I am 49 and live in Germany. My Tourette syndrome started when I was 12 years old, with eye-blinking and shaking my head. It was terrible and I had difficulty concentrating at school.
Four years later, painful spasms in the upper arms appeared along with some vocal tics. Over the following years I had many ups and downs, sometimes there were more motor (muscle) tics and sometimes more vocal tics. I tried many medications like Risperdal, Orap, Haldol, Zyprexa, Tiapridex (neuroleptic), Zeldox (antipsychotic), Solian (atypical antipsychotic), etc. Nothing helped me, and after many years I stopped all medication and started to live my life without it. Homeopathy, hypnosis, and some other natural methods helped only a little bit, and just for a couple of weeks. They didn’t change the condition of my Tourette’s.
In 1985 I came in contact with an elderly physician, and after many tests she advised me to try a vegan and yeast-free diet. It was very hard for me, because I loved diary products, fish, and sometimes meat. After a long process, I noticed that the advice of this doctor was the best I ever experienced regarding my TS and my search for help. This special diet reduced the painful convulsions in the upper arms almost completely, and the motor tics were reduced more than 50%. The abandonment of yeast (baker’s yeast in bread, etc.) stopped the inner restlessness in my muscles.
I am also avoiding artificial food and flavorings as much as I can. I have a particular problem with monosodium glutamate (MSG) in Chinese and other food. It worsens my motor tics and leads to more spasms in the range of shoulder, neck and upper arms.
In my country, the neuro-scientists are not interested in researching the connection between Tourette’s and our daily food!
Editor’s note: Hermann Krämer is responsible for the website for Tourette Syndrome Association in Germany www.tourette-gesellschaft.de.