In our interaction with the community members, we often come across questions like – “I have vitiligo. Will drinking alcohol worsen it?” Some slightly change the question, but often ask the same thing – “I love drinking wine with dinner. Do I have to worry about it at all? Will it affect my vitiligo in the first place?”
To be honest, just like any other questions related to the skin condition, we can’t be 100% accurate while addressing this question. Only if we knew what causes vitiligo in the first place, we would be able to explain it better. But, as per general observations and other gut health and inflammation theories, it appears that vitiligo and alcohol do not get with each other.
Vitiligo and Inflammation
By now, it is clear that alcohol (if consumed irresistibly) affects one’s liver, causes nutritional deficiencies, increases inflammation, and disturbs one’s sleep, which can ultimately trigger vitiligo symptoms. This is not it; alcohol often worsens leaky gut syndrome and trigger autoimmunity. That explains why people with autoimmune health challenges, including vitiligo, are often found sensitive to regular consumption of alcohol.
Many experts around the world believe that poor gut health often triggers vitiligo in the first place. When this poor heath is combined with alcohol lead problems like indigestion, heartburn, food allergies, impaired lever, and the lack of healthy gut bacteria, it often worsens the condition to the point of no re-pigmentation.
The Leaky Gut Theory
The human gut is home to more than 100 trillion microbes, including probiotics (good microbes) and pathogens (bad microbes). When the good bacteria in the gut are overpowered by the bad ones, it results in a leaky gut, triggering autoimmunity – something hypothesized to be one of the causes of vitiligo.
Regular consumption of alcohol is one of the biggest contributors to leaky gut as it acts as a catalyst for the proliferation of bad bacteria. More the bad bacteria, the more intense will be the leaky gut symptoms, leading to a hindrance to proper digestion. Apart from this alcohol also restricts the production of key anti-inflammatory compounds, prostaglandins that help keep the gut inflammation in control.
Other theories around vitiligo and consumption of alcohol
Apart from fueling the leaky gut symptoms, alcohol can implode the body’s toxins. Even a single episode of heavy drinking can increase the level of toxins in the blood – the propellant for autoimmunity. The liver damage due to regular alcohol drinking can further increase the risk of worsening vitiligo and other autoimmune conditions.
As covered by us in many other knowledge resources, vitiligo is often linked to nutritional deficiencies and alcohol, which can be further aggravated with regular alcohol consumption. Other bad side effects of alcohol consumption, including obesity, depression, and throat infections, often report worsening of vitiligo symptoms.