PANDAS/PANS

  The hallmark trait for PANDAS is sudden acute and debilitating onset of intense anxiety and mood lability accompanied by Obsessive Compulsive-like issues and/or Tics in association with a streptococcal-A (GABHS) infection that has occurred immediately prior to the symptoms. In some instances, the onset will be 4 to 6 months after a strep infection because the antibiotics did not fully eradicate the bacteria. Many pediatricians do not know the latent variability of strep – Rheumatologists and Streptococcal Experts do. When strep cannot be linked to the onset of symptoms, the NIMH states one should look into the possibility of PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndromes). The acute onset means a Y-BOCS (Yale Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale) score of >20 and or a Chronic Tic Disorder YGTSS (Yale Global Tic Severity Scale) often with multiple tics. See Diagnostics Page. Below is the symptom criteria for PANDAS. Additional symptoms, such as severely restricted food intake, may also occur.   PANDAS has an encephalitic-like onset. Some childrens’ onsets are clearly debilitating and they become near catatonic and homebound. Other children can function at school and then fall apart at home for hours on end. BUT IT IS CLEAR – THE FORMERLY NORMALLY FUNCTIONING CHILD IS GONE. PANDAS symptoms may have flared in a lesser manner for weeks or years prior to the acute onset but often readily disappeared or lessened over time. If untreated with antibiotics generally we have seen a myriad of other symptoms will intensify in the weeks and months post-acute onset. If the severe symptoms do not stop and persist over many months, permanent cognitive damage can occur. PANDAS children...

Soy Allergy

Soy Soybean allergy is one of the more common food allergies, especially among babies and children. Approximately 0.4 percent of children are allergic to soy.  Studies indicate that an allergy to soy generally occurs early in childhood and often is outgrown by age three. Research indicates that the majority of children with soy allergy will outgrow the allergy by the age of 10.1 Allergic reactions to soy are typically mild; however, although rare, severe reactions can occur (read more about anaphylaxis). Therefore it is advised that people with soy allergy have quick access to an epinephrine auto-injector (such as an EpiPen®, Auvi-Q® or Twinject®) at all times. To prevent a reaction, strict avoidance of soy and soy products is essential. Always read ingredient labels to identify soy ingredients. Soybeans are a member of the legume family, which include plant species that bear seed pods that split upon ripening. Some examples of other legumes include beans, peas, lentils and peanut. People with a soy allergy are not necessarily allergic to other legumes. If you are allergic to soy, you do not have a greater chance of being allergic to another legume (including peanut) than you would to any other food. In the United States, soybeans are widely used in processed food products. Soybeans alone are not a major food in the diet, but because soy is used in so many products, eliminating all those foods can result in an unbalanced diet. Consult with a dietitian to help you plan for proper nutrition. Avoiding Soy The federal Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires that all packaged food products...

Tree Nut Allergy

Tree Nut Allergies Tree nut allergy is one of the most common food allergies in children and adults. Tree nuts can cause a severe, potentially fatal, allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Medical experts advise that people with a tree nut allergy have quick access to an epinephrine auto-injector (such as an EpiPen®, Auvi-Q® or Twinject®) at all times. To prevent a reaction, strict avoidance of tree nuts and tree nut products is essential.  Always read ingredient labels to identify tree nut ingredients. An allergy to tree nuts tends to be lifelong; recent studies have shown that approximately 9 percent of children with a tree nut allergy eventually outgrow their allergy. Younger siblings of children who are allergic to tree nuts may be at increased risk for allergy to tree nuts. Your doctor can provide guidance about testing for siblings. Tree nuts include, but are not limited to, walnut, almond, hazelnut, cashew, pistachio, and Brazil nuts. These are not to be confused or grouped together with peanut, which is a legume, or seeds, such as sunflower or sesame. A person with an allergy to one type of tree nut has a higher chance of being allergic to other types. Therefore, many experts advise patients with allergy to tree nuts to avoid all nuts. Patients may also be advised to also avoid peanuts because of the higher likelihood of cross-contact with tree nuts during manufacturing and processing. Avoiding Tree Nuts The federal Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires that all packaged food products sold in the U.S. that contain tree nuts as an ingredient must list the specific tree nut...

Wheat Allergy

Wheat allergy is most common in children, and is usually outgrown before reaching adulthood, often by age three. Symptoms of a wheat allergy reaction can range from mild, such as hives, to severe, such as anaphylaxis. Therefore it is advised that people with wheat allergy have quick access to an epinephrine auto-injector (such as an EpiPen®, Auvi-Q® or Twinject®) at all times.  To prevent a reaction, strict avoidance of wheat and wheat products is essential. Always read ingredient labels to identify wheat ingredients. A wheat allergy can present a challenge for the diet as well as for baking, because wheat is the nation’s predominant grain product. Someone on a wheat-restricted diet can eat a wide variety of foods, but the grain source must be something other than wheat. In planning a wheat-free diet, look for alternate grains such as amaranth, barley, corn, oat, quinoa, rice, rye, and tapioca. When baking with wheat-free flours, a combination of flours usually works best. Experiment with different blends to find one that will give you the texture you are trying to achieve. Differences between Wheat Allergy and Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance A wheat allergy should not be confused with “gluten intolerance” or celiac disease. A food allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to a specific food protein. When the food protein is ingested, in can trigger an allergic reaction that may include a range of symptoms from mild symptoms (rashes, hives, itching, swelling, etc.) to severe symptoms (trouble breathing, wheezing, loss of consciousness, etc.). A food allergy can be potentially fatal. Celiac disease (also known as celiac sprue), which affects...

Stinging Insect Allergy

Stinging Insect Allergy When most people are stung by an insect, the site develops redness, swelling and itching. However, some people are actually allergic to insect stings. This means that their immune systems overreact to the venom. If you are insect-allergic, after the first sting, your body produces antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). If stung again by the same kind of insect, the venom interacts with this specific IgE antibody, triggering the release of substances that cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms of a Severe Reaction For a small number of people with venom allergy, stings may be life-threatening. This reaction is called anaphylaxis (an-a-fi-LAK-sis). Symptoms may include two or more of the following: itching and hives, swelling in the throat or tongue, difficulty breathing, dizziness, stomach cramps, nausea or diarrhea. In severe cases, a rapid fall in blood pressure may result in shock and loss of consciousness. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and may be fatal. If you have these symptoms after an insect sting, get emergency medical treatment. After this treatment, you should also ask for a referral to an allergist / immunologist, often referred to as an allergist, to learn how to stay safe in the future. Identifying Stinging Insects To avoid stinging insects, it is important to identify them. Yellow jackets’ nests are made of a paper-maché material and are usually located underground, but can sometimes be found in the walls of frame buildings, cracks in masonry or woodpiles. Honeybees and bumble bees are non-aggressive and will only sting when provoked. However, Africanized honeybees (AKA “killer bees”) found in the Southwestern U.S. are more aggressive and...