Vitiligo-Celiac Connection?Last updated on
In September, a lady named Tori left a comment about her experience with autoimmune diseases and some research she had done on celiac disease which resulted in a possible link to vitiligo.
I’ve been experimenting with taking B12, Folic acid, and a multivitamin, to help repigment because this combination worked for other people. One factor that I did not include was the changes made to their diets.
After pondering a while as to why i was not repigmenting, I began to wonder, “if my body was not naturally absorbing the B12, why would it do so just because I was taking a high dose?” This lead me to wonder why I wasn’t absorbing the B12. Then I remembered a great story I read about a little girl named Emily whose family completely changed their diet and lifestyle to cure their daughter of vitiligo. It worked because Emily had an intolerance to gluten and once they cleared that from her diet, she was better.
I also have hypothyroidism, and given the fact that both vitiligo and hypothyroidism patients are usually B12 deficient, I think I can safely say that if my body were able to properly absorb the B12, I would see a great improvement in my health.
Recent evidence suggests that the association between autoimmune
thyroid diseases and celiac disease is quite similar
to that between AIDDM and celiac disease. In earlier series,
approximately 5% of patients with celiac disease have been
found to suffer from hyper- or hypothyroidism, even though
the percentages are highly variable (Table 4). No clear difference
in the occurrence of hypothyroidism vs. hyperthyroidism
was seen. Again, it should be noted that clinically
silent celiac cases probably remained mostly undetected.
Moreover, thyroid disorders had not been rigorously sought
in patients with celiac disease; hence subclinical cases were
Previous to the wide application of serological screening
tests, only few studies reported the prevalence of celiac disease
in patients with autoimmune thyroid diseases. Siurala
et al. (105) reported small-intestine mucosal biopsy findings
in 32 patients with hyperthyroidism, but none showed villous
atrophy. The same group (106) found six patients with
concomitant spontaneous hypothyroidism or autoimmune
thyroiditis and small-intestinal villous atrophy. However,
the diagnosis of celiac disease remained inconclusive, as
there was no definite response to a gluten-free diet. A few
years later, Kuitunen et al. (107) performed small-bowel biopsies
on 32 children with autoimmune thyroid disease; two
(6%) of them were found to have small-bowel villous atrophy
compatible with celiac disease.
An accurate perception as to the presence or the lack of
association can be obtained by screening all patients with
autoimmune thyroid conditions for celiac disease, and vice
versa, by rigorously searching for even subclinical autoimmune
thyroid conditions in celiac disease. Such studies
should preferably be controlled. Over the past few years a
number of prospective studies attempting to clarify the association between thyroid and celiac diseases have been
Maybe I am just grasping at straws looking for connection that may lead to a cure.
Changing over to a gluten-free diet is going to be difficult and a bit expensive. The good news is that my grocery store has an aisle dedicated to gluten-free products. I’m off to shop now!