As parents, we always want the best for our children. That’s why it’s important to understand the unique characteristics of Tourette syndrome (TS) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These neurodevelopmental disorders are commonly seen in children, and they often co-occur. But what exactly are these disorders, and how can we help our children manage their symptoms?
Tics, Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsivity
TS, or Tourette’s Syndrome, is a disorder with a wide variety of motor and vocal issues. It often presents itself as inexplicable tics—familiar repetitive movements and vocal outbursts that can come in many forms. These tics are uncontrollable at times, feeling almost regimental or automatic for those afflicted with this disorder. TS affects the lives of those who experience it by introducing an unpredictability to everyday life that can often be overwhelming.
Nevertheless, much progress has been made in understanding the disorder over time to provide better care and support.
On the other hand, ADHD is a disorder that is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Children with ADHD may have difficulty focusing on tasks, have a hard time sitting still, and may act impulsively without thinking through the consequences of their actions.
We’ve got to take a multi-faceted approach when it comes to treating TS and ADHD. That means looking at the genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors at play.
Research points to genetic variations as a key factor in the development of these disorders, and exposure to environmental toxins only adds to the risk. But here’s a big one: what we eat and how we live to make a real difference, too.
Studies suggest that TS and ADHD kids often have a few missing links in their essential nutrient intake (think fish oil, zinc, magnesium, and iron). Eating a diet high in processed junk, sugar, and artificial additives can also make symptoms worse. That’s why we recommend creating a personalized nutrition plan that targets deficiencies, nips harmful foods in the bud, and focuses on giving your child the fuel they need to thrive.
Therapies and Treatments
In terms of treatment, both TS and ADHD are typically managed with a combination of medication and behavioral therapy.
Medications such as stimulants, alpha-2 agonists, and stimulants are commonly used to manage symptoms of ADHD, while medications such as clonidine, haloperidol, risperidone, and pimozide are commonly used to manage tic symptoms in TS. However, medication alone may not be enough, and it may have side effects that could affect the child’s quality of life.
This is where behavioral therapy comes in. Techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and social skills training can help children to learn how to manage their symptoms and improve their ability to function in daily life. By teaching children coping mechanisms, they can develop a better understanding of their condition and learn to manage their symptoms more effectively.
The bottom line is that children with TS and ADHD need personalized care that targets the underlying causes of their condition. A pediatric functional medicine perspective addresses these underlying factors and provides a holistic approach to treatment. By addressing dietary and lifestyle factors, along with an individualized treatment plan, children can experience significant improvement in symptoms and overall well-being.
As parents, it’s important to take action urgently and seek professional help for our children. We owe it to them to provide the best possible care and support. By understanding the unique characteristics of Tourette syndrome and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, we can make informed decisions that will benefit our children’s health and well-being.
Overall, Tourette Syndrome and ADHD in children can be treated holistically when properly diagnosed, which is why it is so important to seek help from a professional. There are therapies that focus not only on minimizing and managing symptoms but also on holistic treatment options for underlying issues, such as nutritional deficiencies, that could potentially be the root cause. It is essential to have a team of trusted professionals working together with you and your child to achieve the best outcome possible. Covington Pediatrics offers services in Pediatric Functional Medicine that can get to the root cause of why your child may have Tourette Syndrome or ADHD, and we invite you to schedule a consultation today. Our professional team at Covington Pediatrics has years of experience and knowledge in this area and would love to get started helping create an effective treatment plan for you and your child. Don’t hesitate; call 770-787-7444 today to schedule an appointment!
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DISCLAIMER: The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional