One of the weirdest symptoms seemed to clear up with the adoption of a gluten free diet (I was undiagnosed celiac until last year!).
My trichotillomania is gone. For those of you who do not know what I'm talking about, it's a hairpulling disorder usually thought to be caused by anxiety.
I was put on all sorts of meds in middle school, and I really never was depressed. I was extremely happy and became uninterested in anything on prozac *Yes, at age 12! I basically learned not to pull my hair enough to let the bald patches fill in so it hasn't been visible since. However, thinking about this past year, I noticed, I was never feeling that irritating need to rip out my hair, specifically in the last 4 months of going full on paleo vs gluten free only.
Anyways, I was sincerely curious if anyone here has trichotillomania and noticed an improvement?? I truly believe mine had nothing to do with stress.
I'm 21 y/o now for reference!
asked byKara_1 (641)
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on October 06, 2012
at 09:51 PM
My daughter had a mild case of trichotilomania around age 12/13. She plucked her eyebrows until they were almost gone and started in on her hair. It was around this time that her allergist found her gluten intolerance and she went gluten free. After about a year, she quit pulling her hair, and I thought it also was directly related to gluten. Her brows have finally grown back, although they are still kind of thin on the ends. (She's 21 now.)
on November 10, 2012
at 06:31 PM
Hi Kara! I am 22 and I've had trich since I was about 10. I first tried a gluten-free diet in October a year ago ('11), actually in an effort to control my severe eczema. I realized a few weeks later, that not only had I not even thought about my hair in weeks, but my urges to pull were gone. It felt like it was almost too good to be true! haha
It took me a while to figure out what exactly gluten was, and how to eliminate the hidden sources of gluten in my diet. In January 2012 I did my first Whole30 and my trichotillomania disappeared entirely during that time. It also helped my eczema, and totally cleared up my acne. I've since learned that even a little dairy/cheese causes me to break out, but that's a different topic. :-)
Now I'm positive gluten causes my trichotillomania, but I suspect sugar and caffeine are also culprits. However, during my Whole30 when my trich went away, I did continue to drink black coffee everyday.
When I "take a break" from eating gluten-free (I know, real dumb...), my urges come back and they are totally out-of-control! If I eat one bowl of cereal (that stupid cereal practically seduces me!), I will pull my hair like crazy 24-48 hours later.
I'd love to talk to you more about this! It fascinates me. I wish you the best of luck in your paleo/pull-free journey. :-)
on November 15, 2012
at 03:43 PM
I started with trich when I was 6, now I'm 25. I worked really hard to fight the urges, and I think I beat them for good before I went off gluten. Every day, with the help of reminders from my boyfriend, I learned how to fight back the compulsions until they didn't feel compulsory anymore. I don't know if I stopped having the urges, or I just got really good at fighting them.
It wasn't for another 4-5 years when I found out about my food problems and went off gluten and everything else. Now I can say I definitely don't get urges, but is it somehow correlated with food? I don't think so. Not for me, personally.
on June 10, 2016
at 09:07 PM
I know this is an old post but I jut wanted to say I am very glad to hear this. It confirms everything for me. I have suffered with Trich for 30 years. I've taken medication, gone through therapy, had scalp treatments, the works. It wasn't until I read Wheat Belly that I decided to get off of gluten to lose weight. By accident, after 4 weeks, I noticed I completely lost the urge to pull. I was scared to tell anyone for fear of jinxing myself. But after a month of not pulling, I finally told my family. It's been 4 months now and I feel like I'm cured. My friends and family still question it but I am completely convinced. It helps to hear other success stories as well. And I lost 25 pounds following a paleo meal plan. It's changed my life.
on March 01, 2015
at 06:37 PM
I'm p.o'ed Paleohacks. I don't have time to redo my lengthy and thoughtful reply. I didn't know you can't share links without having 30 points. It'd been nice if you allowed edits for gawd's sake. I'll be back later.
on December 30, 2012
at 09:18 PM
ADHD meds can cause this, exactly the reason why meth-heads end up with sores all over their faces. If I take an Adderall and get too close to a mirror... it's all over.
I would say losing this habit (compulsion) is more related to quitting your meds than quitting gluten.