple of years that I felt like I was going under. To my husband Randy for allowing me to be open about our journey, for being honest and willing to get us help when we need it and for footing the bill for all my health-related appointments, tangents, and purchases including hundreds of pages in books and hundreds of caplets of “necessary” this and thats.
And, foremost to Jesus, who I see in the gift of sun, the healing power of grace and forgiveness and the intricacies of our bodies, to Him I give thanks and offer myself, spots and all.
You Are the Sun
by Sara Groves and Matt Bronlewee
“You are the sun shining down on everyone
Light of the world giving light to everything I see
Beauty so brilliant I can hardly take it in
And, everywhere you are is warmth and light
And I am the moon with no light of my own
Still, you have made me to shine
And as I glow in this cold dark night
I know I can’t be a light unless I turn my face to You."
Thank you, Lord for Your radiant light and for this healing journey. May all of the reference to I and me in this essay turn into a thousand healed others who thought there was no hope.
P.S. Here’s a more recent picture of me Sept. 07 with organizer of the Asian Food Festival in Austin and owner of Satay restaurant. I still feel it is important to get out there and be a part of various circles to get inspiration! Most people say they cannot see a trace of Vitiligo on my face!