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The New England PANS/PANDAS Association (1) describes PANS and PANDAS as:
“A misdirected immune response, often with an encephalitic onset, which negatively affects neurologic functioning, resulting in rapid, acute onset of OCD, and/or restricted food intake along with at least two additional neuropsychiatric symptoms”.
PANDAS stands for Paediatric Autoimmune and Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus.
PANS stands for Paediatric Acute Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome.
PANDAS/PANS generally affects children between the ages of 4 to 13 years and is the result of a deranged immune system, and presents with symptoms such as:
PANDAS/PANS disease prognosis and diagnosis involves blood tests, including assessing streptococcus antibody titers alongside symptom assessment.
The extent to which a child is affected by this diagnosis varies. Flares of symptoms are common and are usually in relation to exposure to streptococcus or other pathogens or allergens that the child may have a susceptibility to.
While neither a PANS disease cure nor any type of homeopathic cures for PANDAS exist, Sarah can assist in helping you manage your child’s symptoms and behaviour. The current conventional treatment includes long term and ongoing antibiotics, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety or psychiatric medication, or IVIG therapy.
The ongoing treatment of PANDAS with antibiotics is addressing the symptom but it does not address the original cause of WHY the immune system has become deranged. The cause could be toxicity, overuse of antibiotics resulting in gut function loss and damage, or a family history of auto-immune illnesses. Homeopathy works WITH the immune system and aims to strengthen it in order reduce symptom presentation.
PANDAS and PANS cause an enormous amount of stress in a household, leaving families despairing about things becoming “normal” again.
It can be very difficult for families to continue with the Biomedical model, as giving many supplements to a child can be stressful and arduous. In saying this, some supplements and dietary modifications are advised. However, deeper healing may occur through the correct prescription of a homeopathic medicine for treating PANDAS naturally.
Sarah has worked with GPs in supporting children and their families with PANDAS and PANS and has found positive outcomes when both modalities have been integrated.
Firstly, the assessment of the particular sensitivities of the child as well as the relevant antibodies that show in the bloodwork is the first step to understanding what is going on and which pathogens the child is reacting too. In PANS, it can also be allergens such as dust, cats, dogs, pollens that can set off a ‘flare’.
Secondly, the homeopathic assessment of the child is thoroughly explored. This includes any triggers that might have set off the condition. The specific tics or OCD symptoms are taken as well as any other predominant symptoms. Habits, characteristics and behaviours are noted, as well as any observations of what makes the condition worse, or what triggers the susceptibility to the pathogen/allergen, as well as what seems to make things better to assist with treating PANDAS naturally.
Thirdly, overall health is examined, including gastrointestinal symptoms, respiratory symptoms, skin symptoms, headaches or other neurological symptoms, as well as past health history. In this category, we also look at thirst, food cravings and aversions, and thermals (preference for heat or cold).
Fourth – the family health history is considered in order to address the inherited qualities that may lend themselves to this susceptibility.
Detoxing or desensitisation to a pathogen/allergen is usually interspersed into the treatment plan.
1. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) – Where necessary, there may be a heavy metal load or a frank mineral deficiency that needs to be alleviated. Without supporting the physical body with the appropriate supplements, it can be difficult to move forward.
2. Complete GI Mapping Stool Test – Leaky gut, dysbiosis or parasitosis can lead to further complications that prevent a child from moving forward. This is the most comprehensive stool test available and the results of this test assist in informing a complete treatment plan.
3. Food sensitivity testing – Consuming foods that are not compatible can cause inflammation, dysbiosis and lead to psychological symptoms that relate to leaky gut or the function of the gut.
The link between the gut and the brain is heavily researched and we know that where there is leaky gut there may also be leaky brain – leading to psychological symptoms. This test detects specific foods that your child may be reacting negatively to.
Other tests where relevant may be ordered.
(1) The New England PANS/PANDAS Association www.nepans.org
While there are no homeopathic cures for PANDAS and no PANS disease cure available, steps can be taken to manage symptoms and provide support for treating PANDAS naturally. Use our online booking system or call The Family Apothecary on 0408 542 762 to book an appointment for a PANDA/PANS disease prognosis.