Can a gluten-free diet help with vitiligo?
Gluten is the spongy complex of proteins found in wheat, rye and barley, which puffs up when baked with yeast.
It is important to realize there are three different clinical problems worsened by gluten: celiac disease, wheat allergy and gluten intolerance. Celiac disease is an autoimmune problem where gluten hurts the small intestine, causing pain, diarrhea, severe rashes, and other problems. Only about 1 in 100 people have celiac disease.
The second issue is true wheat allergy, which resembles allergies to peanuts or cats, and can result in sneezing, wheezing, hives, and in rare cases, anaphylaxis. This condition is rare. The third problem attributed to gluten is gluten-intolerance, sometimes called wheat (or gluten) sensitivity. This is neither an autoimmune disease nor a true allergy.
Contrary to many beliefs, gluten-free diets often aren’t very healthy. For example, when teens go gluten-free, they are much more likely to become overweight and to eat less fiber, calcium and iron but consume more fat.
We have specifically looked into claims that gluten-free diet may ease symptoms of vitiligo, or completely reverse it, and found no firm scientific evidence to support this theory. Only one case was recently reported (PubMed) of a rapid partial repigmentation of vitiligo in a young female adult with a gluten-free diet. It should be noted that the patient was maintained on the previously prescribed Dapsone therapy, a potent antibiotic commonly used to treat leprosy. A combination of gluten-free diet and Dapsone was known to treat dermatitis herpetiformis (Wikipedia). However, a number of deaths attributable to Dapsone therapy were reported.
A recent article in the New York Times by Dr. Darshak Sanghavi, a managing director at the Brookings Institution, provides a deeper analysis of this gluten-free hype.
So think carefully before going gluten-free for vitiligo, or else make sure you really must do so.
I support the petition to designate June 25 as Vitiligo World Day and save millions of people worldwide from social isolation and persecution.
What is coming?
VITFriends Fundraising and Awareness Concert in Boston
Featuring: M.C. - Mary-dith Tuitt Jazz vocalist - Katani Summer Steel drum instrumentalist - Justin Petty Vocalist - Emily Orji and Dr. Victor Huan...30 April 2017 14:30, Salvation Army Kroc Center, 650 Du...
Vitiligo Walk-A-Thon in Fort Dallas
The annual Vitiligo Walkathon is organized by Dallas Fort Worth Vitiligo Support Group on May 20, 2017. This is an event held to raise awareness about vitiligo in the...20 May 2017 09:00, Dallas, Texas
What tests should be done?
No tests are usually necessary to make the diagnosis. The white patches may be seen more easily under Wood's light examination.
Will it spread?
The condition varies from person to person. Some people only get a few small, white patches that progress no further. Other people get bigger white patches that join u...
Who is prone to vitiligo?
Vitiligo affects 0.5-2% of the population, and occurs in all races and all social levels. Vitiligo can affect people of all ages, but often starts between the ages of ...
Is there a traditional medicine to treat vitiligo?
During the last decades, new methods of therapeutic research, ethno-botany and ethno-pharmacology and even archeo-pharmacology (PubMed), have been used extensively to ...