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Vitiligo and gluten intolerance

Posted on December 14th, 2010 by Alison Read 196 Comments - Add Your Own »

Vitiligo and celiac disease is a topic I have been meaning to write about for a while now. I have both, and believe there is a connection between vitiligo and gluten intolerance. I have found out more on this topic from the readers of this blog than any other source out there, and hope that this incredible information reaches those with vitiligo who are told there is no known cause.

Vitiligo is a skin disorder characterized by smooth, white patches on various parts of the body that occur due to loss of pigment. This loss of pigment often starts on the hands, feet and face, and then can progress to other parts of the body. Hair can turn white where there is a vitiligo patch. Vitiligo is not physically painful, but can be quite emotionally devastating as it affects one’s appearance.

The picture below is of me as a child with vitiligo on my face. It appeared symmetrically below my eyes, but asymmetrically on my legs — 8 spots on only one side of my body.


The spots on my face re-pigmented with the treatment at that time (1973) which was psoralen pills and UV light treatments at Stanford. The spots on my legs remained into adulthood, never getting any bigger or smaller. When I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002, I didn’t think about the vitiligo, but over the past years since being on a gluten-free diet, the patches have begun filling in with spots of pigment of various colors, even some darker than my original skin color. I was always self-conscious about the white patches on my legs as a child. Today, you can barely make out their outlines.

Vitiligo is an auto-immune disease, because the immune system attacks the pigment-producing cells of the body. It is thought that lack of folic acid and B12 could be a contributing factor to the onset and spread of vitiligo. Vitiligo has been associated with celiac disease, which causes malabsorption of vital nutrients, so it makes sense that these two conditions can coexist. Though studies have stated the relationship of the two autoimmune diseases, little or no information has been presented from an anecdotal point of view — what happens to the patient with vitiligo if they go on a gluten-free diet?

I have received many emails asking me if vitiligo will go away on a gluten-free diet. Because of these inquiries, I decided to ask celiac disease expert Peter Green about it when I saw him at a conference. He said that he has seen vitiligo reverse on a gluten-free diet if caught early enough. I also decided to follow up with some of the people that emailed me to see if anything had changed with their vitiligo since being on a gluten-free diet. I was astounded at what I found. Out of 8 people I emailed, 5 emailed me back. Of those 5, 3 people had seen the vitiligo reverse! Of the remaining 2, one had not tried a gluten-free diet, and one had not seen change with the gluten-free diet, but had also been diagnosed with dairy and yeast allergy, so perhaps there is more to eliminate from the diet before seeing a change. So, of 4 people who tried a gluten-free diet, 3 had positive results: 75%! Here is what they said:

Woman with vitiligo: “Yes, my pigment is coming back on my knees where I’ve had lesions since age 9 (I’m 38). I also have not had any advancing vitiligo lesions since I’ve been gluten free. I’m not currently doing any treatment, and my pigment is coming back slowly but surely on my legs, some on my hands, and a little on my shoulders. There doesn’t seem to be any changes on my lesions on my abdomen or feet, however. As previously stated, I do have freckling on my
hands, which is surprising. The best part of all is that I feel so much better physically and mentally. I can’t even think of consuming gluten . . . YUCK!”

Father of a child with vitiligo: “It has substantially improved. We finally found a physician who took this very serious, performed subsequent tests and found that due to her inflamed bowels she was not absorbing vitamins (she also has very short hair). In a very short time, with increased vitamin intake, gluten free everything has improved!”

Woman with vitiligo: “Yes the vitiligo did change. I think I remember telling you that it was not noticeable until I got a tan. Then portions of my upper thigh would not tan with the rest of my skin. When I was feeling my worst it spread to my upper back and shoulder in small patches. The upper thigh has not changed since my teens BUT this past summer I got a tan while planning my destination wedding and no patches on my back or shoulder! This is very exciting news since my wedding dress is backless.”

Please, if any others out there have seen their vitiligo change on a gluten-free diet, leave a comment here. And if you have vitiligo and are reading about this connection for the first time, you should consider getting tested for celiac disease or gluten intolerance and going on a gluten-free diet. Even if your vitiligo can’t reverse, the fact that you have this autoimmune condition means that you may have an intolerance to gluten and there could be damage being done inside the body.

I hope that my personal story and the comments shared by others will cause some of you out there to have an “Aha!” moment!

UPDATE 11/12/11: I found this abstract from Pediatric Dermatology about a girl whose vitiligo reversed on  a gluten-free diet: Repigmentation of Vitiligo Lesions in a Child with Celiac Disease after a Gluten-Free Diet

Related articles:
Vitiligo and Food Allergies by Dr. Stephen Wangen
Improvement of vitiligo after oral treatment with vitamin B12 and folic acid and the importance of sun exposure

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  1. Those stories of reversal are amazing! Great post!

  2. Very interesting relationship between vitiligo and gluten intolerance…thanks for the post.

  3. That is so interesting!

  4. I’m so glad you posted this message, but I find that I am trending in the opposite way. I’ve been gluten-free for over 5 years now, and about 8 months ago I started developing vitiligo spots – out of the blue. It’s becoming much worse and spreading all over my body, but hasn’t got to my face yet.

    Maybe the secret lies in the fact that I’m somehow getting a small bit of gluten in something – and I don’t know it. Although I’m pretty sure I would know… strange.

    Thanks for sharing! Good to know I’m not alone in the world with my multiple, autoimmune diseases.

  5. my daughter was seen by a dr of functional medicine(Drs. Roger and Bill Bilica) at age 3 for vitiligo and other gluten sensitive symptoms and 3 years later on a gluten free diet and a regimen of various vitmins and supplements we have seen a great difference in her skin, she has repigmented in many areas. Methylfolate and gluathione (sp) are 2 of the supplements that have greatly helped and fish and flax oils. She also does a Megaflora probiotic everyday.

  6. My 11 year old daughter has vitiligo on her feet and knees and also showed dairy and gluten sensitivity (but not allergies). she also has a chronic cough that baffles the doctors. I am going to try to cut her gluten and move to a more vegan diet. I’ve been doing research like crazy and avoiding meat seems to be helping a lot of people. I know it’s not going to be easy to get her to comply, but we need to try. I will keep everyone posted.

  7. Ainsley,
    What about dairy? It seems that some people have found that dairy contributes to the spread. I would cut dairy out if I were you and see if that helps. I’m so sorry that is happening to you. It is really hard to have one, let alone many, autoimmune diseases. I wish you luck.

  8. Dawn,
    Thanks for the info!

  9. Anne,
    Be careful with the vegan products — they are full of gluten and soy. You might find this blog helpful for recipes: http://www.bookofyum.com
    Please do keep us posted. This is vital information.

  10. My daughter is 26 and has had vitiligo since she was 6. She also has been diagnosed as having chromosone deletion 16p11.2 having heart, sub mucous cleft palette,learning difficulties and poor muscle tone amongst others.

    I am wondering if a gluten free diet would help her?

  11. Rose… Yes! Going gluten-free will definitely help the vitiligo and I’m sure a whole host of things that you may not even be aware of.

    As I see it, EVERYONE has Celiac or gluten-sensitivity to some degree. Think of it like a spectrum. Some are very sensitive to gluten, some not as much, but EVERYONE (including you) will operate better without gluten.

    Certainly won’t be a miracle cure – it seems like she has quite a few genetic issues — but avoiding gluten will certainly help her cope with those issues and make her and her immune system stronger.

  12. Great article. Thanks.

  13. I have had white spots on my back and chest since junior high school (I am now 42). A number of years ago, they stopped spreading and in a few instances, they re-pigmented on their own. A few years ago, I went to a dermatoligist asking if anything could be done about them and she gave me a topical cream (can’t remember what it was though). Unfrotunately, after a few months of using it, the spots on my back actually got bigger so I stopped using the cream. Then 1 1/2 years ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and while the overall appearance of my skin has improved dramatically (When in the sun, I now can actually get tan again and don’t feel as if my face is burning), the spots on my back and chest remain.

    Addtionally, I have 6yr old identical twin boys who were both diagnosed with Celiac Disease shortly after I was. Prior to diagnosis, one of my sons had some pigmentation issues on his face. Fortunately, after going off of gluten, his skin cleared up almost overnight. However, a few months ago, a new spot showed up on his face that was different from the past in that there were a few bumps on the skin this time. It seems to be finally fading but time will tell.

    I would be grateful if anyone had a great dermatologist to recommend….

  14. Rose,
    I think it’s worth a try, especially if she has other health problems. You might think about getting her tested for celiac disease before starting a gluten-free diet.

  15. Wow! This is great info. I have had vitiligo and eczema since age 7 (I am now 42) and have never heard of a gluten sensitivity connection. I also have bouts of stomach pain, diarrhea and bloating. My 7 year-old son has been lactose intolerant since he was a baby and has recently been complaining of stomach pain and headaches and always has a bloated tummy, so I’m trying a gluten-free diet for him (his pediatrician has been no help and I’ve questioned him more than once about food allergies – need a new pediatrician – any ideas?) But now I’m going to get myself and him tested for Celiac’s. Kind of freaking out that I could possibly have had Celiac’s for all these years and never knew, and now my son may have it too??!!! So do I need to put him back on gluten before I get the test?

  16. Lisa,
    Sounds like you have lots of symptoms yourself (it does run in families!) You are supposed to be consuming gluten when you do the blood panel for celiac disease, but if you have only recently started a gluten-free diet, it shouldn’t make a difference if you get tested soon. HOWEVER, the celiac blood tests miss a lot of people who actually have celiac or who are gluten-sensitive. So, you and your son could test negative but still should try a gluten-free diet. There are other tests you can do if you get a negative blood test. You can read more about this: Testing for Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

  17. Lisa:

    Go ahead and get tested if you want, but you are better off just eliminating all grains, legumes and dairy for a month or more and see how your symptoms subside.

    I can almost guarantee that the stomach pains, diarrhea and bloating will disappear and I’d bet that your eczema will improve and there’s a chance your vitiligo starts to reverse.

    I haven’t found any pediatricians who know much about this. You could try here:
    But it is brand new and hasn’t really been populated yet.

    Robb Wolf’s blog is great place for info on this stuff, regardless.

    The good news is, you’ve discovered this whole gluten-sensitivity thing. Believe it or not, you’re way ahead of the game!

  18. I discovered gluten intolerance this past fall(celiac not established) because of severe bloating and pain. I’ve had vitiligo for five years. My hands were completely spotted but I was so preoccupied with the bloating and pain I couldn’t care less. Thankfully I learned I was gluten intolerent and I went entirely gluten free in October. I can’t even get cross contamination of gluten. The big surprise — now my hands are completely repigmented. It’s just gone! Interestingly several spots on my legs have not been in the sun and are just starting to repigment. If you want to know how gluten and all the auto immune diseases might be related read Alesso Fansano’s article

    at this address: http://somvweb.som.umaryland.edu/absolutenm/articlefiles/837-Fasano%20Scientific%20American%20article%208.2009.pdf

  19. Delise,
    Amazing! Yet another story of pigment returning. We need some doctors to read this… thanks for commenting and for the link to the article.

  20. Very interesting to read all these posts…I have had vitiligo for about 12 years, and recently new spots have come out, which really bothers me. I haven’t had new spots in years. Most of my spots have long cleared, but the cream I used to use is hard, since my spots now on my hand and face (next to my mouth), the Dr told me becuase you are constanly washing, will not work as efficiently. Now I’m starting to read up on going gluten-free and also on celiac disease. Wondering if I should get tested. I don’t want to over think about it, but feel I have several symptoms. Even if not, there seeems to be a lot of positive about going gluten-free. And if it can help turn my spots around, it might be worth it!

    Thanks for all the input!

  21. Hello Alison. I am a 26yr old italian american female with light olive skin. I was diagnosed with vitiligo this past January. I first noticed a small spot on the corner of my mouth. Since January, that spot has stayed the same, but I am starting to see a small loss of pigment on the other side, as well as a white patch around my eye. I have been extremely sad and upset lately- I am having such trouble finding a doctor in the New York City area with knowledge on this disease as well as appropriate bedside manner. I feel so helpless. As I say this, I am reading all the posts and I so am happy that I have come across your article. I have always had issues with my stomach and processing milk and lactose products. I never thought about Celiacs and I am clueless on where to start, how to get tested and what to do to begin a glutent free lifestyle. I am ready to try anything. I must also say that my now 25yr old brother was diagnosed with vitiligo when he was 16. His skin is somewhat lighter than mine, and it is harder to see his spots. I apologize, I know I have thrown a lot out in this response, but after reading your story I feel a sense of hope. I have been using topical steroids and have not seen any change. Do you have any family members with vitiligo? Thank you, I look forward to hearing from you!

  22. Yes, the gluten and cow milk free diet is doing absolutely amazing things for my vitiligo. I had the same shape as the author of this post of “vitiligo” circles around my eyes…but after 21 years, they are filling in daily. This summer sun is helping, too. I experience itching around the site on the days healing occurs. Anyone else experience the itching?

  23. Shawnda,
    That’s amazing and great! I don’t think I have felt the itching, but I will pay attention to that.

    I was just noticing that even the places where I have vitiligo that don’t see the sun are filling in. My vitiligo is filling in with darker speckles — much darker than my normal skin tone — is that how everyone else’s is filling in?

  24. I am so happy to find this info. Can anyone tell me how long you were gluten free before you saw repigmentation? I have had vitiligo since third grade with little change until the past few months. It has started popping up everywhere. I definitely reading The Paleo Solution by Robbing Wolf. It is an amazing diet with tons of info on treatment of many autoimmune diseases.

  25. I gave up gluten and dairy a year ago because I felt generally crummy and needed to make some changes. I had a “gut” feeling that this dietary change could help my morning achy-ness, hot flashes, occasional hives,, arthritic pains and yeast infections. All that improved greatly, but I never expected that it would impact my pigmentation! I am 46 and have had vitaligo since I was about 8. About 20 years ago I was diagnosed with an auto immune disorder a little like lupus, and I have managed that well with healthy lifestyle choices like healthy diet and and exercise. It wasn’t until more recently that I began to feel crummy again, and thus the change to gluten-free. Now this summer, I am noticing a very distinct change in the pigment on my knees. I am seeing pigment in places where there has not been any for nearly 40 years! I really can’t think of anything else that has changed in my life in the past year that could possibly have influenced this, and I am happy I goggled gluten and vitiligo tonight! I hope to see some good research on this soon! Thanks for helping to make the connection!

  26. Jennifer,
    Amazing! Your comment gave me chills. I’m so glad you posted it because it’s another example for people (and wishfully, doctors) to read!

  27. treatment in mexico for the cure with a you craft my son tube vitiligo for 8 years and any type of cream or the narrow band helped you, the is cured with a you are sold in reynosa tamulipas, mexico is called Te, VITPSOR. look it up in. google Te Vitpsor in 1989. Mrs. lupita tijerina sold it in mexico as sent to U.S. and South America is very good to eliminate anxiety tension stress treatment was for 12 months the Lady does not speak English but are looking for someone to help them translate I leave your psoriasis_7@hotmail.com email address phone cell phone it is 044 8992 347467 there give them information they recommend Corazon this everything is stress tension anxiety throughout this eliminates the, vitpsor



    PLEASE CONTACT. mr. lupita cure vitiligo….TEA VITPSOR


  29. Three months ago I was diagnosed with a gluten and lactose sensitivity. I’ve cut them both from my diet. Today I was diagnosed with vitiligo. Neither the GI doctor nor the dermatologist saw the correlation. What kind of doctor or health care practitioner should I see? Any suggestions of docs in the northern California/Sacramento area?
    Also, is there a treatment for one or the other that will cure both? Is there a cure for either?
    Does B12 cure either or delay progression?

  30. Ken,
    I wish I knew the answer to your questions. I believe that there is a correlation between diet (gluten and dairy) and vitiligo, but I have yet to hear any medical doctor say so. I wish there was someone I could refer you to.

  31. Ken,

    Give these guys a call:

    I found them here:

    I can’t vouch for them personally, but they seems to be the type of doc you are looking for. Let us know if they’re any good!

  32. Thanks for the tip. I will let you know.

  33. Hi Everyone,
    I just found an abstract in the medical journals about a girl whose vitiligo reversed on a gluten-free diet:

  34. I have a couple thoughts in the regards to gluten intolerance and lactose intolerance. It seems widespread. And more and more people are having restricted diets, which also means certain vitamins will not be in their diet. Take for example the B vitamins. They are most prevalent in grains and yeast, which is used to make breads. I think the better question to ask ourselves is “why” are people becoming intolerant of these kinds of foods? In my observations, I am coming to the conclusion that it is a combination of how we eat our foods and the modern farming methods. It is a huge topic, but let me just say most people are enzyme deficient and lactobacillus deficient. If you were to take enzyme supplements and a wide range pro-biotic which includes lactobacillus, then digestion will be much more efficient and nutrients can then be absorbed, thus taking away the bodies intolerance for these foods. My 7 yr old daughter has had issues in these areas and I have found giving her plenty of enzymes and plain yogurt every night before bed has cured her eczema as well as decreased her vitiligo. I have to stay on top of it everyday. Another thing worth looking at is aluminum in our diet and products we use. I think it is shocking how much it is getting into our bodies. Here is a useful link about it: http://home.earthlink.net/~joannefstruve/_wsn/page2.html
    Hope this helps.

  35. My 7 year old daughter has vitiligo. She was also experiencing tummy pain and head aches. I stopped gluten a week and a half ago. Tummy & head pain is gone, except when she accidentily consumed gluten. I may be noticing repigmenting on her vitiligo spots as well, I need a little more time to be sure. Amazing. I am so hopeful that this will help her. She seems to just feel better all the time. Okay… medicine needs to catch up with the anecdotal evidence!

  36. Becki,
    That is great news – I hope she continues to repigment!

  37. Went on a gluten free diet two months ago to improve acne. After I went on the diet, I was surprised by how I stopped experiencing sharp pains in my stomach after I ate (something I always associated with fullness). I have had hyperhydrosis since the age of six and vitiligo since the age of 21. After researching gluten-free diets I realized these autoimmune conditions were related to gluten intolerance. I am now seeing a gradual improvement in the vitiligo in my face and depigmentation in my hair.

  38. I have vitiligo since I was 11, I’m 51 on a gluten free diet for the last 3 years, and I am repigmenting like crazy.

  39. Amanda,

    I posted back on August 5th also… it is great to hear another case of reversal in vitiligo after so many years. It is exciting to think what other autoimmune conditions could be effected! And how great is it that here we are in “mid life” and seeing improvements that we never could have dreamed of for all those years! The body is an amazing thing and so capable of finding balance and health when given the proper opportunity!

  40. I am 43 years old and have had vitiligo since I was a teenager. I have it on my face, legs, feet, hands, arms, armpits, neck…well, pretty much all over. My grandfather also had vitiligo so I believe it is hereditary. As there is no good treatment for vitiligo, and after reading this post and the comments, I have decided to experiment with the gluten-free diet. I have been doing this for about a month now. I have not seen any changes in my vitiligo so far. My question is: for those who have seen re-pigmentation on the gluten-free diet, how long did it take before you started to see some changes? I’m getting frustrated because I so badly want this to work!

  41. To Deborah:

    I also suffer from vitiligo and I want to respond to your question about how long it takes to notice repigmentation. Btw, I also have a grandparent with the disease.

    With vitiligo, we need to make a clear distinction between (1) lesions of active disease and (2) lesions that are depigmented but are disease-free underneath the surface. If you find a way to halt the active disease (for example by halting gluten intake if you’re lucky), if you are not getting a good dose of uvb rays, it often takes many, many months to notice any repigmentation, especially on parts that are not exposed to the sun. That is why I am supplementing my gluten-free diet with uvb radiation. With this treatment, you can see results in about 1-2 months. Right now, I am seeing repigmentation of about 1mm per month. For me, a dime-shaped lesion takes about 3-8 months to completely clear up (depending on the presence/absence of pigmented follicles).

    Hope this helps.

  42. To Alison,

    I halted gluten 4 months ago and have not seen any new vitiligo lesions since then. As I mentioned above I am supplementing my gf-diet with uvb radiation and am seeing improvements all over my body. I will need another year of study before I can say whether or not the gf-diet has helped me to halt the ‘active disease’, but I am optimistic based on the results over these past 4 months.

    Thank you very much for sharing your story and encouraging others to as well. And thanks for following up with some folks that you have met and sharing their results – we really some data before we can convince the medical community take the issue of diet and auto-immune disease seriously.

    I encourage you to continue posting on this blog entry comments page as long as you can.


  43. I am 42 years old and the vitiligo started 8 years ago. It is spreading rapidly with spots on my face, hands, stomach, legs and beginning on my feet. Feeling desperate, after seeing many dermatologists, I went to a highly recommended nutritionist. She requested my lab work in advance.

    Before seeing my nutritionist, I was anemic for two years and was taking iron supplements but nothing changed. I could not get my iron levels to improve. When the nutritionist reviewed my bloodwork, she immediatley concluded that my vitilito and anemia are both related to a gluten intolerance. She told me that if I went off gluten for one month and continued to take my iron pills that my iron levels would soar to the point that my family physician wouldn’t beleive it and that my vitiligo spots would at least stop growing. After three weeks, I had my iron checked and she was right. I was no longer anemic. I tested her theory by going on and off gluten over the past year only to realize that there was a direct correlation. When I was eating gluten, my iron levels dropped below normal and when off gluten, my iron levels were perfectly fine.

    One other thing I would like to mention that the nutritionist said was….. “just because you have a gluten intolerance, it doesn’t mean that you have celiacs yet but the intolerance can turn into full blown celiacs in the years to come”. She also told me that if I didn’t get off the gluten that I my next ailment would become thyroid disease.

    As for the vitiligo, thank you for the stories, you all have inspired me to stop playing with how much gluten I can or cannot eat before my iron levels drop and to get serious to see if I can really stop the vitiligo and get those spots to repigment.


  44. Kim, please keep us posted on the vitiligo.

  45. I was diagnosed with vitiligo last year and it’s all over my body, leg’s, arm’s, hand’s and some on the face. I as a child had lactose intolerance and could not drink milk, I also have had side affect’s if I eat to much wheat/gluten. I’ve never been diagnosed to having gluten intolerance but I think I do and this past week I’ve really tried to stay away from gluten and have started feeling better. I am really considering all together after reading your post just not eating wheat at all. I know it will be difficult but if it helps the vitiligo I will definitely give it a try. I almost at one point going to do the light treatment and someone told me it’s a waste of money. I’ve had this vitiligo now a year and 2 months and would do anything to get rid of it or minimize it. Thanks for your encouraging letter.

  46. Hi Renee,

    I’ve been receiving narrow-band uvb light treatment for the past 18 months. During that time, my vitiligo patches have gone from covering 30% of my body down to only 10%, and the situation is still improving, which is why I continue with the treatment. In my experience, the light treatment is very effective on areas that do not have active disease, and it not very effective on areas that do have active disease. So for example, the area around my mouth did not improve even after 12 months of treatment, whereas my back has been completely repigmented. The uncertainty comes from not knowing which white patches are active.

    Regarding gluten, my suspicion is that the active disease part of vitiligo is triggered by gluten consumption in some people. In my own case, I have now been gluten-free for six months and have not seen any new vit lesions since that time.

    In summary, the best solution is to experiment with trying to remove any triggers for your vit, while also repigmenting the areas that are not depigmenting, and generally repgimentation can only occur quickly in the presense of light.

    Best of luck to you, Renee.

  47. Allison,

    Just to add my story to the variety of interesting responses you’ve received:

    I was diagnosed via a naturopath with celiac disease about 5 years ago – positive Ttg with negative endoscopy did not prompt my regular doctor to pursue other testing. Nonetheless, I’ve been gluten-free ever since. As a child I suffered from ADHD, extremely itchy skin (itching from the “inside”), and excema. I developed my first patch of vitiligo as a late teen, on the back of my head (my hairdresser found it!). My knees and elbows were next to be affected – I achieved some repigmentation in my 20s with no treatment (at this point I didn’t even know what it was called though several family members suffer as well – particularly the two who also have type 1 diabetes).

    After the birth of my second child my vitiligo began spreading rapidly, across my face, my hands, my midsection, arms and legs. It was at this point I was officially diagnosed with vitiligo. Interestingly, this child of mine was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 6. With my busy life as a mother and teacher, I did not pursue treatment – even though my natural pigment is olive toned and the spots were very obvious (I used Dermablend cosmetics and began avoiding the sun – primarily because I burned so quickly and badly).

    It wasn’t until I began having a variety of seemingly disconnected ailments that I went from one specialist to another trying to figure out what was going on (stomach issues, hair loss, tingling extremities, chronic anemia that would not correct with oral iron supplements, brain fog – I could go on…). I finally sought out a naturopath/nutritionist thinking perhaps I could change my diet to relieve some of my symptoms. She put me on a gluten, dairy, soy, and egg-free diet for two weeks while we awaited test results, during which time many of my symptoms virtually disappeared. When I returned for the test results – BINGO! – serious intolerance to gluten and soy along with an allergy to dairy and egg. My body had literally turned against itself and food was the main culprit!

    Now, back to the vitiligo story – unfortunately (or fortunately for me since I was already significantly depigmented), the vitiligo did NOT stop spreading – it even spread more. At this point I’m more than 90% covered with vitiligo – likely most of which is no longer even actively treatable. But – on a positive note – the gluten-free diet saved my life, or at least the quality of it!!!

    Sorry for the long post :)

  48. Hi Lynn,
    I can’t help but wonder what would have happened with your vitiligo if you had been diagnosed with celiac earlier… and what about your child with diabetes? I hope that he/she is gluten-free as well as these conditions are connected.
    Type 1 Diabetics should be screened for celiac disease
    Thanks for your story – I’m glad you are feeling better overall!

  49. Alison –
    I wonder the same about the celiac as I’ve likely had it for quite some time. Several extended family members have this as well. My daughter is now 20 and is regularly screened for celiac as the connection is clear. Some of her type 1 friends have chosen to go gluten-free, but as of yet, I’ve been unable to convince her of the benefits! Perhaps in time and with a bit more maturity 😉
    Thanks for all of the wonderful insights on living without the dangerous grain!

  50. Alison thank you for your page and interest to inform others.
    I have already commented that I am also repigmenting after going gluten free. I have no doubt that wheat causes this autoinmune disorder and others, I also have Hashimoto’s, and I was lucky to find a doctor who told me “I think you are intolerant to gluten” I had no symptoms of celiac disease just the autoinmune response to it, and she was so well informed that she nail it, had a celiac panel done and I had very high levels of antibodies to it. I stopped gluten inmediately and felt better with in hours, I read “Wheat Belly” recently a book writen by Dr. W.Davis, a preventative cardiologist who nails wheat all the way to the naked truth.

    When I went to see the dermatologist he was not even interested in my story, I have pictures of the repigmented areas. This is huge and important for others, I am dark skinned so vitiligo has been devastating for me, I have it since I was 11 years old. Your picture as a child reminded me of myself as a child, like you I repigmented the spots on my face using a cream prescribed by a dermatolgist, the rest did not. Vitiligo spread lots in my 40’s, I had tried everything under this planet with no luck. and when I was not even trying the brown spots surprised me so much…I really think that some doctors are interested only when they can sell something. Going gluten free is free, nobody can make money from it.
    The repigmentation started about a year after I went gluten free and I noticed the brown spots getting bigger and bigger, I asked my son to take pictures and it really shows in them. I was also supplementing with vitamins, since we know gluten damages your gut and we can not absorb nutrients. I read Dr. Green’s book “Celiac Disease a hidden Epidemic” and Elizabeth Hasselback’s book also, they gave me all the information, because being gluten free is not easy, everything has gluten in it. The best way is to eat lots of vegetables, fish, meats and fruits. I also lost 30 pounds of fat the first year.
    Please don’t give up people out there get information, this genetically modified grain is killing us one way or another. After reading Wheat Belly my whole family is gluten free, they all feel and look better, I look at least 10 years younger, I am not kidding.
    I also read in one of the comments in your page that somebody else has read also about Dr. Alessio Fasano’s findings. I really admire his work, which I have been reading for a while now, and I can not believe they don’t teach that to doctors.
    Thank you again, I hope more people with vitiligo try going gluten free, it can save our lives!

  51. It is very difficult to make some restricted diet without any firm clues that it should work… I have done some sIgA gliadin test if it will be postive I go gluten free if not I don’t see any reason… You all are convinced that gluten is main problem I’m not so sure as gluten should be digested in healthy stomach and gut… I got some gastritis and HP infection so I think it may be main reason in my case… but gluten free can be as well some option…

    It is difficult even to make some conclusions from yours stories as most of you started gf without test… and if it was some coeliac, gluten allergy, gluten sensivity is not celar


    Honestly said I cut gluten for few days and I’m feel sluggisch so I back to normal diet

  52. This is an awesome post!! My cousin and I have both been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and we have been looking back at our family history and it’s so sad to see so many of our families previous generations suffering from what appears to be severe gluten intolerance and in many cases possibly Celiac Disease. Many have since passed on so we will never know but at least we know now and are making changes in our own lives. My Grandmother had Vitilago among other things and honestly I had no idea that gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease had a connection with Vitilago until a while ago. I started researching and landed here. Thanks for such an informative and hopeful post!

  53. Erwin the problem is that people think that stopping gluten could bring some nutritional problems, because we are being brainwashed that we need grains to be healthy. I can tell you that along the vitiligo you may have other symptoms that you are not even be aware they are related to gluten intolerance, the best test the experts are recommending is go gluten free for 30 days and see how you feel.
    On the other hand you have to get ready for the switch, you need plenty of healthy proteins like fish, chicken and any kind of lean meats, plenty of vegetables,fruit, sweet potatoes, you do your own research, you have to eat so you are not hungry. You are not going to feel weak or hungry if you do it right you are going to feel well like never before. But as I said before you need to be ready, I usually pack all my food before I leave the house, I pack healthy stuff, nuts, bananas, salads, proteins, etc. If I have to eat out, I go to Asian places like Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican and ask for gluten free, it is easy these days because more and more people are finding out that they can not tolerate the grain. I hope this helps, but read and get the information from the experts.

  54. Hi,

    i just bumped into your blog.

    i’m like Aisley years –going toward the opposite direciton.

    i have been _mostly_ gluten free for the last few year. & go
    i.e., i don’t knowingly eat it.

    (going gluten free makes me feel a lot better
    no more migraine, brain fog, lethargy,
    nausea, bloating & projectile vomiting)

    then boom, i got vitiligo a year ago +
    severe iron anemia, mild hypothyroidism.
    it could be some accidental exposure?

    right now there’re about 10 “polka dots”.

    (also i did try dairy free for a while
    & saw no difference)
    & my diet is already very clean before vitiligo
    (Perfect Health Diet/Archevore)

    so i kind of run out of idea.


  55. Pam I am sure you are extremely sensitive, even your spices could contain gluten, flour is a cheap filler, the food industry put it in everything, eat only things that come directly from animals and plants and things that are not made in a plant. Supplement with folic acid and B12, vit.C

  56. Hi, Amanda,


    i have been 99% GF for few years.
    that is i don’t knowingly eat it.
    since it’s everywhere, i rarely eat out.
    i read ingredients carefully.

    for accidentally exposure, i usually know in a few hours (migraine & “stasis” & blood glucose shooting up).

    i just tried dairy free for the 3rd time & could not tell
    any difference for good or bad. so i don’t think it’s dary.

    although the 2 “polka dots” on my arms have shrunk also repigment slightly recently (more sun in summer)

    are you suggesting that i only eat from animal kingdom? or eat directly animals & plants (i.e., no processed food).

    i’ll try supplementing B12 & folic acid.
    (my B12 was normal — it was checked few months ago)
    also i’m no longer anemic.




  57. Pam I mean eating clean as close to nature as you can, I see that you are eating clean, be patient and you will start repigmenting, one thing I have done is I use coconut oil for cooking, I know coconut oil has some amazing qualities and I even wonder if the GF diet, the supplements and the coconut oil have helped with the repigmentation.
    I would say be patient, I was not even expecting at all when I started to see my color coming back again.
    The main thing your body is repairing the damage. If you can buy “Wheat Belly” a book you will never regret to read. Good luck.

  58. Hi, Amanda,

    thanks for the reply.

    oh, yes, i got “Wheat Belly” looks very interesting.
    but have not read it.

    my diet is PHD/archevore. both are quite anti-wheat.

    most of the dots seem dormant. there is only a big patch that is more active & sometimes it’s itchy. looks like battle field w/ multiple borders (dark vs light)


  59. After reading this, I felt like I had finally gotten the last piece to the puzzle; my head was spinning and I kept saying over and over, “could it be? finally?”
    I just turned 40, and have had vitiligo since I was a teenager. The first spots were on my inner thigh, and I thought they were scarring from scratching ‘dry winter skin” too much! My spots have spread to all the joints: ankles, knees, hips, elbows, wrists, armpits through my adult life. Sometimes they showed up very quickly, and at other times, they appeared to be “done.”
    I have a couple of male cousins and an uncle on my dad’s side with vitiligo. One cousin also had colon cancer; he’s also the father of a daughter with full-blown celiac disease and a son with debilitating arthritis. My paternal grandmother was known to have thyroid problems and was an alcoholic: I am wondering now if the alcohol was a coping mechanism for a mood disturbance brought on by diet.
    In addition to the vitiligo, my twenties were marked by brain fog (so I struggled with the constant question of “how can a smart person like me be so DUMB?”) and mood disturbances. I have wondered if I would have been diagnosed as depressed then, or at least ADHD, had I taken it to a traditional MD. I remember this also being a time with moderate, but constant, belly bloat. Thought it was from beer, but I only drank about once a week!
    Three years ago, I woke with intense abdominal pain… to make a very long story short, I ended up having a 8″ length of necrotic colon removed and resectioned. The docs at the Mayo clinic to this day still can give no explanation about why. As I was leaving the hospital, I was told that I would have to have B12 injections because the length of small intestine removed was the portion that absorbs it! Turns out sublingual B12 works just as well (my suggestion.)
    My Mom tells me that I was a very colicky baby.
    So I’m looking at all the pieces in my life- and the B12 thing was what stuck out the most to me on this post- and I think it’s time to dump gluten altogether. I’ve been gluten-reduced for quite some time, as I have been trying to help my son, diagnosed with ADHD, eliminate some symptoms. (He is the perfect example of a “wheat belly kid” btw… big belly!)
    I have a few dark spots in bigger white regions on my hands- probaby where some repigmenting has happened recently- but I would love to have all my pigment back!
    I will not apologize for my long post. Frankly, I think anyone seeking out info on vitiligo has been suffering and looking for relief, looking for improved health, and I feel it’s a comfort to others to read that they are not alone. I am hopeful that the info shared here will help me, and truly appreciate anyone who has taken the time to share their story. Much gratitude to you all– Kerri

  60. one more thing: I’ve never been tested for anemia, but have always felt a little bit like I couldn’t quite “bring it” with anything athletic… I hope this, too, changes as I deliberately focus on having B12 in my system!
    Thanks again–Kerri

  61. anyone: is it possible that it gets worse before it gets better when gluten is removed? Kindof like a healing crisis that shows up when sugar or even medications are taken out? Some have mentioned how their vitiligo had gotten worse right away when cutting out gluten; but could it be that it would improve in time?

  62. Kerri I’m sorry to hear that it took so long for you to find all this, it took me 40 years of suffering, my vitiligo started when I was 11 years old, and it was hard growing up, but I must say I was so lucky to find a doctor who told me “I think you are intolerant to gluten” the same week Elizabeth H. from “The View” had a show where she talked about some of the symptoms of gluten intolerance and celiac disease, I had lots of them like: hypothyroidism, headaches, constipation, depression, pains and aches, anemia, etc. When the doctor said I might be intolerant, I stopped the gluten inmediately, I felt better with in 48 hours. No wonder about 10 years ago I did Atkins and felt wonderful! but then I stopped because all the attacks to Atkins, big mistake, after that the vitiligo just spread like fire…But the good thing is I know now, my kids know and my grandchildren will know. I think this thing runs in my family too, although I am the only one who developed the vitiligo.
    I feel 20 years younger, and I look younger, everybody tells me that. I am not expecting to repigment completely as I have so much but still I’m soooo happy. Vitiligo never stopped me completely, I have a wonderful proffession, a wonderful family and the opportunity to help others.
    Good luck to you, you will only get better…

  63. Hey! Just wanted to add my story. I am almost 32 years old, and have had vitiligo since I was about 17. My dad also had vitiligo, but that’s about the only family history I have, as I was raised in foster care.
    I recently starting researching gluten issues, and subsequently went gluten free b/c of that research. It all began b/c all 4 of my kids, ages 7.5 down to 1 year, have some pretty serious digestive issues, and after the pediatrician was of no help, several people recommended we try an elimination diet. I read a few books, and BY GOD THEY ALL DESCRIBED ME. I won’t bore you with all the details, but suffice it to say, we went gluten free about 3 weeks ago.
    I suffered gluten withdrawal symptoms (which I didn’t even know was a thing), discovered I have dairy issues as well, had the weird itchy rash on my face go away (I’m guessing it’s DH now), my menstrual cramps didn’t even show up this month (for the first time in 20 years), and I know there are more things to type here that I can’t think of right this moment.
    My vitiligo really went crazy after my 2nd pregnancy, and now covers probably 90% of my body, so I’m not super hopeful that it will improve, and honestly don’t know if I want it to. It was a pretty devastating experience having my skin de-pigment (I HATE my wedding pictures) and I’m not sure I want to experience that again in reverse.
    Here’s the thing: I am fairly certain that I have full-blown celiac’s. It is my understanding that the weird itchy rash (DH) is only present in celiac, and the fact that it went away when I cut gluten, came back for 3 days when I ate a piece of bread, and then cleared up again seems pretty diagnostic to me. I also had some pretty terrible digestive reactions when I ate gluten free toast made in our old toaster.
    I’m really hoping that having this knowledge, and remaining gluten free, will keep my kids from having to deal with vitiligo, or any other gluten-related issues. My oldest daughter already has psoriasis of the finger nails, which is autoimmune. If we can keep her issues to her finger nails, I would be so happy!

  64. WOW! I wish a few doctors would read all this, they only know how to prescribe garbish… You nailed it on your own, is remarkable…and yes your kids are lucky because they will be able to prevent disease, the specialist told me “you don’t need to go on a expensive diet, gluten free is very expensive” I told him “I will never eat bread again” Bread is cheap and is killing people…we eat well now, my whole family looks and feels better..

  65. My son has had vitiligo since he was 12 years old but it started progressing after he turned 18 and now at 25 it’s started spreading again. He’s gone to a “vitiligo specialist” that prescribed the UV light and cream and it seemed to be working for a bit but he decided he didn’t want to do the UV light any longer for fear of getting skin cancer.
    He started a gluten free diet about 3 weeks ago and I’ll post his progress here.
    Any suggestions on gluten free books and cookbooks would be greatly appreciated.

  66. There are lots of books on line or bookstores, also most good restaurants have a gluten sensitive menu this days, its getting better. Also recipes on line are handy.

  67. Thanks Amanda. I will also get the book you highly recommend, Wheat Belly.

  68. i met a woman @ the gym pool,
    who also has vitiligo.

    she told me she was born with it.
    her neck & hands used to be completely white/
    after smearing fresh parsley juice on skin + sunshine, for a year, she is slowly regaining pigment back

    but her skin does not itch. she feels nothing

    (mine does when it’s more active.)

    have anyone heard about parsley?
    (i hope i understood her correctly;
    she is Spanish & her English was not very good).


    ps. i tried sun in summer.
    but got burned.

  69. mi hijo se curo con el te vitpsor yo lei un testimonio sobre una persona y en 7 meses le pigmento su manchita cambio la alimentacion y le fue muy bien le recomendaron vitaminas y minerals pero les dejo el correo de la señora que lo vende el correo es nuevo…para informes escribanle ala señora q lo vende en mexico.. lo envia a todo e.u. o sudmerica su direccion de correo actual es guadalupe1969@hotmail.com no useamos cremas nada solo el te medicinal vitaminas y minerales y mucho vegetal muy buen te medicinal yo lo tomo para ansiedad y nervios muy bueno lo recomiendo si tienen vitiligo o son nerviosos

  70. My son 16 years old, is begining to show some spots on his feet. Anyone recommend a very good doctor in NOrth NJ? I don’t want to go to just any dermotologist and make the matter worse. He is a brown color so his patches show up ugly. Pls help!!!
    OR is there a specific type of dermotologist to look for?

  71. Hello, My daughter who is 8 years old and is developing spots on her arms and legs. My sister and grandmother have/had vitiligo. What is making me wonder about the diet is that 7 months ago we discovered my son was gluten-intolerant and our family has been pretty much following the diet.

    Is it coincidence that she is on the diet and getting spots? Did the diet make her body go out of whack or is it preventing it from getting worse? Thoughts on this anyone? Suggestions?

  72. Thank you for this amazing blog! I started with Vitiligo about 16yrs old (I’m 51 now) and did the psoralen/uvb treatment with no effect. I am mainly pale now and avoid the sun because of the burning skin issues. Over the years I have developed Crohns disease, episcleritis, joint pains, arthritic hands, psoriasis (all auto immune conditions). I already don’t have cows milk, and started looking at gluten free to help maybe the crohns and arthritis, I never expected to see a connection with vitiligo!! So, I don’t know if mine will improve – I’ll have to go in the sun if we ever get any in the UK this year! but thanks for pointing up the connection.
    For other peoples informatio – I have normal blood results and no apparent coeliac disease but I do think gluten is my main problem. I stopped it two weeks ago and my painful back has gone(sacro iliac) and the psoriasis is much improved.

  73. Dear ladies!

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience!I’ve been desperate since April as my little daughter(5)all of a sudden woke up with pale patches around her eyes – just like in Alison’s picture plus on upper eyelids as well. Now it looks as if she has been wearing huge sunglasses of irregular form.These patches just grow bigger and bigger, there are more on her elbows, thumbs, knees, back and around the area of mouth as well. We have visited a few dermatologists, an endocrinologist – they say that there is no fungus, all the blood tests seem to be OK. Advised to apply corticosteroid cream. Please! On the eyelids?! I am applying virgin coconut oil (plus neem powder and turmeric powder) on her skin, but it doesn’t help a bit. I started to read and analyze everything I could find on the issue (for several months) and came to conclusion that vitiligo has to be directly linked with gluten intolerance (that’s how I found this thread – by keywords). You all prove that this conclusion is right. My mom has vitiligo (on her hands and legs)as well – it developed in her forties along with Addison’s disease and autoimmune thyroiditis. I suspect that this sad combination is just a result of untreated celiac disease or at least gluten intolerance. Anyway – I’ll put both my daughter and mother on gluten free diet. There is a hope now. Just info – I know a young woman who got rid of vitiligo in a few months by drinking a glass of potato juice (lot’s of folic acid in it!) every day on empty stomach before lunch. Unfortunately my daughter refuses to drink it because of the unpleasant taste.

  74. I started repigmenting about 2 years after I went gluten free, I think is important to supplement with B-12 and eat lots of fruit and vegetables. I also use coconut oil for cooking and on my skin. Good luck, don’t give up, stay away from gluten and your whole body and brain will thank you.

  75. Hi Alison,

    My daughter is 6 and has diagonsed with Vitiligo on her back recently. I had been googgling for any information. I read your article. I am very happy for you are other who have seen it reversing. I kept my daughter from gluten free diet for about a month now. (She did eat Pizza on 3 ocassions thou)Unfortunately I haven’t seen any improvement yet. As a baby she also had eczema and was on milk formula specially desgined for allergies (Similac Alimentum). Do you advice to stop cow milk and cheese as well? How long would would gluten-free diet show desired results. I am a desparate mom trying and praying to reverse the vitiligo. I would be grateful if you reply with your suggestions and comments. Thank You.

  76. I was looking up in Google what Vitiligo was and ran across this site. I too have a white patch under my chin on my neck. Now I am wondering? Hmmm.
    However, while I am here, I would like to ask you Alison, if I may share a product that I promote, that is completely Gluten-Free, and ideal for a Gluten-Free diet and lifestyle!
    It is also very diabetic and heart friendly. I would love to leave my name and email with your post, if permissible. Lives are changed because of it. Thank you, Michael

  77. I dunno how i found this article.,but i`m glad i did.My kid was diagnosed with gluten intolerance when he was 2 yrs old,but since about a year he showed very little symptoms if occasionally he had a wheat product. so we thought he had out-grown his allergies. Until he started developing white patches on his back and palms. Skin tests came negative for any bacterial infection. At-least now we know the cause and things to avoid.

  78. Hi, I am glad that i came accross this site. My son who is 4.5 years old has recently been diagnosed with vitiligo on his finger tips, one knee and one elbow. Docs here tell me that there is no cure and we can try initially with topical treatments for repigmentataion but there is no gurantee that white patches would stop appearing at other places on his body. I would definetlly try the gluten free diet. Are there any test that can help identify if he has glutenintolearnce or allergy? also what other test of allergies should i get done? – from a very worried father.

  79. Asif:

    The tests for gluten intolerance are notoriously unreliable. It is very common to get a “false negative” even when definite gluten-sensitivity is present.

    I believe that everyone is gluten-intolerant to some degree, but we all are affected in different ways — gas, bloating, diarrhea, alopecia, vitiligo, etc.

    The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to COMPLETELY eliminate gluten, in all of its forms, from your son’s diet. In fact, I think you should eliminate it from your house and your family entirely to avoid temptation and cross-contamination. Your son is young enough that this shouldn’t be too difficult, once you get used to the idea. I have four children (ages 10, 12, 14 & 16) and our house is completely gluten-free. My oldest is the only one who “cheats.” He is a teenager and thinks gluten doesn’t bother him, even though I am 100% certain that it does.

    You need to educate yourself a good amount to get rid of all gluten. Gluten hides in many places — Twizzlers, soy sauce, soups, Doritos, and most prepared foods.

    You need to give it a solid 6 months of 100% compliance to really see results. I know this sounds difficult, if not impossible, but believe me — it can be done. I’ve seen amazing improvements in my family — not vitiligo, but plenty of other issues, including alopecia.

    Good luck with everything!

  80. Hi,
    Thanks for this post!! I had never read anything positive about vitiligo repigmentation. I cut Gluten one week ago and inmediately started feeling good, positive and full of energy. I guess my body had to show me i was doing something wrong by putting white spots on my skin. My dad has vitiligo, I told him to quit gluten and he tries not too hard but sais he feels better when not eating it. My two brothers don’t have any white patches but they also claim to have a lot more energy staying away from wheat. This is awesome! Thanks again, I have not seen any repigmentation but just feeling good is enough, I know what the problem is now! It makes me think of all the people that don’t know about this… and what would happen if everybody knew! The end of psicology, pharmacies, McDonald´s and so much less pollution…. ???? The word needs to spread, so many latin people looking for solutions and spending money on creams and pills for it, people in India, all over… crazy, ok gotta go enjoy life and eat tasty stuff!

  81. Oh yeah, the headaches I was getting (migrane, i would loose sight!) every once in a while now only happen when I eat something with gluten like sushi or roasted chicken wich had some powder condiments (not wheat, but probably cross contaminated).
    It’s only been a week so i should have omitted the repigmentation comment jejeje

  82. Cristian, you will repigment, be patient and diligent, my doctor told me gluten once ingested stays with you for 2 weeks, I eliminated gluten from my life 100%, I don’t miss it at all.
    I started repigmenting long after I stopped the gluten, it is unbelivable! I tried so many things before, nothing worked for me.
    Get a good vitamin supplement and some B12 as well as a few minuts of morning sun exposure.
    Good luck and spread the word to other people…

  83. By the way I love suchi, ask for gluten free soya sauce and stay away from tempura and fake crab, there is gluten in those…

  84. HI, since my son is very young, it is very difficult to avoid gluten. There are so many other vitamins and nutrition that I can miss while avoiding gluten… how can this be managed? any suggestions?

  85. Hey everyone , I’m 19 years old I just began to have vitiligo a little over a year ago. I just have a couplespots here and there. I just want to start off by saying I’m glad I found this post. I was diagnosed with hyperthyroid which I believe is the cause of my vitiligo. I feence I get that under con.trol. my vitiligo will stop spreading. I’m taken my medicine. Along with a good multi vitamins. I make sure I get 15-20 mins of sun.and use my cream which kind of helps a ittle bt. I left the allergen doctor today I wasn’t allergic to wheat or diary or anything but is that the same thingas being sensitive to it? I want to attack this from all angles so I will try the gluten free diet. But is it just for things with gluten in it. Or should I stop the wheat breads and diary all together? I really want to try this I’m glad to hear so many positive results

  86. @Chris,

    it’s interesting you have been
    diagnosed with hyperthyroid.

    i believe my vitiligo is also related to thyroid. cause i have been avoiding gluten as much as possible (almost 100%) for years before.
    it was diagnosed around the same time also together with of my (subclinical) hypothyroid.

    yes, to avoid gluten, you need to avoid all wheat products.

    stay healthy,

  87. Hello All!

    Last time I posted was May of 2011. If you read my comment back then I was in a very depressed and desperate for more information on my recent diagnosis of vitiligo. I said it then and I will say it again, I am so happy I came across this site while up late one night searching the web. Finally I had found a glimmer of hope! I visited several doctors and all of my tests came back negative for celiacs- but I knew that there was always something wrong with my stomach. When I went gluten free later that year, I regained so much energy, my body felt like it was finally working correctly and the best part- my vitiligo started to disappear! The spots on the corners of my mouth are not completely gone, but they are barely visible! My fingers started to repigment and the spots did not spread or pop up anywhere else on my body. Now, I feel like I control my vitiligo- and it does not control me. Going gluten free has changed my life. It is definitely hard to eat out at restaurants, or to even cook when you are cooking for others who are not GF but if you stick to the foods that we were intended to eat- veggies, fruits and meats then it isn’t so bad! Just an FYI for anyone who is having trouble with going GF and eating properly I found a great website http://www.skinnytaste.com that has a number of GF recipes that are so delicious that your non-GF family members or friends wouldn’t even know the difference! If anyone has any questions on where to eat out or what to order please just message me…I really wished I had someone to talk to or to help guide me when I was making the transition. Remember- what you put in your body is what comes out some way or another- and like many others on this thread- vitiligo may just be your body’s way of telling you that something you are ingesting is wrong! Good luck to all!!

  88. Dear AAA, your son is not going to miss anything by going gluten free. He is going to avoid a cascade of disorders related to gluten intolerance. Do your own research, do not rely on doctors who are not aware of these findings, read on University of Maryland center for celiac research, Dr.Alesio Fassano and autoinmunity.
    There are way more nutrients and antioxidants in fruits and vegetables than in grains, grains are not supposed to be digested by humans. Have you ever noticed how corn passess thru our digestive system?
    Read, read and you will find the answers, get a few paleo recipe books, or go on line and see how many people have restored health by going gluten free.
    Good luck to you and your family.

  89. I’m trying the gluten free diet now do all I haft is avoid things with gluten ? And are we suppose to avoid bread , cheese diary products?

  90. Chris:

    The safest thing to do would be to eliminate ALL grains and dairy and see if your symptoms subside over the course of a month or more.

    If you think that is too much, you should at least eliminate all gluten-containing foods. So anything made with wheat, barley, rye, etc. So any breads, pastas, crackers, etc. that contain any of those things must be avoided 100%. 99% is not good enough — you must go 100% gluten-free to see the full benefits.

    Be aware that wheat and gluten are in many foods (especially processed foods) that don’t obviously have wheat in them — Twizzlers, soy sauce, Doritos and malt vinegar are just a couple examples. You have to read EVERY label. Or, even better, don’t eat anything that lists ingredients — just eat whole foods.

    Hope that helps!

  91. This is very interesting to me as I have had vitaligo spots on my one leg since about age 2 (I’m 40), and I feel fortunate that it has never spread. It was just this week mentioned to me by a dietician to try gluten free due to some other symptoms I have been experiencing. In doing some gluten free research I discovered the link between gluten and vitaligo which I had never heard before. I look forward to seeing if this improves my skin!

  92. Hi,
    I five year old daughter was just diagnosed with vitiligo. She has three dime sized spots on her right hand.

    We tested her for celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Tests came back negative. She is scheduled for some more tests this week.

    Reading the posts here, we have decided to put her on a gluten free/ dairy free diet regardless of the test results.

    Did anyone else with vitiligo test negative for celiac/gluten intolerance but went on a gluten free/ dairy free diet and have vitiligo stopped or reversed? If so did you take any medications and other treatments along with the diet?


  93. Hi Sharon,

    My son too developed 4 penny sized patches on his right hand
    and a large patch on his back around oct of 2012. His Gluten,thyroid and an array of allergy tests came back negative. Since then we have been applying Cortezone and Topgraf and also have reduced gluten products to a great extent(not a 100% considering his age). Since 2 months we have also been applying Papaya peel in the afternoons and there has been re-pigmentation on his hand (one of the penny sized patch has completely vanished and the other 3 have reduced in size).

    Hope this helps!


  94. Hi Sunil,

    Thank you so much for your response. I am so glad your son is repigmenting!I have a lot of questions. My daughters spots appeared in December 2012(around the same time as your son’s).

    We are currently applying cortezone though I don’t think that has been helping.

    You said you did not go 100% gluten free. Can you let me know what part of gluten did you keep in the diet. Did you also go dairy free like we are doing (boy that is tough for a kid who loves her vanilla icecream.) Is he still on the gluten free diet? Did he get any new spots before or after the gluten free diet?

    Do you think the repigmentation occured after the papaya peel application? Do you have to just rub the peel on the spots? How often did you do that? Did you try anything else?

    I will definitely start the papaya peel application.We have also been prescribed Ayurvedic medicines from India which will be here next week.

    Thank you once again for your response.


  95. Sunil: You said your son isn’t 100% gluten-free because of his age. How old is he? I find that it is much easier to keep younger kids off gluten than, for example, my teenage son. There are enough gluten-free products available now that anyone, at any age, should really have no problem going 100% gluten-free. You have to shop and plan ahead, but it can (and should) be done.

    Sharon: Dairy free shouldn’t be that hard either. I kept my kids nearly 100% dairy free for years. And there are plenty of yummy ice creams! Experiment to see what your son likes, but So Delicious coconut-based ice creams are amazing! There are plenty made from rice, beans, almonds, etc. Some are very good, some are a little funky.

    Good luck!

  96. Hi Sharon,

    We noticed re-pigmentation after about 10-12 days of applying the Papaya peel. However its difficult to pin point which of these are working, therefore have not discontinued either of them.

    We have tried to the greatest extent to stick to home made food and sweets, we totally eliminated wheat from our home since cross contamination through utensils is a possibility as i read somewhere.His diet is mostly rice,Greens, Vegetables and chicken/lamb/beef (once a week).
    We discourage him from eating Chocolates, biscuits instead have a jar of sweets made out of rice flour.We do give him milk once in a while,but have stopped flavored yogurt, cheese,butter.

    Go for a semi-ripe papaya and rub its peel on the spots.we let the child play outside in the morning sun during the weekends.

    So far he has had ice cream on a couple of un-avoidable occasions.


  97. Hi Doug,

    My son is 5 years old. Keeping a toddler off ice-cream and chocolates is the greatest challenge, unlike teens they cannot reason that its for their own good.

    I suggest going with as much of natural/home made food,than including gluten free products in your grocery list. manufacturers add artificial flavors/chemical to increase the shelf life of products.
    remember that we are still not sure of what was the trigger for its outbreak.


  98. Hi Sunil,

    Repigmentation in 10-12 days is simply amazing! I take it that there have not been any new spots after that, right?

    How often did you use the papaya peel? Any reason why you only use the peel and not the pulp?

    We are trying to find the trigger to our daughter’s vitiligo. I can think of two, firstly she was sick with the flu twice in November and December and with a viral fever in March. Secondly she had restarted drinking milk around the time the spots appeared.

    I spoke to a friend of mine and she told me her mom had vitiligo twenty years ago. She lived in China and the doctor there diagnosed her with high levels of vitamin C. Her vitiligo stopped after she got her vitamin C level to within normal range. So there’s another trigger for you.


  99. Hi Doug,

    Our daughter had discovered the joys of “So Delicious Coconut Icecream” a couple of days ago and loves it. She hasn’t had vanilla icecream for a atleast six months and I think she has quite forgotten how it compares to the new flavor I gave her. But I must admit the coconut icecream was pretty darned good.

    She also liked the coconut based mango yogurt but the almond based yogurt fell short. It tasted funky indeed.

    Do you have any suggestions for flavored yogurts / puddings?

    The challenge I face right now is choosing the most nutritious products from the dairy free milks, breads, cookies and flour mixes available. I hope in a week or two I can do my own blend of flour.

  100. Sharon:

    Don’t really have suggestions, because people’s tastes vary so widely. However, I was in Whole Foods the other day and saw almond pudding and soy puddings. I guess the best thing is to find as many as you can and try them.

    On an related note, my family loves Joan’s breads and pizzas — not cheap, but very good. The pizzas aren’t dairy free (obviously), but these products are:

  101. Has Anybody seen any results i would love to talk to ppl over facebook or email , txt or somehting

  102. Chrisss,

    I have seen results. I’ve had vitiligo for nearly ten years. It was getting worse at about 25% a year. I had spots on my hands, legs, and most joints, and it was starting on my face etc. About two months gf I noticed the spots were not expanding and thought there was slight repigmentation but wasn’t sure. Now, at 2 years gf all spots have some repigmentation and some are hardly visible. No one asks about it anymore and I wear skirts again! If you post your email I’ll respond offline.
    Good luck…

  103. Hello!

    My 3 year old son was diagnosed with vitliligo(2 spots, one on his scalp and one on his face) and I came across this blog at the time. We went gluten free 3 months ago. While the spots have not gotten bigger, I have noticed a new spot on his scalp. I also spoke with a doctor (Jack Kruse) who said vitiligo is an autoimmune disease made worse by increased exposure to Electro Magnetic Frequencies and fake light. I found that interesting. He also recommended a paleo diet which we are trying next (basically cutting out dairy).

    I have not tried putting Papaya peel on and not quite sure how i could do that on his scalp. I’m willing to give it a shot! Thanks for everyone who has posted on here and is giving me hope that I can reverse this disease!

    I will update in a few months!


  104. Many people on paleo diet start repigmenting, and it is because paleo=no grains, no milk. So no gluten. Grain fed cows probably pass some gluten in the milk…

  105. I am 48 and have had vitiligo for 20 years. It typucally accelerates in its spread during the winter and during the summer. Last Oct i went gluten free and have not seen any spread in my vitiligo since then. I have seen some slight spots of re-pigmentation in a few areas, though the recovery is quite slow. But at least things are going in the right direction and things are not getting worse. I suspect the gluten is causing an auto-immune response and that response by the body includes release of hydrogen peroxide by the immune system to fight the presume intruder (gluten), with the result being an inadvertent attack on the mylanocytes. I would highly recommend trying gluten free to see if it can slow and/or reverae your vitiligo as well, if you have not considered it. Good luck!

  106. Hi everyone – i have vitiligo but not celiac and have been gf for almost 3 weeks now and am realllllly looking forward to seeing what may happen in the future with all of these positive and encouraging responses! I will keep everyone informed in a few months of my progress.

  107. I’m 38 and noticed Vitiligo spots on my hands and legs two years ago,
    It started to spread quickly. I went to Thailand about six months ago and decided to see a doctor about it because everything american doctors were prescribing including a UV light was not working. The Doctor in Thailand told me To give up Gluten, dairy, most oils, sugar and take vitamin B, folic acid, zinc, vitamin E, kelp etc…. Not only have I lost a ton of weight but the vitiligo completely stopped spreading and I noticed some slight pigmentation coming back in only six months. Hopefully with more time i’ll see more positive results. I use Dermablend to cover up the spots and it looks very natural. I really believe gluten, GMO’s and all the other chemicals they use in processed foods is the cause of many skin and health problems. I’ve even had someone with MS tell me they have attacks when they eat gluten. I Hope this helps someone else.

  108. Hi everyone,

    I am new to this page and i am here because my 7 year old daughter has vitiligo. This message is for Sunil. Sunil you said that you have been noticing improvements with your sons vitiligo since going GF free. How is your sons progress. Has the progression of Vitiligo stopped?
    I will really apprecaite your feedback.


  109. Hi Karina,

    From the four penny sized patches on his right hand, 3 have completely disappeared and the remaining one has grown a little smaller.The large patch on his back seems to be decreasing in size from all sides and also a few pigmentation spots in the middle are visible.If possible i will post his recent pictures when i have time.With gods grace hope he makes a complete recovery.


  110. Also my son had quite a few white dots on his finger nails and our family doctor said that this could be a sign of Biotin deficiency and prescribed a biotin supplement. This is around the time that we started applying the papaya peel too, so really can`t say what worked.Hope this helps :).

  111. Hi Sunil,

    Thank you so much for responding. I am so happy to hear your sons progress :) . Is he 100% gluten free? Are you guys doing anything else besides diet, papaya peel and Biotin? And apart from repigmentation has the progression of Vitiligo halted?
    Thank you so much for responding.

  112. I’m 35 yr old man who had vitiligo for 12 years. Mine spread rapidly throughout my body, with depigmentation on joints, under eyes, hair, etc. I tried oral and light medications to no real avail. People used to make hurtful comments before, during and after treatment,… and this was tough. Eventually I started to make a natural treatment which has been a blessing to me. You only need to read this review in the link below… you have nothing to lose.


    Begin a new life, you deserve it …Good luck!

  113. Hi Karina,

    We have reduced products with gluten from our day to day family diet (although he does have an occasional pastry/ice cream say once a month or when he goes to birthday parties).
    There have not been any new patches. We do watch his diet more closely and make leafy green vegetables as often as we can.


  114. Thanks Sunil. We are not 100% gluten free we are trying to be dairy free. But it’s hard for a kid an being a vegetarian on top of that. Are you continuing with the cortisone?

  115. Hi Karina,

    We used Cortisone for about 4-5 months and have discontinued it. I suggest going on a Gluten free diet for a certain period of time before going diary free. That way you can monitor the progress and get to know what worked. If we stop both the child will hardly get any nutrition, especially since you say your family follows a vegetarian diet.

    Also our family doctor was against us giving him Health drinks(Pedia Sure) on a daily basis. she was of the opinion that when a certain nutrient is ingested in excess, it depletes another nutrient and causes deficiency.


  116. I have been gluten free for two years now. I have not experienced significant repigmentation.
    Can any one recommend a cover up or some kind of natural color that dose not look like makeup but could even out the blochyness on my face and also provide additional UV protection.



  117. Thanks Sunil! That’s what we are aiming to do. She is almost dairy free, luckily she had no problems with soy or almond milk. Now slowly trying to incorporate gluten free diet. More than anything we want to cut the processed foods drastically.
    Thanks for your input and lets keep our fingers crossed.


  118. hi, I have been detected wheat allergy since past 9 years and living on gluten free diet. today I am 36, married and having two children age 7& 2. past one year I started taking wheat products quite and often. now I have noticed some white patches in my underarm and at my thighs. skin specialist says this is vitiligo but cause of disease was unknown to the doctor. after finding on net and the connection between wheat allergy and vitiligo through your blog, now I am strictly cut wheat from my diet.

  119. I am new to this site and we noticed couple of white spots on my 2 year old ,its just started 3 wks back not sure what was the trigger we switched to Pedia sure completely around the same time could be because of that not sure ?. Thanks everyone for the positive feed back ,Sunil thanks for the suggestion we will try gluten free diet and papaya peel too.


  120. Hi Sunil- can you tell me how often you apply the Papaya peel and how much Biotin do you give your child. Thanks so much!

  121. Hi Tiffanie,

    We apply the Peel twice a day.My son had a few white dots on his nails, which is why our family doctor had suggested a Biotin supplement once a day only for a week. I suggest that you consult your physician before trying it.


  122. Interesting to see so many people trying gluten free diets. I have both vitiligo and thyroid disease. This winter I began a low carb diet to lose weight. I mow commercially so it is really difficult to avoid the sun. I was very surprised to see most of the color return to my face, which was almost completely white. My hands are freckling also. Genetically modified grain apparently has 15 times the gluten that an organic grain would. The human body is not equipped to digest this much gluten. We also do to milk what we do to every other food product. Raw milk can be consumed by lactose intolerant people, but unfortunately it is not widely available.

  123. Hi there, I have had vitiligo since the age of 3 and I am currently 36 and pregnant with my first. I became gluten free after doing a blood allergy test. I am pretty sure I suffer from celiac as I have all the symptoms but was never officially diagnosed. I came off gluten, dairy and eggs due to allergies. I barely ate eggs and dairy prior as I was a vegan/ vegetarian. When I stopped gluten, although I never had vitiligo very badly, it is reversing. I have told my naturopath as well as dermatologist. I have had one spot on ankle fir 33 years and it has never home away however currently it is filling in and half it’s size. Other than that spot I have it on the bottom of my feet and that is also filling in. I have not treated vitiligo with any topical creams since ging gluten free. It dies work, there is a link. It takes long but I have no new spread and pregnancy seemed to help

  124. Thank you very much for this article!
    Sorry for my bad english, I’m a Belgian.-)
    My 19 year old son suffers from vitiligo since the age of 10 years. He always had a pale complexion (like me) and vitiligo “appears” mainly in summer as the forehead and nose stay pale despite the sun. Also on his fingers … So, not so bad but he tried to avoid the sun.
    In february 2012 he was diagnosed with lactose intolerance and caffeine. Since his diet has changed.
    He has just returned from vacation and I was surprised to find any trace of vitiligo on his face!!!Just a little on his fingers but not so serious as before.
    So I also think there is a correlation between lactose intolerance and vitiligo. Thanks to you, I hope that medicine will make progress in order to help other persons!
    Kindly regards from Belgium!

  125. Hallo,
    Also from Belgium :-)
    I have vitiligo since puberty.
    I discovered by internet the link between vitiligo and gluten a month ago. I started immediately a glutenfree or glutenpoor diet, and a little bit sun. The result came quick and is amaizing. Everywhere the pigmentation comes back!!! The brown dots in the white patches grown everyday.
    Important detail: I remarked just before the pigmentation came back,my skin was peeling on those white patches. Before the diet, my skin never peeled. For me is the renewing of the skin a good indication where the pigmentation will start.
    I hope that my story helps other people with vitiligo.

  126. This is very use full me,(from India) only 2 weeks back i started observing white patches one corner of mouth and center of chin small patches on fingers of rt hand. I was reading article it gave some hopes so that changing my food habits I may get back my skin color, i am 39 years old I consulted doctor without testing anything prescribed immnuosupresant drugs but I am having lots uneasy, I will consult doctor for ceailic diseases
    totally this is very help full information

  127. If you are in this new category (non celiac gluten intolerant) now called Gluten Sensitivity you want to know this information as it can take only crumbs or slight cross contamination (like using a regular toaster with gluten free bread) to expose you to the negative effects of gluten for your body. I have been gluten free for 3 years. After 2 months I thought I saw progress and over the years it was really going away. Then I was accidentally glutened (by three restaurants and the vitiligo came back. There are so many other things that living gluten free has helped for me (IBS (gone), rosacea (gone), joint pain (gone), random bloating (gone). When I get “glutened it all comes back. Of course I’m hoping that given enough time again remaining gf my vitiligo will again begin to subside. In other words, if a gluten free diet is creating a remission of your symptoms of the vitiligo then there are probably even more reasons for remaining gf. Good luck to you Santash, and get a celiac test (Ttg blood test) ASAP as a gluten free diet will make the celiac test negative even if you do have celiac. Beyond Celiac there is now this category of gluten sensitivity without celiac that we don’t know much about. I spoke with the worlds leading expert Alessio Fasano and he said that there were single case reports of remission of celiac but the scientific research has not been done yet. Hope this helps.

  128. oops, I meant “remission or reversal of vitilago” not celiac. Celiac disease absolutely can be reversed with a gluten free diet. But it only takes five crumbs, (per the expert) to gluten anyone with celiac. Its a very strict diet unfortunately.

  129. Hi everyone.
    Please note that most of these autoimmune diseases, chronic conditions and gluten sensitivities/allergies, are directly a result from Lyme Disease, as it is a systemic disease that affects all organs of the body…including the biggest organ, your skin.
    Please do research on this. Google Lyme Disease and the government to learn some shocking news. Most chronic ailments are due to having come in contact from a tick bite at some point. It’s not just deer ticks that carry the bacteria. It’s most of them.

  130. Dee! Some questions about your vitiligo progress, were you dairy free too?
    How was your sun exposure? Multivitamins?

  131. More than Lyme disease they are a result from “Leaky gut”

  132. Which many Lyme sufferers complain of, also. It is the Great Imitator of ailments that effect every system in the body. Please research or join Lymenet.org to speak to many of those who have *personal experience*, stricken with all of these ailments, including skin, allergy and digestive system disorders. It’s a lot more common than one would care to believe and there’s only one way to accurately test for it through a certain lab. It doesn’t always show positive through regular Dr tests, if one has it.

  133. So exciting to read all these posts. I have had vitiligo about 10 yrs
    I am 66. Also have Crohns disease I am reading a book called the Autoimmune Epidemic. Both these conditions are autoimmune
    I will try the gf diet after the blood test. I did see 2 dermatologists for the vitiligo but the treatments are time consuming and expensive and so I decided not to try any as I was also fearful of side effects. I dont have any vitiligo on my face so that is another reason and I am fair skinned
    The lspots are spreading so lloking forward to gf trial
    This is a wonderful site, so helpful

  134. I haven’t been here in awhile, but wanted to post an update on my daughter who will be 13 in a few weeks :)

    A friend that is a pediatrician and child nutritional specialist had her tested for gluten sensitivity (it’s done with feces samples – that was NOT fun) and she showed gluten and casein sensitivity. In the last year, she also developed an eye infection (behind her eyes – long story about how we found it out). We had to take her to a retina and macular degeneration specialist in Orlando (we live outside of Orlando, FL) who then referred us to Bascom Palmer in Miami. She has been tested like crazy (to the tune of 8-10 tubes of blood) and they found NO cause of the eye infection. The doctor (who is the #1 eye doctor in the country), said it could be from gluten! She ran an HLA profile, but that only showed 1/14000 chance of having the markers for celiac. My husband wanted to let her back on the gluten and dairy, but since her other tests showed the sensitivity, we are not doing it. Not taking that chance. Next step is having her thyroid checked – my family has a history of thyroid and goiter problems. UG!!! Hoping that’s negative. Poor kid!

    The poor kid was on and off prednisone for months and had to get Lucentis shots in one eye – yes, in her eye. I can’t say this was all from gluten, but when they find no cause, what can you think?

    I have been doing tons of research on line and it is amazing what you can find. A great free read here: http://vitiligo.50webs.com/.

    So, we are GF/CF – no gluten or dairy whatsoever and have started supplementing with “super foods” – moringa, blue-green algae, etc. She has also been eating more food with psoralens (carrots, beets, etc). I will be adding more foods high in zinc and folic acid as well.

    What I did find odd, is that she fell and scraped her knee, which is depigmented and when the scrape healed, the pigment had returned! I did read an article on some dermos that were scraping the vitiligo, then spraying them with the patients skin cells. May be something to that…

  135. Hi thank you for this, more informative than doctors – I know most of you know what I’m talking about. A couple of years ago I took my daughter, 3 t the time, off of gluten for the most part. This past sprin I found out she was allergic to soy while wheat did not test positive. So I gave her gluten – bagels, pizza, if was great. Now, at 5.5 yrs old, she’s got white patches all over. They spread quickly over the course of the past few months. I’ve been in a panic and despair but this site gives me hope. She is back off of gluten. BUT … What about rice ?? Please enlighten me.

  136. My daughter eats rice with no issues but she does not eat dairy. My research has shown that dairy can effect vitiligo, too. Prior to going GFCF, my daughter also used to have a chronic cough. Took her to the allergist, ENT and gastroenterologist and nothing. They thought it was a habit. I was not satisfied with that answer – no one is more persistent than a concerned mom 😉 Guess what? No gluten, no dairy, no cough. I wasn’t crazy. I knew something was causing that cough!

    She has quit eating pork and beef and i only buy natural chicken and turkey. She and i eat vegetarian a few times per week but my husband and son “gotta have the meat”. Dinner time can be hectic in our house 😉 I also started giving her a multi and probiotic everyday and omega 3-6-9 several times per week.

    I bought a juicer today so we will start getting even more fruits and veggies in.

    I read that castor oil on the spots helps, so adding that to the mix, too.

    I have to say that i myself have cut dairy and red meat from my diet, use natural products (it can be pricey so i’ve started making some things myself) and take supplements and i feel awesome! A healthy diet won’t cure everything overnight but i firmly believe it is the path to great health.

  137. hello.
    this is an extremely helpful blog. i am tryn to go gf after i read the positive results. i have had vitiligo since almost 20 years. has anyone heard of natural vitiligo treatment system by michael dawson. does it help for vitiligo treatment or is it just a scam??
    pls help.

  138. I am recently diagnosed coeliac and have just been having a look at the links between vitiligo and gluten as my sister as vitiligo and I thought as coeliac is genetic that there could be a link, all your comments make me think this def could be so!
    For all those looking for a place to start with gluten free and allergies, I did the Dr Alejandro Junger 3 week diet called CLEAN they you re-introduce food groups, milk, eggs, wheat, gluten etc and your body has a fairly swift response to what it does not like. Eating gluten was like giving myself flu with a huge hangover and some hayfever after 3 weeks without it.
    After cutting it out, well it’s like a minor miracle, I feel so WELL! Not exhausted etc and after much research I can see why. The grain used now is not the grain our grandparents used, it has modified to store longer, give greater elasticity in baked goods etc and the gluten in it now has massively increased. Our bodies just can’t cope with it and that affects our immune systems. With 80% of our immune system in our GUT you can see why.

  139. I am 38 and just started a GF diet 2 days ago. I have has vitiligo since I was 5 and hypothyroid since I was 28. Hoping this GF diet helps with both. There are a lot of helpful info on here, thanks to all!!

  140. Also, my 6 year old boy has vit too. We noticed it a year ago. Keeps spreading. I am hoping if the GF works with my vit. I can try it with him!

  141. I have had vitiligo since 11 years of age. I tried psoralens tablets at 21 with infra red light under the guidance of a skin specialist with no result. I know now it should have been UV light. I am now 58. I have recently searched the net and found people are saying fresh ginger rubbed over white spots three times a day and left on, will show improvement within weeks (google hypopigmentation ginger). Also Ashwagandha taken internally (other name is Withania somnifera – it is an Indian herb and is an immune modulator, antiinflammatory . I am going to try these, as well as a gluten free diet. I will also drink water from a copper pot to gain more copper. I have tried Ginkgo biloba and tyrosine in the past with little result. My spots increased last summer so now I really want to get rid of them. Good luck to everyone seeking a cure.

  142. MEERA: I tried Michael Dawson approach but no luck.
    If you want the book, I have it and can email you. give it a try yourself.

  143. Hi Kay,
    Requesting you to kindly send the this ebook to ‘anoopjakhwal@gmail.com’. Suffering form Vitiligo for past 17 year. Got inspired to follow GF Diet from this post but was not able to follow the same. Currently my Vitiligo is again spreading , one thing I am sure that it have some relation with your Gut.

    Anoop Jakhwal

  144. hey kay,
    my email id is revatichandra@gmail.com. pls share the ebook. thanks

  145. hello kay,
    sorry gave u the wrong email add. kindly send the ebook to revatichandra11@gmail.com.what treatment r u undergoing now.. what all did u try from the ebook??

  146. Lack of enzymes protease and DNAse explains gluten’s implication in autoimmune disorders. Gluten is a protein made of peptides gliadin and glutenin, which induces a leaky gut syndrome, due to poor protein breakdown leaving large protein particles. There is a book “Autoimmune, the cause and the cure.” which gives well referenced details about how the lack of digestive enzymes can affect us in many ways.

    The takehome message is that we need to eat raw foods containing active digestive enzymes. This will take the load off our pancreas so it can again produce the right amount of protease and DNAses.

  147. Started taking my daughter for NAET ttreatments. Some people have cleared their vitiligo and food sensitivities with this method. Will keep everyone posted. Second session today 😉

  148. I read a book titled My Victory against Vitiligo recently, the author is not a vegan or on gluten free diet, and he recovered by eliminating only a few food items (alone with other treatments).

    Just curious, people have been eating foods with gluten for thousands of years and the majority has no problem with it. Could it be possible this is not the root of the problem? Instead, damaged intestine is? For example, a bowel has a crack and it will cause a mess if we use it to hold liquid, so we say let’s just use it to hold solid items. But the crack is still there, and a normal bowel should be able to hold anything.

  149. NAET works! Back on gluten with NO issues.

  150. Someone showed me the Natural Vitiligo Cure System yesterday. I have been very curious about this ebook because of its shameless internet search engine campaign, you cannot get away for it whenever you search for vitiligo. I almost bought it a year ago, but didn’t due to the concern of credit card scam. The ebook is only 63 pages, an copy and paste assembly of various information collected from internet. It is probably unfair to call it a total scam, but it is certainly not useful and a rip-off for 40+ dollars. there is no where in the book you can find the 2-months cure the ad mentioned. The UVB section has only two paragraphs, zero useful info was provided. The My Victory against Vitiligo I found on Amazon was a lot more useful for $15. I am going to start watching my diet and taking supplements for my digestive issues.

  151. Hello Anne,
    what does it mean “NAET works”? Is your child vitiligo free now?

  152. Hi Anne,
    I was also wondering what NAET stands for and your comment that it works.


  153. Also, how much B12 and Folic Acid should an adult take to help in the healing?

  154. I’m 56 years old and the Vitaligo patches started when I turned 30. Seemed to spread fast in the beginning then slowed down for about a year. Then I had my son at 32 and it took off. I completely lost 100% pigmentation within 5-6 years. I’m Caucasian and before vitaligo I had an olive complexion. At 50, 6 years ago I decided to go gluten free on my own do to a lifetime of stomach issues. I felt so much better the first week. I’ve been red meat free 24yrs, dairy free 2 1/2yrs, and I try to keep Soy and pork out of my diet, too. I’m O- blood type and truly believe the poor absorption and inflammation from gluten and so many inflammatory foods are a huge cause in autoimmune diseases. I’ve showed no signs of pigmentation return after being gluten free 6 years. Sublingual Vitamin D and B’s are a big help for me even though I on occasion I battle anemia. Good luck to all those seeking a cure.

  155. Hi. I had been on a gluten free diet for about 5 years. My vitiligo became stabilized and in many areas improved with vitamins and Dr. Merry’s formula with sun exposure. I began to relax recently and started eating small amounts of gluten. I am seeing white spots on my hands, and I previously had only had vitiligo on the insides of my arm before. I am really nervous about it and am going back strictly on gluten free. This problem started in my 30’s after eating pasta every night with my Italian husband. I think also starting to use chemical hair straightener was a trigger

  156. Autoimmune the Cause and The Cure is a book and a fb page. The author explains that a lack of dietary enzymes, especially protease and DNAse, causes all autoimmune disorders. She advises that that raw foods have enzymes and that supplementation may be necessary until our bodies recover. I think she also advises to avoid gluten.

  157. Kari,
    Thanks for sharing your comment. (One bit of good news is that they now have yummy GF pasta.) Obviously the studies on this connection — gluten/vitiligo — are not available yet. They are very close, however, to establishing the biomarkers for Gluten Sensitivity (GS) so that studies will be easier. I’ve been strictly gluten free for 4 years. After about 6 months I thought the vitiligo was improving — at least it was clearly halted. But over the years, I have noticed that if I am accidentally exposed a few times in a row then the white patches of vitiligo seem to get bright white and rapidly increase in size again. GS is an immune response so depending on your tolerance level, you may or may not find it hard to prevent exposure. I get sick from even cross contamination. In my case, while the white patches do seem to grow bigger with exposure, they don’t seem to ever shrink again. However, the white skin does start to get more color the longer I am GF. When I get a couple of exposures it will flare up bright white and start to spread. Does anyone else notice this response?

  158. i have been wearing shorts & tank as much as possible for the whole summer. as a results, my legs do not have any which patches.

    i just found a tanning salon which claims to have UVB bed. so i’m going to try it. (also for D)

    most of my white patches are on torso (big polka dots) & the back of my neck & shoulder are completely white now. & i seem to find a new one every few months.

    i have no idea which lesions are active. some of them seem to stay the same for 2 years.

  159. Hi Alison, I am so happy to have found your page. I have had vitiligo since I was a child (now 40). Last year my dr recommended that I go gluten free due to my Hashimotos (autoimmune thyroid) and my vitiligo has been improving for the first time ever. I am also taking Vit D and probiotics. I have been watching with looks like a vitiligo patch on my 8 year old daughter’s back all summer. I took her to the pedi to ask about it and a GF diet for her… the pedi was no help and tonight I noticed another patch on her elbow :( Wondering if you have any articles I could share with my pedi of if I should just look for a functional medicine dr to see her? I worry about thyroid stuff for her as well since she has a history of idopathic hives.

  160. my 3 year old girl is diagnosed with Vitiigo..i m devastated, no family history nothing. Anyone any suggestions to stop it and cure it. Does it really get halted, anyone please, anyone. Dr gave the usual cream and she didnt believe on the gluten involvement. Also, will the siblings get it too. thanks so much for any answer.

  161. Hii everyone,thankyou for sharing your experiences.my son got diagnosed for vitiligo 6 months back with vitiligo,it all started with an eczema kind and then the skin left it’s colour,he has vitiligo on his eyelids so can’t apply most of the medicines as the skin is very thin in that area,if anyone has any knowledge about what would help , please do share.and thankyou Sunil I tried papaya peels I think they r helping a bit

  162. I drastically changed my diet when i found out about my vitiligo 7 months ago so I made a quick change in my diet because it is on my face. I am anemic and have hypothyroidism as well. I added a lot of green vegetables to my diet. My homeopathic doctor put me on lots of vitamins and minerals and enzymes for absorption.I was also put on liver and lymphatic cleanse.

    I read about how a ‘leaky gut’ is a major issue for persons who have autoimmune diseases and that’s when i decided to be gluten, soy, yeast, and sugar free(well some sugar every now and then).

    Since ive been on this diet, i no longer have much brain fog, i have more energy and most importantly, my spots have repigmented. The process is slow but very natural and i’m loving it. The spots though are somewhat darker than my natural skin colour. Maybe cos its new skin,lol. I would suggest persons to clean their colon for a healthier gut, go free from food allergens like soy and gluten, eat more organic food, live on probiotics and vitamins to reduce vitiligo from spreading.

  163. Hi im 26 ive also been diognosed with vit my dad has it as well, its not as bad but i would try to go on gluten free diet to halt the progression, over the years iv had of stomach aches feeling bloted and tired sometimes vomiting as well thinking its food poisoning followed by a huge miggrane and sore muscules,iv also had low iron when i was young, so puting it all together and seeing everyone elses condition looks like gluten is the problem, i also had a blood test for celiac it came back negative.

  164. I’ve had vitiligo 16 years starting at age 30. Within 5-6 years I had no remaining patches of my natural olive skin. I believe my Vitiligo is referred to as Universal Vitiligo. On my own I went gluten free 7 years ago and have never felt better. I also went back to the Eat Right For Your Type book (blood type), therefore adding no dairy and no on many other foods. Again, I feel great at 56! I’m so happy my daughter who is now 30 years old is gluten free, too. She’s at that age when vitiligo struck me and watching her strive for a non-inflammatory way of eating brings such joy to me as a mom. I wish I had known before age 30 about celiac and gluten intolerance. I have a positive outlook on having vitiligo for 16 years because it has kept me out of the sun and I’m told I look younger than my age of 56. I also have Raynauds autoimmune disease which my dad and both my children have. Living life to the fullest includes a healthy lifestyle.

  165. can anybody send me acopy of michael dawson vitilligo program. my id is manoj.shintre@yahoo.com.for all those people going glutten free how is a diet of millets esp jowar and bajra.

  166. My son first developed white patches some time in 2013, after which i had consulted at-least a hand full of Dermatologists, and they had us test his Thyroid and allergy tests,all came back as negative. Recently we consulted a Homeopath in Bangalore who specializes in skin related diseases and she asked us to check his Vitamin-D level, when we did…Surprise surprise, it was at 8.2 (below 20 deficiency and Above 30 optimal). With Vitamin d supplements weekly and 15mins of sun exposure after applying some jelly the doctor gave us, we can make out the re-pigmentation(its just been 2 weeks since we started this).

    Its shameful that this simple test was not prescribed by qualified Dermatologists of leading hospitals in India, but a Homeopathic Doctor.

    Hope all of you have not overlooked this test.If any one of you are from Bangalore, i can share the Doctor`s contact details.

  167. Sunil, I had similar if not worst experience in another part if the world …so it’s nit just India…may I get info on the Bangalore Dr. I will fly to India.
    Thanks do much!

  168. Hi,

    Dr.Pranjal Shamsher
    080-23568290 to 91 or 080-42067474 to 75 (+91 country code)

  169. NET is nambudripads allergy elimination technique

  170. Having had negative test results for gluten sensitivity but still feeling rough with the slightest hidden gluten, I decided only two weeks ago to take gf seriously. I also have MS and decided to get back into the regime of taking high(ish) daily doses of Vit D. I first had Vit a couple of years after MS dx 11 years ago. It took off a year or so later after a bout of high stress. Last week I thought saw new skin coloured spots on my hands. My daughter suggested I take photos to see if it changes – I did and after taking another a week later, I really think I am ‘growing’ new bursts of colour. I stumbled across this blog and had tears reading the wonderful outcomes for some people. And I feel I have hope for something good to happen in a long long time Thanks people. :-)

  171. for the chap that asked about a natural look cover up – try Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs. Waterproof, great cover, wears well, looks natural, comes in light, medium and dark shades. Use sparingly and blend. Expensive but worth every cent. Been using it for years. Awesome. Fake tans are also fabulous for a great base to even out before using Airbrush Legs. Gees I am high maintenance.

  172. I’ve learned a lot since I first posted in August 2011! I easily remain gluten free and have also gone dairy free, avoid corn and soy and I’m doing a few things to restore my gut lining. and to enjoy her bike ride this morning!I am so delighted that functional medicine physicians and researchers are coming up with excellent information about leaky gut and autoimmunity. I recommend checking out Susan Blums book “The Immune System Recovery Plan”. She walks you through a process that helps determine your unique sensitivities and provides great suggestions for healing your gut and supporting a healthy immune system. Also, Amy Myers hosted an Autoimmune Summit in November in which about 40 experts weighed in on autoimmunity and gut function. I think it is still accessible online. One import and tidbit I learned is that nearly everyone who is gluten sensitive is likely to be very sensitive as well. She also has a recently published book about healing that gut and reversing autoimmunity. Thank you for creating this blog! You were way ahead of your time :-)

  173. Oh my goodness, it’s hard to type these comments from an iPhone! In my last comment, ignore the comment about enjoying a bike ride (accidentally cut and pasted from a text!) and about gluten sensitivities, I meant to say that most everyone sensitive to gluten is also sensitive to dairy, not simply sensitive 😏!

  174. Hi i had the iGg test done and iam wheat and dairy intolerant, so i guess my vitiligo is caused by the antibodies trying to fight the wheat and dairy are also atacking my skin

  175. Lucy, what does iGg test stand for?
    Thank you!

  176. Hi Maria IgG stands for Immunoglobulin G i think, its a test to see if your body produces antibodies against certain foods as far as i know, in my case its wheat and dairy. Hope this helps

  177. Thank you! It does.

  178. I am a 51 yr od woman with vitiligo. My son is celiac. I’m going to start a gf diet to see if it helps. How long before you noticed a difference? I see this was posted 5 yrs ago. Has your vitiligo reoccurred? Are you still on a gf diet?

  179. So glad I found your site! I was diagnosed with vitaligo as a small child, maybe 6 or 7 years old. Patches covered my whole body. I did UV treatments and it mostly went away as a teenager. I am 34 years old and only have patches (faintly) on my feet and abdomen. I was recently diagnosed with APS aka Huges syndrome (cardiolipin antibodies, lupus anticoagulant)after having a pulmonary embolism after a cesarean section. I plan on going gluten free and am amazed at what you are saying about vitaligo reversing being related to a gluten free diet. Excited to go gf!

  180. Its true, gluten free will help. I started developing light spots on my dark skinned cheeks. I was concerned. I started gluten free diet to help with constant nose bleeds and what I now consider to be celiacs or high intolerance to wheat products, however I noticed the spots have started to darken and are less noticeable. I’m gonna add some urine therapy to top it off. Thanks for posting. I will spread the word too. Peace and natural health. X

  181. I have been gluten free for 5 years now. I did it for other health reasons and didn’t expect it to have an effect on my vitiligo. However, for a period of time — about 3 months GF forward — it improved. Then I was accidentally “glutened” three times in one month from going out to eat often. The white patches seemed to grow again. All in all, I know the rate of growth has slowed considerably (almost halted when I can remain completely gf) and regimentation has occurred in some places. I have also ceased to develop any other autoimmune diseases. So I believe gf is protecting me against progression of the autoimmune problems I had and it has helped prevent new ones from developing. There is no science to back that up yet — its just an educated guess.

  182. Hi Sunil,
    Which one do you think worked better for your son, the gluten free diet or vitamin d supplements.

  183. Hi Andrea

    Are you deficient in vitamin d3?

  184. My girl is almost 8 years now and thanks to this article we started on a gluten free diet when she was almost five. She has repigmented white patches in her face after days outside at the beach. Sometimes she eats some homemade bread with gluten -from a friend-but with no complications. Even though, this week we noticed she developed episcleritis in one eye. Have any of you experienced it? Thanks for sharing knowledge.

    Health to you all!🌻

  185. Hi Adria,
    I’m happy to hear this! Did it take 3 years for her to repigment or did she begin to repigment right away after beginning the GF diet?
    Regarding eye conditions, I have definitely heard of this and here is a personal account I found: Gluten Intolerance and uveitis, episcleritis and iritis

  186. I am glad that some of you are experiencing repigmentation with GF. I have been GF for several years now and I have not experienced any repigmentation. So it does not work for all.

  187. So glad I came across this site. I am 39 and have had vitiligo since I was about 22–mainly my hands, chin, knees and feet. Hands seems to bear the brunt of the depigmentation. I also developed Hashimotos Hypothyroid after the birth of my first child 8 years ago. My 8 year old boy appears to get eczema on his face and sometimes arm. He is biracial so on him it looks almost like vitiligo because the patches appear pale but they come, hang out for a while and then totally disappear for months. I’ve been considering going gluten free and doing the Autoimmune Paleo diet for my Hashimotos disease and hoping that it could also help with my vitiligo and my son’s eczema. My mom also has vitiligo although I think she’d sooner live with that than give up her bread :) Reading your posts have given me hope that this could be an answer or at lease a huge piece in my mystery. Will give it a shot for me and both my boys. Fingers crossed!

  188. This is incredible and very hopeful. I’ve had vitiligo since I was three years old. It’s mostly on my left leg and ankle, with small white spots on my right ankle. My right knee has filled in over time, and I have slightly lighter “clouds” around my hips, and a perfect white spot right in my belly button. I kinda think that one’s cute. I’m very pale, so after getting through the humiliation as a teen, I’ve almost forgotten I have them. The idea that I might be able to treat them by getting more B12 and Folic Acid, or less gluten, is exciting. This is also consistent with the fact that I’ve gotten more spots during both of my pregnancies. More of the B12 and Folic Acid go to the developing fetus at that point, so that might account for the increase in spots. I’m going to contact an allergen and see if I have Celiac disease. I’ll let you know if I see any repigmentation if and when I do this. Please, if you learn anything more, do let me know. Just curious: How long do people generally have to go gluten free before they see results? Based on your small sample, of course. Thanks so much for taking the time to share! Leila

  189. My son was born with a dairy intolerance and found to have soya intolerance by the age of 7 months. He had bloods taken at 18 months and was told he had a mild intollerance. However he was on the last milk a baby can have. I now have a daughter 3 years apart and is mostly bf but noticed she too was having problems and took dairy and soya out of my diet and she is happy and content once again but both children we have notice something else with my son it was foods with gluten but as they were made in a factory with dairy and results coming back fine, we never thought anything of it. I should mention he was starting to get a small patch of vitiligo on his leg. He has recently had a bad reaction to dairy that would suggest the original results went as reliable. but many people (including a celiac relative) has suggested he be tested again (dairy,soya and gluten I think we asked for wheat gluten last time not sure what they tested though). I’ll now explain I have vitiligo that covers about 80% of my body since I was about 5\6, from being pregnant with my first I had problems with dairy (always varied how much I had growing up as it sometimes made me feel unwell) and took it out of my diet and since I’ve had very little and the last 6 months ive taken it out completely along with soya. My vitiligo has started to get pigment back over the last 3 years. I’m interested to take gluten out of my diet to see if this to works. I’ve often wondered over the last 3 years if diet is the cause of vitiligo my main focus was to make sure my children don’t develop it but now looking at improving my own :)

  190. Greetings All,
    Being gluten, sugar and dairy free has slowed the vitiligo from spreading but has not stopped or reversed the condition for me. I just read a few articles this week about the assistant professor of dermatology at Yale who had success in using an arthritis drug to cure one woman’s vitiligo. Hopefully he has found a cure but the drug is very expensive and so far it has only worked on one woman.
    You can read the articles here:



  191. Hallo,
    2 years ago (august ’13) I posted some progression in the regression of the white patches with the gluten free diet, but it stagnated after that summer. Since then, my skin didn’t peel off again to regenerate the skin tissue. The pigmentation stopped suddenly, even with gluten free :-(

    But this summer I tried gluten- and milk free diet and a lot of capsules vitamin D and sun: great success! :-) :-)
    Every week, a few cm² over all my body my skin peel off and followed by pigmentation.
    I hope that this experience may help others.
    Nicholas, from Belgium

  192. I developed vitilago at 13 (now 62) and it spread continuously and was quite extensive. I went gluten free 4 years ago and so much of the pigment returned, and continues to do so. I recently went one step further and adopted the Paleo/Autoimmune diet to reverse my 3 autoimmune conditions. p.s. my chiropractor also has his pigment returning since going gluten free.

  193. Janet,
    That is amazing. I wish I had taken pictures of mine before and after. Thanks for sharing.

  194. I am very interested to read everything here. I have gradually developed numerous autoimmune conditions over the past 5 years, including Hashimotos and pernicious anaemia. After much research I believe that gluten intolerance is somewhere at the root of my problems. My levels of B12 were almost non existent and I am unable to absorb B12 through my stomach and will have to have injections for the rest of my life. The reason I’m sending this message is because about 11 years ago I suddenly developed vitiligo, completely out of the blue. I did not know anything about it and due to my circumstances at the time (travelling) I never sought medical attention. It cleared up completely within a year. However I can now see that my autoimmune problems were obviously starting then and I think that gluten and B12 deficiency are at the root of all these issues. I now follow a gluten free diet and have regular B12 shots but unfortunatley both conditions are irreversible so will have to live with them for the rest of my life. Luckily the vitiligo has not returned and I have very few scars so I have been very lucky in that respect.

  195. Hi I have Vitiligo for 20 years and 3 months ago started Gluten Free. Under my arm pits were completely white and they have started repigmenting they are itching too. My feet are still whit but its early days.

  196. First at all THANK YOU VERY MUCH Allison, for sharing your case. This will help to many people, like me for example.

    I ve been diagnosed Vitiligo.

    I ve NOT been diagnosed Celiac Disease, but I suspect since many years that gluten is really a bad thing to eat.

    Indeed, I work in an hypothesis that try to link gluten and casein with many, many diseases…

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