I love it when families and patients with tic disorders discover what is triggering tics in their cases. And I love it even more when they take the time to share their findings with us, that others might benefit.
Our organization was the first (and only) group to do a widespread survey on triggers for tics. Completed by 1700+ people, we published results in our book Natural Treatments for Tics and Tourettes: A Patient and Family Guide.
Years later (2016) while presenting the keynote address at the “Breaking Down Barriers” Tourette syndrome conference in Atlanta I received feedback from attendees on their personal triggers. I passed out a form and asked participants to share triggers that they had identified as playing a role in tic symptoms.
The responses are listed below, in alphabetical order. Many were reported by more than one participant. Our organization suggests that you consider each one, asking yourself, “Might this be an issue in my case?” Triggers are individual–what bothers one person may be fine for another.
It is advisable to keep a log of what is eaten all day, and what exposures there have been–and check it against a log that tracks the tic severity and/or frequency.
Be a detective! Be prepared that at times you will be stumped. The answers will not always jump out at you. They may also be so numerous or so subtle that you can’t easily determine them without professional help. For additional potential triggers, see our article Finding Triggers for Tics and Tourette’s and our book, Natural Treatments for Tics and Tourette’s: A Patient and Family Guide
I wish you well in your exploration and hope you will let us know what you find!
Triggers reported at the Tourette conference in Atlanta, June 2016. (This represents a partial list of potential triggers)
|Animal danders (pets)||Fever|
|Antidepressants (specific)||Gasoline fumes|
|Artificial colors||Loud noises|
|Bleach||MSG (monosodium glutamate, an additive)|
|Candles, scented||Pollen from trees; seasonal change|
|Cereal, sweetened||Soaps, scented|
|Cigarette smoke||Spicy foods|
|Cleaning products, standard||Stress|
|Cold medications||Sugar, added to foods|
|Dairy products||Swimming pools, treated|
|Dust||Temperature change; hot and cold|
If you have additional triggers to share, or wish to comment on any of these, please write to me on our Contact page.