Vitiligo is a complex disease that involves both faulty genes and environmental factors. In this article we discuss Vitiligo symptoms and stress control, causes, exercise patterns, sleep, and vitiligo support within your family and friends.
Vitiligo is a condition that causes loss of skin colour. The discolored areas often become bigger patches with time. The condition affects the skin on any part of the body. It can also affect hair and the inside of the mouth.
The colour of hair and skin is determined by the amount of melanin produced by the body. Melanocytes, the pigment producing cells are damaged or die thus affecting the ability of Melanin to produce pigment. Vitiligo affects people of all ages and skin types.
What causes Vitiligo?
It is likely that pigment-producing cells called melanocytes are more susceptible to damaging chemicals produced during emotional stress.
Psychological stressors (e.g. loss of a loved one) that occur within 2 years prior to vitiligo onset should be considered as potential disease triggers. Psychological stressors have been associated with symptoms in vitiligo patients.
Vitiligo can be triggered by stress to the melanin pigment-producing cells of the skin. The triggers range from sunburn, chemical exposures, infections and other physical damage as well as damage to skin from allergies which cause itching and consequently the breaking of the skin. Often patients report the onset of Vitiligo during pregnancy and after childbirth. The outcome of this damage ultimately causes an autoimmune response that targets melanocytes. The result is progressive skin depigmentation.
Besides physical damages to the skin the emotional factor is very important in the onset of vitiligo. This is especially the case when you are genetically predisposed to Vitiligo. Stress increases the level of neuroendocrine hormones and autonomic neurotransmitters, which modifies the immune system.
Symptoms of Vitiligo
The condition is not life-threatening or contagious. However, people with vitiligo may be at increased risk of social or psychological distress. More than 75% of the patients have negative self-image on account of the disease.
Vitiligo generally cause significant psychological stress. In many societies Vitiligo gives rise to stigmatization against the sufferer. Thereby having a pronounced impact on the physical and mental health of patients.
Happy events, such as a wedding, moving home, as well as unhappy events, such as divorce and overwork, can cause stress. When your stress level exceeds your ability to cope, you need to restore the balance.
While the patches are on places which can be covered it is not as bothersome. But if Vitiligo starts on visible areas of your body such as face and hands or if the Vitiligo spreads to where patches cannot be covered it creates a feeling of embarrassment. This often leads to a feeling of depression. In some societies it causes difficulty getting a partner. A feeling of depression leads to social withdrawal.
Stress is one of the leading factors of delay in the treatment progress for vitiligo. Too much stress can make our journey through life difficult.
Relief of Stress
Reducing your stress or increasing your ability to cope is important in the fight against Vitiligo. You can avoid a lot of stress by planning ahead, rearrange your surroundings and living a healthy lifestyle.
Take control of your problems wherever possible. For example, leaving earlier so you don’t get stuck in traffic. By avoiding people who hurt you, make you feel uncomfortable or bother you in any way. Learn to say no to people who ask you to do something you don’t really want to do. This way you can ensure you have more time to relax.
One of the most helpful things you can do during times of stress is to take inventory, then attempt to change your situation for the better.
Small problems often create larger ones if they aren’t resolved. Communicate your feelings openly. Manage your time better as increased efficiency will give you extra time.
Worrying about been able to cope causes a great deal of stress to you. Changing your standards or expectations can be most helpful in dealing with stress. Stop striving for perfection for a little less guilt and frustration. Stop gloomy thoughts immediately. Try looking at your situation from a new viewpoint remember there is always someone worse off than you.
Each day try to relax with a stress reduction technique. There are many tried and tested ways to reduce stress so try a few and see what works best for you.
Try focusing on a word or phrase that has a positive meaning to you. Words such as “calm” “love” and “peace” and “beautiful” work well. You could repeat a self-affirming mantra such as “I am beautiful and deserve love”.
Don’t worry if you find it difficult to relax at first. Relaxation is a skill that needs to be learned and will improve with practice.
Imagine all the things that bring you joy in life, such as talents, vacation, children and pets. Then call on that list when you’re stressed. It will put things into perspective and serve as a reminder of life’s joys.
They say laughter is the best medicine and yes it can help to reduce stress hormones. Remember to make time for fun. Above all be positive!
Vitiligo and the need for Positive Support
Accepting the condition is very important for a positive treatment outcome. A person suffering from vitiligo and family members should be well educated about the disorder. Support from family and friends is essential for a person suffering from vitiligo.
When you are feeling down and unsure schedule a visit to a friend. Talking it out to an understanding friend will make you feel better. Don’t feel as if you are a victim and this disorder has been given to you as a punishment. It can happen to anyone. Many people rise above their disorder to excel in their chosen field.
Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, and Nicotine
Avoid, or at least reduce, your consumption of cigarettes and any drinks containing caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants which increases your level of stress rather than reducing it.
Rather swap caffeinated and alcoholic drinks for water, herbal teas, or diluted natural fruit juices to keep yourself hydrated as this will enable your body to cope better with stress.
Avoid refined sugar and other refined foods. Rather try to eat a healthy, natural, well-balanced and nutritious diet.
Get more Sleep
A lack of sleep is a significant cause of stress. Unfortunately stress also interrupts our sleep as thoughts keep whirling through our heads, stopping us from falling asleep.
- Try to maximize your relaxation before going to sleep.
- Sleep in an uncluttered tranquil bedroom.
- Avoid caffeine as well as excessive alcohol in the evenings.
- Prevent doing any mentally demanding work several hours before going to bed so that your brain has time to unwind.
- Take a warm bath. Reading an undemanding book for a few minutes to help you forget your worries before switching off the light.
- Aim to go to bed at roughly the same time each day. This creates a routine for your body clock.
Organise and set Goals
Organize yourself. Make a to do list in order of importance. If you day gets hectic scratch off the least important items off your list.
Write a reflection journal. Write down your thoughts and process events that have happened to you. This can help you get a fresh prospective about the situations you are in.
Set yourself achievable goals and reward yourself when reaching them. Vitiligo is no reason not to achieve amazing things in life. Your intelligence and health are not affected by this disorder. Set out to achieve goals that make you the best that you can be in your chosen field. This will immensely increase your self-confidence.
Physical Exercise and Stress
According to experts if you take a walk it will help reduce endorphins in the system that cause stress. Take a 10-minute brisk walk in fresh air.
Try to incorporate some physical activity into your daily routine on a regular basis. If walking or exercise does not appeal, try gardening for some physical activity. Physical exercise can be used as a surrogate to metabolize the excessive stress hormones and restore your body and mind to a calmer, more relaxed state.
Yoga and Vitiligo
Yoga can help reduce stress because it promotes relaxation. Yoga can benefit our body, mind, and breathing that are often affected by stress. Practicing yoga builds your ability to calm, focus, balance, and relax yourself.
Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. Yoga helps to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate.
It focuses on balancing your entire body’s energy. It enhances the mind-body connection. Yoga also stretches tight muscles via poses, deep breathing, and meditation. This help ease the physical discomfort that is caused by anxiety. Yoga can reduce pain and stress. It improves the mood.
Yoga is a natural way to increase serotonin production. Serotonin is a chemical that has a wide variety of functions and is sometimes called the happy chemical. It contributes to well being and happiness. Yoga is gentle and calming.
The meditation during yoga brings a person into the present moment and allows them to clear their minds.
Yoga is especially helpful because of its gentle, calming, and fluid nature. Another important factor is that each pose can be adjusted for people of all levels. You will be encouraged to focus on positive images to calm the body and mind.
Yoga increases your heart rate variability. In other words, the change in time between heart beats, A high HRV means that your body is better at adapting to stress. It increases the relaxation response over the stress response in the body.
At Vitiligo Treatment, besides our specially formulated products to treat Vitiligo, we offer Support, Consultations, and Vitiligo Assessments.
Remember that stress causes Vitiligo to spread, and also is one of the main triggers of the condition. ‘Trauma and Stress’ are normally linked, and we do have the Vitilox B12 & Folic Acid Vitamins, and the T-Cell-V Tablets that both have elements required to reduce stress, and slow down and stop the further spread of Vitiligo.
Your free Vitiligo Assessment, which can be found on our website, is assessed by one of our trained consultants. They will evaluate your condition, and help you choose the correct product or products for your treatment going forward.
Remember that at Vitiligo Treatment we do not sell a one product fixes all product, but we do have a range of products required to successfully treat the many different Vitiligo Conditions that do exist.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you require any further information pertaining to this article – What is the best diet for Vitiligo patients? – or require any additional detailed information on our products.
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Published by Vitiligo Treatment