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Gluten Free Diet & Tics?

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  • Gluten Free Diet & Tics?

    Tourette Canada Blog
    Ask Dr. Ticcy: Gluten-Free Diet
    Date July 8, 2015

    It seems that everyone is talking about going gluten-free these days.

    Is this a fad or will it improve your health?

    Gluten is a protein found in wheat. This means that by eating foods like pasta, cereal, beer, sauces, pastries, couscous, cookies, muffins or crackers, you are most likely consuming gluten. For the approximately 1% of the population that have celiac disease, consuming gluten can cause damage to small bowel’s inner lining which makes it more difficult to absorb nutrients (for more information on celiac disease click here).

    If only 1% of people have celiac disease than what is the problem with eating gluten, you ask. This is a great question especially when we consider the fact that gluten is the most heavily consumed protein on Earth and has been a staple in the human diet for thousands of years!

    According to William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, “the version of ‘wheat’ we consume today is a product of genetics research…[not] the forms of wheat that were grown fifty years ago”. As a result, Davis says, gluten causes many different health problems. However, not everyone agrees with Davis. Medical professor Joseph Murrary of the Mayo Clinic asserts that the chemical contents of wheat hasn’t actually changed all that much.

    The question that remains is: does cutting out gluten help with tics or not? Dr. William Philpott, author of Brain Allergies says that in his practice he has found that a gluten-free diet is often helpful for reducing tics.

    A case study published this year in the Journal of Sleep Disorders & Therapy supports Philpott’s observation. After a 13 year old girl with TS and a non-celiac gluten sensitivity started a gluten-free diet, she experienced improvement after only a few months of eating gluten-free. After two and a half years, the girl was “completely asymptomatic of neuro-psychiatric ailments”.

    Unfortunately, there are virtually no other published studies on this subject. That means that there is very little research that supports or disproves the assertion that going gluten-free makes a person tic-free. This in turn makes it harder to draw a conclusion about the effects of gluten on tics and to say whether it is something worth trying.

    A blood test can often indicate whether a person has a gluten-sensitivity, says Dr. Shelia Rogers. Furthermore, those who are concerned about celiac disease should talk to their doctor.

    Will you get tested for gluten-sensitivity?

    Have you or a loved one tried cutting out gluten? Did it help with tics?

    More Information & Sources:

    American Diabetes Association: What Foods Have Gluten?: American Diabetes Association®

    Specter, Michael. “Against the Grain” The New Yorker: Whats So Bad About Gluten? - The New Yorker

    Davis, William. Wheat Belly. Welcome - Wheatbelly

    Philpott & Klita. Brain Allergies: The Psychonutrient & Magnetic Connections Connections/dp/0658003984

    Rodrigo, L. “Tourette Syndrome & Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity: Clinical Remission with a Gluten-Free Diet: A Description Case” Journal of Sleep Disorders & Therapy. 2015: 4(1).

    Rogers, Sheila. Natural Treatments for Tics & Tourette’s: Natural Treatments for Tics and Tourettes: A Patient and Family Guide: Sheila Rogers DeMare: 9781556437472: Books -
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  • #2
    Re: Gluten Free Diet & Tics?

    If anyone's interested in a great gluten-free snack/breakfast or energy bar, I highly recommend KIND bars. There are about 32 varieties, some are oat bars, I like the nut bars. They are -
    - all natural/non GMO
    - gluten free
    - no sugar alcohols
    - low glycemic
    - low sodium
    - dairy free
    - cholesterol free
    - no trans fats
    - no sulphur dioxide
    - no hydrogenated oils

    I received two types as a holiday gift and love them both: Maple Glazed Pecan and Sea Salt, and Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt.

    The ingredients for the Maple Glazed Pecan are: Mixed nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans), chicory root fiber, honey, non GMO glucose, crisp rice, maple syrup, sea salt, natural maple flavor, soy lecithin. That's all!

    Each bar has 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. These bars are really delicious and will fill you right up if you eat two of them. Or just have one if you wake up hungry in the middle of the night. And no sugar rush. Sweet, but not too sweet.

    You can get a good deal on them at Amazon - if you Subscribe under the "Subscribe and Save" plan, you get a discount. Then if you're subscribing to at least 5 items, you get an additional discount for a total of about 15% off the price. So they come out to about a dollar a bar.

    I'm planning to order 5 boxes of 12 bars each to have delivered every two months. You can also push back or forward the delivery date with no penalty if you like. Search "Kind bars" on Amazon to see all the different varieties. No, I don't work for the company lol. Just really glad to have found this healthy and easy-to-eat food.


    • #3
      Re: Gluten Free Diet & Tics?

      You may find the attached recent (February 4, 2016) Medscape article of interest Should We All Go Gluten Free?

      A PDF copy of the article is attached for download / saving / printing, because it is 8 pages long.
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