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New member - neck tics and eating question

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If anyone could help me with their thoughts I would be so grateful . . .


My 8 year old son has had a neck tic for about a year. I have realised now that before that he may have had a coughing tic, but i thought it was just the remains of a cold/cough that went on for a very long time (several months). The neck tic is always there but varies hugely day to day. The coughing stopped when the neck tic started.


For the last year I have not done anything, hoping it would go away (as recommended by my doctor), however as it has not I find that I just can't leave it any longer without trying to find out the cause.


I have made an appointment with a recommended naturopath but her first appointment is August so I am on my own, at least for a while.


I am reading the 'Natural Treatments for Tics and Tourettes' book and am feeling very daunted by trying to identify triggers for his tic, other than the obvious ones - watching tv/relaxing in bed at night.


I am starting with buying all organic food/food with no colours, flavourings and preservatives.


Before I go further with looking at possible food intolerances there is one question that is really bugging me and I have not seen an answer to it anywhere. I would so appreciate anyone else's thoughts/experiences.


Although my son's ticcing varies hugely it is nearly always worse after meals. Do you think this could be related to the fact that he has a neck tic and eating anything at all involves swallowing and moving his neck? And if not, and if you may therefore think it is due to a food that he is eating, how quickly do children react to food. He nearly always tics immediately he is beginning to eat a pudding but is this likely to be from something he is eating right at that moment or something he ate at the start of the meal?


Many thanks for any ideas/advice anyone can give.



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Hi and welcome

yes, there are other threads here related to increased tics after meals and most often these are due to food intolerance OR eating foods with high dopamine content in the case of TS. It also seems that some kids tic more when their digestive system is acivated after eating and this could be due to a variety of factors ranging from metabolism to candida infection


Overall, the 2 food allergens that seem to rank highest in the sensitivity scale are gluten and casein/lactose

Many also seem to react to sugars


Keeping a journal is one of the most effective way to start identifying tic triggers.

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It would seem that the ticcing is related at least in part to food sensitivites / digestive track issues. Is there an allergist you can reach before August? It is a little easier to identify and eliminate offending foods with the help of some testing.



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Thank you so much for your replies.


Digestive system problems have always been the last thing on my mind in relation to my son - He is really tall and well built for his age and eats everything (except onions, mushrooms and spinach!). He never has stomach upsets. I just can't believe that diary or gluten is an issue because I can't help feeling I would see at least some digestive type symptom with these. I don't know anything about candida so I will investigate this. Sugar could definitely be the answer.


The Naturopath I have booked to see in August has the 'Food Detective' Allergy/intolerance kits. I guess I could try doing this for him myself as a starting point. Has anyone tried these tests and found them to be useful?


I feel incredibly tempted to just have a few 'sugar free' days and see if there's any response but I guess it can take weeks to see a result. Also, I wouldn't want to take fruit etc out of his diet just on a whim, so I guess it would just be 'sweets, puddings, chocolate free days' which I'm not sure would really be testing anything.


I will investigate sugar threads on the site. . . . .

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  • 1 month later...


My son also starting a neck tic when he was 8 (he is now 10). It took awhile, but we finally have a good understanding of the triggers. He is very sensitive to flavored milk (stawberry in particular). Every day after lunch in school his tic would dramaticaly increase. We eliminated the milk and it stopped. He has tried it a few times since, and it affected him every time. He is ok with regular milk.


By eliminating most artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, we have been able to greatly reduce his tics. Over the winter, the tics were unnoticed. Now that the spring allergy season is here in PA, it has started up a litle, but nothing like it was two years ago. He was allergy tested positive for grass and a few other items.


Eating mostly all natural foods has been a great help for my son and our family is eating much better...it's a win-win situation.



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