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PANS and PANDAS

Imagine waking up to find your child completely transformed.   Your reserved child is now in a fit full of rage.   Yelling, kicking, and crying uncontrollably.    She just doesn’t seem to be able to calm herself down.  You then notice later that her head is twitching and she is washing her hands excessively. 


Your daughter has never experienced symptoms like this before, so you are at a loss for what is happening.   You think you must still be dreaming, symptoms like this can’t just pop up over night right?!   


Wrong.  Unfortunately, they can.


If this story sounds familiar, than your child may be suffering from PANDAS or PANS.   As cute as the name is, PANDAS is definitely not a cute disease.  PANDAS stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections.   PANDAS is an autoimmune disorder that is initially created from a strep infection.  This infection then creates a misguided immune response that attacks the nervous system and causes inflammation in the brain.  This inflammation results in emotional lability, OCD, tics, severe anxiety, sensory issues, and other neuropsychiatric symptoms in your child.  These symptoms appear abruptly and are debilitating to a child’s life.


PANS is the abbreviated name for Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome.  PANS is a similar autoimmune condition that attacks the nervous system, but this condition can be caused by other non-strep infections, environmental toxins, or even psychological stress or trauma.


Take a deep breath.  I know this can be scary and overwhelming, but the good news is naturopathic medicine can help! PANS and PANDAS are autoimmune disorders.  Therefore, treatment should be aimed at treating the autoimmunity, not just the initial infection or trigger.  Naturopathic medicine can provide safe and effective treatments for this by working to regulate the immune system, decrease inflammation, prevent reoccurrence of flairs, and decrease a child’s susceptibility to having PANS or PANDAS.


Naturopathic treatment of PANS and PANDAS includes dietary modifications, nutritional and herbal supplementation aimed at decreasing inflammation and lowering histamine levels, homeopathic treatment, and removing obstacles to cure such as environmental toxins like mold. 


Diet may seem like a simple and ineffective treatment, but did you know that most of your immune system is actually located in your gut?!   Yep, it’s true.  Because of this, the first step in treating any immune dysfunction should start with improving gut health.  It is common for these kiddos to have food sensitivities, dysbiosis, and gut inflammation.   Therefore removal of these food sensitivities (which can be easily tested for), improving gut microbiome health, and decreasing gut inflammation is essential.  Without these dietary interventions, no treatment will work at it’s best.


Homeopathic treatment works wonders in these kiddos.  In my experience, homeopathic treatment has been the most powerful and effective treatment for treating PANS and PANDAS.   This is because homeopathic treatment is aimed at treating the unique and individual symptoms that each child presents with.  For example, a child with PANDAS whose main symptom is sudden and intense rage would need a very different remedy than a child with PANDAS whose main symptoms consist of head tics and anxiety.   Homeopathic medicine can treat that individualization of your child and the best part is, it is 100% safe and can work immediately to bring your child out of a flair. 


Homeopathic treatment is also great for those very sensitive kiddos who cannot tolerate nutritional supplements, herbs, or conventional medications.  This is because homeopathic medicine is very gentle (yet still very powerful and effective) and works to stimulate the body’s innate healing mechanisms, ultimately working to restore balance to the brain and body.


No matter what treatment modality is used, naturopathic medicine can provide a holistic and individualized treatment for your child that is aimed at treating the root cause(s) of imbalance in the body.  If you are worried that your child may be suffering from PANS or PANDAS, then naturopathic medicine might be the answer you’ve been looking for.

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