Motor tics and diet: Is there a connection? I believe there is. A healthy organic diet can help you alleviate tic triggers. Tics can be caused by many things. The environment, attacks on your immune system, and heredity can all play a part. When your central nervous system is not working the wrong food can trigger tics. Over the years we’ve had many readers visit Healthy Family with questions about motor tics and diet, especially nutrient deficiencies. I’ve seen a lot of connections between the severity of motor tics and diet choices in my own family since 2007. That’s when our experience with tics began.
I have four kids, as most of you know. Two of them began ticcing within days of their preschool vaccines, one in 2006 and the other in 2009. What did we do to get back to a healthy family? We completely changed the way we eat. To date there hasn’t been a formal study on motor tics and diet. But I’ve recently been in contact with Dr. William Walsh of the Walsh Research Institute in Illinois and Dr. Albert Mensah of Mensah Medical in Warrenville, Illinois. Food might not be a trigger for you or your child. But then your situation may be exactly like ours.
Motor Tics and Diet: Is the Immune System Under Attack?
Many families who have a loved one with chronic motor tics have noticed this phenomena; there is a slight increase in ticcing just before an infection (cold, flu, strep, etc…). Then immediately after the body has fought the infection there is a long period of time without any ticcing at all.
Tics and Strep or Other Bacterial Infections
In many cases, a round of antibiotics might lessen symptoms of motor tics in children. There is a controversial condition called PANDAS or PITAND that causes motor tics and other behavioral and physical symptoms, most commonly OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Patients diagnosed with PANDAS or PITAND will improve with the use of antibiotic drugs. Antibiotics kill bacteria but they also weaken the immune system, leading to more infections. New studies are finding that repeated use of antibiotics are linked to higher chances of getting cancer, too. There are many different treatments for this condition, and patients need to be under careful monitoring of a knowledgeable doctor. If you think your child has more severe symptoms and might have this condition, please visit ACN Latitudes PANDAS forum board for the latest information.
Tics Caused by Over Use of Antibiotics and Fungal Infections
If you have a child whose tics have gotten worse while on antibiotics then you may be dealing with a fungal infection rather than a bacterial one. Antibiotics are a fungus and they are great for killing bacteria. The problem with antibiotics is that they kill all the bacteria in your body. Our bodies need good bacteria to help us digest our food and get rid of waste properly. In some cases children who have been prescribed too many antibiotics repeatedly may develop tics. This was the case with our son. An anti-fungal diet with vitamin and mineral supplements and good probiotics was necessary to help our son improve and recover.
Figuring out Your Child’s Tic Triggers
Are you looking for a connection between motor tics and diet in your child? Each and every child has tics for various reasons. It is up to the parent to discover possible triggers by just observing that child.
If you have a child with mild occasional ticcing (also called transient tics), take note of a few things. Foods, medicines, season, activities, and the environment can all contribute to ticcing. Over time you may start to see a pattern and this may help you learn what triggers your child. You may also find a connection between your child’s motor tics and diet habits.
Motor Tics and Diet: What are the Most Common Triggers?
Foods that cause inflammation are the most common offenders. According to Dr. Albert Mensah of Mensah Medical in Warrenville, IL, our modern ‘super clean living’ lifestyle is causing inflammatory problems. He explained this in a phone interview with Healthy Family. Bad parasites and lack of good parasites can be doing harm to our bodies. He says our bodies were designed to function with good parasites in them to help with certain processes. Poor diet choices over a long period of time may lead to yeast problems and leaky gut.
Dr. Albert Mensah explains: “Unknown hidden yeast creates inflammatory conditions and malabsorption of nutrients.”
Dr. Mensah simply means that foods which were once okay to eat can become a trigger for tics when the body stops working properly. This is why some see a connection between motor tics and diet. This is because without proper absorption of nutrients our central nervous system can no longer work right. Our central nervous system is the part of the body that fires off all the nerves used to communicate messages to our organs. When they stop sending the right message our organs stop doing what they are supposed to. Then bad bacteria or yeast can move in and make things worse.
If you don’t get proper nutrients to feed your nerves they don’t function right.
Mild transient tics can go away on their own. But if you see them getting continually worse over time you may need to find a doctor that can help you heal your chemical imbalance and get you on the right track. Some families are prone to these kinds of conditions. It’s a genetic thing. Is ADHD, autism, OCD, and other conditions like these in your family? You may want to see a doctor about getting tested for vitamin and mineral deficiencies. If you’ve got some this may mean there’s a condition that causes a chemical imbalance that runs in your family. The best way to fix this is to see a doctor who specializes in biochemical imbalances.
Why Transient Tics turn into Chronic Multifocal Tics and More
When your nervous system doesn’t make correct chemical reactions you start getting weird symptoms. Eventually your organs stop functioning properly. Now you have a chronic condition. Foods that cause inflammation start to cause weird symptoms in your body. This is why we see symptoms between motor tics and diet in many kids. In the case of kids with tics, this is most often seen with milk and dairy products.
Motor Tics and Diet: Top 10 Tic Triggers
- Wheat (Includes Bread, Pasta, Flours, Pancakes, Crackers, and Cereals).
- Soy (This is always genetically engineered food in U.S. unless organic or labeled GMO free).
- Yeast (In many foods, canned products, frozen foods, and of course bread).
- Processed Junk Foods
- Artificial Colors, Flavors, and Preservatives
- High Fructose Corn Syrup and Corn Syrup
- Monosodium Glutamate (a flavor enhancer found in processed foods, take out foods, pizzas, and flavored chips).
I hope this information about motor tics and diet has been helpful to you. If you have a child with mild symptoms please don’t be overwhelmed. Just simply avoiding the above triggers may help you tremendously. Just be aware that symptoms can worsen if you are not careful. If they do, don’t worry. There are natural biochemical treatments available to help you and your child. This is the route we took with our child, and we found tremendous success.
If this is not enough, you may want to see a doctor who specializes in biochemistry and healing the body naturally through nutrient testing and therapy. Healthy Family readers should check out Dr. Albert Mensah MD and Dr. Judith Bowman MD at their Mensah Medical Practice. Patients from all over the world that are looking for a holistic approach to treating autism, anxiety, depression, ADHD, eating disorders, pyrrole disorder, Alzheimer’s disease or mental illness travel to Mensah Medical at their Main Clinic near Chicago, and at their U.S. Outreach Clinics in Arizona, California and Maryland.
If you are a physician or you have a favorite doctor, consider purchasing Dr. William Walsh’s book, Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain.