Or maybe you heard about homeopathy, but thought that it just mean natural medicine? This is the camp I was in.
(If you still aren’t sure what homeopathy is, check out this page on our website.)
Homeopathy can be super confusing for folks, because it works with our bodies very differently than conventional pharmaceuticals. So I thought it would be good to go over what I typically see happen for the PANDAS I work with.
Finding unique symptoms is vital
The first thing that has to be done is to find the best remedy based on your PANDA’s unique symptoms. There are over 3,000 homeopathic remedies that can be used. The only way a remedy will work to help the body heal is if it is the right fit for the individual. Finding the right remedy takes a skilled practitioner who is familiar with PANDAS and also has extensive knowledge of the homeopathic materia medica (the body of information on how to use the remedies).
Many homeopathic remedies can be purchased over the counter, which leads some people to try them out on their own. This is relatively harmless for everyday coughs and colds. The same can’t be said about PANS/PANDAS where the immune system is literally attacking the nervous system.
Let’s talk about what can happen in response to homeopathic remedies – I think that will help you see why I don’t recommend going it alone in treating your PANDA.
There are 3 main things we see with a remedy when it is first given:
- Things just start to get better, usually within a few days to a few weeks.
- Things get a little worse and then get better – this is called a therapeutic aggravation.
- Nothing changes.
We obviously aim for the first reaction, but interestingly enough, the second reaction is actually a very good sign. In fact, for many kids, the more they aggravate on a remedy, the deeper and more profound the healing.
PANS/PANDAS kids tend to be on the more sensitive side. I have found that they are more likely to aggravate on remedies than the general population.
Homeopathy is a stimulus to heal. It isn’t forcing biochemistry in your body like meds do. So, we don’t always need to take a daily dose for a remedy to still be working. In fact, for some people a daily dose is far too stimulating, and can actually make them feel worse.
As I am sure you can guess – PANDAS can have a tendency to be in the spectrum where too much of a good thing can make them feel worse. On the flip side, because the condition is a chronic state with acute flares, sometimes a more frequent dose is necessary.
Dosing must be matched to an individual’s needs
For instance, Sally could be at her baseline level of functioning and respond well to getting the remedy once every 2-3 weeks. Then strep season hits her school with a vengeance, and suddenly she is kicked into an acute flare. Now she may need to take the remedy every day, or maybe even multiple times a day, to help her body fight off an infection so it can get back to the longer, deeper healing work the remedy is able to do when she is between flares.
Ultimately, management of dosing has to be matched to the individual needs and response of the patient, just like the remedy has to match their symptoms. This is where skilled professional help of a PANDAS/homeopathy specialist comes in.
LONG TERM RELIEF
So to answer the question of when your kiddo will get relief…
Short term, your kiddo should be seeing improvement within hours to days on a well prescribed remedy. If my patients see no improvements after 2-3 weeks max on a remedy, I know we need to change it.
Short term relief generally looks like improvements in behavior and mood first, and physical changes a little later. Sleep and tics tend to be a little on the longer side for improvements.
Long term we tend to see a series of ups and downs. We see kids take 2-3 steps forward in their healing and then one step back. When they take one step back, it is just and indication that the body is no longer sensitive to the remedy or the potency, and a small adjustment needs to be made.
It is 100% normal for kids to need multiple potencies and multiple remedies to fully recover. And by fully recover I mean have control of the brain, their moods, and their behavior, even when they are exposed to strep.
That last part is really important, because it is what sets homeopathy aside from any other therapy you may be using.
Homeopathy helps the body to heal so that kids have control of the brain, their moods, and their behavior, even when they are exposed to strep.
So, the bottom line is that with well prescribed homeopathic remedies you should see quick improvement in the short term, and progressive healing in the long term.
The work of any doctor should be to work themselves out of a job by actually helping their patients heal, and homeopathy makes that possible.
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Dr. Jennifer Bahr ND
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