With changes in our environment, food and overall stress levels, it’s hard to say just how many kids are suffering from tic disorders.
But research is showing that one in every 360 children are experiencing some sort of vocal or physical tic. If symptoms last over a year, with tics and twitching waxing and waning but never truly leaving, a child can be diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome.
More on Tourette Syndrome
While the news focuses on the cursing side of Tourette Syndrome, it’s important to know that many kids have mild to moderate cases. This means that they do not shout out obscenities or have less than stellar lives. The condition is very manageable and has no bearing on a child’s future.
Whether your child suffers from tics, or has a diagnosis of T.S., all is not lost. There’s much you can do to alleviate your child’s symptoms naturally. Here’s how.
Five Ways to Alleviate Your Child’s Tics Naturally
- Magnesium: Kids who tic often suffer from magnesium deficiency. Consider giving your child a magnesium citrate pill. Depending on the size of your child, 250 – 500 milligrams can often greatly alleviate twitches and vocals. (Note: Don’t worry about overdoing it. The worst thing that can happen is a runny bowel movement or an upset stomach.)
- Epsom Salt Baths: Another way to infuse magnesium into your child’s body is through Epsom salt. Consider adding a few cups to his nightly bath routine or have him soak his feet in a cup of warm Epsom salt for twenty minutes. The magnesium will not only be absorbed body directly through his skin, but the water will soothe and calm him down. This is an excellent routine to do right before bed as it will help him fall asleep a bit more quickly. (Note: A good night’s sleep is essential in calming down a twitchy body.)
- NAC: Standing for N-Acetyl Cysteine, NAC is an amino acid that increases the level of glutathione in one’s brain and serves as an antioxidant. It’s had great results with kids who suffer from OCD and is showing promising results for those compelled to tic and twitch.
- Food Allergy Tests/Dairy/Gluten: While your child might not vomit the moment after he eats a bagel, it doesn’t mean his body can handle the gluten or dairy. Often times a build-up of harmful food can cause your child’s organs to become inflamed and then cause them to tic. Consider finding a local naturopath who can test your child for food allergies. NOTE: If you don’t want to spend the money on a food allergy test, you can also eliminate one offending food at a time and see what works. Keep a meticulous food log. Also be aware that tics come and go, so it can be difficult to gauge whether taking away dairy really eliminated that shoulder shrug or if it’s just the natural waxing and waning of the tics. It’s, for this reason, it’s highly recommended to find a practitioner near you who can guide you, as well as provide tests where appropriate.
- Eliminate Dyes: Food dyes can greatly excite the brain, causing everything from ADHD to tics. Consider eliminating anything whose color is not from nature. Here’s a more in-depth post I published about Artificial Food Coloring and Behavior.
What Not to Do If Your Child Tics
As hard as this advice is, it’s really important that you don’t point out your child’s tics to them. Either they don’t know that they’re doing it (in which case why make it a big deal?) or they are very aware of their movements/sounds and don’t need to be reminded of it. Tics are like itches – the more you think about not scratching, the more you want to do it. The less attention placed on their movements and noises the less stress they will feel. With stress being a big aggravator of tics, it’s best to stay as calm as possible. Not sure how? Read on!
Horizons Developmental Resource Center Can Help
Watching your child tic can feel overwhelming. Remember that you did not cause the condition, but there’s much you can do a little bit at a time. My clinic, Horizons Developmental Resource Center, has an excellent track record at helping parents get to the source of their child’s tic disorder. Contact my team today at www.HorizonsDRC.com!