A 2009 study shows an amino acid NAC (N-acetylcysteine) is effective at treating trichotillomania. NAC is a food supplement naturally occurring in foods such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, chicken, eggs. It has very few reported side effects and can be taken in larger doses (consult your doctor if you're unsure). You can buy NAC from Health Food shops and online at Amazon and other websites.
Voluntary Psychologist for Trichotillomania Support Online, Pippa Wright Bsc (Hons) says "This is an exciting development, but there is still a long way to go and we hope some of you will help gather data now that the research can be revealed".
The affect of NAC is restorative in the area of the brain we have known for a while is affected by glutamate and trichotillomania.
NAC is a relatively harmless supplement as long as you are not pregnant or breast-feeding and don't have any heart, kidney or lung problems including asthma. If you have any concerns, please consult your doctor.
Qualified weekly monitoring is free for those trying the supplement and reporting their progress on the Trichotillomania Support Online forums.
We recommend that you do not expect any momentous improvement in urges before 10 weeks.
Trials were undertaken with volunteers not knowing whether they were given placebos, or the NAC supplement, the NAC group showed significant reduction in hair pulling.
However, we have always seen significant improvement when people have been asked to regularly report on their pulling symptoms, so we do need your help in further trials.
Trials have so far only lasted for 3 months but we suggest supplementing for a full year as it could take that long to redress any deficiencies within your body.
If you are trying NAC yourself please post on the Trichotillomania Support Online News forum after each week, about whether you notice an improvement and in return, we will ensure these messages are read and monitored by people qualified to support you.
Trichotillomania Support, Spada House, 20 Regent Close, London N12.