Treating candida reduced tics: We have combined conventional and alternative approaches to help our son with his Tourette syndrome (TS). He took Clonidine in a fairly high dose but still had problems with TS symptoms. We consulted a physician who prescribed nutritional therapy, and we learned our son has allergies to dust, a variety of foods including milk and eggs, and a very high sensitivity to candida. Diflucan was recommended for candida control, but my son didn’t want to try it. We temporarily gave up, then we began “sneaking” Diflucan into his nutritional therapy and reducing the Clonidine. There was a great improvement, but he still had some tics.
After reading a book on controlling yeast, we requested a switch from Diflucan to nystatin. Our son cooperated. For the first week he felt terrible; then several days later, he commented that he felt much better and had more control over himself. As time went on, the tics have almost completely disappeared. This therapy continues to work for us, and we feel others could benefit from it as well. He still takes a small amount of Clonidine, but we feel the nystatin is responsible for the latest tic reduction.
Did excess iron cause his tics?
I’m an adult with Tourette syndrome. I recently started taking iron supplements and had the worst attacks of tics in my life. I’m wondering if for some people iron supplements are a trigger.
Editor: Dr. William Walsh reported high serum iron levels in about one third of the autism patients at their clinic, and suggests these children may have abnormal iron metabolism among other issues. An August 2003 article in Medical Hypotheses proposes that iron, a powerful immune modulator, can cause a hyperactive immune system when in excess. Chelation of iron has reportedly shown benefit in some cases of autism and allergies.
Yet, there is also a hypothesis that links iron deficiency to ADHD and Tourette syndrome (and restless leg syndrome). See the abstract here. Further, a 2006 study suggested that “lower peripheral ferritin and iron levels in persons with Tourette’s syndrome are consistent with findings in other movement disorders and suggest that lower iron availability may have a causal role in the pathophysiology of tic disorders. See here.
As medical professionals who understand a biomedical approach to healing, people’s nutritional status and needs vary within the same condition. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach for a condition such as Tourette syndrome and a single nutrient.
Elimination diet revealed the cause of our son’s tics
I have good news to report! We have a six-year-old son Jonathan who has attention deficit disorder and also displays signs of Tourette syndrome. His tics usually involve his eyes, but we’ve seen breathing issues and an upper body tic as well.
Per the suggestion of our allergist in Akron, Ohio, we put Jonathan on the elimination diet this past June. He suspected that we might find hypersensitivity to certain foods and that the reaction(s) may be neurological in nature. Well, Jonathan has been essentially tic-free since we experimented and followed through with the elimination diet.
When we started the diet, Jonathan looked and acted as though he was going through some sort of withdrawal: dark circles under his eyes, pale complexion, and temperamental demeanor. However, after the first week was over, these symptoms went away and his tics were gone! As we reintroduced specific foods, we found that he reacted to milk, sugar, red dye, peanuts, and preservatives. His most significant reaction was to preservatives. We saw eye-rolling on the day he ate salami. He had a tremendous stomachache and numerous bouts with diarrhea when he drank milk and had red dye. Ingestion of sugar caused him to talk incessantly.
We have completely eliminated the offending items from his diet, except for Friday of each week. Jonathan has come up with a “Friday’s Food List.” He gets to choose one item from the list each Friday. He usually asks for pizza.
Over the course of the summer, his tics were basically nonexistent. The eye-rolling resurfaced only intermittently when he read. This is the first summer in three years, since the onset of his tics, that he’s been tic-free.
Jonathan is doing very well in school. My only concern now is how to approach his calcium intake. I would love to give him pure calcium (mixed with honey and water) because I believe he has reacted to additives in the calcium supplement we had been using. Any suggestions? Jonathan obviously needs calcium, but finding an appropriate source has been tricky. He is also allergic to soy milk, and I’m leery about calcium-enriched orange juice because of the sugar content.
As an aside, I am convinced that Jonathan’s issues are a combination of many things and I don’t think he’s been “cured.” But I do know that certain stimuli trigger his tics, and for right now, we have a much better grasp on what those things are. As a result, his issues have been tempered. I hope this information helps others. I appreciate the work you do.
Editor: Kirkman Laboratories produces an inexpensive, hypoallergenic calcium powder (calcium carbonate and calcium citrate) with vitamin D that has no additives. You might want to check with your doctor to see if that would be a good choice.
Chiropractic adjustments for Tourette syndrome
I have had Tourette syndrome since I was eight years old. I took many different medications that caused extensive weight gain and extreme drowsiness. My mother finally stopped my medication. I am now 23 years old and have a five-year-old daughter who is, thankfully, tic free. About a year ago, I began working as a physical therapist for a chiropractor. He noticed my tics and offered chiropractic adjustments. These adjustments have greatly reduced my tics. I still have some tics (sometimes quite noticeable), but they are not nearly as severe as before, and it is a wonderful feeling to be drug free and able to enjoy my daughter without getting sleepy. I have also found that a proper diet and exercise/weight training have helped reduce the severity of my tics.