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Monday, September 24, 2007

TOURETTE'S SYNDROME, cont'd: PART II.

TOURETTE’S SYNDROME, cont’d.

PART II (PART I, published yesterday)

DISCUSSION

This is a story of a young man who suffered from Tourette's Syndrome for almost ten years from age 2 ½ till the time I examined him at age 12 years His problem got so bad that it required his removal from school 2 ½ months previous to his first visit in my office.

Being in early adolescence, he was beginning to feel the usual anxieties resulting from being isolated from his friends. On his second visit, one week after he came to the office for the first time, he told me: “Doctor, I want to thank you for what you have done for me.” This is quite a comment coming from a 12 year old child.

As he continued to improve, he appeared happier and he smiled more. His mother who was a nurse was well versed in the form of therapy we were giving the boy for she sought me out because of our approach. Her local physician advised her to go ahead and try out what we had to say. The husband, father of the boy, was skeptical.

The mother was very concerned about the fact that the boy was not improving and that he was on three medications, namely, Celexa, Ritalin, and Focalin (a quicker acting Ritalin-related drug). Most amazing is the fact that even though the child was getting worse on these drugs, little thought was being given to considering stopping such medications.

I know well that an objective scientific paper of this kind should be free of recriminations of others who insist upon staying the conventional course by giving such drugs even though they do little good and, in fact, can do more harm. The fact that this boy was worsening while on the drugs appeared not to awaken those who prescribed such drugs.

The theory we are considering can best be described in the answer to a question: Did the Good Lord Creator intend for some who apparently appear normal in most other respects to have impaired brain chemistry or why are some individuals abnormal in these manifestations while others are normal? I fully well realize that invoking the word Lord Creator brings in a non-scientific Theological Approach, but in essence the reader should know what we mean. If you wish, replace The Good Lord Creator with the word Nature.

What is impaired in an individual's brain chemistry which makes him prone to Tourette's Disease, or ADHD, or Autism, or such other abnormal manifestations of the brain and mind? Is it dietary? Is it a reaction to toxic elements in our environment? It is difficult for us to believe that it is the outward manifestation of impaired genetics. Genetics could explain why some are affected while others are not in so far as some may resist the aberrational effect of an impaired diet or toxins. Looked at in another way, everything that happens in our human body is related to genetics. But to explain the cause to genetics begs the question: given a normal clean environment including a proper diet and the lack of toxins, would we express such abnormal diseases.

Although we have the enzymes to rid our bodies of some toxins, such as limited amounts of arsenic and mercury, do we have the enzymes capable of eliminating those man-made chemicals which over the many years of evolution, adaptation, and mutation did not exist within the environment for us to develop those enzymes necessary for their detoxification?

Our theory begins with DIET. We believe that given the proper nutrients which may or may not include vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and other supplements, the body should be equipped to act and react normally to the environment. This theory would have little merit were it not for the fact that approaching treatment in this manner achieves results.

Placing an individual on a very strict elimination diet is the first step. It allows the body to eliminate what it has already taken in, and it begins a process by which no additional dietary insults are introduced. We consume too much of the same foods every day. Have you ever considered how many foods contain corn or a corn product, such as corn sweetener, corn starch, etc.? How about milk and milk products, such as whey and milk solids? These are in very many processed foods.

Years ago, there were some clinics both in the United States and Europe who advocated placing individuals on a water (distilled) only diet for two plus weeks before doing anything else. People responded. Some rare private clinics still do. These clinics still have their advocates and followers.

In our opinion, allergy testing, especially for foods, has little merit. It is in the process of elimination followed by food rotation and observing the response in the patient himself where the true and correct solution exists.

We fully realize that our young man with Tourette's Disease is a single patient. But the undeniable fact that his symptoms COMPLETELY disappeared on an elimination diet and complete cessation of his medications must prove something. It will take some persons other than we to convince this boy that his response did not really happen!

CONCEPT OF THE TOTAL LOAD

Environmental physicians have for some time proposed the Concept Of The Total Load . At the outset of this discussion, it would be prudent to define two terms: the allergic and sensitivity reactions. The allergic reaction would refer to a more specific set of circumstances where the body's reaction results from a series of biologic events initiated by a specific antigen/antibody reaction. A sensitivity reaction would result from a series of events not necessarily the result of an antibody reacting to a specific antigen. It could be a reaction to any number of toxic substances, such as irritants like cigarette smoke, perfumes, and colognes, etc. As an overall term, sensitivity could encompass the allergic reaction, but not necessarily vice versa. An allergic reaction could be a sensitivity, but a sensitivity would not always be an allergic reaction. For the sake of our argument here, I will refer to the more general and less specific term “sensitivity.”

A person could be sub-minimally sensitive to one substance so that no clinical symptoms occur. A person can be sub-minimally sensitive to a second substance again to the point where no symptoms are experienced. But the combination of exposure to both substances are additive to the point where symptoms now occur. Therefore, the Total Load resulting from both exposures increased the insult above the body's capacity to control symptoms. It is in this situation that skin testing may not truly represent what is happening within the body.

In a form of allergy testing, an antigen is introduced and the patient's reactions to the antigen are observed. Rarely are two antigens tested simultaneously. If what we wish to determine is the total load concept, this form of allergy testing falls short of the mark. A more prudent approach is to eliminate the suspected culprit foods or antigens, watch for the symptoms to disappear, then introduce the foods one by one. It may well be that, if rotation of foods were on the agenda, one may never know which combination of foods is causing which symptoms. But then, is this really important, if what we wish to achieve were the curing of the patient?

In the concept of food rotation, it is generally accepted that a person can eat a food to which he is sensitive, if he were to eat it no more than once every three or four days. It is important to note that this may hold true with most foods, but not to chance it with allergies to the legume peanuts, regular nuts or shellfish. With these complete elimination from the diet is essential.

The Concept Of The Total Load would hold true to combinations of sensitivity reactions, such as foods, pollens, other inhalants, and other exposures. Interesting may be the response of addicted individuals to an elimination. We had a patient who we wished to cure of her serious addiction to Paxil. During the course of a diet elimination program, she was able to slowly tapir Paxil where she was unable to do so before.

SUMMARY

We are reporting the cessation of severe vocal and motor symptoms in a 12 year old boy suffering from Tourette's Disease for ten years on an elimination diet. During the treatment period of four, we were able to completely discontinue the three medications he was taking for his condition. It would appear that others should try this rather harmless, but effective, approach to the therapy of Tourette's Disease.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
Director, Tauraso’s Medical Clinic
www.drtauraso.com

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