Archive for the ‘Mycoplasma’ Category

What is PANS/PANDAS? And Why Are Cases On The Rise?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-panspandas-why-cases-rise-jill-c-carnahan-md/

What Is PANS/PANDAS? And Why Are Cases on the Rise?

Jill C. Carnahan, MD
Jill C. Carnahan, MD
Founder, Medical Director, Flatiron Functional Medicine

Imagine a loving child who’s been hitting all of their developmentary milestones. Then, seemingly overnight, she becomes so aggressive and full of rage that she’s kicked out of her preschool.

Or, a high-achieving, straight-A middle school student that suddenly begins having difficulty concentrating or even remembering what he learned the day before.

Or, how about a bubbly and social teenager that has a complete personality change and can no longer leave the house due to severe anxiety.

Unfortunately, for a growing number of parents, these frightening and heartbreaking scenarios have become their reality. More and more children are being diagnosed with autoinflammatory neurological disorders known as PANS and/or PANDAS. Today, we’re going to dive into exactly what PANS/PANDAS is, why cases are on the rise, and what you can do to minimize your own child’s risk of developing these disorders.

What is PANS?

PANS and PANDAS are both related autoimmune conditions that disrupt children’s neurological function. PANS is an acronym for Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome. PANS is a broad classification and can be caused by nearly any infection. Some more common infectious agents that have been linked to PANS includes:1

  • Mycoplasma pneumonia
  • Influenza (the flu)
  • Epstein Barr (Mono)
  • Borrelia Burgdorferi (Lyme disease)
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)
  • Herpes simplex
But any infection that triggers an immune response can potentially cause PANS.

What is PANDAS?

PANS also encompasses the more well-known subset of this disorder known as PANDAS. PANDAS is an acronym for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal infection.2 As the name implies, PANDAS is triggered by a streptococcal (strep) infection.

PAN and PANDAS are grouped together because PANDAS is considered a subset of PANS – with both conditions causing severe neurological symptoms. Let’s take a look at exactly what these oftentimes alarming and scary symptoms can look like.

What Are the Symptoms of PANS/PANDAS?

PANS and PANDAS cause a sudden, and rapid-onset onset of neurological symptoms – meaning symptoms involving the brain, spinal cord, and all nerves throughout the body. PANS and PANDAS affect children, typically anywhere from age three through puberty. Seemingly overnight, children can present with symptoms including:3

  • Obsessive-compulsive thoughts: the inability to put thoughts out of their mind or a strong urge to perform repetitive actions.
  • Tics or purposeless motor movements: this may be uncontrolled repetitive symptoms such as jerky movements, sounds (like grunts), or repeating words over and over.
  • Mood changes and mood swings: this can include irritability and moodiness as well as inappropriate emotional responses such as laughing or crying unexpectedly.
  • ADHD type symptoms: such as difficulty concentrating, fidgeting, inability to sit still, and hyperactivity.
  • Separation anxiety: severe “clinginess” or difficulty being separated from parents or caregivers.
  • Changes in motor skills: often this is seen as a sudden acute difficulty with handwriting and other fine motor skills.
  • Sleep problems: children may have difficulty falling or staying asleep.
  • Increased urination: this can manifest as night-time bedwetting, an increase in urination frequency during the day, or both.

These symptoms are almost always abrupt and dramatic – causing children to change almost overnight and out of the blue. But how exactly does PANS/PANDAS cause these sudden and frightening changes in children?

What Causes PANS/PANDAS?

PANS/PANDAS is directly caused by an infection, either streptococcal or otherwise. Regardless of the infectious agent, the process goes something like this:3,4

  • Step 1: Your child comes into contact with an infectious agent and an infection is contracted. Streptococcal bacteria and other infectious microorganisms have evolved to survive in the human body by evading our immune systems for as long as possible. These microbes essentially “hideout” in your child’s body – putting specific molecules on their cell walls that are nearly identical to the molecules found on your child’s own tissues. This is called “molecular mimicry” and helps these foreign invaders evade detection so they can begin replicating.
  • Step 2: Eventually the immune system is alerted to these foreign invaders and an attack is launched in an attempt to neutralize the threat. But because these foreign microbes closely resemble the host cells, the immune system begins mistakenly attacking the invading microorganisms and the healthy cells that were mimicked.
  • Step 3: In PANS/PANDAS, the immune system begins targeting a part of the brain known as the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia is responsible for motor functions and learning as well as behaviors and emotions.5 So, as the immune system launches its misguided attack on the basal ganglia, inflammation levels skyrocket – causing a rapid and severe onset of neurological symptoms.

So what are the next steps if your child presents with the intense and debilitating symptoms seen in PANS/PANDAS?

Is There Treatment for PANS/PANDAS?

Unfortunately, because PANS/PANDAS manifests as neuropsychiatric issues, cases are often misdiagnosed as behavioral disorders or mental illness – oftentimes resulting in children being placed on psychiatric meds. But when properly diagnosed, treatment of PANS/PANDAS requires addressing the root cause of the symptoms – the underlying infection and subsequent inflammation and autoimmune response.

Typically PANS/PANDAS is treated with anti-infective and/or immunological treatments. Anti-infectives target the underlying infection, and immunological treatments target the immune system. Treatment may resolve symptoms, but in some cases, symptoms may only be diminished – leaving children with ongoing neuropsychiatric issues. This often requires cognitive-behavioral therapies to manage lingering symptoms. 

Undoubtedly, as a parent, the thought of your child potentially contracting PANS/PANDAS and dealing with the life-altering effects of these disorders is extremely concerning. And what’s more concerning, is that cases of PANS/PANDAS are on the rise.

Why Are PAN/PANDAS Cases Are on the Rise?

Exposure to germs and the contraction of infections are inevitable in children. In fact, this activation of the immune system is a crucial part of development and building acquired immunity. But the problem arises when exposure to these infectious agents causes the immune system to go awry.

You see, modern life has a major impact on both children’s and adult’s immune systems. Certain factors can increase the likelihood of a child’s immune system misfiring and causing autoinflammatory conditions such as PANS/PANDAS. Factors that negatively impact the immune system and increase the risk of autoimmunity include:

  • Increased exposure to toxins and inability to properly detox
  • Gut dysbiosis and nutritional deficiencies
  • Increased stress levels and inadequate sleep

Let’s take a deeper look at how addressing these factors and prioritizing immune health can decrease your child’s risk of developing autoinflammatory disorders like PANS/PANDAS.

Ways to Support Your Child’s Immune System

While there are certainly no guarantees when it comes to your child’s health, the most powerful weapon we have against autoinflammatory disorders is keeping the immune system in tip-top shape. Some of the best ways you can keep your child’s immune system firing on all cylinders include:

Reducing Toxic Burden

We’re all exposed to countless potentially harmful toxins on a daily basis. Our bodies are designed to process out these toxins and maintain homeostasis. But when exposure to toxins overwhelms the body’s ability to properly detox and they begin to accumulate, it can spell trouble.

You see, a build-up of toxins activates your child’s immune system, causing low-level inflammation. Over time, this constant activation overworks the immune system. This not only depletes your child’s immune system’s resources – leaving it with less energy to direct at potential threats – but can also increase the chances of their immune system misfiring and the development of autoinflammatory conditions.

While it’s impossible to entirely avoid exposure to toxins, there are some simple steps you can take to make your child’s environment less toxic and reduce their overall toxic burden. Head over to my article How to Boost Your Immune System by Reducing Your Toxic Burden to learn exactly how you can start addressing the toxin levels in your home today.

Focusing on Gut Health

The immune system and the gut are intricately linked. In fact, the gut houses approximately 70% of your immune cells and plays an integral role in coordinating and regulating immune responses. So it’s no surprise that if gut health is out of whack, then the immune system can’t function properly.

There are two primary components to keeping your gut – and subsequently your immune system – happy and healthy:

  1. The integrity of the lining of your gut: Your child’s digestive tract is frequently exposed to foreign pathogens through the food and drinks they ingest. The lining of the gut is designed to keep these potentially dangerous microorganisms sealed up tight so they can be safely eliminated.
  2. The microbiome: Millions of different beneficial microorganisms reside in your child’s gut. This delicate ecosystem plays a crucial role in communicating with the immune system, keeping “bad” bacteria in check, and producing essential metabolic compounds.

Supporting both of these components of gut health is pivotal when it comes to supporting immune function. Some simple ways to help keep your child’s gut healthy and happy include:

  • Build meals around real whole foods. Teach your children to fill up on fresh fruits and veggies, high-quality protein, and healthy fats.
  • Minimize sugary foods and simple carbs. Sugar-laden and processed foods can cause an imbalanced microbiome and increase inflammation.
  • Introduce beneficial bacteria by incorporating fermented foods like sauerkraut, coconut yogurt, kombucha, and kefir. Or try a kid-friendly probiotic – just make sure to consult with your pediatrician first.

To learn more about how a healthy gut equals a stronger immune system, head over to my article How to Heal Your Gut for a Stronger Immune System.

Prioritizing Rest and Relaxation

With schoolwork, standardized tests, sports, and extracurricular activities, kids today have a lot of stress and seem to be constantly on the go. And that stress can put a serious damper on their immune systems.

Teaching your kids to balance activities and achievements with rest, fun, and connecting with others is crucial to their overall health. Help them find ways to channel and process the unavoidable stress with things like journaling or meditation. Keeping stress levels in check is one of the most powerful ways to support your child’s immune function.

So, How Worried Should I Be About PANS/PANDAS?

As a parent, you love your children and the thought of them developing PANS/PANDAS feels like a nightmare that you never want them to go through. That’s why staying informed and supporting your children’s immune systems is crucial.

If you’re concerned that your child may be suffering from the effects of either of these debilitating disorders, I strongly encourage you to seek the expertise of an experienced Integrative and Functional Medicine Practitioner. If you’ve never worked with an Integrative and Functional Medicine Practitioner, click here to learn how to pick the right one for your family.

When it comes to the health of your family and bolstering your child’s defenses against autoinflammatory disorders like PANS/PANDAS, you are your child’s best advocate. Staying educated, creating a healthy lifestyle for your family, and teaching your children to prioritize their own health is a powerful way to minimize the risk of developing autoimmunity.

And I’m here to help you. I’m dedicated to bringing my patients and readers the knowledge and resources they need to stay educated and feel empowered. So if you want access to my exclusive and very best tips when it comes to staying healthy, I encourage you to sign up for my newsletter. All you have to do is enter your name and email in the form below and you’ll get all my best content delivered straight to your inbox!

If you’d like to read more on PAN/PANDAS you may also want to read blog articles like these by my friend, Dr. Suzanne Gazda, Integrative Neurologist.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4340805/
  2. https://www.pandasppn.org/what-are-pans-pandas/
  3. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/pandas/index.shtml
  4. https://www.moleculeralabs.com/pans-and-pandas-overview/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3543080/

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.

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For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/10/01/panspandas-steroids-autoimmune-disease-lymemsids-the-need-for-medical-collaboration/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/12/01/guidelines-for-treating-pans-its-real/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/03/24/is-your-child-crazy-or-sick-mental-illness-vs-medical-disorder/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/10/08/misdiagnosed-how-children-with-treatable-medical-issues-are-mistakenly-labeled-as-mentally-ill/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/05/13/one-familys-story-of-strep-lyme-disease-and-pans-pandas/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/07/08/psychosis-and-pans-meet-plasmapheresis-our-final-slam-dunk/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/01/the-3-pans-myths-that-are-ruining-lives/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/07/28/stories-of-pandas/

 

Co-infections Among COVID-19 Patients: The Need for Combination Therapy With Non-Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Agents?

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1684118220301274

Co-infections among patients with COVID-19: The need for combination therapy with non-anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents?

Under a Creative Commons license
open access

Abstract

Co-infection has been reported in patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome, but there is limited knowledge on co-infection among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The prevalence of co-infection was variable among COVID-19 patients in different studies, however, it could be up to 50% among non-survivors. Co-pathogens included bacteria, such as

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
  • Chlamydia pneumonia
  • Legionella pneumophila
  • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • Candida species
  • Aspergillus flavus
  • viruses such as influenza, coronavirus, rhinovirus/enterovirus, parainfluenza, metapneumovirus, influenza B virus, and human immunodeficiency virus

Influenza A was one of the most common co-infective viruses, which may have caused initial false-negative results of real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Laboratory and imaging findings alone cannot help distinguish co-infection from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Newly developed syndromic multiplex panels that incorporate SARS-CoV-2 may facilitate the early detection of co-infection among COVID-19 patients. By contrast, clinicians cannot rule out SARS-CoV-2 infection by ruling in other respiratory pathogens through old syndromic multiplex panels at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, clinicians must have a high index of suspicion for coinfection among COVID-19 patients. Clinicians can neither rule out other co-infections caused by respiratory pathogens by diagnosing SARS-CoV-2 infection nor rule out COVID-19 by detection of non-SARS-CoV-2 respiratory pathogens.

After recognizing the possible pathogens causing co-infection among COVID-19 patients, appropriate antimicrobial agents can be recommended.

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**Comment**

This would explain why COVID-19 does not resemble a simple virus, just as Lyme disease doesn’t present identically from individual to individual. Lyme/MSIDS is also best treated with combination therapy; however, most regular practitioners follow the antiquated and unscientific CDC treatment guidelines which haven’t worked for over 40 years (which in a nutshell is 21 days of doxycycline for all despite body weight and coinfections).

With each day there seems to be more and more similarities to Lyme/MSIDS in that cases are complex and individual. Medicine needs to acknowledge and embrace this complexity:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/04/26/cdc-playbook-learning-from-lyme/

This also explains why things like antibiotics and anti-parasitics work.  The pathogen list did not include tick-borne pathogens but should, as undoubtedly many of these people could very well have undiagnosed infections that COVID-19, much like vaccines, can reactivate latent infections: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/12/02/scottish-doctor-gives-insight-on-lyme-msids/

Is Your Child Crazy, or Sick? Mental Illness vs. Medical Disorder

https://www.lymedisease.org/kinderlehrer-crazy-sick/

Is your child crazy, or sick? Mental illness vs. medical disorder

 

 

 

Can Lyme Disease Lead to Bladder Problems?

https://www.bca-clinic.com/can-lyme-disease-cause-bladder-problems/

Can Lyme Disease Lead To Bladder Problems?

Lyme disease can cause many disparate symptoms over the course of its progression. It’s often called ‘The Great Imitator’ because many of its generalised symptoms resemble the symptoms of other, more prominent chronic conditions. This makes it very difficult to diagnose, and misdiagnosis rates are suspected to be extremely high. Compounding this is the fact that chronic Lyme is not widely recognised as a legitimate disorder. Despite many thousands of people suffering from long-term Lyme symptoms, hugely different from the accepted acute symptoms, the condition remains an outlier. Therefore, patient and doctor education on Lyme disease in all its forms is not as good as it should be. Many symptoms fall by the wayside because of this, and either go uninvestigated or misdiagnosed. Bladder issues might not be the first thing you associate with Lyme disease; but can Lyme disease cause bladder problems?

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease was christened in the town of Old Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975. This is relatively recent for a major disease, which speaks of its insidious nature. Lyme is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is spread to humans via the deer (or black-legged) tick in America, and the castor bean tick in Europe. Ticks are conduits of disease-causing bacteria, and often carry many different strains simultaneously. However, not every tick carries Borrelia burgdorferi and not every tick bite from those that do will result in Lyme.

Although the disease is often associated with America, particularly the north-eastern states, it is a global issue. Lyme rates remain alarmingly high in Europe as well as the U.S., with global warming compounding the issue. As the global temperature increases, ticks are able to live longer and migrate further, thereby increasing the instances of Lyme all over the world.

Image by Meli1670 on Pixabay: Despite many thousands of people suffering from long-term Lyme symptoms, the condition remains an outlier.

Acute vs. Chronic Lyme

The initial symptoms of Lyme present much like the flu. They manifest a day or two after the tick bite, and often involve a headache, fatigue, aches and fever – standard flu symptoms. The calling card of Lyme is a distinctive bullseye-shaped rash, which is present at the site of the bite in the majority of cases. If this is present, Lyme can be conclusively diagnosed. However, it is often overlooked, as many times people don’t realise they’ve been bitten. If treated with antibiotics, acute Lyme can be resolved rapidly and successfully for many patients. However, if that window is missed, Lyme will progress to its chronic long-term form, bringing with it a whole host of new, problematic symptoms.

Chronic Lyme represents an interplay between infection symptoms and inflammation symptoms. The former is caused by the underlying Borrelia infection, while the latter is caused by the body’s exaggerated response to the persistent bacteria. Because of this, a wide spectrum of symptoms is possible, varying in severity depending on the patient. The highly resistant Borrelia bacteria can travel and infect various parts of the body, including the neurological system and the pulmonary system.

Can Lyme disease lead to bladder problems?

Can Lyme disease affect your bladder? Some experts say it might. Bladder conditions might seem inferior to more severe issues relating to the brain and heart. But anyone who’s suffered from bladder pain can testify that it’s not a symptom to be taken lightly. The uniform name for frequent urination, bladder pain and inflammation is interstitial cystitis (IC), although a diagnosis of this disorder often means that the root cause is unknown. So does Lyme disease cause interstitial cystitis?

Lyme specialists are claiming there is a frequent crossover between Lyme symptoms and bladder issues, although not many studies have been conducted on this apparent link. There is seemingly also a connection between stomach issues, a common complaint of Lyme patients, and bladder problems. An animal study, conducted in 2006, found that in rodents, Borrelia burgdorferi is most often found in the bladder. While this and the anecdotal evidence are intriguing, it remains an unexplored area in the field of Lyme disease.

Image by Qaudronet_Webdesign on Pixabay: Can Lyme disease cause frequent urination? Some experts are suggesting it might.

Another, more recent study has provided a more concrete link in humans. This one found that voiding dysfunction (a catchall term used to describe poor coordination between the bladder muscle and the urethra) can appear as an early or late stage symptom of Lyme. Micturition (urination) disorders can subsequently occur via two paths. The first involves the Borrelia bacteria directly invading the bladder. The second occurs as a by-product of neuroborreliosis, a symptom of Lyme caused by the Borrelia bacteria breaching the blood-brain barrier and inflaming the brain. This is a serious manifestation of chronic Lyme disease, which has repercussions for many different areas of the body.

Seven out of seven patients who suffered from Lyme encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain) reported reflex response problems with their bladders.

While it seems conclusive to say that there is some link between chronic Lyme disease and bladder problems, most doctors won’t have the necessary Lyme education to correctly diagnose it as such. Lyme specialists (like BCA-clinic in Germany) are few and far between; and until more medical professionals are aware of the insidious dangers of chronic Lyme in all its potential forms, patients will continue to suffer sustained misdiagnoses.

Featured image by mohamed_hassan on Pixaba

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For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/08/26/interstitial-cystitis-and-lyme-disease/

Excerpts:

People with interstitial cystitis feel like they have a bladder infection that never goes away. It doesn’t respond to antibiotics, and urine cultures are typically negative. Because these patients are often treated repeatedly with antibiotics, however, they frequently end up having chronic urinary tract infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria induced by taking antibiotics. The condition occurs more often in women than men at a 5:1 ratio.

I’m starting to hear from chronic Lyme patients who suffer from bladder pain and symptoms consistent with IC. I’m also hearing from men with chronic Lyme who have bladder symptoms and chronic prostatitis (chronic infection of the prostate gland).

And, interestingly, remembering back to patients from the past, sufferers of IC frequently had chronic pain in other areas of the body. Many of them also had fatigue and symptoms common to fibromyalgia and chronic Lyme disease.

And, according to Dr. Rawls, a former OBGYN,

This makes me believe there has to be a microbial connection. Borrelia, the microbe commonly associated with Lyme disease, could be a culprit. However, I would lay odds on mycoplasma and a closely related bacterium called ureaplasma. About 75% of chronic Lyme disease sufferers have been found to harbor at least one species of mycoplasma.

According to Garth Nicolson, who’s wife survived a lethal form of bioweaponized Mycoplasma,

90% of evaluated ALS patients had Mycoplasma. 100% of ALS patients with Gulf War Syndrome had Mycoplasma and nearly all of those were specifically the weaponized M. fermentans incognitus.

*One of the hallmark symptoms of Mycoplasma is fatigue*

And the bad news for us is that Nicholson’s experience has found Mycoplasma to be the number one Lyme coinfection, and similar to other coinfections can be supposedly cleared for years only to reappear when conditions are right.

His latest paper on treating Myco:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/02/25/pathogenic-mycoplasma-infections-in-chronic-illnesses-general-considerations-in-selecting-conventional-and-integrative-treatments/

The bioweaponized form of Mycoplasma was designed to go undetected.  It doesn’t have a cell wall, making it tough to treat.

Zoonotic Diseases & Why We Are So Interested in Bats (Bartonella, Mycoplasma, & Coronavirus)

https://www.galaxydx.com/zoonotic-disease-and-one-health-with-bat-pathogens/

Zoonotic Diseases and Why We Are So Interested in Bats