Vitamins to reduce tics

Dana - posted on 10/28/2008 ( 18 moms have responded )

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Has anyone tried using a vitamin regimin to help reduce the tics? I'm considering this option instead of a prescription since the drugs doctors prescribe are used primarily for other conditions that my son doesn't even have.

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Dana - posted on 10/30/2008

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My son seems to be on a down swing with his tics. Thankfully they haven't been very bad this week. You wouldn't know there was anything different about him if you didn't know him. I can't seem to pinpoint anything that changes in his diet to make them fluctuate. Some weeks they are so bad that he complains. At one point he had a neck and head tic that gave him headaches everyday. When they get bad again I'm going to try the vitamins I read about online.

So what foods do you thing made it worse for your Jake? I wonder if milk does play a part. Matthew will only drink milk and the occasional apple juice.

Lisa - posted on 11/18/2008

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I give my son a multi-vitamin and Omega 3's (2) everyday. I also avoid processed foods, dyes, and sugary foods. This seems to help him. Also, he needs his sleep. If he does not get his sleep the tics get worse for him.

Ashley - posted on 10/28/2008

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I give my son his regular multi vitamin but he also gets what he calls his "fish eggs". It's Omega 3. I get it at Garner's Natural Market and it has helped. Not to mention it's good for his skin (he also suffers from ecsema especially in the winter).



I've taken him to a holistic doctor and he had me take my son off of wheat and dairy and gradually add it back in. I watched for the waxing and waning of tics but noticed when it was worse than other times depending on what he ate. He is 10 now and we've been going round and round with different doctors and behaviorists for about 5 years now. Jake is on prescription medication as well...which I have mixed feelings about. Sometimes I feel like it works and sometimes not.

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RaeJean - posted on 08/21/2013

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I just took my son in for tics. He has a mild case but the Dr told us he would start him on a vitamin regimen before considering any prescription medication. We take regular vitamins right now but am wondering also what regimen would help reduce the tics?

Kathy - posted on 01/16/2009

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Thanks, Julie, for your reply and sorry for my slow response. We've tried Tenex and Celexa. Risperdal has been considered and I can't remember if if I've discussed Focalin before. The Mayo is a possibility over a summer break, (We live in Texas.) Right now, my daughter and I are experimenting with caffeine. It seem to help her focus while at school, much in the same way the stimulate meds are suppose to. I let her have a Starbucks latte one morning and she noticed a positive difference in her early classes. I have an acquaintance whose ADHD high school son seemed to do very well with coffee in the morning and lunch. We'll see. I don't have high hopes.

Loretta - posted on 01/12/2009

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Cindy, thank you for that.  We are now having some focus problems at school.  Kyle is really smart, but focusing is hard.  I feel a struggle coming on with the school AGAIN!  So I'm gearing up for the fight.  I think I finally found the right dose of Melatonin, it has been working great.  Kyle is also better at communicating after taking meds so that has helped too.  Thanks for the encouragement and reminding me that I am his advocate.

Julie - posted on 01/06/2009

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We went to the Mayo in Rochester, MN. I don't know if you're close enough to go there, but if you seriously want, let me know and I'll email you the psychiatrist's and neurologist's names there.

Julie - posted on 01/06/2009

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Michael is on:

Risperdal 1 MG 2x/day (Tourette's)

Tenex 1MG in AM/2MG in PM (Tourette's)

Celexa 10 MG 1x/day (anxiety/depression)

Focalin XR 10 MG 1x/day in AM (ADHD)

Focalin 5 MG 1x/day after school (ADHD/bridge rebound from XR)



The Focalin does cause the tics to worsen somewhat, we've made the call (with Michael's input) that he needs them so he can function in school. However, we had him on Concerta for a very short while and THAT made it so bad we took him off, waited a week or so then tried the Focalin to see how that would go. He used to be on 20MG of Celexa, but his mood was so horrible we dropped it down just last week - apparently irritability is a potential side effect of it. I have to say so far his mood is significantly better, however, we could be going through a "good" cycle too. It's too soon to tell so we'll see.

Kathy - posted on 01/05/2009

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Hi, I'm new to this community. My 15 yr old daughter has OCD, ADHD, tics, and other issues. She is on prozac for the OCD and geodon for the tics. She has a severe sore picking problem that is associated with the tics. We have tied various meds for the ADD, but they always make the tics worse to the point she is having neck and wrist pain.She has sensory issues and getting her to take vitamins or restrict her diet is always a challenge, if not impossible. My point to all this is that the geodon seems to keep her tics under control (not gone), and it has helped with her previous sleep problems that she has had most of her life. I am however, looking for a small enough fish oil capsule that she might be willing to swallow. I have been reading a lot of good things about fish oil in this population. I see a pediatric psychiatrist, who I really like. Finding the the right meds and doctors has been a long tough journey. We are also working with a psychologist, which isn't going well at this time. I wasn't aware that TS worsened during the teen years, but can definitely see that in my daughter. After reading the Johnson's post, I'm wondering if I should look into the Mayo. Can you tell me what meds your son is on?

Julie - posted on 01/04/2009

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Replace "pediatric psychologist" with "pediatric psychiatrist" in my previous post. Just saw those mistakes. :)

Julie - posted on 01/04/2009

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My son was originally diagnosed with ADHD when he was about 7. At age 8 we switched from regular ritalin to concerta (time release) and within a week he had severe tics. For a couple of years we were told by his pediatric psychiatrist that the tics were a side effect and that was the best explanation we ever got from ANYONE till he was 14.



At about age 10 the diagnosis of Tourette's or "non-specific tic disorder" was applied - it flip-flopped depending upon who he saw. We disagreed because no one ever explained anything to us - just basically said it is what it is. At age 11 we took him off all medications for about 1-1/2 years and tried homeopathic - not good, but he did okay without the meds for a while. At age 13 we put him back on ADHD meds as he was not functioning well in school, he'd been recommended for a special program due to his behavior (which was hand-in-hand with the ADHD & TS) and the TS & ADHD were both causing frustration for him & teacher to the point he was rude & disrespectful (swearing at the teacher even) and getting kicked out of class regularly - and this was a special ed teacher at that time. At the rate he was going, we'd never get him back into the mainstream jr. high or high schools.



We'd been seeing a physician's assistant at the ped psych clinic (loved her!) but got beyond her depth and she recommended a new pediatric psychologist last January who asked us to go see a particular pediatric neurologist & pediatric psychologist at the Mayo Clinic for a full workup & recommendations. All three are awesome examples of what doctors should be and what they should do for their patients. We came away with an excellent understanding of Tourette's and it's relationship to Michael's ADHD, anxiety, etc.



Since then we still struggle, but understanding everything and actually getting answers when we don't has made a huge difference. The meds help, but he's in the worst of it right now and all three doctors say that they don't think increasing his meds will do much more good, they're afraid of more severe side effects with little benefit. They don't really want to experiment with new meds either as we've done a lot of that in the past.

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Loretta, don't underestimate a mothers intuition. If your Dr isn't going to be compationate to your family, you need to go elsewhere. It's realy important you and Kyle feel comfortable with your Dr if he is going to help you. This is the begining of a LONG FIGHT! Sorry to say, but you are most likely going to need to fight for you TS kids for as long as they need you... Every year at the begining of school, you will need to fight the school boards to fund teachers aids, keep them in regular classes, and adjusting meds with Dr's. A good Dr that works with you not against you is, well, priceless.... they will also help with the school troubles if he cares. Take your time picking the right Dr for your boy. (sorry if I ramble..I get a bit crazy on the subject!!)

Loretta - posted on 12/31/2008

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Julie, how old was your son when he was diagnosed, and when did he start meds? My husband and I are trying our hardest to put meds off since we have heard that Tourette's is worse during the teen years. Meds concern me because of the side effects. My son's neurologist told us six months after my son's diagnosis that if we weren't going to give him meds then there was nothing more he could do for us. I felt a little abandoned, it just felt so soon for the doctor to tell us that. Kyle does well with a neuro psychologist for now. Just curious as to your journey so far.

Julie - posted on 12/09/2008

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Ashley, our pediatric neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in MN who specializes in Tourette's said that typically from about ages 14-18 Tourette's is at it's worst. After age 18 about 1/3 of Tourette's sufferers continue at the high level of tics, about 1/3 end up with no or very, very few tics at all and the remaining 1/3 are somewhere in the middle.



My son is 15 and it is constant tics no matter what. The neurologist & psychiatrist have said we can up the risperdal, but they don't hold out a lot of hope that it'll help much compared to the possible side effects a higher dosage could bring. We've left it alone. We also have him on Tenex which helps, one thing it really helps with is to go to sleep at night otherwise he's awake till 1-2 am, he just can't fall asleep - I assume it's the motor tics waking him up whenever he drifts off. We also have him on Focalin for ADHD - we have no choice, he cannot cope with the ADHD AND the Tourette's tics in school - he understands the Tourette's and very rationally and calmly explains what it is and why he can't control it to people who comment or make fun of him, but he himself has said that he can't focus without the Focalin and won't be able to go to college if he can't focus.



Then there's the behavior and emotional issues he has (not at school thank goodness, just at home so far).... That's a whole book in itself and we are really struggling with it.

Ashley - posted on 11/21/2008

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Jake has symptoms of OCD and ADHD/ADD. You can't treat the ADHD/ADD without making the tics worse so you have to treat the tics and hope that the ADHD symptoms subside. The OCD kicks in because if we deviate from our "normal" routine it throws him off. He'll ask 9,000 questions about why we're doing it another way.

Dana - posted on 11/20/2008

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I was also told that it is hereditary. It wasn't until after Matthew was diagnosed that I found out that my husbands uncle has it. We never knew because it was so mild we thought that was "just Uncle Joey". He does bird calls/whistles. That's his way of releasing. I also read that Tourette's is in the same part of the brain as OCD and ADD/ADHD.

Ashley - posted on 11/10/2008

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I'm so sorry it's taken me forever to reply.

If Matthew will only drink milk, try a soy or organic milk. Jake really likes the chocolate Horizon organic milk boxes. (like a juice box, but it's milk)

The more "natural" foods that Jake eats, the better he is. If he gets plenty of protein, not too much sugar or processed foods, he does good. Red dye in drinks or jello or cake icing makes him run about 90 miles a minute.

It was amazing to me how removing bread and dairy for two weeks made a difference in him. I don't know if it was because he was having digestive issues and removing those things got rid of all the air in his stomach and THAT helped him to concentrate or what, but I definitely saw a difference.

I've also noticed that he needs lots of sleep. My coworkers think I'm mean because I make him go to bed at 8 and he's almost in middle school. But his little body just requires alot of sleep. The one thing I have learned in the last 5 years is the tics will wax and wane. Everything I've read and the doctors I've talked to have said that at about 12 years old they will really die down until he's around 15 or 16. They will resurface and then disappear again at about 18. The thing that baffles me is everyone tells me it's hereditary. No one in my family has it. I don't know about his biological father's side, but his father didn't have it. However, I've read that some doctors and scientists think there is a link between TS and strep. And all I know is that Jake didn't start ticking until he was 5 and had gotten over strep throat. Coincidence?

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