According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 200,000 people in the United States suffer from Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder that can cause involuntary movements and motor and vocal tics. Boys are three to four times more likely to develop the disorder than girls, and the CDC posits that one in 100 people may suffer from some form of TS, such as a minor facial tic.
"Symptoms usually start in childhood," pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says. "The average [age] is between 7 and 10 years old. But the good news is that it usually gets better as you get into early adulthood. By your mid-20s, oftentimes, the tics start to go down."
The precise causes of the disorder are unknown, but E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork explains that multiple areas of the brain are involved in causing the tics.
Tyler, 25, was diagnosed with an extreme form of TS when he was 10 years old. His severe, uncontrollable tics were so violent that he would injure himself. To treat his TS, Tyler underwent deep brain stimulation, a procedure in which an electrode is implanted in the thalamus region of the brain. After surgery, electricity is used to stimulate certain parts of the thalamus and control overactive cells that cause tics.
Tyler joins The Doctors to share his update!
"Things are much better," he says. "I want to emphasize that this procedure, it's groundbreaking, it's life-changing, but it's not a cure. It didn't take my condition away completely. It gave me a much higher quality of life, almost a complete flip, but I still have bad days, I still have hard times. My tics still kick up a lot, but this procedure has made it so much more manageable, enjoyable, and I'm able to enjoy being with my family now, and [can be with] my friends and [do] activities. It's great."
Follow The Doctors cameras as they spend a day with Tyler, his wife, Kassie, and their newborn son, Jude, and see how Tyler's life has changed.
Numerous community members wrote into ProduceTheDoctors.com wanting to find out solutions for gynecomastia, or excess male breast tissue.
"Medically it's called gynecomastia. 'Gyneco,' just like gynecologist, because it's woman-like, and 'mastia,' because of breasts," OB-GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson explains.
The Doctors discuss possible causes of the disorder, such as the food soy.
"We use soy a lot in menopausal women, because it's a phytoestrogen, it's estrogen-like," Dr. Lisa says. "It can relieve some symptoms, like hot flashes and vaginal dryness."
Dr. Lisa adds that some experts are considering whether soy's phytoestrogen properties may affect male breast tissue and cause gynecomastia.
"In most cases, there isn't an apparent cause [of gynecomastia]," plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon says. "But it's a big problem cosmetically, if you can imagine, as a man, especially as a young man, not being able to take your shirt off and not being able to wear certain clothing."
Fifteen-year-old Troy suffers from the condition, and is often ridiculed. "I'm bullied all the time," he says. "[People will say] 'You have bigger boobs than my girlfriend,' and stuff like that. Inside, it does hurt."
Plastic surgeon Dr. Elliot Jacobs performs a procedure to remove nearly two pounds of fatty breast tissue and create a normal, flat chest for Troy.
Just three weeks after the procedure, Troy, his mother, Elaine, and Dr. Jacobs join The Doctors to explain what the surgery accomplished and reveal Troy's new look!
"I'm feeling excellent," Troy says. "I already told my mom that I would like to sign up for a gym to go work out during the summer, and I'd like to get a pool!"
Parenting TipsDr. Jim offers essential tips to new parents. Learn how to keep your newborn safe!