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sbgrace

Effective natural treatment for OCD, perhaps other conditions

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I wanted to share some proven (clinical trial proven) natural, generally side effect free, treatments that could be tried for OCD. This summer my son started displaying severe OCD symptoms. The psychiatrist wanted to start Prozac to try to get the severity to a level he could be helped by Cognitive Behavioral approaches.

I found a double blind, placebo controlled study showing treatment response to N-acetylcysteine in children with OCD and, with the psychiatrist's go ahead, we decided to try it first. Here is a current clinical trial with dosage information used for kids in the study at Yale. I actually read a completed/results pediatric study and the doses were different than used in this study by a little bit (worked to 1200 mg 2 times per day; this new, follow up study is working to 900 mg 3 times per day). Apparently this has been used safely in pediatric patients for other things for a very long time.  I give it with vitamin C or vitamin C containing foods to help with cysteine processing. The study I saw, with the lower doses, showed very good treatment response and no side effects. I can't find the results to that original study now, perhaps because they are now starting recruiting for the follow up study. NAC appears to work by acting on glutamate in the brain. Working with glutamate seems to be where new OCD treatment investigation is finding potential huge promise.

 

Anyway, we started N-acetylcysteine with my son. It was not a consistent immediate response for him and improvement increased over time even after we reached our twice a day dose. For the last few months my son has been, for all intents and purposes, free of any life impeding symptoms. I rarely seen any hint of OCD and, even then, the anxiety level associated is almost nothing for him. I'm not sure he would even be able to be diagnosed as he is now.

 

Edited to add: A friend used this for her son. It took a full 9 weeks on the full dose (13 total) for her to begin to see improvement. We researched, and some adult trials mention that "response was noted begin at 12 weeks" and similar wording that indicate it takes a while to see benefit. I didn't note how long it took my son to begin response, but I know it wasn't immediate.

Anyway, given the time passed now I feel confident that this was, for us, a success and so wanted to share it as an alternative to try if a person wants to possibly avoid SSRI medications.

Another proven treatment for OCD is Inositol in high doses. It's a safe b vitamin. It's more of a hassle to take. The doses are high enough that you must use a powder form mixed in a drink three times a day while the NAC is dosed by pill. The two treatments work differently and could be used together. Inositol probably works by affecting serotonin levels/receptivity though it has none of the negative side effects of SSRI's. In fact, the most common side effect appears to be gastro adjustments when you start working up in doses. For my son, though, it greatly aggravated ADHD symptoms. I just noticed that was found in clinical trials too.

Inositol was usually suggested as an alternative to try instead of SSRI medications. The NAC was often used as a complimentary approach given it has a different benefit than SSRI medications. That said, it appears NAC can be successful alone at least for some people. Both are safe, often effective, and generally side effect free.

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Thanks for the info. Mine gets worse during pregnancy & postpartum. I've had good luck with CLO, B6, zinc, magnesium, and a million other vitamins helping. Not completely, but a little better.

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Where did you purchase the NAC? We tried Inositol but I don't think we gave it enough chance and things deteriorated so quickly that we resorted to Zoloft. It's been a year now, and although much better, my son is definitely NOT symptom free by any means. We were going to try weaning him off and try St. John's Wort instead. I may try this first though. I'd be SOOOO happy if it helped instead of Zoloft.

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This is what I'm using with him. I really don't think brand would matter though as long as you got something that is easy to dose at the level you need and it doesn't have any other active ingredients. I picked that one because of the 600 mg. capsules and cost per capsule was best at least at the time we ordered. I think it's worth a try. You could dose it together with his Zoloft to start. If you see response I'd continue because you may well see even more improvement over time. It was not immediate for us but, once dosage reached and he was stable, it has been extremely effective and the response has been consistent. That's why I wouldn't take him off the Zoloft before starting. I'd stabilize before I tried dropping down Zoloft. I so hope it might help your son too. I hate OCD.
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Thank you so much for this information. I'm in the same boat as Cynthia. My ds is taking Zoloft. We just had to lower the dose because he has gained 40lbs :closedeyes: this year as a side effect of the med. We have an appointment in a couple of weeks and I hope to get him off of it entirely. I would much rather find a "natural" alternative.

 

Thanks again!

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How long did you keep him at 600 before adding the second dose? Also, if you would like to share, what were his symptoms?

 

My oldest is dx'ed OCD and PDD-NOS and has been on Zoloft nearing a year now. At 20 mg. It helped tremendously, but I feel the initial gains we saw are wearing off, and I'm not comfortable upping the dose or changing meds etc. I also have to give him melatonin to offset the insomnia and sleep problems caused by the Zoloft. At the year mark I want to talk to our dr about weaning him off the meds. As far as supplements he stays on a high probiotics, omegas, and multi and extra B Complex.

 

This is interesting because I have read about the lack of glutathione in children on the spectrum. I have also read about glutathione treatments.

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This is what I wrote to a friend at the time we were experiencing it. Actually this was two months into it at this point. We had been moving when we first saw symptoms and I didn't know what was happening:

 

Our life has become a complete horror. He doesn't sleep (he might stop breathing, he thinks he tasted something weird that might kill him, he might have swallowed spit call the ambulance, etc....all OCD stuff). On the worst days he barely eats because he might swallow it wrong and die. He's thrown in obsessions about religious stuff--how can he be sure he's a Christian type things--and it's just so sad. When he's not constantly checking his breathing, wiping his mouth, spitting out "something tasted weird", asking me for he bazillionth time if he might be dying, screaming at me to call the doctor, etc. he's melting down over the smallest thing.

 

For my son it was nearly constant. It morphed a little over time as OCD does but the severity stayed the same. We had major sleep issues (he was afraid he might stop breathing in his sleep among other things) and he was losing weight because of OCD (afraid he might swallow the food wrong for example). It was really horrific and went on for months. His symptoms were too severe to use CBT at the time. The hope was medication might lower it enough to work a CBT program.

 

The studies I linked have dosing information. The newer one says 900 mg 1 time per day for a week, then 900 2 x per day for a week, then 900 mg 3 x per day for a week. The one I saw, that had results listed at the time, used 600 mg. twice a day for a week and then 2 600 mg pills (1200 mg) twice a day for the remainder of the study. I used that 600 mg dosing. We kept my son on that low dose for much longer than necessary because we still needed symptoms to evaluate his response to an antibiotic in case it was strep induced (he had no response to the antibiotic and no strep in testing either). It really took the full dose to get resolution. I found notes that said we saw response to the low dose initially but it was spotty and I felt we went backward to maybe square one on some bad days.

 

I don't remember how long it took to get full response on the full dose. I really regret that we didn't keep a record so I could answer those questions for people! At the time I was just so desperate to help my son I wasn't thinking about wanting to track it to share with others eventually. I wish I had. My husband and I are both nearly certain we had things well under control at one month on the full dose. However, it may have been much faster. I just really can't remember. I did read somewhere that people were still seeing improvement at 2-3 months out. So it's not an immediate thing.

 

I do think glutamate is the future of OCD treatment (and treatment of other things). I've seen NAC has been shown to help certain features of autism actually. Here is information on a study. I didn't see dramatic change in autism features on it in my son but that doesn't mean it doesn't help autism in others. Actually, now that I think of it my son is making some pretty interesting gains in autism areas but I really think they are unrelated. It certainly can't hurt though!

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I can't tell you how timely this is. I was just talking with a friend about ds's increase in what I've suspected is OCD like behaviors. The behavior is mild enough that I would not want to medicate, but present enough that I think it's time to take some sort of action. Thanks for posting all of this info.

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I appreciate the info too. I've had severe OCD since I was around 4 years old or so and only got relief about two years ago (I'm 45) from medication. I never even knew there was medication available. My doctors think I have chronically low serotonin levels (which evidently is somewhat rare). By using an SSRI my life has changed dramatically. I'm so glad you all are helping your children. I don't think my parents even knew there was help available. Actually, I don't think they had any idea what to do for me. A chemical imbalance ruled my life, and I am so grateful to God for SSRIs. I am a completely different person.

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:bigear:

 

I was diagnosed with OCD and anxiety earlier this year. I was put on Celexa, which has helped immensely. But, I am definitely interested in more natural approaches, especially when DH and I start our family in a few years.

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Can the tablets be crushed? I'm wondering about it, but my dd can't swallow pills.

 

I'm using capsules. It does not taste good (I tried it; the odor is particularly ick) but the capsules are too big for my son to swallow as well. Well, they were at the time he thought swallowing anything would kill him anyway! I put a dab of good tasting stuff on a spoon, dump the capsules, good tasting stuff on top. Then he follows with a strong tasting something like a drink. I don't know if all kids would do it like he does. He's generally used to taking medication. I've got some other brands here. I haven't opened them to see if the capsules are smaller.

 

I want to say that I'm not anti-SSRI's. I believe they save lives literally. I would give them to my child if this hadn't worked and know I was doing the right thing. I do know the side effects vary by person and can keep some people from using them as regularly as they probably need. So for that reason alone it's nice to have alternatives.

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Thanks for the info. Looks like they think N-acetylcysteine might also treat PCOS. Win-win for me. :D

 

However, it does have possible side effects and drug interactions, and it isn't known if it's safe to take during pregnancy. Hopefully people do their research before they take any kind of natural supplement.

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"side effects of NAC are generally mild, with gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, nausea, diarrhea and decreased appetite being the most common." Quoted from the study above. Considering that these are issues that children with autism suffer from, and that we personally have a lot of grief with, I wonder if it's worth the risk of these NAC common side effects. I could use some help with the repetitive OCDthat takes up a chunk of my ds's time, but the last thing I need is the above problems becoming an issue again after we have worked so hard to relieve them. Thanks for all this info.

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I just bought a big bottle of the NAC and have started taking 1200mg a day, so I'll let you guys know if it does anything to relieve the OCD symptoms. Apparently it helps with PCOS too, so we'll see. *crosses fingers*

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I told a few people who contacted me but it would be nice if people could report their experience if they try this treatment. Right now all I have is that study and my son's improvement. I suspect it will help those for whom glutamate is factor in their OCD. I think I mentioned but I would not recommend anyone stop an SSRI in themselves or their kids to try this. It takes a while to kick in and, if it doesn't help, a person would need to build back up on the SSRI. It's safe to combine with an existing SSRI if a person already medicated wants to try it. I wanted to link a side effects page too. Note the same asthma concern as I noted above. My moderate to severe asthmatic is taking it and seems to be doing ok, that study seemed to indicate it might be ok too, but it's something to consider. I do want to make sure everyone is aware of any potential issues. The stuff does stink.The studies work up to full dose so your body can adjust. I think this is mainly gastro type stuff and my son may have had some mild gastro adjustment though I can't remember for sure.

 

I hope it helps Mergath. I did not know about PCOS. Interesting.

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Hmmm, I wonder if any of this helps with OCD leaning heavily towards OCPD? I have never medicated mine because I am generally anti-medication unless necessary to continue being alive. I've found that mine ebbs and flows, sometimes monthly and sometimes daily. I just tell everyone that meets me that I'm a little crazy. Love me or hate me. ;)

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Hmmm, I wonder if any of this helps with OCD leaning heavily towards OCPD? I have never medicated mine because I am generally anti-medication unless necessary to continue being alive. I've found that mine ebbs and flows, sometimes monthly and sometimes daily. I just tell everyone that meets me that I'm a little crazy. Love me or hate me. ;)

 

 

OCD often ebbs and flows. I think it would be safe to try if you want to see if it helps (do check side effects/disclaimer of I'm not a doctor). I hesitate to say it would help absolutely anyone with OCD. I really suspect it will be of benefit to those who have a glutamate factor in their OCD which might be more people than not. I know glutamate is where OCD treatment appears to be headed. But most of the studies are using heavy duty drugs, those used in other glutamate linked conditions like ALS, to aggressively modify.

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I ordered NAC from vitacost last week to see if it would help Dd with her skin picking compulsion. We will see if it works.

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We received ours on Thursday and my son (15) started taking it that night. We are starting at 600mg morning and night on an empty stomach (I read that was best). I'll up him to 1200mg twice a day after a week. He is currently on 50mg of Zoloft and we are leaving him at that level until we see if the NAC is making any positive changes. I'll update as I know more.

 

I'm soooo crossing my fingers on this. It's so heartbreaking to see this effect their lives so deeply.

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I'd be really interested to see how it goes with OCPD, too, for a family member who doesn't have the OC side of things as much as the Personality Disorder.

 

I'll have to look into it.

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"side effects of NAC are generally mild, with gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, nausea, diarrhea and decreased appetite being the most common." Quoted from the study above. Considering that these are issues that children with autism suffer from, and that we personally have a lot of grief with, I wonder if it's worth the risk of these NAC common side effects. I could use some help with the repetitive OCDthat takes up a chunk of my ds's time, but the last thing I need is the above problems becoming an issue again after we have worked so hard to relieve them. Thanks for all this info.

 

I missed this earlier. I don't remember if we had any adjusting gastro wise initially. It's possible, I think that's why they step up the dosing every week or two in the studies, but if so it wasn't significant enough for me to remember. My son doesn't have gastro issues on it now. He does tend toward that sort of thing as well. I understand the concern and it's certainly worth weighing.

 

We received ours on Thursday and my son (15) started taking it that night. We are starting at 600mg morning and night on an empty stomach (I read that was best). I'll up him to 1200mg twice a day after a week. He is currently on 50mg of Zoloft and we are leaving him at that level until we see if the NAC is making any positive changes. I'll update as I know more. I'm soooo crossing my fingers on this. It's so heartbreaking to see this effect their lives so deeply.

 

Prior to this pediatric study I saw the studies with OCD were using it in addition to an SSRI to benefit those who weren't fully responding to the SSRI. I'm glad you're starting with them together. I very much hope it helps him. It hurts to watch our kids suffer. I feel for you.

 

Does anyone know how it does with other anxieties? Anxiety disorders, PTSD caused brain changes, etc? And what about for people who have paradoxical effects with medication?

 

I was going to reply and say I've only seen placebo controlled, published, etc. studies with the OCD, trichotillomania and related disorders, addictions, and autism. However, the idea that glutamine is a big part of brain based disorders is relatively new. I'd expect to see more research in this area as time goes on.

 

But I googled PTSD and n-acetylcysteine and saw a clinical trial is forming to study it as an augment to another medication.

It has been suggested that N-acetylcysteine exerts neuroprotective effects by regulating neurotransmitters and cell signaling pathways. We hypothesize that oral N-acetylcysteine augmentation will help reduce symptoms in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder as well as improve cognitive functions.

 

It looks like "they" are possibly studying it with depression and bipolar too. That's interesting. I see the (possible/probable) connection in the brain for the other things that have been studied. But this broader vision...it would be so great if there was a (generally/usually) benign option like this to treat a wider variety of conditions.

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This thread was linked from a current thread, I am wondering if any of those who said they were going to try this treatment could check back in and let us know how things went?

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This thread was linked from a current thread, I am wondering if any of those who said they were going to try this treatment could check back in and let us know how things went?

 

I would love this too. I added some information that wasn't in originally about length of treatment to begin to see results (12 weeks approx, or 9 weeks on the full dose). I did this based on feedback I received from someone else using it in her son, and subsequent research I did for her. I didn't know to tell people to stick with it back then, and I hadn't tracked how long it took my son to respond.

 

I'll update that my son is still doing well. We get breakthrough OCD if we miss a dose.

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I think the treatment should be that you can give a little OCD to friends who could use more attention to detail. It would be like The Rainbow Fish.

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I haven't officially been diagnosed with OCD, only MDD (have only been to the psychologist once). However, I know for a fact it's OCD. Mine too are typically not in the physical form. Mine appears in excessive fears over many things. I used to ask about something a million times, "are you sure I'm not getting sick? Are you sure, are you sure?" I've been this way for most of my life. I remember in elementary school a friend had appendicitis and I worried for months that I would too. I often felt sick and my side hurt, so I spent a lot of time in the nurses office over being paranoid I had it.

 

I was on Zoloft for a year and a half recently, but noticed it wasn't helping quite as much over time and had to up the dose, which increased my anxiety. I was also began having trouble sleeping and night sweats. I weaned off, got pregnant and have had many of my habits return. I'm very interested in alternatives as I would prefer not to get back on SSRI unless I have to.

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For people who are looking for truly natural treatments, I want to point out that cognitive-behavioral therapy for OCD is as effective as medication.

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My child was diagnosed with OCD almost three years ago.  She was on Zoloft for a year and I decided to wean her off and try some natural supplements.  We used N-Acetyl Cysyteine for a bit but didn't see too much improvement.  We started using L-tryptophan and supporting supplements and saw great results.  We were able to stop those supplements as well after another year.  Now we have very little OCD symptoms left and the anxiety is much better but still around a bit at bedtime.  This all started with the onset of puberty. 

 

 

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For people who are looking for truly natural treatments, I want to point out that cognitive-behavioral therapy for OCD is as effective as medication.

 

This is very true, and needs to be said. It actually might be more effective.

 

I would like to add that it's preferable in my mind. The child is developing skills that will help manage the OCD throughout life.

 

However, many people (kids included, at least the ones I've known) are too severe to start cognitive behavioral therapy without medication first. If anxiety is extremely high, CBT for OCD is very difficult. If the therapist refers for an SSRI, NAC or Inositol might be a good choice instead. This is what we did with my son.

 

Further, OCD is approached differently than other disorders. It's still cognitive behavioral therapy, but it's specific to OCD. In my experience, a CBT therapist without that training can be worse than nothing. In some areas, it's hard to find someone who specializes in OCD. In other areas, it's easy though. The OCD Foundation online has lists of providers. Who you see really matters with OCD. 

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For people who are looking for truly natural treatments, I want to point out that cognitive-behavioral therapy for OCD is as effective as medication.

 

I agree with you but it's sometimes very hard to a find a therapist that is trained to work with children in this area.  I live in a big metropolitan area and there is one.  Also, the patient has to be willing to "do" the cognitive behavior training.  Young children are hard to work with from my own experience and research.  They have a hard time turning away from the comfort in their rituals. 

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Hi, I am the mother of a precious 7 year old boy who has (HAD) severe OCD and would like to share with you our success story using NAC. 

 

First, I'd like to begin by painting a picture of what it meant for our family to live with severe OCD...Because of severe OCD, my ds could not read a simple list of words without starting over and over and over again, only to end in tears, shouts, and sometimes even with physical aggressions, such as, hitting and kicking the teacher (me).  Because of OCD, he could not write his name or his spelling words, let alone individual letters, without putting holes into his paper from incessant erasing and tear splatterings. (Despite his nearly perfect handwriting, you see, his writing didn't look right to him.)   Because of OCD, my ds couldn't even play a simple card game (e.g., RS math card games) because none of the cards picked up from the draw pile by himself or his teacher ever felt right to him.  In a nutshell, teaching my ds academics went from several hours of arduous work (compared to perhaps one hour of work it would take the average kindergartener) to not being able to complete ANY academic task. 

 

As if that isn't bad enough, because of OCD, my son sometimes couldn't pick out his own clothes, dress himself, or sometimes even wear any clothes at all.  Sometimes it would be his underwear and pants he refused to wear (because they didn't feel right).  Sometimes it was his socks and shoes, or his shirt.  Or anything at all.  And when he did wear clothes he rarely thought they looked right, and he frequently complained they didn't feel right either. 

 

Did the OCD stop there?  No.  Eventually, it started to affect his ability to do even the most basic things, such as walking down steps, entering a room, turning on a light ( none of which he thought he could do right), and going to the bathroom.   The list just goes on and on and on. 

 

His OCD behaviors waxed and waned, but school remained a consistent problem as well as he going to the bathroom.  (He would ask about potty approx. 50 times or more each day and could not ever go alone/mom deeply entrenched into his bathroom routine.)

 

This is a glimpse of what our lives were like before NAC and up until 13 weeks of being on NAC.   I'll be honest and say I was skeptical about NAC helping my ds, yet I was stubborn enough (despite my family's utter misery) to give NAC a.real.chance.  Why?  Because NAC helped my best friend's son.  That fact alone gave me the strength I needed to endure the misery.  The misery of waiting, waiting, and waiting some more for improvement, any improvement at all.  (It's really, REALLY hard to just wait when you see your son, your entire family, suffer on a daily basis.)

 

When I didn't see any improvement whatsoever by 11 weeks of NAC, I decided I better start pursuing other alternatives just in case the NAC was not going to be our magic bullet.  Just to reiterate how life-debilitating my son's OCD was, one of the qualified therapists with whom I spoke extensively to said my ds was so severe that he needed to be enrolled in an intensive tx. program, which she believed could only be provided out of our home state of GA.  (Yikes!)   Our alternative plans included not only cognitive behavior therapy, but an SSRI as well. 

 

I have to admit that not only was I skeptical about NAC, but RELIEVED that we had at least 2 highly qualified therapists that were willing to work with our ds.  I thought FOR SURE we were going to have to put our ds on an SSRI and get other professional help.  (As severe as our ds was, I just couldn't see NAC being enough.)

 

Well, the eve of that 13th week was when we finally, finally began to note improvement in our ds.  We stopped doing any school at that point, so my biggest indicator of change was his bathroom routine. We continued to note improvements/decreased OCD behaviors that 13th week, to the point that our son could actually go to the bathroom ALL.BY.HIMSELF.--a first in months!  After that it only got better.  Overall, it may have taken 4 or 5 weeks (16th or 17th week of being on NAC) before we  

think his improvement peaked.  He went from showing severe OCD to showing mild OCD overall.  A lot of days he shows no OCD behaviors at all--truly a miracle! 

 

I want to make clear that NAC did NOT cure my ds, nor does it eliminate all of the OCD.  But I will say I rarely see any anxiety associated with old OCD behaviors.  For example, he may ask to go to the potty (out of habit), but not show any anxiety whatsoever when I tell him "no" or that he needs to "ignore that OCD bully."  That's it!  The case is dropped/never asks to go potty again...except when he really does need to go potty!  Oh, and there are no new OCD behaviors that have developed!   

 

I also want to make clear that because our son was born with a "sticky brain" and that NAC does not cure him of OCD, he does have his moments of weakness (or in other words, is having an "off day").  But his "off days" consist of mild OCD/very mild anxiety that goes away fairly quickly.  

 

Lastly, I want to say that while NAC CAN be the magic bullet for some, perhaps many, it probably shouldn't be the only bullet.  Based upon our experiences, I believe there also needs to be some cognitive behavioral component to dealing with OCD.  If the OCD is mild enough, parents MAY be able to work with his/her child without hiring a professional.   For our case, we have chosen to initiate CBT via educating ourselves, consulting with others who have OCD and have had CBT, and by reading and discussing with our son the book, "What to Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck" by Dawn Huebner.  This book has helped our family more than I can say.  As far as hiring a professional goes, well, right now we're not sure there is even anything for the therapist to even focus on (!) , so we've decided to put that on standby for now.  

 

FYI, due to our family's circumstances (in the process of moving from KY to GA), we have not yet been able to start school back up full-time, but what schooling we have done over the past few weeks has been encouraging.  It may very well be that the NAC and our basic awareness of the CBT tools will be enough to pursue schooling full-time without professional assistance.

 

I will try to update you on our status so that you can see what NAC is doing for our family :-).

 

FYI, our son takes 2700 mg of NAC daily (or 900 mg X3 daily).

 

 

 

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I realize this thread began in 2012, but if any of the posters who tried NAC would be willing to give even a short update on how it worked over time, I'd be grateful.

 

The description by Swarmie, above, sounds SO much like my 6 year old--right down to the bathroom issue, and RightStart math :)--that I'm especially curious how he's doing now.

 

I have started my son on NAC,but we are only on week 2.

 

Thank you!!

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My daughter has OCD as well. Something that has helped her is magnesium. In every form - oral magnesium glycinate, magnesium citrate, and epsom salt baths. Also supplemental zinc and a gluten-free diet. I'm going to try NAC as well. Her symptoms are not as severe as they used to be, but as she's gotten older she has become more aware of her lack of control over her actions and that concerns me.

 

Question - at what age did you notice symptoms start and any guesses to what triggers them? For us I noticed it when she was in Kindergarten. The symptoms changed over time but that's when it started. Music lessons triggered it to begin with, then a big move soon afterwards.  She seems to have a complete reduction in symptoms over the summer. Makes me wonder if Vitamin D is involved. She has also had a lot of dental work done, maybe there is some heavy metal toxicity that is triggering her symptoms - might make sense since NAC is used in heavy metal detox.

 

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My daughter has OCD as well. Something that has helped her is magnesium. In every form - oral magnesium glycinate, magnesium citrate, and epsom salt baths. Also supplemental zinc and a gluten-free diet. I'm going to try NAC as well. Her symptoms are not as severe as they used to be, but as she's gotten older she has become more aware of her lack of control over her actions and that concerns me.

 

Question - at what age did you notice symptoms start and any guesses to what triggers them? For us I noticed it when she was in Kindergarten. The symptoms changed over time but that's when it started. Music lessons triggered it to begin with, then a big move soon afterwards.  She seems to have a complete reduction in symptoms over the summer. Makes me wonder if Vitamin D is involved. She has also had a lot of dental work done, maybe there is some heavy metal toxicity that is triggering her symptoms - might make sense since NAC is used in heavy metal detox.

 

OCD tends to wax and wane in most people. Stress, physical or emotional/mental, can make it worsen. It can also change the, well, topics over time. Puberty can ramp it up, life changes, illness. It's variable.

 

There is always the possibility that infections (Strep is most common, but there are other causes) can result in sudden onset OCD and other symptoms (PANDAS/PITANDS). I think it's hard to find experts in that in most areas. But quick dx and treatment can resolve symptoms. When we had our son tested for that, they did run immune markers and vitamin D as well. This was a well known expert in the field, so I assume D can play a role in that particular type. We didn't find anything indicating PITANDS/PANDAS in my son's extensive testing. I will mention at the end that I think infection may be playing some role--but we missed it at onset.

 

We first realized he had OCD around age 9. It was during/after a move. I suspect, in retrospect, that it was there before perhaps mildly but the stress of the move made it move to a more severe category--losing weight, sleep, spending much of his time with mental self reassurance/reasoning and also seeking reassurance from us. I don't know if I posted this above, but the NAC turned that around for us. However, a couple of years ago I tried to take him off of one of his two a day Culturelle probiotics. He started taking those when he was 3.5 and got chronic c. diff after a hospitalization. His OCD ramped up some. When I finally made a connection and put it back, it went away again. On occasions I've pulled and the OCD seems to return. So, while he was on probiotics when the OCD flared horribly and he started the NAC, it seems they might be part of the picture, together with NAC, in controlling symptoms. I guess it could be coincidence, but it doesn't seem like it. So I think *maybe* the c. diff is part of our picture. In retrospect, I think we have PITANDS with it. But we didn't recognize it back then.

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