We just did a post on Stephanie’s story with trich and how amino acid therapy helped her ‘beat trich’ in her words. I wanted to follow up with a couple points regarding Stephanie’s story to point out a few things that we see often when working with people with trich.
First, many people see results in just a month or two, just as Stephanie did. In fact, about 80% of people can completely eliminate the urge to pull in that time frame. For those 20% that don’t, additional testing is used to help them eliminate the urge to pull.
Second, once we find the right dose of amino acids that a person needs, they need to take them about 6-9 months before we can start tapering the dose without the recurrence of symptoms. If a person misses a dose or multiple doses, the urge to pull will often return within a few days and will persist until a person gets back on the recommended supplements for about 3-5 days. This means that the person continues to need the amino acids to eliminate the urge to pull.
Third, eliminating the urge to pull does not mean that a person automatically stops pulling. We’ve talked in other posts about the difference between the urge to pull (the compulsion) and the behavior of pulling. Once the urge is gone, a person can still find themselves pulling when they get triggered by certain events (the most common one is stress). When this happens, they may find their hands playing with or pulling their hair before they even realize what is happening. The difference is that once they become conscious of it, a person on the proper dose of amino acids and stop pulling and not think about it anymore. This is where other therapies, such as stress reduction, exercise and Cognitive Behavioral therapies can be a big help.
Fourth, exercise, lifestyle and dietary recommendations can often decrease the need for amino acids. If a person addresses the day-to-day reasons for neurotransmitter imbalance, they can often substantially reduce the amount of amino acids they need over time to eliminate the urge to pull.
And finally, just like Stephanie, many people can reduce and eliminate the need for the amino acids and still have no urge to pull. Most of the time, these people have taken the amino acids as recommended for at least 6-9 months and have incorporated other strategies to help deal with the behavioral and environmental component of pulling (we help guide them through this process as well). This provides them the life skills that they need to function as they want to without the need for the amino acids. This doesn’t always happen, but it happens a great deal of the time, and it’s so wonderful to see the confidence, the pride and the relief in the people that ‘beat trich’ as Stephanie did.