PANDAS, PANS

Tics, OCD, Behavioural issues

Childhood Auto-immune Disorder

PANS & PANDAS

According to NIMH, as many as 1 in 200 children in the US may suffer from PANDAS/PANS, which is a post-infectious autoimmune encephalitis caused by Streptococcus.

A child may be diagnosed with PANDAS/PANS when OCD, tic disorder, and/or other symptoms appear (or become worse) following a strep infection, such as strep throat or scarlet fever. PANDAS is a pediatric disorder that typically appears from age 3 to puberty.

 

It can be baffling when children become very anxious, with a sudden change in personality from confident and happy to clingy and needy with severe separation anxiety all of a sudden. New fears and sometimes OCD behaviours and tics can appear ‘out of the blue’, usually after an infection by streptoccocus – sore throat, fever, skin rash, school sores, or scarlett fever.  

When to consider Strep…

Typically a child between 3-14 years of age:

  • suddenly becomes scared of separation

  • develops new intense fears

  • Obsessive-Compulsive behaviours

  • tics and

  • their handwriting changes drastically

  • maths skills may deteriorate

  • the child may have problems sleeping and need to urinate frequently

  • the behavior can regress to that of a younger age and

  • some children become oppositional and aggressive or depressed.

 

Children may also develop a spotty rash on the buttocks – possibly from streptococci overgrowing in the gut. A child will invariably swallow strep bacteria from a throat infection which can establish themselves through the gut into the colon, then exit the body through the stool, with a few bacteria spreading to the skin, causing pimples on the buttocks. The hallmark of the diagnosis though is the sudden onset of anxiety and obsessive behavior.

An integrated approach is recommended for this issue, with functional Naturopathic protocols supporting the body's recovery.