Natural Treatment for PANDAS Syndrome - Modern Alternative Mama
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Natural Treatment for PANDAS Syndrome

Jaclyn Harwell March 22, 2016

 

Natural treatment for PANDAS syndrome

By Jaclyn, Contributing Writer

PANDAS syndrome is not exactly a mainstream condition. Not many pediatricians seem to be familiar with it and most parents don’t know to ask about it. But with the increase in children’s mental and behavioral disorders, taking a deeper look may be needed.

If you aren’t familiar with PANDAS syndrome, here’s how to spot the symptoms, get a diagnosis, and treat it… naturally.

Natural Treatment for PANDAS Syndrome

First, PANDAS syndrome does not refer to a big, fluffy, white and black bear. A child with PANDAS may behave like a bear… but that’s not what we’re discussing here. PANDAS stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus.

PANDAS is a mental disorder caused by strep bacteria.

Symptoms of PANDAS Syndrome

#1: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

(one of the most common symptoms)

#2: Motor or Verbal Tics:

  • blinking
  • grunting
  • heavy breathing
  • snorting
  • other jerky, repetitive movement (a tic can be just about anything)

 

#3: Abnormal, Frequent Irritability or Aggression

#4: Anxiety

#5: Physical Changes:

  • Bedwetting
  • Changes in handwriting
  • Joint pain

 

Children suffer from all kinds of behavioral and mental disorders. How in the world are you supposed to narrow down whether or not it may be PANDAS? There are a couple of tell-tell signs:

Your child’s disorder began following a confirmed strep throat infection. If your child develops new behaviors, personality changes, or tics following a confirmed strep throat infection, run, don’t walk, to find a practitioner knowledgeable about PANDAS. (You can call around to pediatricians, naturopaths, and even chiropractors to see who might be able to help you).

The new behaviors started following any illness. This is kind of tricky. My own son’s symptoms of PANDAS began following a respiratory illness with no obvious symptoms of strep. We later found out he did, indeed, have a persistent strep infection. Read his story of healing: PANDAS Syndrome: Camden’s Story of Healing.

The symptoms started following a sibling’s strep infection or during a strep outbreak. Sometimes a malfunctioning immune system allows a pathogen to take root without any outward symptoms of illness. So if you count yourself lucky that your child did not get strep during an outbreak, but he’s developed strange behaviors, he may have an underlying strep infection that needs addressed.

How to Diagnose PANDAS Syndrome

Because PANDAS is not mainstream, it’s not likely that all pediatricians are going to be able to correctly diagnose it. As I suggested, try to track down a knowledgeable practitioner. Once you do, there are some helpful tests to have run, including having your child’s strep titers checked.

Titers show if your child has been exposed to an illness, and if he has had an immune response. The blood tests to run to check your child’s strep titers are the Antistrepolysin O (ASO) and Antistreptococcal DNAase B (AntiDNAse-B).

Another less mainstream way of testing is via stool. This was the case for my son, who was found to have a strep infection in his gut. A mainstream pediatrician in less likely to be familiar with this type of testing, but may consider ordering the blood tests for you if you request them. If you suspect PANDAS, it may be worth asking.

Natural treatment for PANDAS syndrome

Natural Treatment of PANDAS Syndrome

If you have a child with PANDAS, you know it can be a tough road to walk. You can probably pinpoint when the changes took place and may feel helpless to improve your child’s condition. I’ve been there. My son’s PANDAS symptoms have included tics, aggression, rigidity, and other behaviors of oppositional defiant disorder.

The symptoms of PANDAS turn your life and family upside down. But there is hope for things to get better!

More main-stream doctors will prescribe long-term antibiotic usage. This was not the route I wanted to take, and if you’re reading this, you are probably looking for other options as well, since antibiotic usage (especially long-term) can destroy good gut flora.

As I detail in Camden’s story of healing, we utilized herbal treatments and other natural methods for healing my son’s PANDAS symptoms.

#1 Address Gut Health

We stuck with a very strict diet, first removing harmful food additives and ingredients (read: Heal Behavioral Disorders: Remove These Ingredients from Your Child’s Diet NOW). From there, we ate a paleo diet, and, finally, moved on to the GAPS diet, which ultimately helped to heal his gut due to its focus on nourishing foods like broth, organ meats, and fermented foods, and removal of gut irritants like sugar, grains, and starches.

Another important step to take for gut health is to choose a good probiotic. For a child with PANDAS syndrome, you cannot choose just any probiotic, as some commercial probiotics contain strains of strep bacteria! We use a gentle but highly effective formula that is free from strep and other potentially harmful strains of bacteria.

#2 Address the Infection

Once we got gut inflammation under control, we then addressed the underlying infection. What will work is going to be individual for each child. There are many, many herbal alternatives to antibiotics. Get Healing with God’s Earthly Gifts to learn more about natural herbal remedies.

For my son, oregano leaf extract was a game-changer. Oregano leaf is a very strong anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-parasitic herb. I have used it to heal strep throat, and, recently, scarlet fever in one of my younger children. It has been very effective at diminishing the symptoms of PANDAS syndrome for my son.

Other good anti-bacterial herbs include:

  • Olive leaf
  • Astragalus
  • Garlic

#3 Address Parasites

I also gave my son some natural treatments for parasites, just for good measure.

I actually started his protocol with diatomaceous earth (DE), a natural silica powder made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. This powder kills parasites by cutting them up; it doesn’t hurt your insides, but effectively destroys the parasites on a microscopic level.

Once he had been on both the DE and oregano for a couple of weeks, I added in another herbal tincture designed for intestinal health, called intestinal tract defense, which contains strong anti-parasitic herbs, including black walnut green hull and wormwood.

Hope For the Future

This is the protocol that has been working for us and reversing my son’s symptoms of PANDAS syndrome. We will likely have to persist with these treatments for some time before he is totally in the clear, but it’s working! You can have hope too!

My son went from being angry, aggressive and mean towards his brothers, and disrespectful to his dad and I, to being kind and helpful. His tics went away, but returned after his brother’s recent scarlet fever illness. We’re getting them back under control with our herbal protocol.

If your child is suffering from OCD, ODD, tics, anxiety, or other symptoms of PANDAS syndrome, explore whether or not PANDAS Syndrome may be the cause. Natural treatment may be the answer you are looking for.

To receive a free printable booklet all about PANDAS Syndrome, click here!

Would You Consider Treating PANDAS Syndrome Naturally?

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When Jaclyn became a mom more than eight years ago, health food was the last thing on her mind, but when her oldest son began to struggle with behavioral problems early in life, she dove in headfirst to begin learning about how to live and eat naturally. Since then, her children have been healed of eczema and digestive problems and her own thyroid disorder has been healed. Best of all, her son’s behavior continues to improve as he heals through diet. As she continues to fight for her family’s health and well-being, Jaclyn focuses on GAPS-diet and Paleo foods with an emphasis on nourishing and healing foods like broth and homemade sauerkraut. You can find her writing about raising a healthy, happy family at www.thefamilythathealstogether.com.
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18 Comments

  1. How did you give oregano oil? Do you ingest it or rub it on feet? How much do you use?

    Reply

  2. Hi. Can anybody point me to a practitioner in South Africa? Please.

    Reply

  3. I was wondering this too? How do you give a child oregano oil? My daughter can’t swallow capsules and I would never “make her” drink a diluted solution or place under her tongue. So what’s the secret?

    Reply

  4. I’d love to know how much oregano oil you used, and how much DE as well! We are dealing with PANDAS as well and my son is in a flare. I am considering doing GAPS starting in the new year, but trying to figure out what to do between now and then. Thanks!!

    Reply

  5. I am wondering about the oregano oil. We had capsules that he wouldn’t swallow so I would poke a hole and mix it with honey and he still refused it. Any tips or tricks?

    Reply

  6. First, thank you due bringing more awareness to PANDAS. Homepathy was a game changer in our family. Also, parents should not exclude pandas if ocd is not present. My daughter went undiagnosed for a year because she did not have the ocd. She presented with anxiety, fears, self injury, hallucinations and rages. When a dr finally looked into PANDAS, he found her strep titers were through the roof. One last thing.. Watch out for certain Fermented foods on gaps. I was feeding my daughter tons of kefir which looking back just made her worse because it contains the strep strains.

    Reply

  7. Oregano oil and extract is same????

    Reply

  8. I am curious too….I would LOVE to talk to you!!!

    Reply

  9. How do you use the oregano oil?

    Reply

  10. I was thinking of getting softgels with oil of oregano for my kids, since they can swallow pills and it just seems easier. I was looking at this brand: https://www.amazon.com/Natures-Answer-Oregano-Softgels-90-Count/dp/B000I4DGRW/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1489945934&sr=8-1&keywords=nature%27s+answer+oil+of+oregano
    For how long do you keep giving oregano to a child? Should I just give them one pill a day (150 mg)? Do you know if it kills good bacteria, too?
    I have no official diagnosis but my son (almost 10 yo) but he started having ticks and eye rolling during a winter when he was in kindergarten. He’s also extremely sensitive emotion-wise and easily irritable. I never knew what caused those ticks in the first place and they seem to worsen every winter (around cold / flu time). Then, his younger brother developed a tick 2 years later. It’s just so weird.. I’m going to give this oil of oregano a try. We’ve been doing food-based multi-vitamin pills, green drinks, cod liver oil, probiotics, iodine, etc but have not tried oil of oregano yet.

    Reply

  11. how many drop of oregano u use pls.

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  12. Have you tried any other herbals? Our go to during flares is Samento and Banderol herbs. I give my daughter 3-5 drops in a bit of water during flares. There’s a lot of write up about it too. Good luck 🙂

    Reply

  13. I’m curious about the same as all of the above as well. How much oregano oil? Is it the same thing as extract? Amounts of DE and oregano? How did you get your kids to eat sauerkraut. I want them to eat it so bad. Thank you!

    Reply

  14. […] Natural Treatment for PANDAS Syndrome – Modern Alternative Health […]

    Reply

  15. Looks like it is oregano leaf extract. I didn’t see anything about oil. Oil might be too strong and the leaf has more constituents than just the oil. Make sure it’s oregano leaf extract

    Reply

  16. How long did you notice improvements after starting the oregano oil and/or DE?

    Reply

  17. We have a son diagnosed by Cunningham Panel with Pandas and a son recovered from a “mild” autism that we used various natural treatments to help reverse. I agree 100% with everything here, I just wanted to add that an immunologist we were seeing gave me the best advice that has worked time and time again for us for an acute pandas “flare”….Advil/ibuprofen taken when you first notice the symptoms helps to quickly reduce brain inflammation. We only take the regular dose a couple of times a day for 2-3 days and see marked improvement. At the same time using the oreganol and whatever else based on symptoms.

    Reply

  18. I have a question for you. My son battled strep for 2 years. At one point, we understood PANDAS and saw it with him. He would have no sore throat, just PANDAS symptoms and we would tell his ped to test. She balked the first time and then tested – POSITIVE for strep. We discussed PANDAS with her and she agreed with us. Our battle continued. He was diagnosed with SPD later and we questioned ADHD, but since it is so similar to SPD we were not sure. He would still have a low grade fever occassionally. Fast forward a year and half since the last strep test…and we were dealing with continued bouts of aggression and irritability, OCD tendencies and little focus and struggling with going to sleep and waking at 6am everyday. We have tried many things, for months and saw nothing but a slight improvement with one thing only to see it wane in time. Three weeks ago, we began a new protocol, change in diet, increase in Omega 3 and a prebiotic. Five days ago, my son woke up with 103.2 temperature. Shocked since we are under strick shelter during this time and I mean only deliveries and being very careful. I do know that kids are still getting sick now and I know it could have been a virus, but… He fought a high fever for 4 days with no other symptoms. The doctor did not believe it was COVID-19 but we paid for testing to be sure. No one else in the house became sick. Obviously, I was thinking virus and trying to figure our where it came from, but I started getting this feeling it was something else. One day with fever, he found an unopened Lego set and wanted to put it together. I opened it and he sat with directions and began putting it together. We were floored bc that has NEVER happened. He has never had the focus or patience for it. He did that for two mornings. The last two days after the fever ended, he slept until 845a with normal bedtime routine. We will see if that lasts. He is happier, more positive and not irritable. We see a lot of differences and no OCD all of a sudden. It’s only been a couple of days post-fever, but have you heard of a fever burning off the biofilm? I feel like something has happened, but I don’t know if it will last or not. Thanks!

    Reply

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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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