Hi Dr. Schubiner and everyone,
I've been struggling with a very itchy scalp with redness in some areas and bumps in others, for over a year now that keeps flaring up. Because I've had numerous other TMS issues and have overcome them for the most part, I'm wondering if any of my scalp issues could be driven by TMS.
The dermatologist says it's probably a combination of 3 things:
1. Bacterial overgrowth (not an infection), which I took antibiotics for 3 times. Each time it got a little better, but then flared up again after anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. (6 months later I had a stool test which showed Candida overgrowth, which my functional medicine doctor thought was causing my scalp issues. After 5 months of treatment for Candida, I still have the scalp issues.)
2. Dermatitis, from an irritation or a slight allergic reaction to the various hair products I've been using. (I had skin patch testing which showed some mild and doubtful reactions.) I've switched to the products the dermatologist recommended, which helped for a while. I started using a few of my old products again, which was fine until about 2 months ago, when I flared up again. So, maybe a new sensitivity to my products?
3. Unknown reasons for a chronic itchy scalp, which I guess is not uncommon. She wasn't sure how to treat this aspect of it.
Whenever a doctor has told me they don't know what to do anymore and can't understand why I haven't responded to classic treatment, that's been my clue that it was TMS and then most things resolved.
Dr. Schubiner, I keep thinking about how you talk about depression, where you agree it's a chemical imbalance, but that it's TMS that's causing the chemical imbalance, so that's how you need to treat it.
So, could emotional issues be the trigger that is causing my scalp to be more sensitive to hair products? Or more susceptible to a bacterial imbalance? (I've had a lot going on this past year, so there's plenty that could be triggering TMS!)
All of these scalp issues have been causing hair loss, which of course is pretty traumatic, so I have a lot of fear associated with my itchy scalp. I feel quite caught in a stress cycle with the fear, so if it is TMS related, I'm not sure how to break the fear/stress cycle.
Thanks for any input!