PANS & PANDAS: An Overview
Condition Description: PANS, an acronym for Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome, encompasses all cases of acute onset OCD, not solely those linked to streptococcal infections. Meanwhile, PANDAS stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections. A shared characteristic of both conditions is their sudden or acute onset. For the context of this discussion, we will refer to PANS and PANDAS synonymously.
Common Symptoms: Each child may exhibit distinct symptoms of PANS/PANDAS. However, typically, there's a sudden onset of neurological signs such as debilitating anxiety, mood swings, and manifestations like obsessive-compulsive behavior or tics. These symptoms might persist or come and go.
Neurological symptoms can consist of emotional volatility, depression, anxiety, heightened irritability, aggression, behavioral regression, and sensory motor disturbances. Other behaviors may involve excessive worry about germs, illness, or death, compulsion for repetitive checking, and frequent washing or cleaning.
Physically, children might become more sensitive to sensory stimuli like light, sound, smell, taste, and textures. They might display sensory-seeking behaviors, indicating a heightened need to touch and feel various objects. Urinary disturbances might manifest as bedwetting, increased frequency, or urgency.
Sleep disruptions can also occur, including night terrors, insomnia, or erratic sleep patterns.
Underlying Causes: The condition is attributed to an autoimmune reaction which can be spurred by numerous factors, such as:
- Infectious agents: influenza, chickenpox, strep throat, scarlet fever, Lyme disease, and "walking pneumonia."
- Environmental triggers: food and chemical sensitivities.
- Nutritional deficits.
- Endocrine disorders like hypothyroidism or metabolic syndrome.
Conventional Treatment: Treatment modalities for PANS/PANDAS, depending on the severity, might encompass:
- Anti-Inflammatories such as naproxyn or ibuprofen.
- Therapeutic psychological interventions.
- SSRIs: fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline, paroxetine.
- IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin).
EHAC Approach: The strategy involves identifying the root causes, which might include:
- Mineral imbalances.
- SIFO (small intestinal fungal overgrowth) & SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth).
- Hidden food sensitivities.
- Mycotoxicosis or mold toxicity
- Potential chronic infections.
Success Story: Condition: Gut Health, PANDAS, and OCD. Symptoms: Anxiety, OCD.
Patient Details: Initials: M.S. Age: 11
Story: “Our child faced challenges with anxiety and OCD. After researching, we connected with Dr. Sultan due to his association with PANDAS. Post consultation, it was discerned our child's condition wasn't PANDAS but a gut imbalance. Initiating allergy shots and vitamin supplements, combined with dietary monitoring, especially sugar reduction, under Dr. Sultan's guidance, we pinpointed the core issue. Presently, our child is symptom-free, and regular follow-ups with Dr. Sultan ensure continued wellness. Our gratitude for Dr. Sultan's expertise is immense.”
Dr. Sultan's Insights: Diagnosing PANS & PANDAS is a primary step. Delving deeper to identify the root cause is crucial. Resorting to treatments like antibiotics or surgeries like tonsillectomy can lead to side effects. Medications for OCD, too, come with potential risks. The pivotal approach should be to trace the origin. A comprehensive perspective, as shown by these parents, is the key to recovery.