Posts Tagged ‘books’

Ask Brad: What medications or alternative medicines should we take for Tourette Syndrome?

Monday, December 22nd, 2008
To med or not to med, that is the question?

To med or not to med, that is the question?

To med or not to med, that is the question?  And although you are looking for me to give you a quick fix answer, unfortunately I can’t.  In matter of fact, every person living with Tourette Syndrome reacts differently to the medications.  So it is hard for me to come right out and tell you a medication you should use.

But what I can say it that there are a lot of options.  Alternative natural approaches have proved to work for many people.  Things like staying away from artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrups, certain dye colors in food and much more could help you.  Or certain diets to have high fish oils or lots of protein could help.

Shelia Rogers wrote a book titled Natural Treatments for Tics and Tourettes which could be beneficial to read.

The main thing to remember is that there is not a cure for Tourette Syndrome.  The other important factor to consider are the side effects of medications.  A lot of people with TS also have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and the medication that helps one issue could make the other issues worse.  So I always say treat the issues which is the biggest problem at the time, then move on to the others.  Often times people say the OCD is worse than the ADHD and TS issues. Once again, it is different for different people at different times.

When we discuss medications, I STRONGLYsuggest speaking with a doctor first.  They have experience and know the potential side effects.  Some medications require EKG’s be done to track the heart while other medications may cause low blood pressure.  Please seek medical advice when it comes to medications.

You can check with your local Tourette Syndrome Association for a list of recommended doctors in your area who deal with Tourette’s.   There may also be some support groups where you can chat with other parents about what has worked for their children.

I’d also recommend the book Children with Tourette Syndrome: A Parents’ Guide.  This has much needed information which could help.

You should also remember that when it comes to Tourette’s little things could help ease the tics:

  1. Get a lot of sleep so you are relaxed the next day
  2. Have a healthy diet
  3. Listen to relaxing music on the way to school/work or even while you are at school/work
  4. Stay away from caffeine’s like soda, coffee and chocolates
  5. Make sure other people around you understand Tourette’s because when you know others know about your condition, it is less stressful for you
  6. Take frequent breaks and get up and walk around for a few minutes throughout the day
  7. Drink lots of water
  8. Know your schedule before you start the day
  9. Build up your confidence in whatever it is you are doing, it will create less stress
  10. Focus on your strengths and celebrate your successes with friends and family

These are just a few things I have seen work for me and others.  Can you think of other things to add to this list?

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"Brad Cohen is a walking billboard for the idea of living positively. He is like a cold drink on a hot day--refreshing, energizing, and likely to put a smile on your face."
Tim Shriver - Chairman of Special Olympics

"I have observed the magic of Brad Cohen in the classroom. He has turned Tourette Syndrome into an asset, and his life into inspiration."
Senator Johnny Isakson, Georgia

"Brad Cohen's story is a triumph of hope, determination, will and relentless good humor."
Peter J. Hollenbeck, Ph.D., Professor and
Associate Head of Biological Sciences,
Purdue University

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