People who compulsively swallow their own hair are said to have a psychiatric disorder called trichophagia. The disorder is related to a slightly more common one in which people have an irresistible urge to pull out their hair, called trichotillomania or hair-pulling disorder.
What happens to a person who eats hair?
It can result in serious medical consequences and can even be fatal. People who eat hair over a long period of time may begin to have abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation due to the accumulation of hair that develops into a hairball, medically referred to as a trichobezoar.
What causes eating of hair?
There are two particular psychiatric disorders that people who eat their hair are likely to have: trichotillomania and pica. People with trichotillomania feel compelled to pull out their hair, often to the point of visible hair loss. It’s very common for people to then play with the removed hair strands.
What are the symptoms of eating hair?
Eating your hair may lead to a large, matted hairball (trichobezoar) in your digestive tract. Over a period of years, the hairball can cause weight loss, vomiting, intestinal obstruction and even death.
Why do I chew my hair?
Trichophagia: It is common for people with trichotillomania to nibble on their hair or hair roots as well. They can do this with other people’s hair, too. Like the other BFRBs, trichophagia is often triggered by stress. Most trichophagia patients accept that nibbling hair helps them to feel relaxed for some time.
Why is my daughter eating her hair?
Hair/fuzz eating is not uncommon and may just be a bad habit. It could however be a form of PICA (eating things that are not food) which may be due to something missing from her diet so a visit to the pediatrician to discuss the hair eating is a good first step.
What is Rapunzel syndrome?
Rapunzel syndrome is an extremely rare cause of digestive symptoms, such as abdominal pain, anorexia, or weight loss in children. Delays in diagnosis are relatively common taking into account that it is rarely considered in the differential diagnosis of children with digestive symptoms.
Can you survive off eating your own hair?
No, they cannot survive on such a diet. Nails and hair are made of keratin. Keratin is very much not digestible: Keratin is highly resistant to digestive acids if it is ingested (Trichophagia).
Is trichotillomania a form of OCD?
What is trichotillomania? Trichotillomania (often abbreviated as TTM) is a mental health disorder where a person compulsively pulls out or breaks their own hair. This condition falls under the classification of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Is trichotillomania an anxiety disorder?
Trichotillomania appears to be a fairly common disorder, with high rates of co-occurring anxiety disorders. Many individuals with trichotillomania also report that pulling worsens during periods of increased anxiety.
How do I stop hair from eating?
You can prevent hair in food by wearing the right attire, like gloves and a hair restraint. Wear the proper hair restraints when working with or around food to prevent it from getting in the food!
Is eating hair a form of pica?
Pica is a compulsive eating disorder in which people eat nonfood items. Dirt, clay, and flaking paint are the most common items eaten. Less common items include glue, hair, cigarette ashes, and feces. The disorder is more common in children, affecting 10% to 30% of young children ages 1 to 6.
Background: Individuals with trichotillomania (TTM), a disorder characterized by repetitive pulling out of one’s own hair, often have co-occurring ADHD, but little is known about this comorbidity. Additionally, there have been intimations in the literature that treatment of ADHD with stimulants may worsen TTM symptoms.
What is eating your hair called?
Trichophagia is the compulsive eating of hair associated with trichotillomania (hair pulling). In trichophagia, people with trichotillomania also ingest the hair that they pull; in extreme cases this can lead to a hair ball (trichobezoar).
What are 3 symptoms of trichotillomania?
- repetitive pulling of their hair, often without any awareness.
- a sense of relief after pulling out hair.
- inability to stop hair pulling, despite repeated attempts to stop.
- anxiety and stress related to hair pulling.
Do I have Rapunzel syndrome?
The symptoms and physical signs that characterize Rapunzel syndrome depend on the size of the trichobezoar and the presence of complications. Current case reports show that the most common symptoms and signs are abdominal pain (37%), nausea and vomiting (33.3%), obstruction (25.9%), and peritonitis (18.3%).
Can your body digest hair?
Here’s why you shouldn’t worry, explains Maria Colavincenzo, a dermatologist at Northwestern University who specializes in hair: Hair is made of a densely packed protein called keratin, which is chemically inactive in hair and won’t cause any problems if digested.
Is trichotillomania caused by trauma?
We can conclude that trauma may play a role in development of both trichotillomania and skin picking. Increased duration of trichotillomania or skin picking was correlated with decreased presence of post-traumatic stress symptoms.
What if hair goes inside stomach?
Hair is made up of proteins called keratin which cannot be broken down by our body. They can only be processed at very high temperatures which do not exist inside our body. So, when you swallow small strands of hair accidentally, they just end up passing out of the body with other undigested food.
What causes trichophagia?
What causes trichophagia? Trichophagia is likely to be the cumulative result of multiple factors, such as genetic predisposition, social environment, and neurobiological factors. There are several psychoanalytic theories and associations, although none are supported by empirical evidence.
Who is most affected by trichotillomania?
People typically develop “trich” around age 12, and 75 percent of those who have it are female, according to research findings. Their compulsive hair pulling often results in a “thin” appearance on the scalp, says Mouton-Odum. Some people also pluck other hairy areas, such as their eyebrows, eyelashes or body hair.
Does trichotillomania ever go away?
Trichotillomania won’t go away on its own. It is a mental health disorder that requires treatment.
Is trichotillomania a depression?
Abstract. Objective: Trichotillomania (TTM) is associated with high rates of co-occurring depression and anxiety disorders.
Is trichotillomania like addiction?
Trichotillomania is not an addiction. People with Trichotillomania do not compulsively pull their hair out in order to reach an altered state of consciousness, they do it because they have an uncontrollable urge to do so.
Can trichotillomania affect the brain?
Other imaging studies of trichotillomania reported reduced gray matter in the left inferior frontal gyrus23 and reduced cerebellar volumes. More recently, whole-brain analysis identified increased gray matter densities in the left caudate/putamen, bilateral cingulate, and right frontal cortices.