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Natural Remedies for Tourette’s Syndrome

Neurological disorders like Tourette’s Syndrome are becoming more commonplace in our society today because of poor diet and environmental toxins. A visitor has the following question:

I have 2 nephews that are showing signs of Tourettes. They are ages 11 and 4. They are very fussy eaters and have a very poor diet. Hot dogs, pizza, sugary snacks always. Eggos, no veggies and so on. What can I do to help them that is natural and I can do at home? ~ Jackie

Hi Jackie,

Although your willingness to help your nephews is commendable, unfortunately since you are their aunt and won’t be able to enforce the changes needed on a daily basis, you’re not likely to see improvements with any steps you may take. His family would have to make these changes and they would need to be permanent lifestyle changes. If your nephews are eating healthier at your house but going home to their junk food diet and toxins, then they won’t make progress. However, you could try and educate his family so they would be willing to make the necessary changes.

Tourette’s Syndrome, also known as Tourette’s Disorder is a neurological disorder, which means it originates in the brain and/or the nervous system. It is believed it may be caused by a malfunctioning in the way the brain uses its neurotransmitters, particularly dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, histamine, gaba and/or glutamate. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit information from one nerve cell to another and play a crucial role in learning, behavior, mood, memory, sleep, pain perception and sexual desire. It is the brain’s communication system. The unusual and uncontrollable sounds and movements that occur with Tourette’s are a clear indication that something in the brain is not functioning properly.

Imbalances and malfunctioning of neurotransmitters is extremely common in our society, although it is rarely heard about. When you hear someone saying that a health condition is caused by a “chemical imbalance,” what they are referring to are neurotransmitters. Not only are they connected to Tourettes, but they are also often at the root of depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, addiction, autism, chronic pain, fatigue, hyperactivity, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s eating disorders, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel, impulse control ,schizophrenia, aggression and many other conditions.

Although sometimes neurotransmitter abnormalities can be genetic and one may be born with them, they may also occur later in response to a variety of other situations. Other factors that alter, ramp us, inhibit, disrupt, or deplete neurotransmitters are a diet lacking in adequate animal protein, a diet high in sugar, white flour and other refined junk food, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and drugs, excessive ongoing stress, nutritional deficiencies or imbalances, Candida overgrowth, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) food allergies or sensitivities, child abuse and neglect, brain trauma like a concussion, and environmental toxins like pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals and other endocrine disruptors that are found in common everyday chemicals.

In traditional main stream medicine, they treat neurotransmitter issues with drugs, which only perpetuates the problem even more. In natural medicine, neurotransmitters are brought into balance with changes in diet and lifestyle and possible amino acid therapy combined with other essential nutrients needed to make them function properly and Tourette’s Syndrome has been treated successfully with this approach.

Amino acids are the building blocks for neurotransmitters and derived from the protein we eat. Most of society does not consume enough animal protein because they typically live on a junk food diet that is void of nutritional value, which is one of the biggest contributors to problems with neurotransmitters.

Steps to Restore Neurotransmitter Balance

The following steps have been found to be helpful not only for those with Tourette’s Syndrome, but anyone with a condition that is related to neurotransmitter imbalances or malfunctioning.

  • No sugar
  • No caffeine
  • No white flour or other refined foods
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • No grains and legumes
  • Identify and address food allergies and food sensitivities
  • Eat organic
  • Clean up the environment in your home. There is nothing more harmful to the human brain than pesticides and herbicides. Avoid pesticides and herbicidesReplace personal care products and cleaning supplies with environmentally friendly non-toxic product. No air fresheners, perfume or cologne.
  • Assess for heavy metal toxicity and address accordingly.
  • Identify nutritional deficiencies and replenish with supplementation and diet. On the other hand, sometimes it is an excess of a particular nutrient, like copper, that can be at the root of Tourette’s and other mental health disorders.
  • Nutritional supplementation including vitamin c, vitamin B, niacin, zinc, magnesium, vitamin E and selenium has been helpful for those with Tourette’s. Sometimes intravenous vitamin therapy is more effective. However, if possible, it’s always best to have testing for nutritional deficiencies or imbalances rather than random supplementation.
  • Identify hypoglycemia and eat a diet that addresses this issue.
  • Explore the possibility of Candida overgrowth and SIBO take the necessary steps to reduce.
  • The Paleolithic Diet.

It’s also important to note that not only with Tourette’s disorder but any health condition, there is not a one size fits all treatment approach, because we are all unique biochemically. What may be causing Tourette’s for one person may be different for another. For example, one child may have deficiencies in one particular amino acid or B vitamin while another child may have a deficiency in a handful of amino acids and B vitamins. One child may have a malfunctioning occurring in the inhibitory neurotransmitters, while another child may have a problem in the excitatory neurotransmitters.

There’s also a great book called, Is this your child, by Doris Rapp, it is written for children with ADHD, but since many of their symptoms overlap with someone who has Tourette’s Syndrome, most of what in this book would still apply to this situation. This may be a good first step that you could give to your nephew’s family to try and educate them.

Best
Cynthia

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Jeff January 16, 2010, 1:41 pm

    My 10 year old son has developed a bunch of tics and twitches and he has recently added spinning and sticking out his tongue and contorting his mouth when he is concentrating. He spends about 12 hours a week at the gym doing gymnastics (a true passion for him) and as he prepares to do an event he starts doing these many tics (he also does it throughout the day). Obviously exercise is not the issue, but he is a very picky eater. He does have ADHD which we haven’t medicated because he has been able to ‘contol’ it (we have two other children that have been using medication for ADD). We don’t want to medicate him (partly because of the high level gymnastics he is competing at) but are very interested in any sort of natural alternative. I was online and came across a book called ‘Stop your child’s tics today’ by Steve Driskill — have you heard of it at all?? My son has also been taking L-Tyrosine which has helped with his focus but does nothing for the tics.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Jeff

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins January 18, 2010, 6:25 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    I’m sorry I haven’t read the book you mention, so I can’t say anything about it one way or another.

    I would encourage you to investigate all the things I mention above, particularly getting sugar, refined foods and environmental toxins out of your child’s life. As well as candida overgrowth and food sensitivities.

    I would also read the book I suggest above by Doris Rapp and encourage you to find an alternative health doctor, which can be done at:

    Academy of Environmental Medicine
    http://www.aaemonline.org/
    American Holistic Medical Association
    http://www.holisticmedicine.org/
    American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
    http://www.naturopathic.org/
    Doctor of Orthomolecular of Medicine
    Orthomolecular.org

    My knowledge base on Tourettes is basic, you need an expert.

    All the best.
    Cynthia

  • Dr. Bruce Semon November 2, 2010, 9:13 pm

    I wanted to comment on Steve Driskill’s book:

    Unfortunately,Steve Driskill plagiarizes information from our website relating to Tourette’s Disorder, on his book pages 37-40. Mr. Driskill claims that you can’t find information on the internet. However, he takes these three pages directly from our website.

    Even more unfortunate, he changes a small amount of the information to correspond to his own theories. I write about Don, a child who improved significantly on an anti-yeast diet and nystatin. Mr. Driskill uses my words, except that he adds “magnesium rich foods” to the mix. That was not part of the study.

    I would beware of anyone who not only plagiarizes information, but changes medical information to suit his own theories.

    You can find the information on my website at http://www.nutritioninstitute.com/tourettesdisorder.html. You can compare it word for word with Driskill’s book.

    I am happy to assist anyone with Tourette’s or other disorders.

    Bruce Semon, M.D., Ph.D.
    http://www.nutritioninstitute.com
    1-877-332-7899
    Board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist
    Doctorate level nutritionist

  • christian witt-doerring November 8, 2010, 3:01 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    I have as well a son how showed very strong signs of Tourette. He is eight years old, very sporty but with no ADHD. I red as well the book stop tics now and started the treatment with magnes. Within two day we saw the first results, now after two month the motoric tics are more or less gone, only a kind of pressing some air up the throught is left from time to time. I fully agree to what is written in that book.

    best regards,
    Christian

  • Jim Valerio October 1, 2012, 3:41 am

    Dear Readers,

    I think the above reasons for T.S. are excellent. Diet & Enviornmental toxins are the reasons 99% of the time. If anybody reading this really understood just how horrific the S.A.D. really was, they would agree with me. Dr. Robert Marshall from Nurient Research or Dr. Medici both do QRA testing and are your best bet. All the best, Jim V. L.A.

  • Doug DeKruyter August 3, 2013, 11:01 am

    I am twenty years old and I have had tics and twitches as long as I can remember. My family didn’t know what Tourette’s was and they thought they were little habits I had. Since then we have done research. I have noticed that the tics get worse when I am either stressed or concentrating hard. Also, stress and lack of sleep play into it. I’ve never been too concerned about treating it until my eyes started twitching and it became dangerous to drive. I will be looking further into the treatments you suggest.

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins August 10, 2013, 2:11 pm

    Hi Doug,

    The most likely reason that your tics get worse when you are stressed or concentrating hard, is because they affect your brain and neurotransmitters.

    When we are under stress, we use up a whole lot of neurotransmitters, because they are needed to regulate the stress response system. Concentrating hard is a mild form of stress, and additionally, a lot of neurotransmitter activity is required for the thinking process.

    Best
    Cynthia

  • Betty November 30, 2013, 12:28 pm

    Hi! I have a daughter who has TS. It was in 2009 when she at 4 years old first had the blinking, spinning and twitching. I was pregnant then and working at the same time. I have taken my first born for granted and I always fed her with egg and milk as I had the morning sickness and my husband works abroad. Good thing I was able to read Mr. Steve Driskill’s e-book. I bought my daughter magnesium and let her eat green leafy veggies, after a week, the TS was gone. I am truly grateful to this man for sharing such information to the public.

    Sincerely,
    Betty

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