We learned that finding tic triggers and a diet change helped our daughter’s Tourette syndrome. When we addressed the tic triggers and her diet, she was tic-free. Beginning at age six, she had a diagnosis of Tourette syndrome. She experienced symptoms that included facial and vocal tics, hitting herself until she was black and blue, night terrors, panic attacks, and irrational fears. Sometimes she would lie in bed at night with her teeth chattering and her whole body would shake. There is no Tourette’s on either side of the family. I suspect chemical exposures my husband experienced in Vietnam may be related to her problems.
I want you to know how much ACN Latitudes has helped us. A few years ago, after reading your articles on tic triggers we went to an environmental physician. A lab test for Candida albicans was very high. An anti-yeast medication, Diflucan, was prescribed. That, along with probiotics and a major reduction in sugars and yeast in her diet, gave us our first major improvement in symptoms.
After further testing with the physician for food sensitivity and tic triggers we took her off all wheat, corn, milk, and soy. She was tic-free! Then we introduced these foods into her diet one by one to test her reaction. She had the worst reaction when she was “challenged” with the wheat. Several facial tics appeared immediately and she became irritable and sleepy.
The doctor prepared sublingual allergy drops. She tries to stay away from foods she is sensitive to and she has been doing well. We have seen a few situations temporarily trigger tics. One was when dental spacers were put in her teeth for braces. Another occurred during visual training exercises to help a tracking problem. And the last was when she first started public school after being home-schooled.
Thank you so much for your caring and help. You are a Godsend and have given us so much peace about our daughter’s condition.
Editor: This parent report touches on five important types of tic triggers
- A connection between sugars in the diet, an overgrowth of Candida albicans, and an increase in tics is often reported by families. While an overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans is a common trigger and culprit, others fungal overgrowths can occur as well in both males and females, children and adults. Research increasingly links the health of the digestive tract to the functioning of the central nervous system.
- Foods can be tic triggers; eating foods one has an allergy or sensitivity to can cause mood changes and/or an increase tics.
- Some people find that dental issues that result in abnormal pressures in the mouth or jaw area—such as spacers or braces—can aggravate the nervous system and be a tic trigger. (As an aside, a separate issue can be a negative reaction to dental materials used on or in the teeth).
- This mother noted an increase in tics during a visual tracking exercise at school. Families have reported reactions related to changes in lighting or light frequencies and also the act of reading. It can be helpful to rule out scotopic sensitivity, which can be addressed with colored filters. Our book Natural Treatments for Tics and Tourette’s includes findings by Jay M. Enoch, OD , PhD, University of California, Berkeley. He reported at least one visual defect in almost all children and adults with Tourette’s.
- The increase in tics seen when switching to public school after being home-schooled could be due to a number of issues. Since it was a temporary increase, it may have simply been a reaction to the stress of switching to a new social and academic setting. If the problem had continued, then looking at the physical school environment for allergens or toxins could have proven useful.
(Author’s name withheld at family request; photo is a stock image)