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Old 10-21-2006, 01:51 PM #1
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Lightbulb Tics and Triggers

Hi
over the 7 years since realising my son has Tourette Syndrome, we have also come to understand that, whereas genetic TS waxes and wanes characteristically and sometimes without any obvious indication of why....yet, there are certain things that, without fail, will trigger a waxing phase of tics for my son

a few years ago, Sheila Rogers at Latitudes/ACN did a survey on Tic Triggers which, although not a scientific study, yielded some very interesting results

I thought it may be interesting to open up a discussion here on this subject

here is a link to the article written by Ms Rogers
http://www.latitudes.org/articles/finding_triggers.htm

For my son, his biggest tic triggers are stress, illness, teeth issues, chemicals (chlorine, artificial air fresheners,pesticides,perfume, strong smelling household cleaners, fresh paint, new carpets=formaldehyde etc), artificial colouring(especially the reds), MSG, becoming overheated. He also reacts to artificial sweeteners(aspartame/Nutrasweet and sucralose/Splenda, and also to high fructose corn syrup. There are others that we have noticed too
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Old 10-22-2006, 03:06 PM #2
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Hard subject for me to post about really, because as everyone probably knows by now, I don't necessarily see tics as being the result of only negative influences. My son always ticced more when he was relaxed, in a safe and comfortable environment. Most of what I've read about over the years relating to tic triggers tends to focus on negative effects, whereas I know that being excited and happy and relaxed or dancing can illicit more tics.

My son did have what was called a "plateau" with his tics for a few years, where they stayed pretty stable at the waxing end of the scale, rather than the typical waxing and waning cycle. In hindsight I believe that had more to do with his other conditions compounding his level of tics.

Now, pain. That's always a trigger for more tics. The vicious cycle of a tic causing pain and setting of more tics and causing more pain etc.. Cold or viral infections that caused runny eyes, or a cold in the nose... things like that set of more tics in those particular areas in both my children. Twisted ankles... arrggggggggh.
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Old 10-22-2006, 07:46 PM #3
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Red 40..... oh man..... that one is a bad trigger for Scott. Lara, i find it interesting that relaxation causes tics for your kids. One of Scotts peak time of ticcing is right before he goes to bed. When hes trying to relax and fall asleep. The dr wanted to put him on something to make him go to sleep, but Scott didn't want to go on another medication and i respect that. I've noticed when hes reading he does stuff he doenst even realize hes doing. I copied the article and put it in my files. Thanks for the info Chemar
vicky
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Old 10-22-2006, 07:48 PM #4
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Hi Lara

yes, you are right that the trigger aspect often is viewed with negativity, when excitement and happy anticipation etc can also bring on an increase of tics!

interestingly, although many people do find they have a photosensitive tic trigger, my son hardly tics at all when he is absorbed in a video or computer game, yet going to the cinema is a big tic trigger for him..........but he really loves movies and going with his friends and so that is one trigger we just let be. He has learned to supress the vocals while at the movies but sure lets them out here afterward! :

in our family, we are very accepting of the tics (husband and son have TS) and we sure dont obsess about trying to stop them. However, some of the known tic triggers can make my son's tics become injurious or debilitating, and so my focus on avoiding those as much as possible is more protective rather than obsessive

I have actually just linked to your It's OK to Tic post here on the Latitudes Forum in the hope of helping a very worried mom get a fresh perspective.
i know when I first read it back on the old MGH board, it sure helped me
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Last edited by Chemar; 10-22-2006 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 10-28-2006, 11:07 AM #5
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Can you say "STRESS!"

Here that is the MAJOR trigger! Something as small as being in trouble for not doing a chore can set my son's facial tics off.

As for my daughter, being without her ADD meds sets her off vocally (grunts) due to the stress of trying to control her voice volume. It does sound strange that NOT taking stimulants will increase tics, but it is on account of the stress!

Oh and I nearly forgot- my son tics ALOT less when he's had an hour or so of activity- wrestling practice, basketball or the dog outside. All that reduces the stress!
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Old 11-09-2006, 01:22 PM #6
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Foods with a higher acidity level - peppers, citrus fruits (including juices) and tomatoes... especially tomatoes, all seem to intensify my tics, especially for the first few hours after ingesting them.

Certain sounds - alarm clock beeping, fire engine/police/ambulance sirens, someone scratching dry skin will set off lots of facial and eye tics for me as well as certain vocal beeping

tags on clothes, and the toe line on socks (thankfully lots of clothes now have the label just printed on the clothing)

Being in a place where i know you are supposed to be quite (movie theatres, musuems, church, my univ classes)
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Old 12-03-2006, 11:01 AM #7
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i think i have touretts because i tic quiet alot, i swear by accident and i get angry really easy can someone help ne with this
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:58 PM #8
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Hi Luke.
I'm not sure how old you are, but am thinking it would be good idea to talk to your mum or dad if you are concerned. How long have you had these tics?
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Old 12-03-2006, 02:57 PM #9
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Hi Luke and welcome

has a doctor ever diagnosed you with Tourette Syndrome, or do you have any family members who do have it?

There are other tic disorders that may not be TS, and so it is a good idea to have a clear diagnosis before beginning any form of treatment

if you read through the list of things that others have reported as tic triggers for them, you may find things that affect you too
here is the link again
http://www.latitudes.org/articles/finding_triggers.htm

there are both natural and pharmaceutical ways that one can try to minimise the impact of severe tics and other TS symptoms, but until you have a clear diagnosis, it is best to just try to eat healthily, avoid artificial coloring and artificial sweeteners, MSG etc and try to keep yourself as unstressed as possible.

My son and husband both have TS and have found that the natural forms of treatment work best for them

Let us know if you have any specific questions and we can try to answer them for you
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Old 12-05-2006, 11:19 AM #10
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hi im 15 but i say im 16 because my birthday is only a week and a half lol any way i will tell you what i do i swear when i dont mean to i find it really hard to consantrate {especially at school} lol my jaw tics quiet alot and i get angry quiet easaly and it is so hard not to get streesed out at school the teachers are so annoying lol

Last edited by luke; 12-05-2006 at 11:24 AM.
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