Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tourette's Syndrome and the Candida Diet

A friend has been struggling with her son's sudden increase in tic symptoms and other side effects of Tourette's Syndrome. She's been to doctors, therapists, acupuncturists, alternative med places and is currently doing hair analysis to find help for her teenage son. Medical personel just don't seem to know much about Tourette's and she's getting more and more frustrated, plus getting extremely tired of educating people on the problem that she is seeking a solution for. Although we've been friends for years, she didn't know I've had candida for the past 2 1/2 years and I didn't know that her son's had Tourette's for 2 years ... we've kept our skeletons well hidden. But because of a posting on the health problems related to soy products, we opened the closet doors and the bones fell out.

Research on Tourette's Disease and Outcome

I didn't know hardly anything about Tourette's previously so spent a few hours looking at various sights and how the disease could be treated holistically. Well, not really to my surprise, Tourette's Syndrome (TS) is thought by some doctors to be a result of a yeast overgrowth, much like candida, and should be treated with the powerful and very body-compromising statin, Nystatin, also the principle drug for treating candida. This didn't really surprise me as I've discovered that most, perhaps all, autoimmune diseases are the result of bad bacteria in the body, just different kinds of bacteria in different locations. TS, according to many other web sites is also very related to the neurological disease Parkinson's (PD), which my dad has. The basal ganglia in the brain is the control center for most of the body and where both TS and PD originate in symptom. And then other but fewer sites relate TS to epilepsy based on where the tics are originating - in the brain - but then the neurological tremors are originating in the brain from PD people too. Does epilepsy also originate within the basal ganglia? It wouldn't surprise me.

As for nutrition, TS results in vitamin B deficiencies, magnesium (and perhaps potassium) deficiency, as well as abnormalities in the neurotransmitters dopamin and serotonin and norepinephrine (similar to PD). Therefore, B vitamins are essential for helping to rebuild the nerves, foods promoting the increase of the electrolytes magnesium and potassium are necessary, and then of course amino acids - the building blocks for neurotransmitters in the brains - are a must.

Looking for a Diet for Tourette's

Anyway, my friend is looking for a diet or at least diet ideas to ease her son's increasing discomfort. I was able to gather three dietary suggestions from the many, many web sites I looked through - over 30 sites! The suggestions were to follow a modified Atkin's diet, follow a ketogenic diet (needs medical supervision), and the implied suggestion of following a candida diet. By implied I mean that the site suggested that TS was the outcome of yeast overgrowth (candida) and to treat with Nystatin. Well, no one can hope to be successful in treating yeast overgrowth if some effort with diet isn't made, and for that reason, an implied diet could be said to be suggested. However, I want to add that if the site had explicitly said to follow a candida diet, the reader would still be very much in the dark as there are so many candida diets on the web and they confusingly contradict each other as to what is beneficial. If I followed 95% of those diets, I would revert to my former very sick self. I've come to realize that the majority of those candida diets on the web are for the mildest cases of candida, not the kind that chokes the body with yeast (mold) to the point that the organs are suffocated and are slowly shut down.

Since three diet ideas have been suggested, finding out how to build a diet for Tourette's is the next task. For starters, I recommended taking a look at Parkinson's Disease and the Candida Diet and then adding to the diet from there.

Other off-the-top-of-my-head suggestions are:

Cleaned walnuts and almonds (powerful Omega-3 and calcium, respectively) - avoid other nuts for now, esp the very moldy peanuts and pistachios; cleaning gets rid of the mold and dust causing allergens. If no dehydrator, then just soak the walnuts 1 hour before eating and almonds 8 hours, pour off the polluted water and the nuts will be much cleaner!

Flaxseed oil (2-3 tsp oil is better than 2 capsules) - take in the a.m. with 8 oz of water upon waking. First drink the water then sip the oil. The oil will lubricate and actually fight against the bad bacteria as it descends down the GI track and into the stomach. Wait at least 15 min before eating, 30 min is best. (This is based on naturopath's belief that 70+% of diseases start in the GI track.)

Evening primrose oil capsule - 1300mg - take one with a tall glass of water before going to bed. This fights inflammation which is often worse at night.

Hawaiian spirulina - take 1-2 teaspoons in a glass of water between meals, once or twice a day. This has very high vit A, B12, magnesium and other trace minerals. It's also a complete protein - amount depends on the product.

Bee pollen (granules) - must be organic. This is extremely high in vitamin Bs. I'm a little hesitant to take it myself b/c it has 2g sugar and my candida-infested system can't process sugars. My cat, on the other hand, has been simulaneously sick with me (am sure it's our heavily chlorinated water). She's had some severe neurological symptoms - obvious neuropathies - and once I started pumping bee pollen and other herbs in her system, she drastically improved! One caution of this - this is a bee product and some people have severe reactions, so before taking the label suggested amount of 1 teaspoon, a person should put a few granules under the tongue and wait; if no reaction, repeat with a larger amount later; repeat again with a larger amount, and then the person should be good to go. The person can then build up to the suggested 1 teaspoon a day.

Coconut oil, organic and cold-pressed - Can be taken much like flaxseed oil as it has the same bad bacteria fighting properties while boosting the system. This is the product that helped me overcome hypoglycemia, a problem for some people with candida. At that time, I was taking as much as 6 tablespoons a day. That is 600 calories in oil ... but I needed it!

Hemp seed - 4 tablespoons a day equals a complete protein! This is amazing stuff b/c it contains all of the essential proteins the body needs - very good, especially for people with Parkinson's and Tourette's because of the complete amino acids which help make serotonin and dopamine. Caution - some people develop allergies to this b/c of overdoing it, so this cannot be over-consumed and probably should be eaten in a rotation diet, that is, not every day. [Spirulina also is a complete protein but supposedly can be taken every day!]

Enzymes for digestion - take one enzyme every time food is put in the mouth, for meals and for even a candy or cracker snack. When the body is so heavily taxed and riddled with symptoms, it has difficulty producing all the enzymes needed to make it function properly or digest food properly, so enzymes take the stress off the liver, pancreas and adrenals which give them more space to recover and heal.


  1. Just wondering how your friends son is doing? I came across your blog when i first started researching natural treatments for tourettes about 5months ago for my 6yr old son.

  2. Unfortunately the gluten-free diet demands a lot of time at first to learn satisfying recipes, and my friend, who was doing it with her son, both gave it up after a week or so. They were ravenous and just didn't know how to replace the gluten foods they loved so much. Out of politeness I don't bring up the topic now, but I'm curious too.

  3. BTW, I hope you're getting some satisfying answers and results for your son!

  4. Oh thats a shame :( We are now roughly 5 months into eating gluten, yeast, colour, preservative, dairy and now also egg free and looking into allergy/intolerance testing. My son is doing really well (tics minimal)and we appear to be healing his candida/leaky gut. I've discovered a whole new way of cooking and my sons eating has improved so much! He's actually never eaten so good before. Really it's all thanks to so many blogs and websites like yours and the abundance of recipes i find doing my own research. Thank you :)

  5. Thank you for saying that! Only a person who understands what destruction the typical diet does to some people really understands what it means to just keep cutting things from their diet. BTW, I went to Hippocrates Health Institute in Mar-Apr for 3 weeks. I haven't picked up blogging since because I learned soooooo much there and don't know where to start feeding even a fraction of that pile of info here! I didn't feel like I improved very much though ... until I got back to Korea where I've had a lot of problems, but now my problems really are almost nonexistent. Of course I'm to eat this way for 2 more years, feeding myself probiotics daily to rebuild the gut flora, but wow, 3 weeks of totally raw food, silver and therapies really was a turn-around!

    1. I was at Hippocrates last January and maintain a vegan diet mostly raw, but I was wondering if Dr. Clement or anyone at Hippocrates gave specific advice on healing TS through diet & supplements? I have a friend with TS, and improvements to her health would greatly improve her life.

    2. Sorry. I think I heard talk of TS only once during my 3 weeks there, and nothing specific about herbs to heal. It's a question I have too.

  6. Because of the horrors I've had with the biomedical world and because of people out there like your son who need answers but can't get them easily, I'm now getting my prerequisites to enter a dietetics program. The areas I'm specifically interested in at the moment are autoimmune diseases (usually they're related to metabolic disorders) and geriatrics. I really hope your son is getting good medical advice, but rather think that a lot of the research you're getting is what you do yourself. Frustrating, but it sounds like you're doing very well!

  7. Sounds like you've definitely been on a journey and learnt so much :) It doesn't help that i'm in Australia and we have very limited Dr's that no about TS let alone any that believe in or work on the gut/ brain connection but thankfully we just got back from seeing a nutritional and environmental Dr who is helping me investigate more into my sons health so fingers crossed things improve even more. Good luck with your studying i'm sure you will do great!