Written by: Paul Robinson
My eldest boy, Brandon, has Vitiligo, which in it’s simplest form means he has patches on his skin with no pigmentation. Vitiligo is believed to be an autoimmune problem, meaning that Brandon’s immune system attacks some of the cells in his body, killing off the pigmentation and leaving him with little patches of white skin. To date he’s been pretty lucky as his patches aren’t large and it doesn’t seem to phase him at all. When we first noticed the discolouration on his skin we took him to some specialists and they diagnosed him with Vitiligo. To be honest, we weren’t told a lot about the condition except for the obvious “He’ll have white areas of skin and they could spread.” That was about the sum of it. However, what did concern us was that one of the specialists also casually added “And he’ll be more susceptible to Diabetes and Thyroid issues.” Naturally this worried us, so we’ve kept an eye on his sugar intake and had him eating fairly healthy, or as I should say, what we thought was healthy.
Now, please understand, we have tried to never make a big fuss out of any of these issues. Brandon has always been quite shy and reserved which as we all know can be seen as a sign of weakness, especially in the playground. Being shy, being overweight (pot belly) and being different (white patches) is not a good combination in any school playground. He has been the brunt of his fair share of bullying at school because of this, so we figured he didn’t need any extra pressure from us. Something needed to change and the constant threat of diabetes and thyroid issues hanging overhead, we needed to act sooner rather than later.
A mate of mine (and an avid Paleo advocate) got me on to your website and gave me some information about the Paleo lifestyle. After some additional research we found that this could really help Brandon out. What really caught our eye was the information about how people with autoimmune problems could benefit from going Paleo. So my wife and I spoke to our boys about the changes we were about to make and got them to read some stuff we printed up off your website. We figured that if they were informed enough, they’d be able to throw themselves into it properly and make the right choices when we weren’t with them. Then we made a game out of it and totally cleaned out our house of all the junk that didn’t fall under the Paleo guidelines. It became a really good family event. We also got the boys to write up what they’d like to eat at school, going off the Paleo foods list. They loved the challenge and came up with some great ideas.
So we’ve been living a Paleo lifestyle now for just over a month and the changes we’ve seen with Brandon have been nothing short of amazing. He is sleeping solidly through the night for the first time in his life and waking up full of energy. Gone are his dark circles and his belly!! We’ve had to adjust all of his pants so he didn’t look like a mini Eminem with his jeans starting half way down his legs. With this new energy and size loss (I won’t say ‘weight’ loss because I don’t agree with scales being your guide) Brandon has really come out of his shell. He is brimming with confidence and much, much happier than we’ve ever seen him. The difference really is remarkable. To top it all off, his bathroom stops have become much more normal. I can’t say it’s roses and picnics, but then again, who’s is? But gone are the days of candles, incense and air-freshener. He’s actually been asking if he can stay at his mate’s houses now too.
As a parent, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your kids happy. I really wish we’d found Paleo earlier. However, we can’t change the past and at least now we have a reference of where we don’t ever want to go back to. I’ve got to thank my mate for introducing us to the Paleo lifestyle and to you Robb for providing such a great source of information and practical advice. The information you’ve provided us on your website and emails has helped our boy so much. Needless to say, we’re happily telling others with autoimmune issues like Vitiligo about you and your site.