Possible links between BFRBs, Trichotillomania, Dermatillomania and Diet
Can Dietary Changes Stop Hair and Eyelash Pulling, Cheek chewing and lip and skin-picking?
There are a whole bunch of dietary changes which different people have found effective in clearing up their skin, relaxing their minds and stopping hair pulling and other BFRBs.
Here, we review several helpful dietary changes, and explain why they may work.
Many people with Trichotillomania tell us that lifestyle changes such as diet help reduce their urges, and that eating certain foods can noticeably increase urges to hair pull; the most common culprits being stimulants such as sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Many state that reducing their intake of these can alleviate urges, making them more manageable.
The effects of diet on Trichotillomania are not completely clear-cut and there is little research into the area; people experience different results after eating certain foods. Trichotillomania Support’s unpublished study of 27 people with trich showed over 70% of those who complete daily diet and urge record sheets reduced the physical urges of Trichotillomania.
John Kender is a university professor who pulled eyebrows for 30 years, but is currently enjoying a more than seven year remission which he attributes to dietary control. The JK diet is based on personal experience and is not scientifically researched but John Kender has received hundreds of emails from people who find his diet has helped them reduce their urges.
To test the effects of a food, such as sugar or glucose, on your urges, eliminate them from your diet for three months before introducing them back one day per week only, for a further four weeks. Keeping notes to observe patterns. In our experience the majority of trichsters do not recognize food-related urges to pull hair out, because they don't eliminate foods for long enough and/or keep adequate records. Eliminating certain foods from the diet could be harmful so it important to seek advice from a doctor before making changes.
Here at Trichotillomania Support we believe anyone can stop pulling and everyone's method will be different. For some it may be possible to stop pulling by changing your diet. From our online forum comments it seems that diet alone is most successful with children; adults can gain added benefit from combining dietary changes with other treatment options. Please also see our Treatment pages for info on other treatment options like therapy, coaching or medication.
This page contains views, opinions and personal experience of people with Trichotillomania and is not based on evidence from scientific trials as there has been very little research into Trichotillomania and diet. We must remind you that eliminating certain foods from the diet could be harmful so it important to seek advice from a doctor or expert.
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