It’s great that public awareness of Tourette syndrome has increased in recent years, yet a number of significant misconceptions remain. We’ve touched on some of these in our Dos and Don’ts infographic for the treatment of tics and Tourette syndrome (see image at bottom of this post).
A key feature of these misconceptions is the acceptance of Tourette syndrome as a “mysterious” condition, with symptoms that come and go for no known reason. Families are usually taught by the medical community that “waxing and waning” of tics and related symptoms should be expected as an inevitable aspect of this so-called mystery.
This approach is simply illogical and does a great disservice to families and patients. It discourages people (doctors included) from looking for causes of tics, when there might be some answers within their control, sometimes right under their noses.
Muscle (motor) tics and vocal tics range from being alarming, painful, and upsetting to just being a nuisance. In any case, using a strong medication to suppress them may not be the best place to start when seeking to reduce tics.
We’ve been collecting data at Latitudes.org for more than 20 years on ways to prevent and control tics without the use of standard drug therapy. We share just some of our many helpful findings here.
Things You Should Do for the Treatment of Tics and Tourette Syndrome:
- You should know that causes for tics can include an immune responses with allergic and infectious reactions, and chemical or food sensitivities, to name a few.
- You should learn about environmental triggers for tics that go beyond stress, fatigue and anxiety.
- You should keep a journal to note if foods, allergens, sensory issues, or chemical exposures are aggravating tics.
- You should consider seeing a practitioner to learn if infection, nutrient imbalances, or allergies are affecting tic symptoms.
- You should consult a neurologist to rule out a number of physical conditions that may cause tic symptoms.
- You should look at tics as a symptom of a body imbalance that needs to be addressed and fixed, not just something to be subdued with drugs.
- You should visit the ACN Latitudes Forums if you’d like support from others dealing with similar tic disorders.
Things You Should Not Do for the Treatment of Tics and Tourette Syndrome:
- You should not assume that strong drugs are the only treatment for tics or Tourette’s. See here.
- You should not accept “waxing and waning” of symptoms as a mysterious process over which you have no control.
- You should not use standard medications for tics without being aware of potential side effects.
- You should not assume that all natural therapies are safe and effective. Get professional guidance when needed.
- You should not have exposure to scented products, standard cleansers, pesticides and other items toxic to the nervous system.
- You should not let your child hear comments from doctors like “Your son has Tourette syndrome and there is no cure.”
- You should not believe that tics and Tourette’s are only genetic and there’s nothing you can do except medicate.
We hope that you’ll share our “Dos and Don’ts in the Treatment of Tics and Tourette Syndrome” and give feedback on what tips you’ve found can help in dealing with tics. Our organization is always looking for new insights. Be sure to also see our “What is Tourette Syndrome” article for a comprehensive overview of the conditions.
Click on the infographic image below to see a larger view: