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10/10/2009 02:58 PM

Other factors affect flare ups?

EthansMommy
EthansMommyPosts: 7
New Member

Hi everyone,

My son, Ethan, was diagnosed with Tourette's Spectrum Disorder a few weeks ago. He is seven years old.

The question I have is, can other factors/health issues cause tics to flare? I mean, my son has allergies. The first time I ever noticed him clear his throat was a few weeks ago when the neurologist asked if he did it frequently. I said no, as I only heard him do it when he was sick. Sooo...since then, he has been clearing his throat A LOT. It can be as much as 33 times in 3 minutes!

But we got a dog about the same time he was diagnosed with TS. We didn't think anything of this, nor did we think it was the reason behind his flare up of symptoms. However, his teacher says he's not doing it at school, and his dad told us he didn't clear his throat once all day, until the dogs came in for the night. Is it possible that an allergy to dogs is causing his vocal tics to be more pronounced?

Thanks for taking the time to read this. It ended up being longer than I had planned it to be. Wink

Post edited by: EthansMommy, at: 10/10/2009 03:00 PM

Post edited by: EthansMommy, at: 10/10/2009 03:02 PM

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10/10/2009 04:10 PM
Nevayda
 
Posts: 7692
Group Leader

Hi Ethansmommy,

My experience is that lots of things effect tics. My daughter had a coughing tic. So she would cough and when she was sick she would cough, tic, cough, tic, etc.

She also had allergies. I took her to an allergist to find out exactly what she was allergic to as the then pediatrician wanted to keep her on antibiotics all winter. Simple blood test was all there was to it.

She was allergic to dust mites, wheat, milk products, bluegrass, and developed an allergy to "cold."

Strong emotions will cause more ticcing. Stress of any kind will increase ticcing.

My daughter was able to hold in some of her tics at school, and then release all of that at home. A lot of ticcing.

Also, tourete waxes and wanes, so during a waxing time, there will be more symptoms.

I hope this is a help to you. We just had her tested again for allergies and discovered she has none now.


10/10/2009 05:00 PM
EthansMommy
EthansMommyPosts: 7
New Member

Thanks. It is nice to talk to someone who has been through it.

My son was tested for allergies when he was 4. He went to an allergy specialist and had a prick test done to his back, where they had to poke him and inject him with many different things to see what he would react to. He had a chart on his back with a bunch of little pin-pricks. Lucky for him, they had this device that allowed them to do all the pricks at once; I had to have the same test as a teenager, and they didn't have that device then, so I had to go through about 50 individual pricks on my back! Not fun.

Oh, and he is allergic to grass, weeds, molds, and has a slight aversion to wheat. They never mentioned animal dander, but I think he might have developed an allergy to it.

Yea, I think he might be holding them in more at school. We did ask him if he felt he was doing it at school too, and he said he was doing it there as much as at home, but I don't know if I can believe that, considering his teacher says she doesn't hear him do it.

Also, I plan on looking into a support group. I am not sure if there will be one locally, but I will see what I can find. Smile

Post edited by: EthansMommy, at: 10/10/2009 05:00 PM


10/10/2009 06:22 PM
Nevayda
 
Posts: 7692
Group Leader

You do need others to talk with. There is a lot of emotion involved when it's your child. Does he only have

the throat clearing tic right now?

I didn't get rid of any of our pets even tho she was allergic to dust. I felt the benefit of having a pet outweighed any discomfort from allergy. She had her own dog for 14 years who slept on her bed and who was her best friend.

We stayed in family counceling because she had to be able to cope with being among peers and having tics, social skill difficulties, etc.

And I tried to give her any educational opportunities outside of school with activities. We tried a lot of things until we found out what her interests were.

We're here for you anytime. Hugs to you.


10/12/2009 07:26 PM
EthansMommy
EthansMommyPosts: 7
New Member

At the moment it seems that his only tic is the throat clearing. He did have motor tics, where his eyes and head would jerk back. Every once in a while, before he clears his throat, he will turn his head to the side, then sniff, clear his throat, then kind of growl. However, the last few days have been much better overall. Smile

10/13/2009 05:31 AM
Nevayda
 
Posts: 7692
Group Leader

You are describing complex tics where there is a series of tics following one another. As he waxes and wanes, keep a record of what tics he has. I wrote them on the calendar. Waxing in ts can manifest other kinds of tics. The one consistant with ts is that it is not consistant. Enjoy the moments of quiet.

10/29/2009 08:12 PM
mamahanson
 
Posts: 20
New Member

Hi Ethansmommy,

My son was just diagnosed at 8 years old. I have noticed when he is nervous or upset his tics get worse. We just went through a very stressful day on Monday, and I noticed a big increase in tics today. So I wonder if there sometimes may be a delay in stress's effect on tics...or if this is just the unpredictability of the level of tics at any one time...but I'm still figuring all this out, too. I, too want to find a support group. I have been very emotionally affected when his tics increase. It breaks my heart that I can't help him and I think talking to others with tourettes experience would help. However, here in GA there aren't any near me, but maybe it's worth the trip! Take care!


10/30/2009 07:13 AM
Nevayda
 
Posts: 7692
Group Leader

Hi mamahanson. Stress and emotions definately increase ticcing. If I get upset it takes a day or two to calm. Kids are the same. I went on an anti depressant at the suggestion of her Pediatric Psychiatrist, as he felt it would help me in dealing with her and he believed in helping Moms as well as the child, and it did.

I did not feel the very strong emotions of helplessness and felt more in control as a parent. Since our children are keyed into us, their Mom, they react when we feel emotions.

I no longer felt like I was on an emotional rollar coaster with her. As she became calmer, I became calmer. It might be something to consider. One Dr. explained it his way. "As you get better, she gets better. As she gets better, you get better.


11/01/2009 08:38 PM
hlstrouse
hlstrouse  
Posts: 9
New Member

Hi to the group. I have been searching for a TS support group or hotline and not findig much luck. I did stumble onto this website and I thought I would take a shot at typing out some of my feelings. My son is 6.5 years old. When he was 2 he began itching the top of his legs often. Maybe two or three times a day. This went on for about three years. I took him to three differnt allergy specialists who all told me that he was allegric to nothing. Of course, I was convinced it was allergies and did not believe them.

Last spring my son had a full day episode of massive stomach contractions. After an evening in the ER, where the ER doctor could tell me absolutely Nothing, I decide to start doing some self diagnosing. WebMd can be a wonderful thing. Shortly following that night in the ER my son had two days of rapid eye blinking. Not all day, just for about 3 minutes each day. I determined that I thought he had TS. After meeting with a pediatric neurologist, he agreed that it is a mild case of adolescent TS. Since last spring we have had no episodes. Over the past two weeks, some tics have been coming out such as blowing a bit of air last week and now this week it has been constant sniffing.

It is so difficult for me to not tell him to stop, but I have read that drawing attention and telling them to try and supress and involuntary action only can cause more tics to form in there place. I am just upset everytime I see him doing it because I feel that I am causing it somehow. I hate to see my son struggle at all and it breaks my heart. I know it could be much worse and he could have some awful life threating disease, but it is still very upseting and no one really understands that I have spoken to. I am just looking for a way to help him deal with it and for me to deal with it as well. Thanks for reading...


11/06/2009 07:25 AM
CherrieAngel
CherrieAngel  
Posts: 1268
Senior Member

mamahanson & Ethansmommy

Yes stress can be a huge trigger for tics, and as I've found caffiene is bad too. When talking about caffiene, usually coffee is the first to come to mind but this also includes dark Colas (coke, pepsi) and chocolate. If I have more than one cup of coffee a day my tics get a lot worse so as much as I crave more I usually abstain because I hate my tics getting out of control.

Welcome to the group hlstrouse!

I know it's hard to hold back telling the child to stop, and your right it will make the tics worse. It's very stressful to hear your parent tell you to stop doing something you have no control over!! It's also depressing and can effect self esteem too.

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