So, for me, there has always been one fairly well-discussed approach to Trich recovery that I’ve never really attempted, and that’s the Kender diet. I’ve typically avoided it because many foods it has you phase out are some of my absolute favorites (which sort of just validates the potential truth behind the theory…), and I’ve always been unwilling to really try and give it a go. With all the success I’ve had lately eliminating soda completely from my diet to help with my running, I’ve decided it’s finally time to give it a shot.
For those who may not know, the back story is that John Kender developed the diet via a series of trial and error tests to help his Trichster daughter, theorizing that the main impetus behind the pulling was food-allergen related.
A quote from Kender: ”In general, my hypothesis is that it may be that people inclined to TTM have a natural biochemistry irreversibly inclined towards certain allergic reactions. They are allergic to a normal yeast (Malessizia sp.) that is found in the skin and gut of virtually everyone, but they react to it with itching and irritation and a need to remove the allergen.”
Basically, there is a list of good and bad foods that have been vetted over the years from Kender’s own experience and online surveys and various Trichsters weighing in. For me, the biggest ones on the bad list are caffeine, sugar, chocolate, and peanuts, and I think I eat enough of them on a weekly basis that it’s worth a try to cut them out. Most sites recommend trying to stick with it for at least 1-2 months to try and fully regulate your body and adapt to the system. I think for me, the biggest key to success will be trying to substitute various things for peanut butter/peanuts and chocolate in granola bars and things like that. I’ll keep everyone updated on my progress!
For reference, the generally accepted Kender diet list is as follows:
So, as promised, I wanted to do a post on a new tactic I’ve been trying lately I’m calling Impulse Control Training. One of the staples of Trich treatment options has to do with Habit Reversal Training which deals with the repetitive nature aspect of the behavior, but at it’s underlying core Trich is all about our inability to resist the impulse coming from our brain telling us to pull.
And the brain, like an other muscle, can be trained and improved with various exercises. I saw an advertisement on TV the other day for the site called Lumosity, which offers brain training exercises typically meant to improve intellect and response time and things like that, however, I was intrigued by the concept and the ways it could be applied to Trich.
I went onto the site to check it out, and it turns out they have several games specifically devoted to impulse control. And while, admittedly, at first it seems like it wouldn’t be related (they’re games where for example the word “blue” is written in red ink and you have to say whether the color matches the word), when you really think about it all stems from the same behavior. The resistance of an almost unconscious impulse to act in a certain way, or in this case, select a certain answer based on a spur of the moment impulse. And for me at least, usually if I can get past that very first initial impulse I do a better job holding off on the pulling behavior for a longer period of time. So, I’ve been trying it out. On the Lumosity site you have to pay to do more than a few games per day, but I’ve been looking online for other similar exercises. Has anyone else tried anything similar, or know of any good sites with similar impulse control games?
My friend and I started a support group for hair pullers. It’s like a safe-zone chat room. We want everyone to spread the word!! Here is the info!! Please encourage fellow trichsters to reblog!
This is a support group for sufferers, inquirers, former trichsters, friends of trichsters, and anyone else who is looking for a safe place to talk about trichotillomania. We are here for you and we support you. Main mods are banana and hsalami.
Please come check it out, no sign-up necessary. Last night we had about 8 people in there. It was great! Sometimes nobody is in there, but I will try my hardest to be in there as much as possible. If nobody is in there, please come back.
If you like it, make an account, follow the page, and feel free to come chat whenever you want! :)