Category Archives: Inositol

Just Keep Swimming

It’s been a while since I checked in and talked about my pulling. Perseverance though this uphill battle is not easy. Everyday I need to make a conscious effort to resist the urge to pull. Some days are good and I barely pull, while other days it seems I can’t stop. I still hope to be pull free one day, but accept where I am and see this as a process. It’s so engrained in my being that I don’t even know what life is like without pulling. I’ve had short remission periods, but never more than a few months.

I refuse to give up or become complacent. If I didn’t try I’d have way less hair so in a way I’m making progress. My recovery includes acceptance of my current situation and faith that it will change through awareness, commitment, helpful behaviors, following my rules (see below) a positive attitude, balance, mood stabilization, barriers, the John Kender diet, and supplements.

I had given up on the supplements because of some stomach issues which have resolved. I’m going to try my regimen of NAC, inositol, and the John kender diet again. I’ll also resume charting my pulling as that has always helped with my awareness. I’ll be checking in periodically with updates on my current supplements and pulling progress. I’ll use my daily score of 0-10 to rate my pulling. I’m going to post my supplement plan and rating system for anyone looking to follow it. These two tools have helped me most over my 25 years of battling trich.

The John Kender Diet

Basically , it’s a nutritional and skin care approach. First, try not eating sugar, caffeine, and chocolate. Have some dry red wine or uncaffinated tea instead. These should have an effect in about two or three days. Then, avoid peanuts, chickpeas beans, egg yolks, tuna, and waxes. These should have an effect in about 10 days. Take magnesium gluconate, and take borage oil. Use Shampoos with selenium (Selsun) or Nizoral. Keep a food diary to help you track your own particular triggers. Keep your hair and hands clean. Wash your lashes with baby shampoo hot compresses. Watch out for pet fur.   Apply fresh cut ginger, or miconazole nitrate cream, or propylene glycol/aloe vera/rubbing alcohol, or eyewash/vinegar. Use Sea Breeze or Band-Aid Anti-Itch gel for emergency hot spot care.

 Treatments: Supplements

NAC

I take NAC (N-acetylcysteine) 3- 600mg capsules of NAC (N-acetylcysteinen) in the morning and 3-600mg capsules in the evening, giving me a total of 3600mg of NAC. Doses between 1200-3600mg may be helpful according to this article.

Inositol

It is generally agreed that a large dose is needed for inositol to be effective with trich. I worked my way up to 18g per day. I do this by mixing 3 teaspoons or 1 tablespoon of inositol in water 3 times a day. I have found the Jarrow brand powder dissolves best. It is available on amazon for a reasonable price. I mix it with warm water as it dissolves better that way. You can add it to fruit juice or other sweetened drinks.  I simply mix the powder with ~3 oz.

Rules:

#1 Where Bandaides or other barriers whenever possible, if not wearing them use fiddle toy /keep hands below neck and BE AWARE.

#2 Avoid mirrors. Don’ t stand close, do makeup quickly, avoid touch ups or unnecessary glances.

#3 Keep hands off of face. Don’t touch hair or eyes. Use only one finger or utensil if need to itch or touch eye/head and don’t linger. BE AWARE.

#4 Change activity when triggered before pulling begins.

#5 When stressed find way to take a break and relax (at least 1 minute deep breathing break).

Rating my Progress

Good Days 0-3

0=no pulling

1=0-5 hairs

2= 5-10

3 = 10-20

Bad Days

4=20-30

5=30-50

6=50-70

7=70-100

8=100+

9=too many/couldn’t count

Inositol

Studies show that Inositol helps many Trichotillomania suffers. I find that it reduces the urge to pull, which helps with my focused pulling. The Inositol also increases my awareness, which decreases my unfocused pulling.

Leading Trichotillomania specialist Dr. Penzel’s wrote, Inositol and OCD. He recommends the following regimen to begin Inositol: 

(1 teaspoon=2 grams, and be sure to use a measuring spoon) for an adult:

Week 1 – 1 teaspoon/2x per day
Week 2 – 1 teaspoon/3x per day
Week 3 – 1.5 teaspoons/3x per day
Week 4 – 2 teaspoons/3x per day
Week 5 – 2.5 teaspoons/3x per day
Week 6 – 3 teaspoons/3x per day

Following this regimen, I worked my way up and now take 18g each day. I do this by mixing 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon) of inositol in water 3 times a day. I have found the Jarrow brand powder (shown above) to dissolve well. It is available on amazon for reasonable price. I mix it with warm water as it dissolves better that way. You can add it to fruit juice or other sweetened drink. I simply mix the powder with ~3oz of warm water and drink plain as it has a mild sweet taste that I actually like. In addition to Inositol, l I take 1800mg of  NAC, which I started several months before the Inositol. I did not see much progress with that alone, therefore I added the Inositol. If you are considering both supplements, choose one to start with, otherwise you will not know which is helping and or causing side effects.

I have taken Inositol on and off for 2 years. When I first started the recommended regimen over 6 weeks, I noticed many GI side effects. When I unexpectedly became pregnant a couple months later, I had to lower my dose because it increased my nausea. That did not help so I discontinued the Inositol until my morning sickness passed. Reassured by my OB that Inositol is safe while pregnant and breastfeeding, I slowly reintroduced the Inositol. I only took 1-2 because it aggravated epigastric pain I had while pregnant. The lower dose helped a bit, but not nearly as well as the recommended 3 TBSP. Now that I am back to 3 TBSP per day (which I take in one large dose at night to help my insomnia), I am definitely feeling the benefits. It decreases my urges and makes me more aware of pulling.

Here’s more details information I copied from the article about Inositol use for trich sufferers, written by trich specialist Fred Penzel:

“Obviously, before you run out and try anything new, you should always consult your physician. If your physician recommends trying this, you might also want to mention the following information to him or her:

  1. It cannot be taken together with Lithium, as it seems to block its action.
  2. The chief side effects of inositol are gas and diarrhea. Some people get this for the first few days and then it clears up. Many of those taking it never have this side effect, and some only get it when they take more than a particular amount.
  3. I have heard reports that caffeine lowers inositol levels in the body, so if you are a heavy coffee drinker, you might consider cutting down or eliminating this from your diet. Actually, stimulants such as caffeine can sometimes contribute to anxiety, jitteriness, etc.
  4. It should be purchased in powdered form, and taken dissolved in water or fruit juice. It has a sweet taste, and is chemically related to sugar. If it is allowed to stand for about 10 minutes after mixing it, it seems to dissolve better. Vigorous mixing for a few minutes also helps. If it still doesn’t dissolve well (not all brands do), stir it up and drink it quickly before it settles. The use of powder is recommended, as the larger doses required could require taking as many as 36, 500 mg. capsules per day.
  5. Inositol is a water-soluble vitamin, so although the doses appear to be large, it will not build up to toxic levels in the body. Whatever the body doesn’t use is excreted. The average person normally takes in about 1 gram of inositol each day via the food they eat. There are no reports of any harm associated with the long-term use of inositol. Some of our patients have been taking it as long as eight years now, with no problems.6. It can be built up according to the following schedule (1 teaspoon=2 grams, and be

sure to use a measuring spoon) for an adult:

  • Week 1 – 1 teaspoon/2x per day
  • Week 2 – 1 teaspoon/3x per day
  • Week 3 – 1.5 teaspoons/3x per day
  • Week 4 – 2 teaspoons/3x per day
  • Week 5 – 2.5 teaspoons/3x per day
  • Week 6 – 3 teaspoons/3x per day

A child can be built up to 3 teaspoons per day over the same six-week period. Dosages for adolescents can be adjusted according to weight. In either case, it is best to allow side effects to be the guide. If they begin to occur, it is not considered wise to increase the dosage unless they subside.

Once a person has reached either the maximum dosage, or the greatest amount they are able to tolerate, it is best to try staying six weeks at that level to see if there is any noticeable improvement. If there is none by the end of that time, it should probably be discontinued. As with any treatment, those who are absolutely positive that it will help are only setting themselves up, and may wind up more than disappointed. Everything works for someone, but nothing works for everyone.”

My Trich Supplements: Update

A.M. on Empty Stomach

NAC:1800mg

Methionine: 1000mg

Probiotic:10 strains, 25 billion organisms

After Breakfast (about 1-2 hours after AM dose)

B6 100 mg (5,000% daily value)

Biotin 10,000mcg

Mid-Day on Empty Stomach
C 500mg (helps absorb the minerals)

+

Magnesium 400mg of elemental magnesium

(100% daily value)

(I use Doctor’s Best Brand which is formed from 2,000mg magnesium glycinate/lysinate chelate. This is a more readily absorbed form of magnesium with less side effects than the more commonly sold magnesium oxide.)

or

Zinc 50mg (333% daily value)

(I alternate every other day, as these minerals should not be taken together as they hinder the absorption of one another as with other minerals such as iron.)

With Dinner
Multi-Vitamin

DHA 1000mg /EPA 500mg

Bedtime (With or Without Food)

Inositol Powder- 12 grams (2 tablespoons in warm water)

Epsom salt baths 2-3x /week

(magnesium is readily absorbed through the skin, by adding 1-2 cups of Epsom salts to a warm, not hot bath – about 98 degrees is best for absorption)

Clean Slate

https://ttmsupport.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/345ab-rewrite-your-future-quote-credits.jpg

I’m looking at December as a clean slate.  November was a tough month as I fell back into old patterns.  It started with just 1 hair and from there increased exponentially until my pulling was almost as bad as it had been in June.  Luckily I did not do any noticeable damage.

As I mentioned in my last post, I stopped taking NAC and inositol in September due to morning sickness.  I started taking both supplements again about a week ago.  Already I feel the difference.  My urge to pull has decreased and it is easier to fight the urge.

I remember this sensation from the last time I started these supplements.  I think my initial response to them was faster this time.  I wonder if this is because I have taken them recently.  It took about 2 months for the supplements to reach their full effect last time. I am expecting to see similar result this time around.

Stopping and restarting NAC and inositol has shown me how much they were helping. This has renewed my determination and faith that I can overcome trich.  I am off to a great start this December and plan to keep at it.

My Trich Supplements

NAC:

March-April 1200mg

May-Aug 15 2400mg

Aug 16 begin 3600mg

Inositol Powder:

Week 5 Aug 3-9 (12 g/day)

Week 6 Aug 10-16 (18g/day) full dose

Methanonine/SAMe+ magnesium, calcium, zinc

SAMe 200mg Aug 14

SAMe 400mg Aug 21

SAMe 400mg + 1000 methanonine Aug 28

SAMe 400mg + 2000 methanonine Sept 7

SAMe 200mg + 3000 methanonine Sept 14

Oct 1: 3000 mg methanonine, no SAMe

Others:

Calcium 1000mg (100% daily value)

Magnesium 400mg (100% daily value)

Zinc 15mg (100% daily value)

Probiotic -10 strains, 25 billion organisms

B-6 100 mg (5,000% daily value)

A 10,000IU (200% daily value)

(note: high doses of vitamin A for extended periods of time are harmful and not recommended)

DHA 500mg

EPA 250 mg

Biotin 10,000mcg

C 1,000mg (only 2x/week)

The Light

I can finally see the light at the end of this 20 year dark, dark tunnel.  After so many attempts to stop pulling, I have finally found something that reduces the urge.  I had learned many coping mechanism and preventative strategies, but the decreased urge makes this so much easier.  The combination of inositol, NAC, methanonine, and the John Kender diet are really helping. I have not had an urge to pull from my scalp (which is unheard of). I am also more aware of my pulling and feel like I have more control to stop myself from an urge or after an involuntary pull. I have not pulled from my scalp in nine days. In those nine days, I have pulled less from my lashes and brows with two minor episodes where I pulled a bit. It was easier for me to stop myself and stay strong for the rest of the day after those 2 slips. Normally, once I had started, it would’ve been an all day battle, but I was able to regain control. I feel hopeful for the first time in a long while that I can beat this.

My Inositol Trial

I am participating in an inositol trial with some members of my trich support group.  It is very informal and we are sharing our methods and results.  The conversation relating to this trial is on the daily strength trichotillomania support group.  This is a great support group that I recommend joining.  Being able to talk with others who understand what I am going through has been so helpful.

After doing a lot of research I found that it was generally agreed that a large dose was needed in order for it to be effective with trich. I worked my way up and now take 18g each day. I do this by mixing 3 teaspoons or 1 tablespoon of inositol in water 3 times a day. I have found the Jarrow brand powder (shown above) to dissolve well. It is available on amazon for reasonable price. I mix it with warm water as it dissolves better that way. You can add it to fruit juice or other sweetened drink. I simply mix the powder with ~3oz of warm water and drink plain as it has a mild sweet taste that I actually like. The first few days it did give me gas, but that went away. In addition to inositiol I take 2400mg of NAC which I started several months ago and did not see much progress with that alone, therefore I added the inositol.

(1 teaspoon=2 grams, and be sure to use a measuring spoon) for an adult:

Week 1 – 1 teaspoon/2x per day
Week 2 – 1 teaspoon/3x per day
Week 3 – 1.5 teaspoons/3x per day
Week 4 – 2 teaspoons/3x per day
Week 5 – 2.5 teaspoons/3x per day
Week 6 – 3 teaspoons/3x per day "

Inositol and Trichotillomania

Hi everyone, here’s some info I copied from an article specifically about inositol usage for trich sufferers, written by trich specialist Fred Penzel:

“Obviously, before you run out and try anything new, you should always consult your physician. If your physician recommends trying this, you might also want to mention the following information to him or her:

It cannot be taken together with Lithium, as it seems to block its action.
The chief side effects of inositol are gas and diarrhea. Some people get this for the first few days and then it clears up. Some of those taking it never have this side effect, and some only get it when they take more than a particular amount.
I have heard reports that caffeine lowers inositol levels in the body, so if you are a heavy coffee drinker, you might consider cutting down or eliminating this from your diet. Actually, stimulants such as caffeine can sometimes contribute to hair pulling, etc.
It should be purchased in powdered form, and taken dissolved in water or fruit juice. It has a sweet taste, and is chemically related to sugar. If you mix it continuously for about 2 minutes, and if it is allowed to stand for about 10 minutes after mixing it, it seems to dissolve better. If it still doesn’t dissolve well (not all brands do), stir it up and drink it quickly before it settles.
Inositol is a water-soluble vitamin, so although the doses appear to be large, it will not build up to toxic levels in the body. Whatever the body doesn’t use is excreted. The average person normally takes in about 1 gram of inositol each day via the food they eat.
It can be built up according to the following schedule (1 teaspoon=2 grams, and be sure to use a measuring spoon) for an adult:

Week 1 – 1 teaspoon/2x per day
Week 2 – 1 teaspoon/3x per day
Week 3 – 1.5 teaspoons/3x per day
Week 4 – 2 teaspoons/3x per day
Week 5 – 2.5 teaspoons/3x per day
Week 6 – 3 teaspoons/3x per day
A child can be built up to 3 teaspoons per day over the same six-week period. Dosages for adolescents can be adjusted according to weight. In either case, it is best to allow side effects to be the guide. If they begin to occur, it is not considered wise to increase the dosage unless they subside.

Once a person has reached either the maximum dosage, or the greatest amount they are able to tolerate, it is best to try staying six weeks at that level to see if there is any noticeable improvement. If there is none by the end of that time, it should probably be discontinued. As with any treatment, those who are absolutely positive that it will help are only setting themselves up, and may wind up more than disappointed. Everything works for someone, but nothing works for everyone.”

The full article is here: http://www.trich.org/treatment/article-inositol-penzel.html