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Valerie Gorman

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  1. Our daughter's tics have been worsening even with dietary changes. The dietary changes help trememdously, she would be far worse without them, but still her disorder is worsening. She is 11. Recently she has been struggling with inappropriate thoughts and inappropriate touching temptations (if you get my drift...). Any thoughts?? I am beside myself and frankly nauseated by it. Also, we've done a lot of the elimination diet with as much success as that will allow. We are ready to begin supplementation. I had been giving her some "Nature Made" brand Magnesium, B complex, and Zinc. Never saw any improvement from them. I followed the quantities determined for TS. Do you think it's because it's an inexpensive brand? What would you all suggest for a first step in supplementation that goes beyond what you can get at Walgreens? Lastly, we have seen a pediatric neurologist regarding her condition. What is the next step? An environmental physician? A naturopath?
  2. We have looked very closely at the diary thing, super-loaded her on milk with no adverse effects. Why would cheese be "just bad"? It is a natural substance.
  3. Hello, We have been working on my daughter's diet since November with tremendous success in reducing her tics. I have a couple of questions that some folks here might be able to answer for me. First off, we have determined that she is sensitive to gluten, MSG, strong (chemical) smells, and "screen time" (tv/computer). We keep her off of everything artificial food-wise just to play it safe. Ending about a week ago, for about a month in length (or longer) her vocal tics were much more pronounced than they have been since we've been keeping her diet safe. I couldn't figure out why the increase in vocalizations. I have two guesses that I'd like some feedback on. 1. Could she have been increasing her vocal tics in response to a seasonal allergy that she may have had? If so, would traditional allergy tests reveal that? What medications are safe for a TS kid to remedy that? 2. My daughter seems to have no sensitivity to dairy, but it appears that she may be sensitive to cheese...cheddar maybe specifically. Any thoughts why that may be? Do you think she could handle all-natural cheddar? All the ingredients in the cheddar we buy from the conventional grocery store seem to be natural. It could be that she wasn't reacting to cheddar but I'm still considering it a possibility. If she is sensitive to cheddar, would that translate to a sensitivity to all cheeses or is it possible that it's one type of cheese only? I guess a tag onto this subject is my concern that if a kid is sensitive to MSG does that necessarily translate to a sensitivity to anything fermented? I've been reading Nourishing Traditions and all the fermented foods in there are supposed to be so good at healing the gut, which I think my daughter really needs....not sure what to think about this...any thoughts?? Valerie
  4. Hey there, Here is what has led me to believe that Earth Balance may have MSG in it. In the ingredients list it states "natural flavor" according to MSG websites, that is "secret code" for MSG. After the "natural flavor" listing it says in parenthesis (derived from corn, no msg, no alcohol, no gluten) Well, technically there may not be any MonoSodium Glutamate, but the root problem of MSG sensitivity is based on what is called "Free Glutamic Acid". Natural flavor that is derived from corn is probably Free Glutamic Acid. Also, right afterwards is listed "soy protein"...this is another code word for MSG. I am no expert, I'm just parroting what I've been learning from the internet. You can look up info at: http://www.truthinlabeling.org/ here's the page that lists are the "secret names" of msg/free glutamic acid: http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html Okay, about Ghee. Well, here is a website that shows the stuff I've bought from our local natural foods store: http://www.purityfarms.com/ It is actual butter, but it's clarified...whatever that means...and so it has no lactose or casein. It's also pricey! Well....that's what I know anyhow! I'm hoping my daughter can have regular ol' butter soon...I have had her off all dairy and casein and haven't tried to introduce it back in yet...maybe I'm scared of the reaction we might get! lol
  5. Thanks Caryn, good info you have there.
  6. Hi there, Thanks for writing. Here's a couple of things I've learned that may help you. One is that MSG goes by around 30 names or so. The food industry hides it because they know people don't want it in their food. There is a website called "Truth in Labeling" that gives you allllll the names of MSG. Your bullion cube probably still has MSG. I'm not sure, but even if the package says "no MSG" it probably does because the troublemaker is rightly called "free glutamic acid" and although they may not technically have "monosodium glutamate" in their product, they may have "free glutamic acid" and it's the same thing. Even then, "free glutamic acid" is not listed on the label, it is a by-product of processing certain foods in certain ways (processed intentionally to make that stuff) so on the label you'll see any number of things listed which are probably a source of MSG. (Example: anything "autolyzed", anything "malted", anything "protein", carrageenan, "natural" flavors, citric acid, etc...) I'm no expert, but by trying to get a grip on things, I've picked up a bit from my internet trolling . So...if you seriously want to see if MSG is a trigger for your son, check out that website. Also, I would recommend the book "Natural Treatments for Tic Disorders and Tourettes". Fabulous fabulous fabulous! Soooo much information, help, and incouragement! My library had a copy until I decided to buy it. Worth every penny! Also, as far as taking sugar out of your son's diet, I did that for a while, too. During that time she wanted sweet stuff also, so here's a few things I did to help: I froze a bunch of over-ripe bananas and bought bags of frozen fruit. Every evening we capped off her day with a frozen fruit smoothie blended with rice milk or water and sweetened (if necessary) with Stevia (a naturally sweet herb) These were a highlight of her day. She'd have them with a bowl of potato chips which were only for her and nobody else (chips with no artificial ingredients, just potatoes, oil, and salt). I also asked her what her favorite fruits were in all the world without regard to price, and she said pomegranates so we bought her many pomegranates, as well as any other fruit her heart desired, even if it was expensive, and these fruits were only for her. Maybe these things will help until you know if sugar is a trigger for him. The question we all need to ask with tic disorders is..."What makes him tic?" Because it is something.
  7. Hi there, So, I've got my daughter off of all dairy except for ghee since the bottle claims to be casein free...however it is STILL dairy. So, should I not even do ghee if I'm testing her for casein (which is broader than just testing for "milk")? If I don't use that I don't know what I could use since "earth balance buttery spread" still has some free glutamic acid (aka MSG in disguise) in it. Any insights on ghee?? Thanks! Valerie
  8. Hi folks, I have a question about MSG. I pulled MSG from my daughters diet (along with about 10 other things) more than a month ago. We got her tics to a noticeably reduced state and once it seemed "level" started to intro foods we'd pulled. When I put in MSG (if you want to try this for your own kid, buy "Ac'cent" Seasoning, it's pure MSG) and loaded her up with it, her tics became markedly worse and worse. Okay, so we pull it back out and I find out more dirty little secrets of the food industry (like citric acid!!! GRRR) and am feeding her a "clean diet" as far as the MSG goes. We pulled the MSG back out 6 days ago and I'm noticing that her tics, although improving, are still worse than before we tested her for it. It got me wondering how long that stuff stays in the system...anybody had experience with this that could share their insights?? I have read that Vit B6 and Magnesium help "toughen up the system" with this stuff...is that right? Thanks, Valerie
  9. Hello Bev! I am so excited you got that book! You won't regret it! It's thick...like a phone book! But don't let the size intimidate you, it's easy reading really, and you can flip around to the parts that really are of interest to you. I did that at first then read it through from the beginning. I am amazed at all I've learned so far. Please let me know what you think of the book and what happens when you try stuff with your son. In Christ, Valerie Thankyou Valerie, I have seen this book and wondered if it was any good - there seems to be a lot of 'bad' advice and 'fake' cures - so i was a little hesitant. However, after reading this i have just ordered it from amazon books. Thanks for the advice. Your daughter sounds lovely - you must be very proud of her. Will report back when i start making changes etc. Bev x
  10. Hi, I have a question about corn if anybody in the know would be willing to share their knowledge with me: My daughter has shown a sensitivity to corn, but it's not extreme. I'm thinking I'd like to keep her away from corn generally but allow it occasionally. What I'm looking to do is keep her total corn load low. What is it about corn that is creating the tic? The reason I'm asking is I'm trying to figure if, say, it's the corn PROTEIN that is the problem, then is corn oil a danger in that regard or not? (I know it's a danger in other ways, but in this regard) How about corn starch? Also, I am wondering what's the scoop on high fructose corn syrup? I've read up on it on the internet, so I understand the processing etc, but again, what is the element in corn that can cause tics in people and does hfcs have that element in abundance? The other part of this question is, if I have a kid mildly sensitive to corn, what degree of that "tic producing quality" do these various corn products contain? Like, is a Tbsp of corn starch as "bad" as eating a whole cup of corn, or is it really only as bad as eating a spoonful of corn because much of the tic-producing element in the corn starch has been removed when corn gets made into corn starch? Just FYI, I am not planning on loading my kid up on corn oil and hfcs, I am just trying to understand what the foundational element is so that I understand what is going on "behind the scenes". Thanks! I'm looking forward to hearing what you all know! Hope I made sense! In Christ, Valerie
  11. Hi Bev, Not sure if you've got the book Natural Treatments for Tic Disorders and Tourettes, but this book blew me away in it's vast amount of accessible help for correcting tics naturally. My daughter is 10 and had multiple physical and vocal tics all day long, plus she was hyper, easily angered, hates academics, struggled with anxiety, and was beginning to exhibit some OCD. We tried 2 meds and didn't see any improvement. We figure she'd have to take something stronger, but then we found this wonderful book. The diet thing is so huge in tracking down what might be triggering your son. It seems intimidating, I know. Here's a little suggestion I got from a friend that helped me ease my way into this new way of eating: cut one possible trigger food out for two weeks, then put a bunch of it back into his diet for one day. Also, write down everything he eats and any significant changes with tics etc... That didn't overwhelm me so I tried it with gluten. Tough at first, but I figured it out. (check out "gfcf" cookbooks for kids at your library) After two weeks I loaded her up with gluten for a day...not much difference...then since I figured she wasn't sensitive I fed it to her the next day and by that night she wasn't ticcing more than usual but she was crazy hyperactive all over the place. Anyhow, once you see something like that it's pretty inspiring and gives you the strength you need to start pulling more things from the diet (the book is an awesome guide for what things to pinpoint...but you can find their list online, too). Once you and your son see the fruits of your labor, you'll both be excited to keep trying things and seeing how free he can be. In fact...a little funny thing happened today...so we're testing her for sensitivity to MSG and we were really loading her up on it after being mostly free of it for over a month. Her tics got worse and worse over the 2 1/2 days that we did it. She had lost all her vocal tics through the elimination diet but with this msg test they were back in force and she was "chirping" every 10 seconds or so all day. At one point I asked her what it was like to be chirping again after not doing it for a while: did it feel like second nature, did she not even notice it, or what? She very humorously expressed HOW ANNOYING IT WAS to feel like she had to chirp all day long! So, she is certainly motivated to keep away from msg! Anyhow, just wanted to encourage you to read that book, and start pulling foods! In Christ, Valerie
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