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InnerCareNatural Health - Naturopath & Nutritionist
A young girl with a serene expression stands amidst a vibrant garden, intricately holding a bouquet of colourful flowers, symbolising hope and healing in the journey through PANS and PANDAS with a holistic care approach.

Understanding PANS and PANDAS

PANS and PANDAS are triggered by an immune system's response to infections, leading to brain inflammation and a range of severe neuropsychiatric symptoms like obsessive-compulsive behaviours, tics, anxiety, personality changes, and academic decline. While PANDAS is specifically associated with streptococcal infections, PANS can be triggered by various infectious agents.

The Challenge of Diagnosis

Diagnosing PANS and PANDAS is critical yet challenging due to symptom complexity and trigger overlap with other conditions like Tourette's syndrome or OCD. Diagnosis involves a thorough assessment of symptoms, typically characterised by a sudden change often described by parents as an overnight transformation in their child’s behaviour. Accurate diagnosis and treatment planning require collaboration among paediatricians, neurologists, and psychiatrists.

Treatment Approaches

The treatment of PANS and PANDAS necessitates a multi-disciplinary strategy that addresses both the underlying infection and neuropsychiatric symptoms. Here are the key components:

  • Infection Management: Treating the underlying infection is fundamental, using antibiotics for streptococcal infections in cases of PANDAS.
  •  Immunomodulatory Therapies: These aim to modulate the immune response causing brain inflammation.
  • Symptomatic Treatments: Addressing neuropsychiatric symptoms such as anxiety or OCD is crucial.
  • Supportive Care: Counselling and support groups for families are vital since the impact extends beyond the affected child.


The Naturopathic Perspective

Naturopathic practitioners offer a unique perspective on treating these conditions with a focus on natural remedies and lifestyle adjustments:

  • Curcumin: With anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin may reduce brain inflammation.
  • Zinc: An essential mineral for immune function.
  • Vitamin D: Crucial for immune regulation and neurodevelopment.
  • NAC (N-acetylcysteine): Its antioxidant properties can help reduce oxidative stress.
  • Antimicrobial Herbs: Oregano, berberine, and garlic can address underlying infections.
  • Gut Support: Probiotics, prebiotics, and herbs like slippery elm support gut health and immune function.


Nutrigenomics: Tailoring Treatment

Nutrigenomics studies gene-nutrient interactions and plays a crucial role in understanding individual predispositions to PANS and PANDAS. Examining genetic markers related to immune responses and gut health allows practitioners to tailor treatment plans to address genetic factors.

Conclusion: A Comprehensive Healing Journey

By integrating conventional medical interventions with naturopathic strategies and considering nutrigenomics for personalised care, children affected by PANS and PANDAS can embark on a comprehensive healing journey. A holistic approach that considers gut health, immune function, nutritional deficiencies, psychological factors, and environmental influences is crucial. Through the collaboration of healthcare providers, families, and experts in various fields, there is hope for improved quality of life and well-being for children navigating these complex paediatric autoimmune disorders. Continued research is essential for developing targeted interventions that enhance patient outcomes.

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If you are seeking a professionally qualified naturopath in Brisbane, book your appointment now.

Inna Kurlyandchik | BHSc (Naturopathy), Grad Cert Nutr, PhD candidate

23 February 2024

Navigating the Intricacies of PANS and PANDAS: A Holistic Approach to Care

In the realm of paediatric autoimmune disorders, few conditions have the profound impact on children and their families that PANS (Paediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome) and PANDAS (Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) do. These conditions are marked by sudden, dramatic onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms following an infection, issues that have puzzled healthcare professionals for years.

To deepen our understanding and explore the latest treatment approaches, let's delve into these perplexing conditions.

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