Anti-Inflammatories for PANDAS/PANS

What ways can we reduce brain and body inflammation to help the immune system recover faster from PANDAS/PANS?


  1. Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Testing your child for food sensitivities is a beneficial way to identify foods that could be contributing to chronic inflammation in your child. Another option is to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet such as GF/CF or GAPS Diet. Eliminating pro-inflammatory foods from the diet can help to reduce PANDAS/PANS symptoms, in conjunction with treating the underlying infection.


  1. Omega 3 Oils: These polyunsaturated fats have well documented anti-inflammatory activity and they protect against neurodegenerative disease. The use of NSAIDS (such as Ibuprofen) can be substituted with high dose Omega 3 fats with comparable anti-inflammatory benefits. Choose a supplement with high levels of EPA and DHA.


  1. Curcumin (Turmeric): Curcumin, an extract from Turmeric (a spice) is a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Using a bio-available and fast acting form, such as Curcumin Active (made by AOR) can help manage a PANDAS/PANS symptom flare by reducing inflammation in the brain.


  1. Plant Sterols and Sterolins: These fats extracted from medicinal plants are instrumental in re-balancing immune system dysregulation. I use sterols/sterolins especially in the case of autoimmune conditions, including PANDAS/PANS, due to the imbalance between T-helper 1 and T-helper 2 cells. I wrote a blog post about Th-2 dominance ages ago, and you can check it out here to learn more about how it affects immune system function (although the post is not PANDAS specific). Plant sterols/sterolins enhance the immune system’s ability to fight off infection, while simultaneously down-regulating overactive antibody production. For PANDAS/PANS, this means that the Strep/Mycoplasma/Lyme/etc can be killed off more effectively, but auto-antibody activity in the basal ganglia reduces. Confusing, but very interesting!


  1. Ibuprofen/NSAIDs: Pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories can be used with caution under certain circumstances. Usually I would recommend a short course of Ibuprofen, dosed every 6-8 hours according to the child’s weight, in the advent of a symptom flare. These anti-inflammatories are not a cure and are not beneficial for long-term use, however they can be instrumental in controlling inflammation in the short term if the child is really struggling.
Dr Ayla Wilson
About the Author
Dr Ayla Wilson
Dr Ayla Wilson is a doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and the founder of High Five Family Health – which she opened in the fall of 2017 in Gastown (Vancouver, BC) after seven years in private practice in Edgemont Village (North Vancouver, BC).

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