Two months ago I was asked by a concerned mother to help her 10 year old daughter who had been diagnosed with a condition called P.A.N.D.A.S. ‘P.A.N.D.A.S’ is short for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections and usually affects children between the ages of 3 and 12. Essentially a form of autoimmune encephalitis, PANDAS is a complex set of brain disorders characterized by autoimmune induced neuro inflammation, where symptoms can present as sleep disorders, behavioural regression, urinary frequency, sensory hypersensitivity and eating disorders.
As a homeopath whilst it always useful to know of a particular diagnosis, it isn’t always required as homeopathy works on the premise of matching remedies to a particular set of symptoms. So I went ahead with my usual case taking analysis of what needing treating in this young girl’s case.
I spent time with mum discussing what was happening and what areas of her daughter’s life were most affected. Mum explained her daughter seemed to always be in a state of pain or panic mode. This state always varied and could last between 30 minutes to 3 hours. There were daily headaches which were better for lifting up the head and a squeezing type sensation at the front of the head. Her daughter always complained ‘she just doesn’t feel right’ accompanied with extreme anxiety about going to school. Mum would receive daily phone calls from school whenever her daughter needed reassurance. There was extreme hypersensitivity to pain, hallucinations, intrusive voices telling her to run away, a need to bath as part of an intense bedtime routine, as well as sleep issues. The evening was evidently the worse time for her daughter; her child could not watch TV, or play fast paced games before bed, which would induce real difficulty in falling asleep. There was an intense need for cleaning teeth but surprisingly, a distinct offensive breath.
With a history of glandular fever at an earlier age, coupled with other illnesses, there was a clear indication for a possible strep infection that had caused the cascade of symptoms over the years. Often in such cases illnesses can be suppressed by conventional medication which typically masks symptoms, without addressing the root cause. This often means the body can be burdened by further complications and the body remains stuck and unable to heal.
It was apparent that this young girl’s body was in constant fight/flight mode and this was most debilitating for her. I therefore wished to start here with a well match remedy called Arsen Alb, I suggested a dose of 30c three times a week. I also prescribed a liver support remedy to help the body detox whilst we began the homeopathic treatment. In such cases as these I often start slowly, assessing how the individual will respond to remedies as well as to avoid any worsening of symptoms.
After one month I was very pleased to hear mum report that there no more daily headaches, the overall sense of anxiety had calmed down and mum was happy to say she had no more phone calls from school. Her daughter had also shown improvement in the evening, now her child was much more relaxed without the need to have a bath before bed. Her mum noticed her daughter had generally been so much happier, at more peace within herself and seemed lighter. Areas that had not changed were the fears at night, having to fall asleep after mum and dad were still present as well some physical symptoms such as the offensive breath.
I decided to switch to remedy called Calc Carb, which seemed like a good match at this point, and suggested a review in another month.
This month we see some significant improvement and interesting shifts in the case.
The persistent headaches, previously occurring daily, continue to be much better. Her daughter is now able to watch TV in the evenings without any issues prior before bedtime and mum reports that she is dealing with things much easier. Where there was previous anxiety around sleeping, this seems to have eased. Mum was also happy to report there were no more phone calls from school needing mum to reassure her anxious child. Physically the breath was much less offensive and the addiction to sugary foods had also reduced. As a result energy levels were more balanced throughout the day and her daughter was more accepting of dietary changes.
As the body responds to homeopathy remedies it can often lead to new or old symptoms that the body needs to heal next. In this case the remedy Calc Carb had highlighted some old symptoms to re-surface, such as sucking on old items of clothing for comfort. There was also a return of hallucinations that seemed to be more ‘matter of fact’ for her child. To a homeopath these are great indications that the body is responding and in fact healing well and often leads to the next part of the homeopathic treatment.
Only two months into treatment, both the parents and I are very pleased with the progress we have seen so far. Such results as these are encouraging signs that the body can start to heal itself with the correct stimulus. When parents report that even the grandparents and school have commented that the ‘old child’ is coming back to us, it truly is wonderful to hear.
Homeopathy is an alternative system of medicine that works with the specific symptoms of an individual and it is always best to work with a fully qualified Homeopath to achieve the best results.