I just visited the Vitiligo Support International website for the first time in ages and was reminded what a superb resource this is for anyone living with this condition. It's a really comprehensive source of information and the FAQs in particular are an excellent place to start if you are new to the subject.
As the saying goes: “The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realise, the less I know.” Thanks to the internet, most of us affected by vitiligo nowadays are able to acquire a wealth of second-hand knowledge on the subject and, in our own way, become experts in the field. But, the more I read of second-hand knowledge and the more I learn through first-hand experience, the more I realise that there is more to this condition than meets anyone's eye. Anecdotal and clinical evidence is riddled with contradictions and unanswered questions.
There seems to be a lot of evidence that vitiligo can be caused by auto-immune issues, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalance, stress, heredity and any number of other factors. I spent most of my life hoping for an explanation as to where mine came from and praying for an effective treatment to be found. As far as I am aware, I do not suffer from any of the above conditions (well, maybe stress, but who doesn’t?) so what caused my vitiligo and why was I able – eventually - to treat mine successfully by taking nutritional supplements and sitting in the sun? Did the combination of the particular nutrients I took, along with UV light in fact address one of the health problems listed, which I didn’t realise I had, or was mine due – as I believe it was - to a completely different cause - namely poor absorption of the nutrients in my food due to digestive problems?
Maybe the answer is that vitiligo is not a disease, but rather one symptom that a number of different conditions share in common. This would certainly explain why some vitiligo sufferers experience the same success with a nutritional approach as I did and others don't. Could the inability of the medical profession and drug companies to find a cure for vitiligo be due to the fact that they are trying to find a cure for a symptom, which is bound to be about as successful as looking for a cure for sneezing!
My name is Caroline.