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Hey everybody, its been awhile since I have been on this site, but im back and I have a question. Today I finally went to see a doctor (acupuncturist), and he told me that my stress levels are extremely high and that I show signs that can mean I will have a stroke in the future. He believes my tics are caused by all this stress. I dunno how I feel about this cause I have had tics since I was a child, how much stress could I have possible had back then? Anyway im here because I want a second opinion, and wanted to see what type of doctor you guys would recommend I go see. Should I find another acupuncturist or should i try out a different type of doctor? If I should try another type what kind should I look for?



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What kinds of "signs" does an acupuncturist see that mean you can have a stroke in the future? Did you ask him to list specifically what he saw?


Without knowing much more than the basics of acupuncture, that sounds like a scare tactic. Kind of like how chiropractors always find "subluxations" in your spine... good thing you can keep them in check if you come in once a week for treatments for the rest of your life!! The salesman... excuse me, secretary at the front desk can get you scheduled for your next visit.


Stress can increase tics, but is not likely the cause of them.


Stress tends to cause nervous habits and the burning of nervous energy (tapping your fingers) but those are not tics. But many people report that during times of high stress, their tics are increased.


I went to see my general practitioner and a neurologist to get a better understanding of tics. If you decide you want to try prescription medication, please look over the info on this page so you can have an idea of how the different drugs work and what they do:




Since I made that page, I will give you my opinion. There are lots of medications available that people use to treat tics. Most of them haven't been very effective. In my opinion, if you are going to go the medication route, you should begin with the drugs that have the most mild side effect profile. There's no reason to start with a drug that can kill you if you could get an improvement from a drug that might just make you a little sleepy instead.


The drugs with the least side effects are:




Marinol (THC/marijuana in pill form; you probably won't get a prescription for it, in fact, I had a doctor tell me to buy marijuana on the street because it's cheaper, lol)



All of those have shown to be effective in various studies. It's important to note however that not everything has the same effect on everyone. Tics have different causes and everyone's chemistry is different.


Beyond those 4 drugs, you start getting into much stronger drugs that can have much stronger, and in some cases permanent, side effects.


If you don't wish to go the drug route, there is some good information on this forum about various supplements that may help. Again, not everyone has the same reaction to everything, so always start with small doses. Some of these include:


Vitamin B


Mag-Taurate (a combination of magnesium and taurine)

Quinine (tonic water) is supposed to help

Epsom salt baths


But to answer your original question, go see a neurologist if you want to talk to someone who likely has more experience with tic disorders than an acupuncturist. I'm pretty sure acupuncturists don't study neurology or neurochemistry during their schooling.


edit - that being said, I believe there are some members here who say their tics have benefited from acupuncture.

Edited by guy123
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you say the acupuncturist is a doctor? is this a medical doctor? Honestly, hearing that someone said that your TS tics are caused by "stress" and could lead to a stroke leaves me with just one thought.....clueless!!


My son benefits greatly from acupuncture, but our acupuncturist is not a medical doctor, even though he seems to know a lot more about TS than most of the MD and neurologists that we saw. He does very specific acupuncture needle placement, and understands that TS is neurological.


I did not see anything in your post to suggest you were considering prescription medications for the tics....but if you are, I would personally suggest great caution as often they can bring unwanted side effects.

Going to a neurologist will usually not get you much further than a confirmation of a TS diagnosis with likely a drug prescription.

If that is the direction you feel is needed for you, then just be sure to read up on those medications, both the pros and the cons.


Many of us here have found much benefit from dietary modifications and supplements, specifically magnesium (no need for it to have to be mag taurate) as well as other essential vitamins. It is not a "cure" (which medications are not either)...just a way to keep tics more manageable


An Integrative doctor is often best if you want to have a more holistic treatment program

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Thanks for the replies. I definitely do NOT want to go to medication route, and I have been on this forum for awhile. I have tried many different supplements which have been recommended on here, and not a single one has helped me at all.


I do not think this doctor is in it to make money considering he is a friend of my fathers, and he is not charging me for the visits. As for what he did and saw....


I went in he checked my heart beat and then my blood pressure. He said my circulation is low and that I have low blood pressure. He is a Korean man and uses more of the non western medicine practices. He looked at my finger nails and I guess he saw a dis coloring showing him low blood circulation, and he looked at my tongue and noticed something that he mentioned was a sign of stroke in the future. I really do not know what exactly he was saying, because he has a very thick accent. All I understood from him was very high stress levels, low circulation, and low blood pressure. I looked up low blood pressure and noticed that it means that there is a lack of blood or oxygen which reaches the brain. Would this not contribute to tics?

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are you sure this is a medical doctor?

There are many Eastern medical methods that are excellent and can be very beneficial but there are also some that are questionable, just as in Western medicine!


yes, stress and many other factors can contribute to tics, but you have stated you have TS, since childhood and that is related to dopamine and the basal ganglia of the brain


Strokes are more commonly associated with high rather than low blood pressure.


I would suggest you find an Integrative doctor (one who is qualified as a conventional MD or DO, but has also specialized in "alternative" aka comprehensive/holistic/naturopathic) medicine so that they can run routine tests on your blood pressure, circulation etc as well as advise you on more holistic treatments.

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getting a thorough check up is always a good idea...even if just to set your mind at rest


Not all naturopaths are qualified MDs.They are often excellent, but may not have an MD or DO degree. One can get a naturopathic practitioner license from an accredited college/school without going to med school to study for a conventional medical degree

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Yes I am going to a heart doctor next week, because ever since my last doctor visit I have been feeling weird (chest tightness, hard time breathing, etc). I dunno if it is a in my head or an unlucky coincidence. As for the naturopathic doctor, where exactly can I look to find one of those doctors? Can I find one on the UCLA or USC medical center website?

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honestly, as I mentioned before, I think you would be better served by an Integrative doctor rather than just a naturopath


Because Integrative physicians are conventional doctors who have gone on to specialize in naturopathy/alternative medicine, they approach things a lot more comprehensively, and so if you do have more complex issues, would serve you better.


I honestly do not know which medical lists in your area may have them on.

You can check the "Finding Medical Help" thread pinned to the top of this board

Googling the term "integrative doctor" or "naturopath" and then your area may bring up a number of them

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