5 things that can help with tics

Throwback Thursday: Below is a post from 2011. We wanted to revisit it to see if these five things have worked or are still working for your child. Let us know in the comments.

When my son was first diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at 4, I didn’t want to put him directly on meds. His tics were mild and simply didn’t warrant them. I was open to the idea of drugs should his symptoms become unmanageable, but until then, I wanted to do something… anything… to keep the throat clears, eye rolls and head nods to a minimum.

OK, who am I kidding? Like a bad high school boyfriend, I wanted those tics banished from my site forever. But to answer Doctor Phil’s question: “How’s that workin’ for ya?” I had to respond honestly, “Not so well. Time for plan B.”

I went through a lot of rumination and spent ginormous hours on the Internet researching sites, supplements and remedies that promised to end TS. Here are five things that actually really helped in my son Stink’s case.

As if it weren’t already obvious with my use of language such as “ginormous,” let me reiterate that I am not a doctor, so please run everything by a practitioner you trust should you follow any of this advice.

  1. Magnesium: I gave him 500 mg of magnesium a day, and it really helped with his eye rolls and vocals. For some little kids this might be too much, but I’ve been told the worst thing excess magnesium can do is cause diarrhea. Now my son takes a calcium/magnesium supplement as the magnesium is best absorbed with calcium. The ratio is double the calcium to the magnesium.
  2. Gluten Free: It was a pain, but it helped, and continues to help enormously. He can concentrate more and can fall asleep quickly. When he was not gluten free, it would take hours for him to settle down. He is still a high energy kid, but much less so now.
  3. Dairy Free: Ditto the gluten. It was a pain, but we’ve found many ways to supplement his calcium through rice milk, vegetables and fruit.
  4. Sleep: 10 hours of sleep a night is crucial and a huge tic reducer.
  5. No artificial flavors or preservatives: My son is very sensitive to chemicals. They can set tics off like bee around a honey pot. Not worth the sting of excess tics except on special occasions.

What have been your experiences with tics? Did any of you find it made a difference for your children? What about in some of your cases where tics were more severe?


  1. I found this lovely thread a couple of months ago when I was desperate to get help with tics that my 7yo daughter was experiencing.

    She was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colites in early 2022, I don’t know if it was related but I started noticing mild tics soon after the first bout of bowel inflammation, such as squinting, nose twitching and occasional throat clearing. We prayed and believed for complete healing from UC and God has heard and answered the prayers. And now yet another great miracle has taken place.

    It’s a long story but very briefly… tics got out of hands in June 2023, many new ones appeared including something like a tummy cramp, face grimaces and eye rolls, they came on very aggressively, it was all happening non-stop. I was heartbroken and couldn’t imagine how she was going to start the new school year in new school, Y3 also being a big step up academically. I searched and searched and of course I kept praying and believing. Again, God heard and answered my prayers. I received peace, knowing that nothing is impossible to Him. I listened to very uplifting Hillsong Worship music and Joel Osteen sermons (still do) and stayed open to Devine guidance.

    Only 1 week before school, it was bad. Tics were ongoing and constant, disturbing speech, eating, sleeping… pretty much all simple day to day tasks and activities were impacted, she couldn’t even hold eye contact longer than a few seconds. Just 7 days until school… and I found a book that I’ll be forever grateful for, got it free on Amazon Kindle – “No More Tics!: Help for Tic Disorders, Tourette Syndrome, TikTok Tics and More” by Sarah Chana Tadcliffe, the author is a science person who discovered the power of plants, sharing her wisdom. I read through the book almost continuously and started the therapy straight away. Within a few days I could already tell that it was working wonderfully, I knew this was the answer. And sure enough, by the first day in Junior school, most tics had gone away and the ones still there calmed down to the point of being unnoticeable, no-one would know. My daughter quickly regained her joy and confidence. 4 weeks into Y3, she is still on the therapy for maintenance but seems completely tic free now. She is enjoying school, making new friends and being her happy, kind self. Thank you Jesus!

  2. I really appreciate this forum and thank God I found it. I came here after feeling extra self conscious around people who just met me and my tics for the first time. You can tell they are confused and tend to act weird. Anyways, here are a few takes from a 36yr old:
    My tics progressed from work trauma when I was around 31. I think it is a recessive gene that was triggered. And is heightened when my seratonine and dopamine are increased. E.G. when I am excited or stressed.

    Watch out for adhd/autism and it’s influence on tics

    Light affects my tics alot. I intend to get transitional glasses to wear indoors and out. I always put off the light throughout the day.

    Watch out for allergies in general, not just food allergies. Personally, I’m allergic to sulphur and most high dose drugs. Also, allergic to some foods.

    I think exercising muscles is key and drinking alot of water to detox.

    Once I read somewhere that you cud just force your self to not tic. I tried that and it had severe Cosequences. I actually started blacking out and ticking involuntarily. I didn’t know wht was happening or when it would come. I usually do.

    I have tics and not TS so I do not understand the full length of wht the kids are going through. I pray with them. I pray they are not ashamed or embarrassed of themselves. They meet friends that love them and are not weird looking at them. Cause they are ppl that will accept you 100%.
    It is important that parents teach their kids to love themselves and be very confident. It is not our fault. It is auto immune. I am not going to endanger my body so people don’t think I’m weird. It is not fair.
    My motto is, ‘People that care (about ur tics) do not matter, and people that matter do not care’

  3. 3 weeks ago my 4 year old daughter began squinting her eyes and rolling them. She has never had any tics before and I am very worried. We will get her eyes checked tomorrow but I have a feeling it is not an issue with her eyes. I have not been able to sleep and am so worried for her. She usually does it when she is bored or tired before bed, excited or when she gets into trouble. I just ordered some CALM gummies as I read they may help.. any advice or help for this very worried mom?

    • My son has developed tics from Flinstone vitamins. Years ago Benadryl caused him to have tics. I can’t find anything on the Flinstones causing tics but I tested it out a few times and that is definitely the culprit.

    • My son is 12 and had tics sine 4 also, I ordered calm gummies -didn’t help. I just started him on fruit and veggies capsules hoping that will work since they say tics are neurological. Good luck

  4. I have had patients or patients with various tics. Thanks for the information. I believe I need to learn alot more abiut this.

  5. My 4 y.o. Toddler recently developed vocal and motor tics (about a month ago). It’s been extremely difficult to see my little guy’s tics go off while talking or watching a video. I came on here and learned a great deal from everyone’s different experiences. Although as parents we are doing our very best to help our children- let’s give them extra hugs every morning / night and remind them how much we love them. To all parents of a child with TS- remember you are not alone! You have a whole community of parents out here trying to solve the puzzle to this same syndrome as well. Although it is very stressful and difficult for us parents to witness this… our children need our full support. I know it’s easier said than done… i do cry myself to sleep every night just hoping for the best. But every morning I wake up with a smile to show my little guy that it’s going to be okay… and we’ll get through this. I have noticed different patterns when he experiences tic episodes- some days lighter than others. A parent noted recording all the info on a notebook (good idea). I will stress that my son was drinking GF milk since he was able to switch from baby formula to regular milk. I switched to Horizon Organic Growing Years just about 4-5 months ago. I’ll be switching back to GF milk to see if that makes a little difference. Will definitely request a food allergy test and a bloodwork to learn of his mineral levels. I will definitely come back and keep you all posted.

  6. Hi my some has had Tourette’s for a little over 2 years. Tics have come and gone- snapping neck back, eye rolls, blinks, tongue clicks, shrugs etc. Tics first seem to have started following a terrible skin infection following a vaccination which landed him in hospital.

    Anyway the tics have waxed and waned – now tic free for 7 months on the following supplements-

    Core supplements- daily.
    Curcumin(Carusos brand)
    Healthy care ‘made for frequent fliers’ formulation – sounds weird but look it up- great formulation.
    Gastrodia Elata granules(multiple studies show benefit for Tourette’s)
    Fish oil
    Magnesium/d3/calcium formulation

    Occasional supplements:

    Hope this helps someone

    • Hey Mark, how old is your child? My son is 9 and we’re just starting on the supplements for him – I’ve been looking at your list and am keen to know about dosage for kids. Thanks for the info

    • Hi
      My son has tics trying to purchase the supplements you got, i cannot find Healthy care and what brand do you use for the Gastrodia Elata granules. Thank you very much for your help, really appreciate it.

    • Hi. My 8yr old has had tics/tourettes since Sept 2019. Todays been the worst he is consistently ticking vocally. I had homeschooled him the last 2yrs and it wasn’t as bad as it is now that he’s back in school. I give him cbd and I’m looking for what I need to give him extra. I know magnesium can help but I don’t know which brand or amount to give him. Also I have removed gluten and dairy because I know that helps. When I do EFT tapping it slows the tics down. It has a calming effect on him. How old is your son? Happy for your son and you!

      • Hi,
        I saw your response on using eft for tics. What statements do you use while tapping ?id like to try on my child who developed tics a year back

    • I just replied. Could you email me? Are you able to give me the brands of what you bought so I can buy him the same brands. Also maybe around the dosages you gave your son. Hope I’m not a bother. Appreciate it.

    • Good afternoon!

      Would you mind letting me know where you were able to locate the Healthy Care Supplement? Also did your child take capsules or can they take gummies? Thanks!

  7. Hey my daughter is 15 and has been diagnosed with tourette syndrome about a month ago. She has verbal and physical tics that harm herself and sometimes others. Does anyone have any recommendations of a store or a website to get braces, figets, and cups so she will stop throwing her cups of water.

    • My 8 year old son recovered 99%. You may want give Dr Price a call (302)491 6966.

      • Hi John, where is Dr Price located? We are in Toronto, Canada, but can easily travel to Us.
        Can you give me some details ?
        Thank you so lmuch!

        • Has anyone had any success with habit reversal therapy? I spoke to one therapist recently. It’s pricey but looking into it. Need to try these supplements. He does take NAC and it used to help but it doesn’t seem to anymore. Just really want to find something that works!

      • Hello, intetested in seeing your Dr Price for my daughter with Tics, TS…

  8. My Son 8years old, having TICS since 1 n half year. A year before a Neurologist said its epilepsy. So we started giving him levitiracetam. Bt last month we consulted another Neurologist, he asked to make a repeat EEG. He told it’s not epilepsy bt Tics. From now he s taking CLONOTRIL 0.5mg at night (n nothing else). Am I doing right? Shall I give him “MANUKA HONEY”? Wen I googled it shown better results in treating TICS. Pls suggest me. Ur reply will be of great help.

    • im in my 60’s and i have touettes. sugar, and things that stimulate the nervous system is bad for it. try going to a natureopath doctor. they may prescribe things that may help naturally. i stay away from sugar, coffee ( caffine), and I have alot of food sensitivities. I’m use to it, and have adjusted my diet accordingly.

    • My sons tic reduced after giving him manuka honey I tried all the vitamins that can help him but it seems its the manuka honey is the cure.

  9. My son is 14 and has been dealing with verbal and motor tics since he started school. They became worse around 5th grade and his pediatrician put him on Guanfacine which helped tremendously, but it ended up causing extreme constipation issues. He was also diagnosed with ADHD, inattentive type in the 6th grade. Thank goodness his ADHD meds have not really caused his tics to be worse. His tics seem to come and go. I started supplementing with supplements when I realized the tic medicine was causing the constipation issue and took him off the tic medication. So now he takes omega 3, magnesium, B6 and zinc. These have all made a huge difference in his tics. I am trying to decide which magnesium is better, the glycinate or l-theronate. I’ve done both. I’ve also seen where you can give glycinate at night and l-theronate in the morning. I may try that. Any body prefer one over the other??

    • We have been struggling with my daughter’s tics since she was 7, she is now 12. She also struggles with anxiety and OCD symptoms. The severity of the tics will go up and down but have gotten worse now that she is in middle school and it’s just heartbreaking to see her go through this. I really want to try all I can before moving to the prescription medication. We have started the Magnesium and I do see some improvement. What type of B6 or B Complex and Zinc do you use/recommend? Thank you!

  10. I would be interested in learning more on the CBD route. My 15 yrs old started getting tics in middle school. They would go away and a new one would appear. Now she is dealing w popping her jaw which is horrible. She also still has the mouth movements. I believe stress and anxiety contributes to a lot. She is very hard on her self getting straight As, plays sports and just an overall over achiever on her own. Whats hard to is she cannot sleep. Love reading recommendations. We have tried the magnesium helped a little.

    • Get her Vitamin D3 checked as low vitamin D3 can cause sleep deprivation and exacerbate tics.

  11. surprised no one in this community ever mention about CBD oil, try CBD 300mg.

    • I am ready to explore cbd for my 15 year old sons tics, and mainly for his anxiety. Keep going up on meds and we don’t feel comfortable doing that anymore, especially due to no major help from them. His developmental pediatrician won’t prescribe cbd and wouldn’t refer me to anyone who does. I don’t want to blindly walk into cbd oil store. Any advice?

  12. Hello,
    My son is 14 years old with Tourette syndrome, and we’ve visited the best neurologist from France. His advice is just 2mg/kg B6 and 0.5 mg/kg/day magnesium pidolate. The best you can do for you kid is swimming, just let him stay in the water. Don’t forget they need to spend energy while playing sports and it is very good to play on music instruments. Please, don’t ruin your child’s brain with different chemicals, this is what our doctor said because they have very healthy brain. Tics will disappear after age of 14 years old. Don’t pay attention to tics. You have to behave like nothing is happening and save those children from any conflicts between parents. You need to support and love them and be careful if you have another children, because of jealousy between each other. Wish you all the best with your children.

    • How are things with your son? Your post is very optimistic with sound advice. Have the vitamins made a difference? I hope all is well.

    • I am 31and my tics didn’t disappear after age 14…. Neither did my 34 y/o husband. We both still have TS to this day, so I am not sure what you’re on about. Giving people false hope :/.

      • Same for me I’m 32 still have tics some days worse then other current is my body feels the need to take deep breaths but feels restricted and can’t get to a certain feeling. I found this post cause I’m looking for some help on ways to ease my tics without going back to being a test monkey for doctors

      • Me too! I’m 33 and I’ve had tics for as long as I can remember. I make sniffing noises..all…damn..day. I don’t think it will ever go away.

      • Hi. Im 48 and i have had tics since i was about 10. Nothing has helped me. I know where your coming from. I wish there was a real cure. It’s terrible.

    • They dont dissapear after 14, each person is different, so that is not very responsible to say!!

    • Hi
      I have my daughter 13 years old with consistently moving her left hand and repeat some letters, am looking to your message with loving to know more information because am new to this and with broken heart to see that , Thanks for your information

      • Hello,Now im ın youtr situatıon,and i want you to inform me about your treatment my 9 year boy have eye and some mouth tics(

  13. My 7 year old daughter has these weird hiccup like tic (they aren’t hiccups but look like it) possibly abdominal tics all day long. It took 3 months of diligence with the following before we got the tics under control and decreased 80%. I gave her daily 1 cod liver oil, children Nordic naturals 3 softgels of omega 3, 1 chewable magnesium glycinate, 1 raw B vitamin that contains greens, 1 probiotic with prebiotics (UP4 is the brand, adult gummy, half dose), 1/2 tab suntheanine, 2 gummy smarty pants multi vitamin. This regimen along with healthy food decreased her tics 80%. They returned when we got lazy. Then she got a fever and noticed when we gave her Motrin, the tics completely went away. I did my some research and Pans / pandas came up and said anti inflammatories for 7 days clears up tics from pandas. I gave her Motrin for 1 more week and since for 1 month ongoing the tics have significantly decreased barely noticeable.

    • Hi Amy. Thank you for your post. When you gave your child Advil, how many times/day did you give it? My son’s tics stop almost immediately when given Advil or cough syrup. It’s the only way he’s been able to sleep the last couple of nights. I’m curious if PANS could be a piece for him.

      He had a horrible kidney infection over a year ago and that’s when the tics really ramped up. They were there a tiny bit prior, but following a very serious infection full of multiple antibiotics, the tics have worsened. I just noticed he’s starting to pull his eyebrows too. I’ve loved finding this page and before resorting to traditional medicine, I’d like to exhaust these possibilities. We do magnesium as well. And it seems to help a little.

      Thank you all so much for sharing!

      • Hi I was wondering how your son is doing? My son is doing the same with his eyebrows so I came online trying to find anything I can and came across your comment. My son is 10 and I’m just worried. Magnesium has helped a little but looking for everything I can!

      • Hi Steph,
        I wanted to ask how your gettin on?

        I have been looking into Pans for my son and I feel he exhibits all the symptoms. Just wanted to see what you have tried , finding it all so overwhelming

    • Hi my daughter is doing the exact same thing abdominal tensing tic that looks like hiccups please let me know how things are going now

    • Hi I was also wondering the dosage of Motrin you gave your child for the week. Also what brand omega 3 and chewable magnesium glycinate did you give? Thank you!

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  15. It appears that gluten and dairy can be the culprit in many conditions, They caus increase in inflammation, and perhaps many people can’t process this.

  16. Hi all,
    I am so thankful to everyone for sharing their stories, and possible remedies for tics. I just thought I’d write a note as to what has helped my 7 year old, who started with neck rolls a few months back, and then severe eye-blinking tics. I took him to the doctor, because I thought he may have had something wrong with his neck. The x-ray showed all was well. Then, immediately the next day, his eye-blinking started. That’s when I realized they were both tics. I read about the different natural treatments, and went to Whole Foods to buy anything that might help him, as it broke my heart to watch his distress. I tried two types of magnesium, Natural Calm Kids, and the regular Natural Calm (Natural Vitatily is the brand, I think). I gave him half the recommended dosage in the morning and half at night. I don’t give any calcium supplementation. I gave him a chewable suntheanine tablet with each dose. (I think it’s just a brand of l-theanine?) The Natural Calm Kids decreased his tics, but the regular Natural Calm product has worked amazingly well. I only see two or three eye squeezes a day now. The regular Natural Calm has magnesium citrate vs. the kid version, which has magnesium glycinate. I have read that glycinate is actually more easily absorbed, but it doesn’t work as well for my particular child. I should say, we also rub magnesium oil on his feet at night. I don’t know the brand, but it was the only one they carried. It was $10 for a relatively large spray bottle. But we used the oil with both magnesium trials, so I’m not sure that it makes a huge difference. I wanted to let everyone know what has worked for us so far, just in case it could help someone else as well. Good luck to everyone.

    • Thank you! I just bought this today and will be using it tomorrow for the first time. My 5 year old just started on Tuesday of last week and it has been tough for me to watch. However; I’m hopeful for total recovery and I believe this is a great start. Thank you!

  17. My Son 20 year have motor and vocal tics since last 3 years. I am in deep pain. Please help me and my son with your valuable advises.

    • hi iron suppliments can reduce tics after 3 mount .it helped my son to reduce his hands and feet tics

    • I am so sorry to hear this my son has chronic motor tics and it also broke my heart. I know that Cannabis oli significantly helps my son although it is not advisable to take it before age 25 due to brain not fully being developed. My friend us a psychotherapist and highly recommends meditation .

    • Has your son found relief from the motor and vocal tics? I;m curious because of your sons age?

      • Terrible sickness to deal with. I hate it. If i relax and try not to tic i start to develop a headache. Does anyone else feel the same

  18. I have been using natural meds for my 4 year old because he has symptoms of ADD and the meds are helping his behavior however they are causing tics!!! He makes noises and licks everything!!!! I do not want to take him off the natural meds because I am afraid his behavior will go back to unmanageable but I do not want the tics either. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!


  19. Hi There I’m glad for ur success my son has been suffering tremendously, with the blinking Soo Much his eye bust out of socked pls some one help me it is painful and stressful for us both

    • hi , i have the same problem with my daughter lily , 7 years old with excessive right eye blink for the last two months,
      please share with me your story

  20. WOW, Strange, I am reading through this Blog and see my own comment from April 16, 2016. Apparently, I am back….we are back.
    I did a lot from the advice from below…… We had seen a different Neurologist for 3 years every Fall when “symptoms” presented in the past….Then one Neuroligist telling us our child was ADD–because the Dr. had built her business on this and the other one one saying your child has Tourette’s- live with it! Not gonna make sense or happen! We are AGAIN, there and here and for us it is 100% sleep and stress. Our child is tightly wound and energictic to his detremint!
    So in bed at 6:30 and lovely life! Not always–ever! I know that Gluten is HUGE part of it all….we did that–not Religiously—–but we cut back big time then—back to same ole story when things are going well. So, we
    go back to the same strick regiment! Then, we get lazy! Not that is not
    Important or else I would not be here posting…..but, we seem to be Once or Twice or more a year on symptoms….and I take all of the above on Vitiamin regiments! It has helped for sure….then there are things I had never heard about. Ex: Taurine.
    We do 500 mg Magnesium and B-Complex, sleep and life is stress free.
    We stop that—and all symptoms come back.. full force.
    Eye Rolling, clearing his throat/cough every other second!
    Always super disturbing for a parent! I know there are soooo very much worse situations out there! But, we as parents will jump through any hoop we need to for our child. Just back into handling it all–thank you all for my venting. I would share my golden cure if I had one… XO, A

  21. Taking Phentermine too long left me with the tic of “teeth clicking”. Can acupuncture help this?

    • i tried months or even over a year of acupunture, doesnt really help me in my case.\

  22. Hey all, my 7 year old son has had issues with eye rolling and throat clearing. When he was younger, 4 – 5.. His head would jerk back and shoulders would go up. That hasn’t happened in a few years, but I noticed that when he’s really excited he seems to lose control of his right leg and he does the eye roll. I also noticed that he does the eye rolls after eating candy or having a sugary drink or again when really excited… Like when we go on vacation. I get so sad seeing this happen to him but he says he doesn’t know it Happens and it doesn’t bother him. I can’t imagine how hard it is to deal with it with kids who have more of this. Must be really hard to not be able to help them. I believe he has improved over the years, because it was worst when he was younger but other than reducing sugar and especially caffeine (soda) I really didn’t do much. I just hope it doesn’t get worst as he gets older. . I hope everyone finds the solution that works for them!

  23. Hi, I appreciate your information sharing on this subject – my daughter just began deminstrating tics (pronounced anyway…part of me now thinks maybe there were slight indications previously and I just wasn’t observant enough or making a connection to the possibility of tics until they became “obvious” – :(……; I have now been on a week-long, which I sense will grow to maybe many-months-long quest to research everything I can on possible cause and natural remedy to help resolve. One question I have regarding the above is the reference to a calcium and magnesium combination as I’ve read on a different source or two that calcium actually blocks/ hinders the absorption of magnesium. Do you have any perspective on this that you can share?

    • Hi Mama Bear – I have always heard that you want to double the Calcium rate to the Magnesium for best absorption. We now have my son on Magnesium Threonate (Designs for Health “NeuroMag) per his naturopath. I highly recommend seeing a naturopath if you can swing it so you’re not shooting at the hip (like I was for so many years – it’s exhausting!) That said, Natural Calm products or a good 2 – 1 Calcium/Mag supplement is a great way to start. Hang in there. It’s tough but you are not alone.

      • I have read that too Mama Bear, about calcium being an antagonist to magnesium absorption. So, having said that, it seems odd that you would double the calcium rate to the magnesium for the best absorption. I would love to see more information on this as the magnesium deficiency angle is new to me. Though, I’m focusing more on simply getting more magnesium rich foods into my son’s diet as opposed to a supplement to see if it makes any difference.

        • Hi All! I just read through every post since November 2011! Here we are today! Same as all of the above. My now 8 year old sons tic symptoms started every August when he was 5 and lasted a few months! After every year with a new Pediactric Neuroligst—–whom all cared less—chalked it off to as Tourette’s. We managed sleep, diet and stress! That could be okay! But, they offered no solutions! So we Mammas and Daddas have to take it on our on! Everyone’s words here have been beyond helpful and inspirational! My sons Tics come and go after several months! His accute cough since Jan. this year aggressively turned into his eye rolling in the last 2 days! He has had that in the past! But, with an MRI (Fall2014) it showed he had a Huge Right Side Sinustis! He never presented symptoms. 8 weeks of antibiotics…all was gone…..but now it all comes up again! I know he has TS……just hard to admit. He has had a cough or throat clearing years ago and eye rolling….not blinking. It wears him out! Our hearts ache for our children. I tried from Whole Foods their Magniesum oil spay! Makes them itch on fire. Tried it in his bath and had to drain and take a new bath!!! I’ll seek our local vitamin store for sure! For some reason….after year of looking every 8 months or so when his symptoms occur (lasting several months). Magnesium seems to come up the most!!! Official web sites offer nothing!!!!! This is the best one to gather information and do research!!! Thank you! A

          • Our daughter suffers from throat clearing and previously made humming sounds. This began around the age of 9 and now she is 11. We have had a hair follicle test and it turned up that she is high in toxic metals, low in magnesium and zinc. She also had low iron levels. I will say that for six years she was on antibiotics every six to eight weeks for UTI’s. Shortly after her tenth birthday we noticed she was pulling her eyebrows and eyelashes out (now diagnosed with Trichotillomania). All in all, antibiotics killed the good bacteria in the gut (gut flora). With a compromised gut she became nutrient deficient since the gut was not able to process the nutrients properly. The nutrients were leaking out of the small intestines and into the blood stream. It wasn’t just the good nutrients leaking out of the gut it was toxins like aluminum, lead, mercury. All of this showed up in the hair test which was done at a naturopath. There is a lack of scientific evidence on the trichotillomania that she suffers. However, I believe that heavy metals on the brain will cause strange behaviors. Hence, the trichotillomania. Like many of you I am introducing more GF foods, using more organic vegetables, fruits and meats. When it comes to using oils, be they essential oils that are diffused, applied to the skin or taken orally, they help. I would assume if the magnesium oil is causing irritation you need to tone it down with coconut oil. Try the oil along with the topical magnesium. I have a list of $265 worth of supplements being recommended by the naturopath but struggle with the quantities. It seems to me that the gut needs to be properly dressed with good bacteria before any supplements can even begin to work. Otherwise with a compromised gut even the best supplements and probiotics will only be expelled into urine and feces. My plan is to break everything into phases. The gut seems to be the root of many problems. Start with the gut to be sure it is capable of handling the supplements. If the gut is healthy and capable of working with the adrenals and thyroid, introduce the supplements carefully and slowly. This is my plan to cure tics, trich, anxiety, anger, sensitivity, etc. I will report back as I move through my process. After I exhaust the theories that I believe are worth trying it is then that I will seek modern medicine.

      • It seems that, when taken together, calcium does hinder the absorption of magnesium. If you are needing more magnesium, it’s best taken without calcium. However, for people needing calcium supplementation, the magnesium helps with the absorption of calcium. My 10 year old son is taking magnesium glycinate for his tics and it has helped greatly. He rarely has any tics while on this magnesium, but if I see any signs of them returning, I up the magnesium for a few days and the tics subside. Normally, he takes one magnesium capsule (120mg) at breakfast and one at bedtime.

  24. Do you have any food lists or pics of your sons meals? I am very visual and it helps for me to see exactly what the food is. Thank you for your post

  25. I am new to this site and dealing with tics. My son is 6 yrs. old and this past December he got the flu and started tics after that. They started as hopping and jumping tics non stop. He couldn’t take 2 steps without hopping. We thought they would go way but since we have seen blinking, sniffing, shoulder shrug, etc… Visited 2 neurologist and I don’t want to put a 6yr old on medicine. We started magnesium last week not much has changed in a week. It appears many of you suggest removing gluten as well. We already eat a fairly clean diet. Is there hope these will ever go away? There are days my wife and I can’t even look at our son because he has no control of his body. We feel so bad for him. Any suggestions??

    • Hi,
      I feel your pain. My son is 10. He started with tics from night to day at the age of 8. I was devastated. We started him on meds for a year. It helped control his head shaking, vocal tics, blinking, stomach movement, throat noises. However, I started seeing side effects such us not eating, angry, sleeping at school, and drugged. I took him out of the meds and starting giving him Rio Vida and multivitamins from 4Life, and Transfer Factor chewable. I am also giving him B complex liquid. It helped to reduced the shaking tremendously. I also changed his diet to GF and organic. It helped as well. The tics are not gone completely but it is less than before. After reading the previous comments, I will request to the pediatrician an order for upper cervical exam and magnesium deficiency test. I want to try magnesium on him to see if it will help him. He will start middle school this year and I can see a lot of stress coming soon and in anticipation of it, I will do anything to help my son. I recently started giving him Recall from 4life 1/3 of the capsule. Testimonies said that help the child to concentrate at school. I will let you know if it works.
      I recommend you to be strong and do not remind him/her or talk about the tics. That helps a lot too. I try to keep him very active and busy as long as he have fun and forget he has tics.
      I hope this helps.

    • Hi there, your son may have pandas – it might be worth being on long term antibiotics (a trip to your paediatrician, armed with PANDAS research)might be needed – good luck

      • Many ts patients are really Pandas! Easy test is to give them antibiotics and see if the tics subside!

  26. We tried magnesium oil back rub for the first time last night and it was burning and itching, even on my skin. What do you recommend for topical application?

  27. This is VERY helpful and I would really appreciate hearing more from you and your experiences over the last few years with your son (we have a 6 year old son with a very intense case of TS. We’ve already made HUGE diet changes which have defiantly helped but we still have a loooong way to go…) THANK YOU!!

  28. My daughter has a tic disorder changes everyday from eyerolls to fist clenching heavy blinks sniffing started magnesium citrate by thrones 135mgs daily gone gf and df which has helped reduce them but still has bouts where they come on strong I am taking a daily diary to see if I can find out her triggers. I want to start some Taurine but don’t know how much is safe can anyone help my daughter is 8 yrs old

    • Try 400 mg of magnesium from vitamin world along with b6, b12, and folic acid this comes in one pill at target. Both of these pill are chewable and taste good. Worked in 7 days for my son.

  29. My son is 14. He was diagnosed with TS at 6 and only last year did we find out he has an egg allergy. Once he stopped eating eggs all of his upper respiratory and vocal tics stopped. Soy causes his eye tics, but we’re still working on finding the cause of his toe tics. Amazing what food does!

  30. My son was diagnosed with TS when he was 6. I also declined meds. He had throat clearing, eye rolls and he would shrug his shoulders. We started a gluten free/casien free diet which helped tremendously. But (because he is allergic to penicillin) we started eating only organic meat. This also made a huge difference.

  31. The safe dose of magnesium for a four year old child is less than 100mg. And too much magnesium can cause kidney problems since it is excreted by the kidneys. The author writes that it “just causes diarrhea.”

  32. I should also add that supplements are not regulated, and over a third were found to contain wheat as filler. So if you’re going to follow this advice, buy certified gf magnesium and calcium.

  33. Lots of false hope there as well. Our daughter has Celiac, thus 100% gluten free, and still has tics. They have gotten worse recently. While I understand the intent of the message, I feel that a lot of parents will stress themselves out, and spend lots of money trying gluten free. Kids with TS are already stressed enough. Making them stress over supplements and diet may not change things in the right direction. It’s hard being different, adding some of this, just stresses families, and kids with tics more. Oh, and none has been scientifically proven. Based on anecdotal evidence, both my kids have gotten worse since we are GF. So, maybe we should start claiming that going GF makes tics worse, that rice causes tics? May have helped this authors’ child, but perhaps there was an underlying issue, not the tics.

  34. Don’t forget the taurine! My son has tics from Focalin. We do Intuniv, Tic Tamer. Magnesium, taurine ans Suntheanine. I had inadvertently lowered the dose of taurine, and yesterday he was ticking nonstop. I gave him a large dose of taurine last night before bed, this morning his tics were completely gone :)

      • Hi I will look all this up and try it for my daughter… could you let me know what brand & dosage you were using… as my daughter Sienna is 10 nearly 11 years and i will try anything to improve her tics, as they can be quite severe at times…
        Many thanks

    • Hi Monica – Curious as to your thoughts on Taurine? I hear it’s so bad for kids. Did a doc recommend it? Thanks in advance!

  35. I totally agree with the 5 things that can help…Here’s what we’ve done, and it’s worked.
    1. We eat no white sugar…only honey, dates, coconut sugar.
    2. No additives or preservatives!! Very bad for tics!
    3. Take Chinese herbs given by licensed acupuncturist. They help, but food and diet more important.
    4. Keep up on environmental allergies too, although they don’t bother her as much when she’s on this clean diet. First thing that happens if we go off the diet for too long, eating out too often, etc…her nose gets congested, and she can’t stop blowing it…that’s the first sign that we need to get on track again. Sometimes we may get off balance if going to family parties, out to dinner, to many desserts, etc. Start eating right, and all goes away again!
    5. Valerian Root at night, so she can get the 10 hours sleep she needs!! Yes, sleep so important. She sleeps well with Valerian root, and calm brain on this way of eating. Anxiety gone, and able to sleep. Acupuncturist said can’t OD on Valerian root. Very calming, we only give to her at night before bed.
    It took 6 months on this diet for her vocal and physical tics to go away. They only come back if, like I said, we get off balance for too long, or if she gets sick, etc. Other than that, she doesn’t tic anymore. We eat dairy and gluten. Our bread is from Trader Joe’s. No sugar!! No preservatives!!!! A good dessert is a peanut butter, date shake: In blender, ice, apple juice, two giant spoon fulls of peanut butter, about 6 dates, honey, bit of milk, frozen banana or two…yum!! Can add Cocoa powder.
    My daughter is now happier, no more anxiety, sleeps a good night’s sleep 10 hours, wakes up with a smile on her face, calm, not worried brain, feels good vs.”like my face is going to explode”, and no tics.

    • Hi Laurel –

      Wow, that is encouraging for sure. Are you gluten free/dairy free? How bad were the tics and how long did it take for everything to balance out?

  36. Andrea you’re initial post about 5 things that can help with Tics inferred at that time your sons tics were simple vocal and motor.
    How long ago was that the case and is that still the case now in 2014?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi there, Ian –

      Stink’s tics are more moderate now. In large crowds, you wouldn’t be able to tell. There is always some sort of vocal these days, but very low. Currently, it’s lip sputtering about four times/minute. Not any major physical tics at all. Occasionally he’ll roll his eyes or kick up a leg. Honestly, for an almost 12 year old, he’s doing remarkable. Currently on no meds, no major supplements (we need to go back to them) and no acupuncture. He was tired of it. How are you doing? How is your child? Best to you!

      • Have you try Apply Magnesium Oil to Your Skin instead? I read that Magnesium is more easily absorbed transdermally (through your skin) than it is internally. My son was diagnosed today with tics, please help with any suggestion.

          • Try 400 mg of magnesium from vitamin world along with b6, b12, and folic acid this comes in one pill at target. Both of these pill are chewable and taste good. Worked in 7 days for my son.

        • I just ordered magnasmooth (bath salts and oil). I’m going to bathe her 3X a week for 1/2 hour, and rub oil on her back nightly. I am also going to look into some of the “cocktails” I have seen on this site. I should have my order in the next day or two. I will definitely post again after a week and see if it has made a difference.

  37. I’ve had chronic motor tics for 28 years. I’m 36 now and got them when I was 8. I believe they resulted from when I playing on the basement stairs as a kid and fell all the way down (about 25 feet). The steps were non carpeted-hardwood and the floor was concrete. I never went to the Hospital. Every since, I’ve had eye rolling, neck jerking, shoulder rolling, pelvic jerking, toe rolling, cheek tension. Everything on the left side. My tics happen separately of each other. Like the eyes don’t happen at the same moment as the toes but they all happen during the same day. I don’t believe it’s Tourette’s because no one else in my family has it. I believe it resulted from nerve/spinal damage from falling down the stairs. I plan to run for president in 2020 but I have to get rid of these tics if I’m to make campaign speeches. I don’t have health insurance and live paycheck to paycheck so I can’t afford a specialist. What can I do, diet changes, etc? Just bought some Magnesium and supplements. Advice appreciated.

    • Wow Dan, I could not imagine what it would be like to suffer with this for 28 years. I don’t think you can get rid of tics, but you can learn to suppress them. OT can help with that. Have you also considered Deep Brain Stimulation? I’ve read that has helped for a lot of people.

    • Dan, we definitely agree with Frank in looking into suppression techniques and DBS. Where do you live? There are great resources all around the country, especially in New Jersey, where there is a TS clinic located at Rutgers University. That would be a great place to start. Also, if you are planning on running for president, we are honored to have you posting on here! Are you aware of the Collaborative Academic Research Efforts for Tourette Syndrome Act of 2013? Check it out here: https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/hr146. We’re trying to get more and more people to support it on that website so that legislators will take notice and get this bill into law!

      • I just read a book by Jim Fussell and Jeff Matovic called Ticked. It’s about a really severe case of TS (Matovic) and the first time DBS (deep brain stim) was used to suppress tics. Matovic went from violent twitches to being tic free. It’s really inspiring.

      • I actually heard this also. I would consider giving my son pot if his tics were bad enough and it was warranted. I don’t see it as any different than giving him a different drug as long as it’s approved by a doctor first and I’m not buying some Maui Wowwy off the street corner. :)

      • Well Beth, I guess you’re lucky and your kid’s tics aren’t that bad. Because when my baby is suffering terribly, I would do ANYTHING to make them stop. Pot is a weed that grows from the ground. If they find it helps, then hands down pot is a much better alternative to all these chemical drugs. I’ll take a weed from the ground any day over a chemical mix from a lab with no guarantee of WHAT the long term effects will be. I don’t know what experience you have had with pot, but trust me, if your child is suffering, using pot is the least of things you should be worried about.

  38. I noticed you mentioned sleep on this list. It’s almost impossible for my 10-year-old son to sleep soundly because he wakes up ticcing so often. Is there anything to help with that?

    • Tim, my son had a hard time going to sleep before he started taking Intuniv in the morn. It’s a focus med and, after years of avoiding pharmaceuticals, we put him on it. Best thing for him. Calmed his brain down so he could sleep. Some other things I have done, for what it’s worth, is Natures Calm at night (magnesium based), soft music, very consistent bedtime VERY CONSISTENT and no video or tvs at all past 4 and especially during the week. We have tried meditation, too. Many friends in my private support group give their children melatonin. Oh, and a LOT of exercise during the day. And, finally, I know all kids are different. So what works for my child won’t work for others. Many kids have more tics than Stink, for who knows what reason? I can only say if my son had more trouble, still, I would go see a doctor about anxiety or consider bio-feedback as my next step. Not sure if this is helpful?

  39. my daughter is 10 and we have been on haldol for 2 years…the neuro doc told me that this med should not be used that long…so i took her off—–the tics have come back stronger than ever and we just started on magnesium 400mg last week i just pray that the magnesium works….my daugher tics so bad that her eye blinking makes her eye infected…im looking for any insight!!! and sometimes i wonder are there any natural ways for her to calm her own self down?????

    • Could you tell me the dosage for the vitamin cocktail you described? My daughter is 11. Thanks!

      • My son does up to 500 MG of Magnesium Citrate. 2mg Intuniv and a few more things I will post later. I am NOT a doc, obviously, and each kid is different. I would highly recommend a nutritionist or DAN doc to help with this!

        • Andrea, my daughter is on 2 mg of Intuniv as well. Until recently it has kept the tics under control, until this most recent eye roll started, which is making her miserable. So, I just ordered the magnesium bath salts, the oils, just purchased magnesium 250 capsules, and I’m ordering some Valerian root for sleep. The pharmacist at Walmart told me not to buy their B vitamins, but to get to a health food store and get the oral drops, not the capsules. He said the best mix would be 600 mg of both B1 and B6, and 1000 mg of B12. So I’m going later to get those 3B from the health store. Hopefully, this will get the eye roll under control and help her sleep.

    • Hello ,I know how you feel exept I’m the one who has tics. I’m 11 years old and I just visited Dr. David. He is a doctor to help find reverse habits for tics and help breath through and deal with them. I have mild tics so mine aren’t as bad but I still feel sometimes as though I can’t get through it. I take my every day supplements including magnesium and tourine. All my doctors help me find solutions to relax and find reverse habits. Please let me know if you try this and how it works out by replying to this.

    • Try 400 mg of magnesium from vitamin world along with b6, b12, and folic acid this comes in one pill at target. Both of these pill are chewable and taste good. Worked in 7 days for my son.

  40. Wow, I’m glad this post popped up again! I wasn’t visiting here when it first came up. These are good tips. I will try them along with the supplements and see if they work. Thank ya kindly!

    • I have tried those supplments the past week. I am scared to say my kid’s tics have reduced about 50%. Yesterday morning, DAy 5 of supplements: NONE. At night we are back to about 50% but not bad! Thank you!

  41. I am just chiming into this post for parents out there looking at what has worked. I have a now 15 year old who started having facial tics (nasal snuff, eye roll, forehead scrunch, rapid heavy eye blink, and rapid alternating eye blink … left/right/left/right) around age 12 years old. She had sensory issues as infant/toddler, suspected celiac at age 3, OCD and chronic migraines dx at age 5, and then the tics started at age 12. She has also been now dx with Crohn’s disease and had Transverse Myelitis as age 13.

    They ruled out PANDAS and a few other things at neurologist via blood work (age 12). Her tics got worse and worse and eventually we started her on Topomax (age 13/14). The medication did pretty much stop the tics and her migraines, but she was super sedate. We got her down to 25 mg at night and she still was so out of it. We took her off (age 14) and the tics slowly re-emerged and then came back really bad (non stop except when sleeping). She begged me to get the Topomax again as she was so self conscious. I took a trip to a local health food store about 2 months ago that is run by a guy who has been there for a long time. He told me to do Magnesium citrate, Taurine, a raw b-complex, and chewable suntheanine. We already did calcium/vitamin D and a multivitamin with iron and she has been gluten/dairy free since age 3.

    Her tics stopped within 4 days of starting the vitamin cocktail … just like the health food store guy said they would. We ran out of her vitamins the other day and the tics came back within about 4 days. Got her back on them and they have gone away. She does not have the sedative side effects. I agree with those who said find a good health food store and also talk to your pediatrician about dosing to start with. Chiropractors will sometimes work with the supplements as well. For us it has been a night and day difference and I wish we would have thought to ask about alternatives a long time ago.

    • Hello Lisa,
      I am reading your post and I feel hopeful. I will definitely try your vit cocktail with my 7 years old son, and I will just pray for the best outcome. Could you tell me what is the dosage on all three of them? is it better to give it to him in the morning or at night?
      Tank you in advance!

    • Lisa,
      how is your daughter’s tics doing and is she still on all those supplements or are you down to a few and what ones does she still take, my 11 granddaughter has motor tics and I’m trying to help her. thanks for your input.

    • Hi I have just read your post and I am really struggling at the moment .My 9 year old has so many tics that started a bout 6 months ago we have no diagnosis yet because doctors say it has not been long enough.I know it’s TS and I really don’t want to put my daughter on medication unless absolutely necessary.Could you tell me the doses please.
      We did take our daughter to see a naturopath who put her on magnesium a multivitamin and vitamin b3 .It’s been 2 months and things did calm but her tics have flared up massively this last 2 weeks.It could be linked to her grandfather passing away and being tired.I have noticed some anger especially towards me her main care giver.
      I am trying to keep her diet as clean as I can but I find it hard getting the whole family on board.Thankyou for posting up this information it gives me hope.

  42. Is this the same for adults? I would think so but maybe not necessarily the full 10 hours – I am scared to make the switch to Gluten free / dairy free with my own kids/husband at home but I’m about ready to try anything as some days are unbearable! I am definitely trying the magnesium, as I hear that also helps with sleep if you take an hour before.

    • I honestly don’t know about adults vs. kids. If it were me, I’d find a super smart holistic doctor who could walk me through this. If money was an issue, I’d start with diet then work my way over to a trusted book or rep at a vitamin store. Acupuncture? There’s so much to do to relax which has a huge effect on tics from what I hear.

  43. Cindy K – I agree with you on the sleep thing. I also think your ? about milk and tics is a great one as it’s one I asked a thousand times. I know it works for us because, after a year of being on the diet pretty consistently, we went back to normal eating. Stink was fine for a while. But after a month his resistance broke down again and back came the lack of focus and more tics. I have read so much on dairy and gluten “inflaming” (spelling? tired) the brain. This can lead to tics. The less negative gunk my sensitive kid eats the more he’s able to remain calm. In closing, last year his teacher saw an 80% improvement on all fronts after one month of returning to the diet. Stink still tics, but it’s less. I have some new theories on helping his brain “calm down” which I’ll post about later. I know Stink has TS, but I do believe avoiding triggers can help so much. Is your child on GFCF routine yet?

    • Hi Andrea. We are not GFCF. I think that means gluten free. I have not eliminated it but I try to eat rice and potatoes instead of pasta and serve bacon and eggs without a side of toast. We try to minimize the starch and foods that have additives. We try to make our own food instead of getting something prepared. I will buy organic when available. I am just wondering if gluten is a trigger. I think it is up to the individual and you have to test it out to see the outcome. I have had days when we ate pasta and we did not experience more tics but how soon after the meal would it show? The same day, the day after, who knows? I would guess you have to go gluten free for a few weeks or months to really see the reaction. I think we might give it a try.

  44. We have also noticed things that help. The sleep routine is key. Do not eat prepared foods with artificial colors and preservatives. I have a question about the gluten free and milk free. How long did it take to see a difference? How did you know it was the lack of gluten or just another time for tics to come and go with no reason as they do?



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