Even though Strep is the most cited trigger for PANDAS and PANS, other bacteria and viruses can create the misdirected immune response.
Below is a list of some examples of the other infectious triggers that have been documented by families and/or providers that one can test for. Please note that this is not fully inclusive and does not dismiss other bacteria and viruses from inciting the autoimmune reaction. Absence of being listed does not dismiss the possible association.
EXAMPLES OF NON-STREP INFECTIOUS TRIGGERS
Mycoplasma Pneumonaie is also known as Walking Pneumonia. Some providers will clinically diagnose Mycoplasma Pneumonia, others may chose to run lab tests.
Staph can occur in multiple places in the body. It can occur on the skin, in the nose, and it has even been found in the biopsy results on tonsils post tonsillectomy.
The Traditional Western Blot should be done when Lyme is suspected. The Igenex Test is gaining popularity in some circles. The Igenex Lyme test that shows antibodies that MAY be present. Approach Igenex testing with a doctor who looks at this from a comprehensive understanding of the immune system, PANDAS, and not focused only Lyme as a the sole cause of illness.
During the H1N1 outbreak, many children experienced a subsequent PANDAS exacerbation or their initial PANS onset with this virus.
EPSTEIN BARR VIRUS
HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS
OTHER POSSIBLE TRIGGERS
Once the autoimmune process is in place, other things may worsen or trigger symptoms in PANDAS/PANS children. Not every child will react to non-strep triggers. If your child is experiencing a flair of symptoms and no infection is present, the following are some possible suspects. Please note: We are are not saying everything listed below will negatively impact a PANDAS/PANS child.
EXPOSURE TO ILLNESS
In PANDAS and PANS children, sometimes exposure to an illness can trigger symptoms. Some will compare it to someone with a severe peanut allergy.
This includes seasonal allergies.
Some families find changing the child’s diet helps. This may include “clean eating”, reduction of fast foods, and eliminating certain foods such as gluten, dairy, etc. Certain testing may help a parent determine if a child has a particular sensitivity to a food.
People taking antibiotics run the chance of also killing off the “good bacteria” in their body. This could result in an overgrowth of yeast or candida. This can occur in multiple places in the body, including the gut. If you suspect yeast overgrowth, discuss this your provider. If they find an overgrowth is present, an anti-fungal may be needed.