Emily’s Vitiligo- part 7
Our family adopted a pure vegetarian lifestyle (no meat, dairy or eggs). Check out why we chose this life style. You might also be asking yourself, how did we convince our children to go along with us?
Vitiligo is theorized to be an autoimmune disease. As an autoimmune disease it should respond well to a low fat vegetarian diet. Just as diabetics require less insulin when on this diet. Reducing the amount of saturated fat floating around in your veins will make it easier for your body’s immune system to identify good and bad cells. This is the foundation of the treatment we use and besides helping Emily’s vitiligo it has helped my cholesterol and my blood sugar levels.
… the diets of South and Central Americans, Africans, Indians, and Chinese contain little fat and little meat, and they’re better off for it. Michael DeBakey, MD, pioneer heart surgeon
I believe that in our case, changing our lifestyle helped stop the progress of the disease. It also supported the following things that we were using to help her repigment. As well as supporting her body to heal itself, our diet is about ten percent fat; the kids probably get more than that. Pediatricians like Dr. Attwood and Dr. Spock have since come out with books that specifically recommend this diet for healthy children.
Dairy food can impair a child’s ability to absorb iron and can cause subtle blood loss from the digestive tract in small children. These problems, combined with the fact that milk has virtually no iron of its own, can lead to iron deficiencies. …Children who grow up getting their nutrition from plant foods rather than meats have a tremendous health advantage. They are less likely to develop weight problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer. Benjamin Spock, MD, Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care, pages 332-3
I am sorry to say but, our food budget used to be one of the low priorities in our household budget. At the end of the month, if we were a little short on cash, we tended to eat cheaper food. Now food is the top of the budget, I am now very happy to spend money on food. We try to buy organically grown produce as much as we can, whenever it is available. These are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, fungicides and herbicides.
Whether it is the immune system, various enzyme systems, the uptake of carcinogens into the cells, or hormonal activities, animal protein generally only causes mischief. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Cornell University, director of the China Diet and Health Study
I have been interested in allergies and their affects on vitiligo for some time. I am reading more and more about elimination diets lately. Two good sources are Foods That Fight Pain and The McDougall Plan (see the bibliography).
We have eaten some very good macrobiotic meals, a way of life, which is said to be very healthy. Macrobiotics seems to me to be very rice centered; it is basically vegetarian although some fish is acceptable. They avoid nightshade plants, I know for a long time I used to say to myself, “What in the heck is a nightshade plant?” I finally found out that there is a poisonous plant called a nightshade and there are vegetables that we eat everyday that are from this family, potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants are the ones that I am aware of. This is just an area of food choices that I am interested in, I haven’t done anything about it, just trying to learn more.
Antibiotics and Acidophilus
As well as chlorinated water, intestinal flora can be damaged by antibiotic use. After any treatment with antibiotics we should replace the beneficial bacterium that has been killed by the antibiotic. Also, many of us are getting antibiotics every day in the foods we eat. Modern factory farming techniques create the need to use antibiotics to maintain bio-security. These antibiotics can find their way onto our table, specifically in milk and dairy. Very powerful antibiotics are used by the meat and dairy industry, sulfa-based antibiotics. Residues are found in our milk. Sulfa-based antibiotics block the body’s ability to process folic acid. Folic acid is an important nutrient for healthy skin and it is involved in the production of melanin.
To further emphasize the importance of bacterial flora, I found this tidbit from A Pictorial Handbook of Anatomy and Physiology by Dr. James Bevan.
The large intestine
The fecal matter is further decomposed by bacterial action to produce gas, some of the vitamin B complex and feces.
For these reasons we added acidophilus capsules to our diet. Look for a brand that has enteric-coated capsules to protect these microorganisms from destructive stomach acids and release them live into the intestinal tract. I haven’t been able to find a vegetarian brand that is enteric-coated so we use one made by Veg-Life, it is kept refrigerated at the Health Food Store.
People have gone to the store and picked up packages of poultry and taken them off to a laboratory and checked them for salmonella contamination. The number of birds contaminated has been shown in several studies to be around a third. Carol Tucker Foreman, former Assistant Secretary of Agriculture
In these days of factory farming, with e-coli and salmonella in the news every day, it is important to clean your vegetables. We soak them in peppermint castile soap, then rinse them well. In addition to cleaning the veggies, you must have a strong flora. The good bacteria will literally displace the bad bacteria in your gut.