My son is 8 years old now and we noticed his tics when he was about 6. Initially, his tics included opening his mouth wide, rolling and bobbing his head, stretching his neck and moving his wrists. Eventually, he started hopping a bit, extending his arms and having vocal tics. When he was 7, I noticed that his tics were significantly reduced five days into a trip to the Caribbean. The following summer which happened to be very sunny, it seemed that again the severity of his tics was reduced. We live in British Columbia (Pacific northwest), so we tend to have less sun exposure than other parts of North America. I started wondering if sun exposure may affect my son's tics or if TS or tic disorders are linked to vitamin D deficiencies but could not find anything in the scientific literature.
I was wondering if anyone has ever noticed anything like this, i.e. a seasonal change in tic severity, or has heard anything about the link of vit D to tic disorders.
I haven't heard about any direct relationship between tics and the season, but since tics are greatly affected by mood changes (which affects anxiety) I have noticed that when I go to the beach or the pool during summer I tic somewhat less because I am relaxed and enjoying myself. during the winter (I hate the cold) I feel less comfortable and uneasy which in turn makes me more fidgety. This is not to say that vitamin D has no affect, I'm not a doctor, but the more your son is relaxed, enjoying himself, and less anxious the fewer tics he will likely have. Its just something I have learned from having TS for over 15 years.
Although my ticks are only mild,I have noticed they are a lot better during the Summer. Apparently, sunlight increases serotonin which in itself has been said to relieve some the symptoms of TS. I've been looking at ways to incease serotonin in my diet like eating more fish,eggs and nuts etc but I think I'll need to stop smoking and drinking before I'll be able to feel any benefit. Also I've been reading about tryptophan and 5-htp which sounds promising. I'll let you know how I get on..
Thank you ajcanny and Adalad for your comments.
It makes sense that enjoying the sun and doing what he loves best probably has a positive impact on my son's tics. I was quite amazed though that his tics virtually disappeared over the summer.
Milder versions of tics have reappeared over the winter months so I assume these fluctuations are part of the disorder. However, I have been giving my son a children recommended vitamin D supplement every day.
My 7 year old son also has worse tics in the fall and spring. During the summer they mostly disappear. I wonder if pollen or other seasonal things affect tics? The tics are mu c h more noticable as soon as summer ends. Does anyone have any suggestions?
My daughter also has tics that increase beginning the end of fall every year until the beginning of spring. That is in addition to other triggers that include any type of environmental, dietary or emotional stressors that exist. I have recently done quite a bit of reading on the effects of dysfunction of vitamin D receptors which I understand are present in nearly every cell of the body. Although we all experience improvement in health when we supplement with vitamin D, I have found that when we take vitamin D with a probiotic, the absorption is incredible and the increase in feelings of wellness are beyond compare. The vitamin D supplement we use is Nature Made softgels, and the probiotic is usually Align (Bifantis) and lactobacillus acidophilus. The probiotic seems to clear any sort of film that may be present in the intestine that inhibits absorption. This really has been remarkable for us. Please be sure to do your reading on the subject of these supplements, and I hope this provides some relief for you. Best Wishes.
My son developed a facial tic when he was 7. However, his only come over the winter months. The tics start around November and continue through until March when they reduce to almost nothing over the summer months. This pattern has continued every year. Unfortunately this year they have been painful and his eyelid has swollen slightly. Using an ice pack helps a little but he is really suffering (and complaining) about it this year. Planning on taking him to the doctor to get advice on vitamin D. I am convinced there is a link and am hoping they can give me advice as to what supplement would be the best to use. Fingers crossed the vitamin D works.
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