Anytime tics increase in frequency, you should ask yourself what is causing this change in symptoms. This approach applies to motor and vocal tics related to Tourette syndrome as well as to chronic tics or […]
Tics and Tourettes: Prevention and Treatment
There’s a saying that genetics loads the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger. Whether or not you have a family history of Tourette syndrome or related tic disorders, there are several approaches you can take to prevent and treat symptoms.
Doctors often tell people with Tourettes that there is nothing they can do to besides reducing stress: “The tics wax and wane—they come and go on their own.” Some even refer to the process as a “mystery.” Families are apparently expected to just sit back and watch the ups and downs take place. This attitude makes about as much sense as telling people with allergies that their symptoms will “wax and wane,” without explaining which allergens may affect a person’s symptoms.
Of course, doctors would tell their patients why vocal and muscle tics wax and wane—if they knew. But there has been an appalling lack of interest in the role of the environment by leaders in the field. In fact, for the last 18 years, our organization is the only group that has been vigorously exploring a range of factors that can aggravate tics, such as toxic exposures; food sensitivities and food allergy; heavy metals; nutrient imbalances; infection, allergens, and immune system issues.
Our book Natural Treatments for Tics and Tourettes: A Patient and Family Guide gives a comprehensive explanation of non-toxic prevention and treatment options with a review of behavioral approaches, acupuncture and biofeedback; hypnosis may also be helpful.
Families can learn more with our article Finding Triggers for Tics: A Must Read. An integrative physician can assist in determining underlying biological causes of symptoms. While the standard treatment for tics focuses on strong medications that many seek to avoid, ACN Latitudes offers valuable options to patients and families.
Related articles are shown below. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can search using the box at the upper right of the page or browse our forums.
A reader wrote to ask about the interaction between alcohol and tics or Tourette syndrome. Dr. Albert Robbins, an ACN Latitudes advisory board member, provided the response to that initial question. The answer was featured in our […]
Habit reversal training was started over 30 years ago, by Nathan Azrin, PhD, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Azrin found that people were sometimes able to substitute a competing response for a tic that troubled […]
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A tribute to Theron Randolph, MD, the father of environmental medicine who passed away in 1995 at the age of 89. New York Times obituary. Several years ago, I was researching the topic of Tourette […]
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A parent sent the following question to ACN Latitudes. Dr. Robbins, an advisory board member, provided a response. Question: My boys, ages 14 and 10, were diagnosed with tic disorders several years ago. One has […]
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