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

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Undermethylation & Trich – what it means for you

Trichotillomania sufferers are believed to be undermethylated.

Undermethylated people tend to be depleted in these 3 neurotransmitters- serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which all greatly affects one’s mental health.

Most people with depression, oppositional defiant disorder, OCD, bipolar disorder, trichotillomania, or schizophrenia exhibit a genetic abnormality in methylation….. which appears to be central to their illness.

Trichotillomania treatment includes(1) aggressive doses of l-methionine, calcium, magnesium, along with augmenting nutrients zinc, B-6, Inositol, Vitamin A & C and (2) strict avoidance of folic acid, choline, DMAE, and copper supplements.

Aggressive methylation therapy can be very successful, but usually involves a very slow response. Typically, treatment requires about 2 months before the patient before any progress is evident and 6-12 months are required for all of the benefits to be attained.

One way to speed up the process of recovery is to use SAMe supplements in the beginning. Undermethylated patients usually report nice progress after the first week or two. SAMe is quite expensive, and can be gradually replaced by methionine after a couple of months.

Adults typically require 2,000 – 3,000 mg/day of methionine for several months to see good results. Also, augmenting nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, B-6, and zinc are essential.

Undermethylation

Most undermethylated persons in the general population tend to be high-achievers and have good mental health.  These people tend to be our doctors, lawyers, corporate executives, professional athletes and scientists who strive for high career accomplishment.  Undermethylation is also more prevalent in college populations and in affluent neighborhoods.

Many individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses have severe undermethylation which is associated with low serotonin activity.  They have a genetic tendency to be very depressed in calcium, magnesium, methionine, and Vitamin B-6 and may have excessive levels of folic acid in nuclei of brain cells.  Undermethylated persons benefit from biomedical therapy to directly correct the underlying problem using methionine, calcium, magnesium, amongst others.

Decide for yourself if you fit into this chemical biotype.  Here is a list of factors associated with undermethylation – 

•  obsessive/compulsive tendencies

•  history of perfectionism

•  seasonal inhalant allergies

•  low tolerance for pain

•  prior diagnosis of OCD or ODD

•  ritualistic behaviors

•  very strong willed

•  slenderness

•  history of competitiveness in sports

•  calm demeanor, but high inner tension

•  frequent headaches

•  family history of high accomplishment

•  delusions (thought disorder)

•  self-motivated during school years

•  poor concentration endurance

•  social isolation

•  addictiveness

•  phobias

•  good response to antihistamines

•  high fluidity (tears, saliva, etc.)

•  good response to SSRI’s

•  very high libido

•  diagnosis of delusional disorder

http://www.mensahmedical.com/resourcecenter/undermethylation.html

Introduction

Hi there, my name is Chelsea. I am 26, married, mother of 3, a teacher, and a research junky (yes admittedly an odd habit).  I have a hard time defining myself as I am so tempted to focus on what I have or am lacking.  I have suffered from low self-esteem and have been working on framing things in a positive light as I have learned that the way we think plays a huge role in mental health. 

I started pulling out my eyelashes and eyebrows when I was 6 years old.  Within a year, my pulling was very obvious and I became ashamed, but was unable to stop even though I tried. Around age 16 I began pulling my hair and soon developed bald patches that became increasingly difficult to hide.  In these 20 years I have tried many things to stop pulling, but nothing has worked.  I have learned that trichotillomania does not define me, but is simply a part of me.  Even coming to this level of acceptance, I still long to be pull free.  I want the time back I take pulling, trying to resist the urge, putting on makeup, and hiding my bald patches. 

My reason in creating this blog is to create a community for others with trichotillomania.  I know there are many support groups online with the goal.  I frequent many of these wonderful sites.  As a research junky, I have turned my focus to recent finding about trichotillomania.   I will post my personal experience based on my findings and document useful information.  I am working to piece together seemingly unconnected studies and summarize these findings.  I don’t think there is a cure for trichotillomania, but I do think there are certain factors that can impact recovery.  I had given up hope of ever being pull free after 20 years of pulling.  I now have a renewed determination and I plan to document my steps I take to recovery. 

My struggles have shaped me into the person I am today.  Therefore I do see a purpose, but I also desire freedom from this world of which so many are unaware.

I blog about my personal struggle with trichotillomania and bipolar disorder. I also discuss helpful strategies, reflections, and treatments.

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