4

votes

Any Trichotillomania sufferers?

Answered on June 10, 2016
Created October 06, 2012 at 8:49 PM

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!

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on January 01, 2013
at 07:10 PM

Well, I started pulling out my hair. 6 months later, I went on prozac (my mom's a psych nurse...) at age 12. Was on it for 2 years. Got better, no noticeable bald patches. After high school, had trouble in college. Was put on ADD medications of all sorts. 1 year later, found a naturopath. Then, found out I had celiac disease, and later found paleo. A few months after paleo, I realized that I was not pulling my hair. Good stuff :-)

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on November 15, 2012
at 04:39 PM

Interesting! It sounds like you beat it before you started gluten free. Good for you! :-)

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on November 15, 2012
at 02:56 PM

It's a really crazy discovery. I guess categorizing it as "stress" for me was right- my body was under a lot of stress from all of the healthy whole grains. Once in a while, I do something stupid and eat something stupid. One day I went home and my sisters ordered chinese. I was so use to eating that food at home that I walked up to my sisters plate and just ate an egg roll. DUH! Didn't click til I swallowed it. Also- make sure there's no WHEAT or GLUTEN or DAIRY in your shampoo/conditioner!!! I will use a shampoo with wheat, and holy hell my dandruff, acne, hair pulling comes back!!

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on November 15, 2012
at 02:55 PM

It's a really crazy discovery. I guess categorizing it as "stress" for me was right- my body was under a lot of stress from all of the healthy whole grains. Once in a while, I do something stupid and eat something stupid. One day I went home and my sisters ordered chinese. I was so USED to eating that food at home that I walked up to my sisters plate and just ate an egg roll. DUH! Didn't click til I swallowed it. Also- make sure there's no WHEAT or GLUTEN or DAIRY in your shampoo/conditioner!!! I will use a shampoo with wheat, and holy hell my dandruff, acne, hair pulling comes back!!

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on November 15, 2012
at 02:52 PM

Haha! I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed this. I'm not sure if this is allowed, but please feel free to email me at [email protected], if you'd like to chat. I definitely found this fascinating!

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on October 07, 2012
at 12:56 PM

Oh cool! It's pretty crazy that it's labeles as a psychiatric disorder (But I guess ADHD is the same way) and it can be so well improved with simply diet! I wish we'd looked into this back then! Thank you

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on October 07, 2012
at 07:44 AM

If you go to the Whole30 website, one of their success stories is a woman whose trich went away on the whole30. SHe's now one of their moderators or something.

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on October 06, 2012
at 10:39 PM

My eyebrows, eyelashes, and half of my hair was gone.

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on October 06, 2012
at 10:38 PM

Ok- Thank you for your input. It's really interesting! I'm finding very few studies on it. I might throw it out there on a few trichotillomania forums and see if anyone else is helped by it. It DEFINITELY can't hurt!

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6 Answers

best answer

1
45e51fee7d295e523ff4134f76c3ba05

(923)

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.)

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on October 06, 2012
at 10:39 PM

My eyebrows, eyelashes, and half of my hair was gone.

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on October 06, 2012
at 10:38 PM

Ok- Thank you for your input. It's really interesting! I'm finding very few studies on it. I might throw it out there on a few trichotillomania forums and see if anyone else is helped by it. It DEFINITELY can't hurt!

best answer

2
1de8975d6fcf31a1240d863e85744bd5

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. :-)

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on November 15, 2012
at 02:56 PM

It's a really crazy discovery. I guess categorizing it as "stress" for me was right- my body was under a lot of stress from all of the healthy whole grains. Once in a while, I do something stupid and eat something stupid. One day I went home and my sisters ordered chinese. I was so use to eating that food at home that I walked up to my sisters plate and just ate an egg roll. DUH! Didn't click til I swallowed it. Also- make sure there's no WHEAT or GLUTEN or DAIRY in your shampoo/conditioner!!! I will use a shampoo with wheat, and holy hell my dandruff, acne, hair pulling comes back!!

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on November 15, 2012
at 02:52 PM

Haha! I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed this. I'm not sure if this is allowed, but please feel free to email me at [email protected], if you'd like to chat. I definitely found this fascinating!

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on November 15, 2012
at 02:55 PM

It's a really crazy discovery. I guess categorizing it as "stress" for me was right- my body was under a lot of stress from all of the healthy whole grains. Once in a while, I do something stupid and eat something stupid. One day I went home and my sisters ordered chinese. I was so USED to eating that food at home that I walked up to my sisters plate and just ate an egg roll. DUH! Didn't click til I swallowed it. Also- make sure there's no WHEAT or GLUTEN or DAIRY in your shampoo/conditioner!!! I will use a shampoo with wheat, and holy hell my dandruff, acne, hair pulling comes back!!

2
245cbe47a4a092c07f494233c4c28a5c

(269)

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.

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on November 15, 2012
at 04:39 PM

Interesting! It sounds like you beat it before you started gluten free. Good for you! :-)

0
D081e54dd11be626315dd2488673f51d

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.

0
74dc2423656bac3f666d6157cd0f2b09

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.

-1
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

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.

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on January 01, 2013
at 07:10 PM

Well, I started pulling out my hair. 6 months later, I went on prozac (my mom's a psych nurse...) at age 12. Was on it for 2 years. Got better, no noticeable bald patches. After high school, had trouble in college. Was put on ADD medications of all sorts. 1 year later, found a naturopath. Then, found out I had celiac disease, and later found paleo. A few months after paleo, I realized that I was not pulling my hair. Good stuff :-)

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