Nutritional Support for Autoimmune Diseases: UPDATED for several skin disorders

Posted , 14 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

Nutritional Support for Autoimmune Diseases:

With special notes for autoimmune skin conditions such as Lichen sclerosus (LS, a skin infection of the vulva/penis and/or perineum, no relation to STD’s); Vitiligo (skin depigmentation); Urticaria (chronic, itchy Hives) with a nod to Thyroid conditions.

 Okay, GALS and guys,

Here is my Updated Nutritional Support /Maintenence that I've been follwoing for several weeks now. YES! I feel so much better.  and.... by unintentional experiment I've recently discovered that not only is Vitamin D imperative for me, but when i back-slided on one of my supplements - MSM - I realized that and was better again within a day! wow. so if your protocols are not quite doing it.. try MSM as well.  I combined the other supplements from the daily regime into this one set of statements that anyone can decide which they choose to work with.   Links to the research is listed at the end.  Many thanks for all your suggestions and efforts.

1.    Nearly 75% of the 24 million Americans suffering from one of the 150 autoimmune diseases are women, according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA). People often suffer from more than one autoimmune disease which suggests there are common disease pathways.   (20) (38)

2.    Research confirms that increased intestinal permeability, known as leaky gut syndrome may be an essential first step toward autoimmune disease.[/b]  Dr. Jeremy E. Kaslow, MD, explains that the lining of the small intestine becomes inflamed and irritated allowing metabolic and microbial toxins normally kept within the small intestines for passage into the colon to enter the blood stream.  This results in involvement of the liver, lymphatic system, and immune response (which includes the endocrine system) to react in a protective response rather than a healing response.  Leaky Gut could be implicated as a primary contributor to asthma, food allergies, chronic sinusitis, eczema, urticaria, migraine, irritable bowel, fungal disorders, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory joint disorders including rheumatoid arthritis. It also contributes to PMS, uterine fibroid, breast fibroids, chronic fatigue syndrome and pediatric immune deficiencies.   (19) (37)

3.    According to the Journal of Diabetes, there is a strong body of evidence pointing to leaky gut syndrome as a major cause of autoimmune diseases[/b], including Type 1 Diabetes. Another problem with leaky gut is that it can cause malabsorption of vital minerals and nutrients including zinc, iron and vitamin B12.  (39)

4.    Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Autoimmune Diseases.                                                 Dr. Gerry Schwalfenberg of the University of Alberta published the first case report of a woman with a treacherous autoimmune disorder, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura or ITP, that vitamin D apparently cured.  More than 160 known autoimmune disorders exist in humans and more than 5% of the population has at least one of the disorders. They occur when your immune system malfunctions and attacks your own organs or tissues. No known cure exists. In the Journal of Public Health, 2012, Dr. Schwalfenberg reviewed an extensive number of newer medical papers and concluded that, “Evidence that autoimmune disease may be a vitamin D-sensitive disease comes from many sources.” (21) (22)

5.    Vitamin D acts like a hormone and is an anti-inflammatory. (9) The vitamin D endocrine system (VDES) regulates aging in many tissues, including skin. (10) Deficiency of Vitamin D globally is at epidemic proportions. (11)  *If we have thyroid antibodies (autoimmune) in our system, our skin will not absorb the vitamin D from the sun as it does for other people… no matter where we live! (6)

6.    The highest levels of Vitamin D inflammatory inhibition occurs at 50 ng/ml up to 80 ng/ml Vitamin D (12).  i.e. if your doc says your D levels are fine at 30 ng/ml that’s too low to cure LS (or any autoimmune situation). (6) (8) There are no adverse effects of Vitamin D supplementation less than ~90 ng/ml.

7.    Cofactors for Vitamin D include Magnesium; Omega-3; Boron; K2; Cofactors need to be adjusted when taking a lot of vitamin D for more than a month 

"A lot" is more than 4,000 IU Vitamin D daily (average).  There is virtually no agreement as how much of each cofactor is needed vs vitamin D level. The first three cofactors have, like vitamin D, greatly decreased in the human diet in the past 50 years  (13)

8.    Vitamin K2 is a more absorbable form of Vitamin K found in certain fermented foods and supplements is used by soft tissues and is helpful for bones, heart tissue and more. It should not be taken at the same time as Vitamin D.  Vitamin D is what helps absorb calcium from your intestines. K then takes that calcium and moves it to bones and that without the K it then looks like Vitamin D ends up in organs and arteries where you do not want it to be (33) (34) (35)

9.    Cofactor for D; anti-inflammatory;  Borax is an extremely potent bacterial and fungal killer. It also helps to detoxify the liver and remove heavy metals such as mercury and fluoride from the body. In addition, it balances hormones in both males and females,  aid for obesity; high blood pressure;  the himayalan salt has 84 Trace minerals.

10.  MAGNESIUM is a strong anti-inflammatory; Co-factor for Vitamin D; increases the efficiency of Vitamin D, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C absorption.   Crucial for balancing female/male hormones, detoxing the liver, and ridding the body of bacterial and fungal infections.   Required for the proper metabolism of calcium, potassium, zinc, copper iron, sodium, as well as Vitamin B1 and nitric oxide. 400- 1,000 mg a day is recommended.  If you are using Borax/Boron this supplement is required.

11.  Omega-3 is another Co-factor for Vitamin D.  EPS and DHA Omega 3's - Cofactor for Vitamin D; also supports libido.

12.  ZINC. Co-Factor with Vitamin D, Boron, and Magnesium. Reduces inflammation and fights infection; skin rashes; night blindness; impaired taste/smell. 

13.   Besides vision, Vitamin A is important in cellular differentiation (eg, growth, reproduction, immune response) and in maintenance of epithelial integrity. No nutritional deficiency is more synergistic with infection than vitamin A.

14.  Impaired liver function is associated with autoimmune diseases such as LS.  (18)  The liver functions to filter unwanted toxins from the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. (16)   An herbal liver cleanse (Milk Thistle) and Candida clearing diet[/b] will aid in healing. (18) (29)

15.  The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. Its primary function is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body.

16.  The lymphatic system plays an integral role in the immune functions of the body. It is the first line of defense against disease.  Skin problems such as dry or itchy skin are evidence that our lymph system is clogged. (17)  Lymphatic drainage exercises are easy to do.  (42) Also Rebounding is one of the easiest ways to pump the lymph.

17.  The fourth most prevalent mineral in the body, MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), also known as dimethyl sulfone or DMSO2, is the oxidized form of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), an organic sulfur compound from lignan. It’s an organic sulfur-containing compound that’s used to improve immune function, lower inflammation and help restore healthy bodily tissue. MSM is also a popular joint health supplement.  (25)

18.  MSM / organic sulfur works like chelation therapy does, because of its molecular structure it readily bonds with most other chemicals; and thus removes heavy metals and other toxins from the body. as a chelating agent, it should be taken at least 30 minutes before or after any medication or vitamin/mineral/supplement, otherwise, it will simply absorb your medication / vitamin / mineral and you will not benefit much from the MSM or your medication / supplements (26)

19.  Glutathione and its related enzymes are our most prolific antioxidants because, in addition to directly scavenging free radicals, they also reactivate other antioxidants. It also plays crucial roles in the immune response, DNA repair, and the detoxification process that neutralizes drugs, chemicals, radiation, metabolic wastes, and other toxins and carcinogens. (23) 

20.  Research suggests that the “sleep hormone” melatonin boosts glutathione status, by stimulating production of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase. (23) 

21.  The cause of Lichen sclerosus was defined as a “mystery” on many medical websites, with the note that it “may” be associated with “overactive immune system” and “hormonal imbalances. Lichen sclerosus (LS) is strongly associated with autoimmune disorders, particularly thyroid disease, in almost 30% of patients. (3) (4).  As of March 2012, Lichen sclerosus has been confirmed to be an autoimmune as reported in a National Institute of Health pubmed document. (1)

22.  LS primarily affects post-menopausal women, but also men, young women and children as well. (2)  Sex hormones seem to be involved since many autoimmune diseases fluctuate with hormonal changes. The sex hormone that is commonly low in such women is DHEA. DHEA is produced by the adrenal glands, the reproductive organs and the brain. It is a natural steroid. (20)

23.  Women frequently have low DHEA which reduces further with aging.  But why, asks the physicians at Root Cause Medical Center in California? Frequently it is from overstressed adrenal glands “stealing” it from making sex hormones to make “anti-stress hormones” instead. (20)

24.  Adrenal stress either from poor absorption of nutrients, unstable blood sugar, or the presence of infections, are common reasons for this ‘pregnenelone-steal.’  These are all symptoms also seen with gluten intolerant patients. (20)

25.  A strong association with autoimmune disorders has been reported in 21.5%–34% patients and up to 74% of patients found to have autoantibodies (5)

26.  Most doctors who “suspect something” only order the TSH and T4 tests (6)  The Thyroperoxidase (TPO) Antibodies test should be part of the standard testing. (6)  Thyroid issues are epidemic yet are often unrecognized and undiagnosed by the public or medical communities. (5) The implication is that many sufferers of an autoimmune disease may have no idea that they may also have a low thyroid condition. 

27.  Selenium (as selenomethionine).  Immune modulator with powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is vitally important to consider in all cases of autoimmune diseases.  & thyroid function; acts as an antioxidant. Selenomethionine is the form of selenium shown in research studies to reduce TPO antibodies when using the correct dose (200 mcg to 400 mcg per day). (41)

28.  Autoimmune disorders such as Lichen Sclerosus, Chrone’s Disease, Thyroid disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, cause inflammation. (7)

29.  Current standard protocol for LS is the use of corticosteroids that reduce symptoms but not the cause(s). (8)  Long term use of steroids on delicate skin causes thinning. For postmenopausal-aged women who already experience age-related thinning skin, this is counterproductive. () Anti-inflammation diet and supplements will help correct the imbalances.  Magnesium and potassium are also strong anti-inflammatories.

30.  Grapefruit Seed Extract is a super antioxidant that is 50 times stronger than Vitamin C.  . It gives you the benefit of red wine without the alcohol.  Fights Candida which is prevalent in LS sufferers; anti-fungal, antimicrobial.

31.  Vitamin C.  Increases Blood flow & detoxes the Liver; for collagen formation and helps to maintain the integrity of skin tissue.

32.   The National Institutes Of Health pubmed article of August 2015 states that The Trace mineral Boron has been proven to be an important trace mineral because it (1) is essential for the growth and maintenance of bone; (2) greatly improves wound healing; (3) beneficially impacts the body's use of estrogen, testosterone, and vitamin D; (4) boosts magnesium absorption; (5) reduces levels of inflammatory biomarkers, such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and tumor necrosis factor a (TNF-a); (6) raises levels of antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase;  (24)

33.  Borax is an inexpensive method of getting boron. It is used worldwide in many various industrial applications. It also has a long history of being used as a folk remedy, though it has not been through the rigorous FDA approval process.  Though it is probably safe for ingestion, those people who would like to get the known health benefits without worry can obtain the same level of suggested 3 mg daily use by taking ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops which has 1 mg per serving and take 3X per day.   ConcenTrace also happens to have magnesium at 250 mg per serving in the formula which is a required co-factor for taking Vitamin D. 

34.  Colloidal silver. [/b] According to Dr. Robert O. Becker, M.D., the noted surgeon from Syracuse Medical University, surgical wounds treated with silver heal faster and better than those not treated with silver.  He writes: “Healing rates in wounds are significantly accelerated and are accompanied by enhanced healing of the bone, soft tissue, nerve, and skin, with replacement of missing tissues by histologically normal tissues.  The responsible agent for these cellular effects is believed to be the electrically generated silver ion."  (27)

35.  Colloidal Silver.  Potent anti-bacterial[/b]. Supplement with probiotics during period of use to be sure that you maintain a proper balance of microflora. Robert O. Becker, MD, says that colloidal silver stimulates healing in the skin and other soft tissues. (28)  Soft Tissues of the human body include tendons, ligaments, fascia, skin, fibrous tissues, fat, and synovial membranes (which are connective tissue), and muscles, nerves and blood vessels (which are not connective tissue).  The Labia are made up of fat, and skin of course.  

36.  Research has shown that Castor Oil treats skin infections & lowers constipation, but more importantly it supports the immune system. Castor oil is capable of increasing white blood cells and the count of T-11 cells (a type of special white blood cells that act like antibodies) produced within the body’s lymphocytes that help kill viruses, fungi, bacteria and cancer cells.  Castor oil has been prized for its skin-healing, digestive-soothing, antibacterial properties and is commonly used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine practices. (30) 

37.  There are three main dietary protocols that can address the issues identified above, depending upon individual health differences.  Each person will find one or another better suited for their own healing.  These are: Leaky Gut[/b] Diet, Anti-inflammatory Diet, and Autoimmune Diet. [/b] (Easily found all over the internet).

38.   Exercise increases blood flow as well as lymph flow. Here are some gentle Lymphatic Drainage floor exercises. (42)

39.   Improvement of Vitiligo after oral treatment with Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid and the importance of sun exposure. The Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden Study in 1997 showed the benefit and repigmenation from a 3-6 month course of folic acid, Vitamin B12 AND sun exposure. (43)  

40.  In 2012, independent nutrition researcher, Chris Kressler, and the Prevention Magazine researchers reported on an increase in cancer rates from the ingestion of the synthetic folic acid over time versus the natural folate. Most multivitamins have been using folic acid, including prenatal vitamins. Cereals and breads routinely have added folic acid. Mr. Kressler warns that many articles, including by physicians, conflate the term folic acid with folate so to be careful in analyzing anything you read. (44)

41.   Thyroid disease is the most commonly reported autoimmune condition in people with chronic hives (Urticaria), followed by rheumatoid arthritis and type 1diabetes. A study published in September 2013 in the European Journal of Dermatology found that celiac disease is also associated with chronic hives. Jun 17, 2015(45)

42.  In a recent study, researchers out of Poland found that vitamin D deficiency was prevalent among patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria. Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is an autoimmune disease which leads to rashes or swelling on the skin. Reported by the Vitamin D Council, Feb 6, 2014.   (46) 

43.   WOW! We’re back to Vitamin D worldwide deficiency in yet another autoimmune disorder. 

44.  Similar to cultured dairy products like yogurt and kefir, sauerkraut’s fermentation process produces beneficial probiotics that are now linked to improvements in immune, cognitive, digestive and endocrine function. (47)

45.  External care for lichen especially includes castor oil; coconut oil, olive oil, aloe vera gel. These may be mixed with a few drops of lavender extract, frankincense and/or Vitamin E.  warm bathes with baking soda and borax powder, 2 TBS each are very helpful.  Some people use corticosteroids and others find that it makes matters worse. (48)  

46.  Eliminate stress and exercise more. Stress triggers LS flares because it produces cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that lowers immune function and increases inflammation, which then increases the body's reaction to attack. Try meditation or walking for at least 30 minutes a day. (48)

47.  Eliminate as many chemicals and processed foods as possible, including a change to natural cleaners, lotions, toothpaste, soaps, perfumes, deodorants, etc.) Check that ingredients really are “natural”. (48) 

48.  Stay hydrated, your body needs fluids to carry toxins out of the body, regenerate cells, keep things lubricated and keep skin supple. Not having enough water in your system slows the healing process. Google how much water you need for your body, perhaps use a health app.  (48)



(1)  An Autoimmune Phenotype in Vulvar Lichen Sclerosus and Lichen Planus:  A Th1 Response in High levels of MicroRNA-155   J Invest Dermatol. 2012 Mar;132(3 Pt 1):658-66. doi: 10.1038/jid.2011.369

(2)  The Forgotten Pelvic Organ: 1 in 70 women; less likely to be sexually active

 (3) Thyroid Autoimmunity and Lichen

(4) BMJ 2010;340:c731  Lichen

 (5) Vulvar Lichen Sclerosus et Atrophicus

(6) Bailey MD, MPH, Royce 2018, Cardiology/Integrative Medicine, personal communication, Park Ridge Health Center, Hendersonville, NC

 (7) The Role of Vitamin D Deficiency in Thyroid Disorders[/b]/

(8) The Link Between Vitamin D and Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

 (9) How vitamin D inhibits inflammation

(10) Unravelling of hidden secrets: The role of vitamin D in skin aging.  Reichrath J. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012

(11) Epidemic of Vitamin D Deficiency and Its Management: Awareness among Indian Medical Undergraduates .

(12)  Kahn, M.D., Joel,  2013 The Holistic Heart Book, Reader’s Digest,

(13)  Cofactors for Vitamin D in a Nutshell

(16) Picture of the Liver

 (17)  The Lymphatic System

(18) Detox Your Liver, Dr Axe

(19) Is Leaky Gut Triggering your Autoimmune Flare-ups?

(20) The Connection between Female Hormones and Autoimmune Disease

(21) Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Autoimmune Diseases

(22) Did Vitamin D cure an autoimmune disease?

 (23) Reap the Benefits of Glutathione

(24) Nothing Boring about Boron

(25) MSM supplement Improves Joints, Allergies and Gut Health

(26)  MSM/Organic Sulfur May Be One of the Most Important nutrients for the Entire Body,

(27) Colloidal Silver heals Troublesome Skin Conditions Fast!

(28) 8 Proven Colloidal Silver Benefits, uses & Side Effects

(29) Candida Diet


(30) Castor Oil Speeds up Healing and Improves Your Immunity

(31) Changes in intestinal tight junction permeability associated with industrial food additives explain the rising incidence of autoimmune disease.

 (32) Libido Nutrition:

 (33) Vitamin K2: 9 Uses and Benefits

(34) Which vitamins and minerals should be taken together or separately?

(35) Vitamin D Council Forum Q & A

(36) Vitamin D Protocol

(37) Leaky Gut

(38) Auto-immune Research NetWork-ARNet

(39)  4 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease

(40) MSM

(41) Selenium

(42) The Best Exercises for Lymphatic Drainage

(43) Improvement of Vitiligo ; Abstract:  Abstract

The aim of this 2-year study was to test the hypothesis that folic acid, vitamin B12 and sun exposure could be helpful in treating vitiligo. One hundred patients with vitiligo were treated with oral folic acid and vitamin B12 after being informed that sun exposure might enhance repigmentation. They were requested to keep a record of sun exposure in summer and UVB irradiation in winter. The minimal treatment time suggested was 3-6 months but should be longer if improvement was achieved. Clear repigmentation occurred in 52 patients, including 37 who exposed their skin to summer sun and 6 who used UVB lamps in winter. Repigmentation was most evident on sun-exposed areas, where 38% of the patients had previously noted repigmentation during summer months. Total repigmentation was seen in 6 patients. The spread of vitiligo stopped in 64% of the patients after treatment. Folic acid and vitamin B12 supplementation combined with sun exposure can induce repigmentation better than either the vitamins or sun exposure alone. Treatment should continue as long as the white areas continue to repigment. Further studies are needed to determine ideal minimal dosages of vitamins and UV exposure, as well as treatment time.

(44) Folate versus Folic acid and Cancer[/b]/

 (45) Urticaria

(46) New research finds patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria are deficient in vitamin D.

(47) Health Benefits of Sauerkraut and Probiotics

(48) A Compilation of LS Forum members at a U.K. medical website


4 likes, 6 replies


6 Replies

  • Posted

    Thank you so much for being so thorough; it will take me a week or more to go through it all.  You deserve a PhD for this work!
  • Posted

    Thanks so much for your hard work!!!  There's a lot to absorb here and i've already doing much of it.  Every time I have a flare up, I can usually figure out the cause now.  The borax soaks are really helping a lot.  I definitely need to avoid sugar and stress!!!

    I've been taking most of the vitamins and supplements too and knowing which ones to take separately from each other is a big help too.

  • Posted

    Hi Nancy, Not sure if my previous reply went thru. Can you simplify, and tell us what supplements you take everyday, and how you take them? Also any external treatments on the area itself. Thx for all of this incredible research .We all appreciate so much!
  • Posted

    Thank you, Nancy.  That's a fantastic accumulation of all I've come to realize over the years -  that what 'fights' auto immune disease.  

  • Posted

    Well done....very professional Nancy. Some of info I knew, some I did not.....I have been taking some supplements already....good to know.

    Thank you,


Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up