Turning Back the Clock on our Daughter’s Diet: Our Answer for Tics, OCD, and Mood Swings
A LETTER FROM TRACY’S MOTHER
When our daughter, Tracy, was exhibiting complex tics at age seven, our neurologist identified the problem immediately as Tourette Syndrome—which we had already done on our own—and sent us on our way. We were provided with no support or any ideas of what to do other than implement antidepressants if her obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms increased in severity.
We independently started play therapy and acupuncture for her. Both helped Tracy cope with the tics but did not reduce the symptoms themselves. Acupuncture gave her short-term relief; we found she was calmer after a session. Yet her tics affected everything, and she was terribly unhappy. In fact this past January and February her mood extremes were so bad, we thought antidepressants might have to be the answer.
I had read articles online from your ACN Latitudes publications regarding food and chemical impacts on tics, but felt overwhelmed by the information and also felt we were already feeding her properly. However, we went to a naturopath in April (at the recommendation of the acupuncturist) who helped change everything!
He was realistic and practical but insisted that we add a large amount of fats to her diet including cod liver oil every night, “pure” butter from grass-fed cows, chicken skin, and more. We eliminated all artificial coloring and sweeteners from her diet as well as products with high fructose corn syrup. Basically we tried to take her back to what kids would have eaten 100 years ago. Within two weeks, her tics radically diminished and, more importantly, her mood swings stopped.
We’ve been waiting for the swing back to ticcing and OCD behaviors, the “waxing and waning” the medical profession warns about, but the symptoms only show themselves – and on a much more limited basis – when Tracy is very fatigued and under great stress or has eaten junk food! (Coke, never in our household but in many other homes, really sets her off.)
How more clear can it be? Now when I read the articles in your publication, I understand them. It is incredible to me that these changes are treated as anecdotal blips. I’m hoping we can impact the medical profession enough to have a “serious” study done so that more people can be helped. I understand that each person suffering from this is different and our child wants to be free of all symptoms, but nonetheless the changes we’ve experienced in the last several months cannot be ignored.
I have a daughter who is now 13 and was seen by a wide variety of specialists when she was younger.
The only “formal” diagnosis we have is “complex developmental delay”
I am wondering if your daughter had multiple tests done, including organic acids , heavy metals, food sensitivities etc? We’re you able to get these results with the first and only naturopath?
Thanks for any time and information you can share,
We have seen a great improvement in tics with avoiding artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, bleached flour and switching to filtered water (Aquafina). We also notice immediate improvements after eating meat and eggs. There is a definite correlation between eating these foods and tics (in our case). This correlation is so much so that it should not be ignored. I am certain there will be medical break-throughs confirming this that will lead to an answer to TS. Note: We have been carefully observing these correlations for over a year now. My hope is to not only help others experiencing tics, but for someone in the medical field to see this and research this correlation. There seems to be a problem with metabolizing and protein/something found in meat/eggs help.
Hi Lisa, I’m so glad you have found an answer that works in your case. Diet can be such a big factor. I don’t know what the connection could be with improved symptoms after eggs and meat (organic, as you mentioned in a comment on another article). Everyone is so different. For some, eggs set off a huge reaction and need to be avoided. But that is very interesting in your case. Do you think it is an issue of higher protein? Or do you think it could be related to cholesterol? Dr. William Shaw of Great Plains Laboratory has done interesting work on cholesterol and the brain. Please see this article http://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/home/eng/brochures/Cholesterol%20Deficiency%20in%20Chronic%20Disorders.pdf Let us know if you have any other thoughts on this, OK? And great that you are avoiding artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, bleached flour, and are using filtered water. All so important! Wishing you continued success with your efforts.
Another thing that makes tics severe is caffeine. Avoiding caffeine helps with the severity of my tics.
Thank you, Julia. That’s good advice. I’ve always been amazed that most doctors don’t even tell tic patients to avoid caffeine or at least to watch for reactions, when it makes so much sense!
I am 31 years old and the first time my tics started was when I was 12 years old, I started with involuntary facial movements, lifting my nose, shrugging shoulders and moved my mouth to the side, I didn’t know what it was, in my country parents think it was attention seeker and they never took me to a doctor to check me up.
I started to notice more in Seventh grade because a classmate began to mimicked when I ticked and then once my father saw me lifting my nose and he was shouting why I was doing that, I told him I didn’t know why, I just did it, many times I did it secretly but that moment I was so nervous; I didn’t realize I was doing it infront of another person because the presence of my father made me nervous since I was little, then I continued with my life without a diagnosis but having tics was painful, uncomfortable and it was a constant pain in my life, doing tics was like running in a race without stopping , it left me feeling tired, then I had mood swings, behavior issues, I couldn’t have normal social life, I was afraid to be with around other people, every time I wanted to go to a teacher, I was afraid to go to them and I thought a thousand times before entering a place.
At 25 years old, I used to forget everything, my fingers used to shake so much. It was bad! I didn’t have health insurance to know what I had but I kept trying and applied for health insurance, until they approved it and that’s when I took the opportunity to go to a doctor because the tics were getting worse as I got older, when I have tics is like my nerves are being pulled inside on the left and right side it’s like when you’re pulling a thread that’s how I feel when I make the tics with my mouth and shrugging shoulder.
I started seeing a neurologist and this neurologist sent me to do studies; An electroencephalogram (EEG), MRI in the brain and spine, everything was fine and clean, the neurologist told me that what I have is called Tic disorder, Tourette Syndrome; she sent me to do Habit Reversal Training, but the therapist where I went didn’t know about Tourette and they treat me for anxiety, but I think it help a little bit because my therapist gave me strategies to help with Tics and the psychiatrist prescribe me Clonazepam, and my fingers are not shaking like before, but the tics are still constant every day. Today I went to my neurologist to look for other alternatives and let’s see what happens.
I am going to start watching my diet and watch the food I eat, the environmental atmosphere around me and see what happen with that too.