Over the past couple of months we’ve been taking a deep dive into PANS/PANDAS. We’ve talked about the symptoms and the triggers, along with how to get your child diagnosed. And since PANDAS is triggered by a group A strep infection, we talked about strep as well.
Now it’s time to talk about treatment. If your child has PANS or PANDAS, you just want them to be back to normal. I understand. It feels like your child radically transformed into a completely different person. And you just want them to be happy again.
MEDICAL TREATMENTS FOR PANS/PANDAS
Since PANDAS is triggered by strep, it’s important to make sure the strep infection is eradicated. Many doctors will prescribe antibiotics to accomplish this.
YOUR CHILD MAY BE PRESCRIBED ONE OF THE FOLLOWING MEDICATIONS:
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for your child to receive antibiotics for several weeks, or even months, before you see an improvement. Many children require multiple rounds of antibiotics. And some stay on preventive antibiotics for years.
Antibiotics have side effects. They can kill off dangerous bacteria, but they also eliminate the healthy bacteria that make up the microbiome. And the microbiome is a vital component in the immune system.
When you are considering antibiotics for your child, it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits to make an informed choice. Make sure to have a conversation with your practitioner about what makes the most sense for your child.
Intravenous immune globulin, or IVIG, is an intravenous treatment of immunoglobulins — also known as antibodies. This treatment is used when the immune system is severely compromised.
IVIG floods the body with antibodies from thousands of human donors. This influx overwhelms the autoantibodies that are present in the body — in the case of PANS/PANDAS, the antibodies that are attacking the basal ganglia of the brain. This treatment also helps with regulatory T cells.
This treatment seems to provide a reset for the immune system. Its use is limited to moderately severe and life-threatening cases of PANS/PANDAS.
Occasionally the improvement happens suddenly, but most often it occurs over the course of weeks with improvements being stepwise.
Plasmapheresis is an invasive “blood cleaning” procedure. The child’s blood is removed and processed by a plasmapheresis machine. The plasmapheresis machine spins the blood in order to separate the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets from the plasma — the liquid portion of the blood that contains antibodies and other immune components.
The plasma is removed and replaced with equal volumes of albumin, a protein made by the liver that helps keep fluid from leaking from the bloodstream into other tissues. The child’s blood components are mixed with the albumin and then returned to their body.
Multiple procedures are needed to complete the process.
Each of these treatments addresses the presence of antibodies and autoantibodies directly. But if you want to balance your child’s body and help them become more resilient to further issues, you need to address overall health. If your child has an autoimmune disorder like PANS/PANDAS, there are other things going on.
ADDRESSING YOUR CHILD’S TOXIC LOAD
Each day our bodies are bombarded by toxins:
- Pollution in our air and water
- Pesticides used on our food
- Unsafe ingredients in our personal care and cleaning products
- Chemicals in everything from mattresses to plastic food containers
Our bodies are equipped to deal with toxins. We have elimination pathways that gather unwelcome substances and usher them out of the body.
But our bodies are not equipped to deal with the toxic load we face in the modern world. Our detoxification systems do what they can to shuttle out these substances. But the sheer volume is more than our bodies can handle.
THE EXTRA TOXINS HAVE TO GO SOMEWHERE.
So our bodies store them — deep in our tissues. There is no other choice. So we end up with lead in our bones, pesticides in our brains, and a variety of toxins in our fatty tissue. And over time, these deposits can cause inflammation, and ultimately, disease. The amount of toxins you carry in your system is called your total load. You can read more about total load here.
From the perspective of toxicity, a number of the chronic illnesses that challenge our society these days — including asthma, autism, and even cancer — can be linked back to total load.
It makes sense to remove these toxins from your child’s tissues. But, many detoxification therapies can be harsh. And it’s important that the body is ready to eliminate the toxins that emerge from the tissues. That’s why it’s never a good idea to do a detoxification protocol without the help of an experienced practitioner. The last thing you want is for these toxins to move out of your child’s tissues and then remain stuck in the body.
For safe detoxification, I use homotoxicology in my practice.
WHAT IS HOMOTOXICOLOGY?
Homotoxicology is a method that safely detoxifies your child’s body in a gentle and non-invasive way. It’s suitable for both adults and children because it encourages the body to detox on its own.
In my practice, I utilize homeopathics and nutritional supplements to gently help your child’s body to detoxify. The customized homeopathics target specific toxins so they can be eliminated.
The philosophy behind homotoxicology differs from the allopathic medicine that your doctor likely practices. Your child’s doctor may give you a prescription to address the symptoms they are experiencing. But doctors don’t necessarily do much to address the root cause of those symptoms.
With homotoxicology, you are working with the body to help support and focus its innate healing powers. Homeopathics are inherently strengthening to the body. As such, this therapy can also be used alongside more traditional protocols like prescription medications, antibiotics, and chelation.
With any chronic illness, it’s important to address the specific imbalances in the body that create an environment where illness is able to flourish. With PANDAS, you do need to address the strep infection. But if you stop there, you may not solve the whole problem.
When we work together, I’ll use various assessments and testing techniques — along with symptom and lifestyle analysis — to pinpoint your child’s needs. Then I take all that information and work with you to create protocols that address the root cause of your child’s problems.
If you’re ready to move beyond the allopathic approach of putting bandaids on symptoms and get to the root of what’s going on in your child’s body, please reach out. You can book Discovery Call by clicking the button below.
Even if you’re not ready for a personalized plan, I want to help. I offer some resources that can get you started. You can sign-up for my email newsletter. When you sign up you’ll also receive a free copy of my ebook Everyday Immunity.
I also host a private Facebook group for the parents of children affected with PANS/PANDAS. Being in a safe space with other parents who understand what you’re going through can be a source of both support and information.