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Have you heard people refer to PANS or PANDAS in relation to their child? These acronyms stand for Peadiatric Acute onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) and Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus (PANDAS)
In the case of PANDAS, we have a situation where streptococcus bacteria have elevated in the body, and the body has an abnormal immune response. Usually a strep infection would affect the throat or skin or even stomach and cause an acute illness with symptoms related to the area of the body they are infecting. In PANDAS, instead of producing these normal acute symptoms the body exhibits neuropsychiatric symptoms, due to the strep affecting the brain and causing inflammation (also known as neuroinflammation). This results in unusual symptoms such as :
● OCD and tics
● Urinary problems
● Fears of contamination, dirt and germs
● Intense Separation anxiety
● Poor handwriting
● Self harming
● Low self esteem
● Defiant behaviours
● Anger and rages
PANDAS symptoms can have a sudden onset without any sign of an acute illness. Maybe the illness was so mild it went unnoticed. Other times they are clearly triggered by an acute illness, often a sore throat. The infection can also be present from birth.
If you have noticed any of these issues associated with an illness, streptococcus infections may be a piece of the puzzle you have not been aware of. However, it is often not just strep contributing to PANS or PANDAS. Many children also present with high histamine levels, imbalanced gut flora, viruses, parasites, yeast overgrowth and environmental toxins such as heavy metals. All of these thrive in toxic and inflamed bodies and can contribute to the inflammation and neuroinflammation caused by PANS and PANDAS
During the homeopathic consultation I work with the parent to carefully identify causation, which could include an infection with Strep or another pathogen. I always take a thorough health history including when the symptoms started, family history, pregnancy and birth and anything that will aggravate or alleviate symptoms.
I’ll also be looking out for other factors that may slow down the healing process such as impaired detoxification pathways (eg. are they passing regular and healthy bowel movements, do they sweat etc). We sometimes need to prepare the child for clearing the streptococcus or other pathogens from their body and begin by giving homeopathic remedies that support this process. The needs of the child often become clearer as treatment progresses.
In homeopathy there are a great many different remedies and every child needs a different approach. There is not a ‘one size fits all’ protocol. Deciphering which remedies and treatment processes will be the best for your child is part of this individualised approach.
It’s important to remember the main aim of homeopathy is to treat the person and not the disease, working with the whole system so the body can intelligently and easefully find the way back to health and balance.