PANDAS or PANS is an acronym that stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections. In 2010, PANDAS became PANS, which is the current proper term for it, so you may hear both.
The onset of PANS symptoms come often after a Streptococcal infection, also called Strep. After Strep. they may get tonsillitis. The onset can also be seen after an insult to the immune system that may trigger inflammation. It is known to become apparent after the H1N1 influenza vaccination which increases its likelihood. Genetically, those with mitochondrial deficiency are also more susceptible. Also look for excessive fatigue. They may even have mononucleosis (mono). Other infections that are known to trigger PANS can be mold, Lyme disease, and Epstein Barr virus, which is what causes mononucleosis. We commonly may see mycoplasma infections such as a sore throat, or a respiratory infection. To add to the uncertainties, there may not always be symptoms of infections prior to the noting of the onset of the symptoms of PANS.
Parents may notice a sudden onset of symptoms such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or tiks. Tiks can be motor tiks where their body jerks rapidly, (not wiggling), or vocal tiks. Additional symptoms include separation anxiety, a decline in school such as in their reading and math abilities, simplified language, baby talk, bed wetting, and increased urination, aggression, and anxiety with stress.
PANS predisposes one to the symptoms of autism. Autism being a co diagnosis. Instead of a fever their brain will be effected, and thus, their psychology. PANS effects the immune system which is commonly weak in those with autism, so they are a higher percentage.
The onset of PANS is most common among children between the ages of three and eleven. It is noticed more around the age of seven or eight years old because of violent stimming. From ages three to five there may just be hyperactivity. Under the age of three it mimics the symptoms of autism.
Treatment for PANS
It is important with autism not to boost the immune system. It may already be overactive and likely is with PANS. For this reason we need to be sure our treatment regulates the immune system. Regulating the immune system and treating infections with the right diet and the right supplements that also reduce inflammation are essential. I do this in my
The goal is to keep the child stable. Triggers that contribute to a PANS flare-up include Streptococcal infections, mold biotoxins, Lyme, rapid die-off reactions from detoxification that is going too fast for the child’s body to keep up with, and toxic exposure.
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The first crucial step of autism recovery is to begin restoring health to the gut and the immune system.
The health of the gut is directly linked to the health of the brain and therefore to the symptoms of autism. In fact, 80% of the immune system comes from the gut so if the gut is not healthy, then the brain can’t thrive, and the immune system is compromised. It’s a vicious cycle, but thankfully, it’s one that we can put an end to by first eliminating harmful foods.