Question :

Finding Hair in Stool, Eating Another Persons Hair While Sleeping.

Dear Ask The Doctor:
I've been finding my girlfriends hair in my stool and when I wipe. She moved in a year and a half ago, and I started having digestive problems 6-8 months later. I have some mild stomach discomfort from time to time, and constipation quite to often. Metamucil and Milk of Magnesia help, but I'm still kinda paranoid that I might have a hairball, or at least some strands of hair blocking me up. I sometimes wake up with some random strands of hair in my mouth, she has thick hair, about mid back length. Is it unheard of where one person digests another persons hair while sleeping?


Answer :

Dear Patient: 
Trichophagia  is the compulsive eating of hair. Trichophagia is characterized by the person eating hair, usually their own. Sometimes they may even eat the hair of others. The hair eventually collects in the gastrointestinal tract causing symptoms such as indigestion and stomach pain. Trichophagia is related to compulsive disorder. Treating the disorder of trichophagia is similar to treatment of other impulse control disorders. The disorder is believed to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and can be treated with a combination of anti-depressant drugs and psychotherapy.


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