Are your OCD and Tics Triggered by the Diet and Environment?
These letters were received from readers who wanted to share their success with dietary and environmental changes for obsessive compulsive disorder.
Nutrients helped my OCD and tics
I heard about Latitudes from the mother of a 17-year-old boy with Tourette syndrome who found that vitamin therapy helped him very much. I’m a 28-year-old and suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder and vocal tics. I was disappointed to learn that no real medical research is being done on these problems related to vitamin/mineral treatment. I was under the care of a traditional doctor, but things began to get worse and I agreed to be hospitalized. They gave me Prozac, and I was one of the 5% who [had a bad reaction]. It made me “crazy.” The tics got really bad, and it felt like hell on earth.
After that I went to a neurologist who ran blood tests for B12, folic acid, and other nutrients. He found I was very low in B12 and I began weekly B12 injections. After a month or two I felt much better. That was nine months ago and I now take a small amount of standard medication, a B complex capsule, and 500 mg of vitamin C daily and I’m doing well
Sugar is the culprit for my depressions and OCD
I’m noticing that sugar can set off a reaction with obsessive thinking very shortly after I eat it. Staying off processed sugar is not the complete answer but it helps. My thinking is more stable, and my mood is more positive. If I eat a lot of sugar it gets me depressed. I think it can affect the same brain chemicals that cause, OCD at least that’s my theory.
Herbs, homeopathy and diet change
Approximately one and a half years ago my son’s second-grade teacher suggested I have Daniel “checked out.” He had been having trouble holding his pencil, moved around a lot in class, cleared his throat often and didn’t give much eye contact. This made me feel sick, because I knew that Daniel’s symptoms were even worse outside the classroom. He suffered from headaches daily. He could barely walk to the park with us on family outings because he had to knock his knees together every few seconds; his eyes and nose were almost constantly twitching; and he tilted his head in an exaggerated stretch. He would bang his fork on the plate 10 times (for each bite) before he could eat, with every third breath being a short and loud puff. And the whistling — oh, the whistling! I knew that it was time to do something — but what?
I learned of a naturopath who had had excellent results for a family dealing with Tourette syndrome (son) and a rage disorder (daughter). We found help in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. My son was prescribed a variety of homeopathic medicine and Western herbs. There was an initial increase in symptoms as predicted, then a reduction until presently, my son has only one tic remaining, and that is an exaggerated smile which he does when nervous or excited. No more headaches, knee-knocking, whistling, tapping, grunting or puffing.
The only other change we made to my son’s diet was to reduce — not eliminate — milk. This has improved chronic bronchitis. We have also seen a chiropractor (for adjustments).
My daughter’s OCD and tics are set off by milk protein
I’m the mother of a girl, now eight, who had an abrupt onset of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) at age 4 years 11 months. Her disorder was severe, and she was started on an antidepressant almost immediately with some, but a disappointing level, of relief. Several months later she also began ticcing intermittently.
Unrelated to all of this, she had the ELISA blood test for food allergies since she had been bothered on and off with rashes and other allergic symptoms since age three. I believe 150 foods were tested, and the only one she showed reactivity to was milk protein. Oddly, she had always refused milk foods, including cheese, ice cream and other typical favorites. I began reading labels and stopped buying foods for her that contained milk products.
After two weeks with no milk protein, I noticed she wasn’t ticcing, but these had been episodic previously. I assumed she had moved through the current episode. But her OCD symptoms also seemed lower. She was now more relaxed and was able to have time periods when she seemed symptom-free.
After about three months of no milk protein, through a mix-up, she ate cheese pizza for lunch rather than the soy cheese pizza she was supposed to have. I didn’t say anything to anyone about this, but by that evening her ticcing was severe, her OCD symptoms were severe, she was shaking, irritable and teary, and thoroughly miserable. This lasted for three or four days before trailing off, leaving her at the symptom level she had been at before the pizza.
For us at least, it seems well worthwhile to keep her on a diet free of milk protein, as we have for the past two years. I’ve been interested to read on your site about the idea of brain allergy and hope to discover whether there may be other substances that may be affecting my daughter’s OCD symptom level and tics.
I try to share your message as much as possible.