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Labour Day is a federal US holiday, celebrated on the first Monday of September. (Most other countries celebrate Labor Day on May 1st.) It's pure genius, it you think about it for a moment. Being the last weekend before children returned to school, this is a three-day, family oriented holiday (unlike it's European counterpart, which was built around an armed uprising.) It also serves another great purpose.
Doctors don't officially have a name for the condition that many of us experience around this time of the year. Back to work blues - or school, for that matter - you're feeling is real. The summer is gone. We're facing a hurricane season in the South and a long winter up in the North.
It's also a good time to review our nutrition and adjust it for the upcoming season. For people who struggle with immune system imbalance—which is the case for vitiligo—making key dietary adjustments can make a real difference.
The body requires many different vitamins and minerals that are crucial for both body development and preventing disease. Some of them aren’t produced naturally in the body, so you have to get them from your diet. Certain foods contain elements that can help tackle inflammation in your skin and nerves, and calm down the immune system, therefore minimizing risk of vitiligo relapse.
The amount of each nutrient you should consume depends on your age and body composition. In the United States, many foods that you buy in the grocery store — such as cereals, bread or milk — are fortified with nutrients, so nutritional deificiency isn't a major concern today. On the contrary, a typical, overloaded and imbalanced Western diet leads to inflammation in our guts and kills off a good bacteria. Due to the interconnectedness of our gut and enteric nervous system, once our gut bacteria is out of balance, we become susceptible to a range of health hazards.
In order to protect yourself from erratic behavior of the immune system that inevitably follows the gut problems, consider the proper 'anti-autoimmune' or 'anti-inflammatory' diet for the winter season. It contains plenty of prebiotics, fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3s. This means a diet rich in vegetables, whole fruit, whole grains, legumes, and fatty fish. Here are some great recipes to begin experimenting with.
If you're interested to dig deeper into this, check out our new paper "Functional nutrition as integrated approach in vitiligo management" (sorry, paywall.) The bottom line: "Functional foods and healthy diet, with nutrients, form a variety of sources, could be considered an integral part, as well as helpful, of vitiligo's medical therapy."
Happy Labour Day!
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Though it is not always easy to treat vitiligo, there is much to be gained by clearly understanding the diagnosis, the future implications, treatment options and their outcomes.
Many people deal with vitiligo while remaining in the public eye, maintaining a positive outlook, and having a successful career.Copyright (C) Bodolóczki Júlia
By taking a little time to fill in the anonymous questionnaire, you can help researchers better understand and fight vitiligo.