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What To Do When A Child Pulls Their Hair Out

by Nancy Thomas

Usually it’s the moms ‘pulling their hair out’! This can be more than just a behavior issue. I did some research on the hair pulling. A number of children I have worked with pull their hair out when they are on Prozac and I always wondered why. I checked it out. The research shows that low serotonin will sometimes show up in hair/eyebrow/eyelash pulling. We know that low Serotonin causes depression and ADD type thinking patterns. Dr. Michael Gershon, MD., of Columbia University, reports in his book, “The Second Brain”, that 95% of Serotonin is made in the intestine. When we have had a child on antibiotics – even years earlier – we see more and more problems, unless we get their ‘gut’ back on track. Parents are reporting that Primadophilis Jr., (the refrigerated kind) is faster and more effective than other brands. The usual dose is three times a day, for between three weeks and three months (depending on if there is constipation and other signals indicating the body is way out of balance).

Medications Can Have an Impact

Prozac and Ritalin recirculate the available serotonin. It makes the deficiency stand out and cause more behaviors and ‘weird’ stuff. Tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin. There is a product we are using with some of these kids, called 5HTP. It is available at health food stores. The T stands for tryptophan and it speeds up the production of serotonin until the body can get back on track making it’s own. (about 2mg per pound of child’s body weight). Check it out with a doctor, especially if they are on other meds! There is a great CD available called the “Biology of Behavior” by Diane Craft, that shares all the details and research that we are all finding very effective with these disturbed kids.

Check Out Fatty Acid Deficiency

Normal people are not physically strong enough to pull out a handful of hair. I would say there is something off with the systems of children that do this. Hair follicles run on oil. A fatty acid deficiency causes very dry skin and hair as well as mood swings and aggression!! I would sure increase the Omega III and Omega VI in her diet. Thyroid problems cause hair brittleness and hair pulls out real easily. And, last but not least, I would check for head lice!!!!! So in the mean time I would have her keep her hat on when she is around me, so I can look in her eyes and ‘fill’ her with love – and not be distracted by her bald head.

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