Tune into the Doctor’s TV Show to Hear Danielle Natoni’s Story! (Friday, November 3, 2017)
If anyone knows how food and fitness can dramatically improve the quality of life for a child who suffers from Tourette syndrome, it’s our client Danielle Natoni, a school teacher turned fitness influencer. From the start, Danielle could tell Bianca was a unique kid. She marched to the beat of her own drum. However, as her daughter grew up, Danielle started to notice symptoms of Tourette’s appear in Bianca.
Tourette syndrome is a nervous system disorder involving repetitive movements or unwanted sounds. When Bianca was about 7, Danielle started noticing rapid eye movements, things like blinking, which then turned into shoulder shrugs and other symptoms. Little did Danielle know that her fitness and health journey would end up helping her daughter too.
A friend of Danielle’s who happens to have Tourette syndrome, (she met through fitness) helped Danielle come to the conclusion that her daughter had Tourettes. When Danielle would mention that Bianca was experiencing more tics than usual she asked Danielle, “did she have a lot of gluten today?” Danielle started to notice a direct response to her daughter eating foods with gluten, chemicals, sugars, and how often she had an episode.
Changes in Bianca’s nutrition and fitness regime ended up being the secret to managing her Tourette’s symptoms.
Currently, Tourettes is impacting a large number of children and parent’s don’t know how to help manage Tourette symptoms with their kids. A study for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 1 of every 360 children between the age of 6-17 in the United States has been diagnosed with Tourette syndrome.
Here’s How Danielle used food and fitness to take her daughter from funky to fabulous:
No gluten: Gluten increased tics in Bianca. Living a gluten-free diet helped decrease her Tourette’s symptoms. Danielle offers an array of vegetables instead.
Fitness: Danielle noticed that during Bianca’s volleyball matches and games that she would not tic. The more her body moved, the less she seemed to tic. This physical activity also made her body so tired that she was able to sleep more. Danielle incorporated her fitness expertise as an influencer as motivation for her daughter.
Limited sugars, even those that are natural: Danielle found out that a ketogenic approach to treatments stopped people from having seizures, which is a neurological issue like Tourette syndrome. Therefore, Danielle decided to experiment with limiting her sugar intake and noticed a drastic decrease in Bianca’s tics. Danielle eliminating sodas and juices from Bianca’s diet to even limiting the amount of fruit Bianca eats.
Chewing gum. Danielle added a quick fix into Bianca’s routine with chewing gum. Danielle gets the healthiest version at the store and has found that giving gum after school helps to calm her down after a long day and somehow calmed the tics.
Limit screen time: Danielle noticed a direct correlation to how long she was staring at the iPad or iPhone to how often she ticked.
Food and fitness are extremely important aspects of managing Tourette’s, as well as other disorders/syndromes such as ADHD, Autism and so on. Limiting screen time, getting adequate sleep, removing gluten, sugars, focusing on a whole food-based diet and movement helps kids dealing with all different types of issues. However, these are not talked about enough.