Updated: Select Letters from Readers
I questioned our son’s neurologist about possible causes for the onset of tics, but he dismissed allergies completely. The tics coincided with Halloween and overeating of chocolate and other candies with artificial dyes and flavorings. I suspect a combination of allergens led to the exacerbation of his tics.
He is highly allergic to Vaseline Lip Therapy, but he is not allergic to plain Vaseline. Ken has had skin rashes in the past and seems to have difficulty ridding the body of fat-soluble allergens. The information you provided has convinced us to have him tested by a qualified allergy clinic, even if our HMO doesn’t pay. As a biochemist, my “gut” reaction is to find the cause rather than add new chemical allergens to his body.
From the editor: Vaseline Lip Therapy products: Original and Cocoa Butter Lip Therapies use Yellow 5 Lake coloring; The Rosy one has Red 30 Lake; Advanced Lip Therapy has fragrance added
We have started alternative therapies for our son with TS, age 6. We have gotten as far as eliminating foods he is allergic to and are seeing remarkable results. He is almost never aggressive (previously, he required 100% supervision when with other kids) and has fewer and shorter tantrums. He still takes Risperdal and Buspar for his tics and anxiety, but if he misses a dose, he no longer goes berserk.
For six months my son’s behavior was quite abnormal. He began to exhibit echo speech and had a tic where he brushed his hand across his forehead. He has also been mildly hyperactive. (He has had a milk intolerance for about two years, but eliminating foods was not the answer.)
After reading that vitamin B6 can quiet nervous activity, I started him on 100 mg daily. His behavior and cooperation have been fantastic compared to before the vitamin. If I don’t give it for a few days, I can see the difference: he really gets wound up. He also had a habit of making circles as he walked; this has disappeared. Has any research been done on the effects of this vitamin and Tourette syndrome?
Editor: Unfortunately, nutritional therapy has not yet been studied for Tourette syndrome. B6 (pyridoxine) has proven helpful for many autistic individuals. Also, some studies have supported the use of B6 supplementation for ADHD when blood serotonin levels were low. (New England Journal of Medicine 309(21): 1328–29, 1983); Biological Psychiatry 12(5): 741–51, 1979; Pediatrics 55:437–41, 1975.)
I have been reading your articles on Latitudes.org for years. I find a balanced approach can help us find answers for our children. In our case, homeopathy and traditional medicine worked well in tandem. We could not have moved forward without both in place. It takes a great deal of searching to understand the impact of environmental factors. So while you’re searching for answers, as parents you can maintain some sense of normalcy by placing children on mild traditional meds.
Our family had a head start in dealing with these approaches since my mom and aunt suffered greatly from allergies and candida (a systemic yeast overgrowth). I was trained to eat right and monitor stress and exercise.
There are so many aspects to maintaining homeostasis for our children. It can be arduous and some feel they are too weak to handle it. There have been times I’ve doubted myself as well. They need cheerleaders helping them find the cures, the funding, the way.
I know that symptoms of Tourette syndrome, Asperger’s, and autism can be remediated, especially with monitoring food intake and environmental exposures. We’ve done it. It’s never over—but it is manageable. We are so grateful for your work!
I applaud your efforts in educating the public about treatments for nervous disorders that do not involve toxic and suppressive drugs. While I was serving in the Portland Naturopathic Clinic in Oregon, we saw a twelve-year-old boy whose parents had given up his medical treatment in favor of an alternative approach. His prior treatment had consisted of Clonidine, which had certainly suppressed his outbursts, but had, in the words of his father, “turned him into a zombie.”
The clinicians recommended that he be taken off sugar and ordered a hair analysis to determine mineral balance. His hair was found to have high levels of both copper and cadmium. Select vitamin, mineral and chelating amino acid supplements were prescribed. One year later the patient was still in treatment, but he now had only a slight facial tic instead of the “72 outbursts in 50 minutes” that his teachers had recorded. —William L. Cotie, ND