We are updating this article from 2014 to give an opportunity for additional sharing of ideas. The letter from Judy was received from a young adult who was looking for solutions to her tics. Please see comments at the end of this article.
I was reading your article Finding Triggers for Tics and am looking for some advice.
I’ve had very bad tics since I was 9 years old. Now at 22 I have been practicing Habit Reversal Training for three years which allows me to control my tics for most of the time, especially in public.
But some weeks or days my tics will be great and some days they will be terrible and on those days I can’t control it with the training technique.
I’m fascinated by the idea of foods triggering tics. I think I may have a trigger with preservatives, which I realized after reading your article–I find that “pot noodle soups” here in the UK make me tic more.
Is there a way to get tested for other food allergies? I already don’t consume a lot of the items on the list you provided. For example, I cut out caffeine two years ago and switched to caffeine-free. I don’t eat any dairy food, just because I’m a picky eater (except for Cheddar cheese in the odd cheese toast). I don’t consume alcohol. I don’t eat chocolate–or at least very rarely because I find foods high in sugar make me sleepy. I don’t have sweets often, so I don’t consume much in the way of artificial flavourings. I have made my own xylitol sweets though, but that is not artificial and I only have one or two a day.
I do drink Caffeine-free Diet Coke, one can a day, but I have had good tic periods while doing this, so I don’t think that is a problem.
I don’t usually come in contact with cleaning chemicals, and on the rare occasion that I do I always wear gloves.
As for mold–I do have some mild mold spores behind my bed, but again, I have had very good tic periods and the mold has been there for the past four years even when we paint over it.
Is there any advice you can give me? Or what kind of allergy testing can I have done?
Note: This request is published anonymously and a stock image has been used.