Manage Stress, Manage Your Vitiligo
Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. Ralph Waldo Emerson
After reading quite a few ‘vitiligo stories’, I’m going to go out on a limb today and state that perhaps the cure has been elusive because there are different types of vitiligo which are triggered in the individual patient as some sort of response to either an internal or external element. Be it a singular factor, such as stress, or many components comprised of food, allergies, and even common household products, something is turning this gene ‘on’, and we are simply going to have to find solace in discovering what activates the gene in our individual body system.
It’s all a process, isn’t it. For me, the most obvious place to start was with the medical history of my family. There is hypothyroidism in my family (but this is very common) and 1 person has occasional flare-ups of psoriasis…so, nothing conclusive was found on the medical front.
Second, I looked at my diet and external elements. I eat fairly well and I have no known food allergies, so that’s a bust. But external elements…yep, there may be something here. I’ve noticed that whenever I use certain cleaning products, I get a funny taste in my mouth…like I have a mouthful of coins is the best way to describe it. I first noticed this in my late 20’s, so there may be a connection.
Third, I looked at stress, moreover, how I process situations in my life. For me, this single factor seems to be the culprit of triggering my vitiligo. I am, and always have been, an extremely emotionally sensitive person. That may sound like a dramatic overstatement, but it truly defines the depth to which i internalize almost everything said or done to me. When I was a little girl, I would see kids playing and instead of joining them (which, in retrospect would have been the best thing to do), I assumed no one asked me to join in because they didn’t like me. School, especially university, was very difficult and stressful. No matter how hard I tried, or how much I loved a subject, tests were my downfall. Each time i received a test back with a big red “C” or lower marked on it, I felt dumber than the last. Little did I, or my teachers, know that I have a form of dyslexia which affects the way I process information and my short term memory.
I could go on and on with examples, but I won’t. At this point it’s clear to me that the low levels of stress-induced hormones buzzing around my body for so many years finally found the tiny switch on the unassuming vitiligo gene sitting quietly in my dna, and flipped it on.
I’ve tried changing my diet a bit, using non-toxic house cleaning products, and taking vitamins, but as far as repigmenting is concerned, only sitting in the sun and my excimer laser treatments, have shown progress…and at that, it hasn’t been permanent. I can state, though, that ever since I started meditating, exercising (this one’s easy since I teach aerobics and yoga), and consciously working on how I mentally process situations, I haven’t had any new vitiligo patches.
If you haven’t already, take a closer look at your own family medical history. Analyze your eating habits and see if you connect with any food allergies. Look for any negative reactions you may experience when using certain cleaning products. And lastly, cautiously delve into your psyche to see if your very own mind has lead you to vitiligo…maybe vitiligo is life’s way of showing us that we need to stop sabotaging ourselves with our own thought processes.
Most of all, I ask that you to keep coming back here to share your thoughts, your experiments, and give your support to others, because by sticking together we can help each other through this.