When Traditional Treatments Fail, Try This Approach for Children with PANDAS/PANS
Summary: In this post, we’ll explore an unconventional strategy that is gaining popularity among parents and specialists alike. So hold on tight as we embark on a journey to discover how thinking outside the box could change everything for children with PANDAS/PANS.
Have you tried every traditional treatment for your child’s PANDAS/PANS and still haven’t found relief? Are you exhausted, frustrated, and feeling hopeless? Don’t lose faith just yet! There might be a new approach that can give the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ll start off by discussing what makes traditional treatments so ineffective and what the alternative approach looks like.
We’ll examine the evidence behind this intriguing new way of thinking and identify potential tools that can be used to create positive coping mechanisms and help children with PANDAS/PANS learn how to manage their condition. Finally, we’ll talk about some of the common challenges related to this treatment plan and look at resources parents can use to make sure their child is getting the best possible care. Thanks for joining us as we explore this unconventional approach – let’s get started!
Introduction to PANDAS and PANS
- When a child is struggling with psychiatric issues, it can be difficult to find effective treatments. Traditional approaches may not work, and parents may feel desperate to find an approach that will help their child.
- One promising treatment option for children with psychiatric issues is PANDAS/PANS. This approach focuses on treating the underlying autoimmune disorder that is thought to be causing the child’s symptoms.
- PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections) and PANS (pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome) are similar disorders that are characterized by sudden onset of psychiatric symptoms in children. These symptoms can include Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety, tics, mood swings, ADHD, and more.
- PANDAS and PANS Treatment is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction to a strep infection. In some cases, the child may have a genetic predisposition to this reaction. The exact cause of illness is not yet known, but research suggests that it may be triggered by a viral or bacterial infection.
- There is no single test for illness, but doctors can often make a diagnosis based on the child’s symptoms and history. Treatment for illness typically involves antibiotics and immune-suppressing drugs. In some cases, cognitive behavioral therapy may also be helpful.
Symptoms of PANDAS/PANS
The symptoms of illness can be both physical and psychological in nature. Physical symptoms may include:
-Abrupt onset of motor or vocal tics
-Obsessive-compulsive behaviors (e.g., repetitive handwashing, lining up toys)
– Hyperactivity or changes in behaviour (e.g., temper tantrums, crying for no apparent reason)
-Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, night terrors)
-Refusal to eat or sudden changes in eating habits
-Urinary frequency or urinary accidents
-Growth regression (i.e., a child begins to lose skills that he or she had previously acquired, such as potty training)
Psychological symptoms may include:
– Anxiety or panic attacks
– Irritability or mood swings
– Aggression or oppositional behaviors
– Psychotic symptoms (e.g., hallucinations, delusions)
Conventional Treatments for PANDAS/PANS
There are a number of different conventional treatments for PANDAS/PANS, though there is no one-size-fits-all approach and what works for one child may not work for another.
Some common conventional treatments include:
Antibiotics: This is often the first line of treatment as illness is thought to be caused by a bacterial infection. A course of antibiotics may help to reduce symptoms, though they are not always effective.
Corticosteroids: These anti-inflammatory medications can help to reduce the swelling in the brain that is thought to be causing many of the symptoms of illness. They are usually given as a short course, over a few weeks, and may need to be repeated if symptoms return.
Immunomodulatory therapies: These treatments work by modulating the immune system, which may help to reduce inflammation and improve symptoms. Common immunomodulatory therapies include intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and plasma exchange (PLEX).
Behavioral and psychiatric therapies: Many children with illnessalso experience behavioral or psychiatric problems as a result of their condition. These can often be effectively treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or other similar therapies.
When Traditional Treatments Fail
It’s estimated that one in every 200 children suffers from illness, a condition characterized by sudden onset of obsessive-compulsive behaviors and/or tics. While traditional treatments like antibiotics and anti-inflammatories can be effective for some kids, others don’t respond as well.
For those children who don’t respond to traditional treatments, there is another approach that may help. This approach, known as the “hygienehypothesis,” posits that the overuse of antibiotics and lack of exposure to certain microbes may be contributing to the development of illness.
The hygiene hypothesis suggests that by exposing kids to more dirt and germs (in a controlled way, of course), they can build up a stronger immunity and resist the development of illness. One way to do this is through so-called “dirt therapy” or “helminthic therapy,” which involves intentionally infecting children with harmless parasitic worms.
There is some anecdotal evidence that this approach can be effective, and while more research is needed, it’s worth considering if traditional treatments have failed.
Alternative Therapies for PANDAS/PANS
There are a number of alternative therapies that have been shown to be effective in treating illness. These include:
- omega-3 fatty acids – studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which is thought to be a key factor in the development of PANDAS/PANS.
- Probiotics – Probiotics are live microorganisms that can offer health benefits when consumed. They are often referred to as “good” or “friendly” bacteria, and they can help to restore balance in the gut flora, which is thought to be a contributing factor in the development of illness.
- Vitamin B6 – Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in many biochemical reactions in the body. Research has shown that children with illnessoften have low levels of vitamin B6, and supplementing with this vitamin has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms.
- Magnesium – Magnesium is an essential mineral that is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Studies have shown that children with PANDAS/PANS often have low levels of magnesium, and supplementing with this mineral has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms.
Diet change and lifestyle modifications to Fight Pandas/Pans
When your child is suffering from illness, it can feel like you’ve tried everything. But sometimes, the traditional treatments – like antibiotics and steroids – just don’t work. If that’s the case, it might be time to try a different approach: changing your child’s diet and making some lifestyle modifications.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for illness, some families have found that certain dietary changes and lifestyle modifications can help ease their child’s symptoms. Here are a few things you can try:
Eliminate trigger foods: Many children with illnessare sensitive to certain foods, such as dairy, gluten, sugar, artificial additives, etc. Eliminating these foods from your child’s diet may help reduce their symptoms.
Include probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids: Probiotics help promote a healthy gut microbiome, while omega-3 fatty acids offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Adding these to your child’s diet may help reduce inflammation and improve gut health.
Reduce stress: Stress can trigger or worsen illnesssymptoms, so it’s important to find ways to reduce stress in your child’s life. This might include things like yoga, meditation, and aromatherapy, massage therapy, etc.
Nutritional therapies for treating PANDAS/PANS
There are a number of nutritional therapies that can be helpful in treating PANDAS/PANS. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be helpful in reducing inflammation and symptoms of autoimmune conditions, so they may be helpful in treating illness. Probiotics can also help to reduce inflammation and support a healthy gut flora, which is important for overall health. Vitamin B6 and magnesium supplements may also be helpful in reducing symptoms, as they can help to reduce inflammation and improve nervous system function.
Additionally, it is important to make sure your child is getting enough of the essential micronutrients they need for proper growth and development. This includes ensuring a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as adequate amounts of healthy fats, proteins, carbs and fiber. Eliminating processed foods and food additives can also help reduce inflammation in the body.
Homeopathic treatments for treating PANDAS/PANS
Homeopathic treatment options are varied and range from simple home remedies to complex treatments administered by a homeopath. Homeopathic treatments are based on the principle of “like cures like.” That is, a substance that causes symptoms in a healthy person can be used to treat those same symptoms in someone who is ill.
There are many different homeopathic remedies that have been used to treat illness. Some of the more commonly used remedies include:
Arsenicum album: This remedy is often used for children who are anxious, restless, and irritable. They may also have fears of abandonment or being alone.
Belladonna: This remedy is indicated for children who are very agitated and have a high fever. They may also be sensitive to light and sound.
Calcareacarbonica: This remedy is often used for children who are fatigue easily and tend to be constipated. They may also feel chilly and crave dairy products.
Ignatia: This remedy is often given for children who are withdrawn and sad after a traumatic event or loss. They may also have headaches or digestive distress.