Forgive the strange title, this is a case-study where I use a homeopathic remedy called Pyrogen (which is made from a steak that was left out in the sun for 2 weeks!) to greatly alleviate a teenage girl’s PANDAS symptoms.
This is still an ongoing case, so I won’t reveal too much. The girl is in her early teens and her mum brought her to me with a diagnosis of Autism, PANS/PANDAS and seizures. She had developed normally and met all developmental milestones until aged two-and-a-half when she regressed. She started smashing her head on the floor, had violent tantrums, lost all her speech, hand-flapping started and lots of other symptoms also started at this time. She was diagnosed as ‘developmentally delayed’ a few months later. Her mum spent the next few years trying desperately to recover her child – there was lots of behavioural interventions like ABA therapy, as well as biomedical approaches like chelation.
Skip forward a few years and progress had been slow, she was still non-verbal, though she could say single words like “mummy”. Chronic constipation developed, along with a permanently bloated stomach and frequent abdominal pain. The tonsils also became ‘enormous’ at this time. Then at age 11 a second regression occurred, new symptoms started: She became aggressive, shrieking and attacking family members, frequent complaints of a sore head, often holding it in her hands. A continuous lethargy started around this time, as well as light sensitivity and urine incontinence. Obsessive compulsions also developed, she started compulsively spitting and became extremely anxious and unable to leave her house. The doctors quickly settled on a ‘psychological diagnosis’, but mum disagreed and had her blood tested, her Strep. titers where ‘through the roof’. Antibiotics didn’t help.
She was prescribed steroids for a few months, which seemed to help ‘take the edge off’ the worst of the aggression, but her symptoms remained. Then she was put on Lamotrigine (an anti-convulsant used to treat epilepsy!) as her doctor had seen this improve other children’s moods in similar cases. These symptoms continued for a few more years, along with the Lamotrigine.
Finally the mum comes to me for help. Now this is clearly a complex case, with these PANDAS/PANS symptoms sitting on top of the child’s autism symptoms, as well as the ongoing use of the anti-seizure medicines. Her mum wanted us to focus on reducing the inflammation that she felt was still hugely affecting her daughter (and was perhaps behind most of the more recent symptoms), as well as her gut issues of chronic constipation and foul smelling stools, stomach bloating and frequent abdominal pain.
Unlike many of my PANDAS cases, I didn’t start with my typical three remedy protocol. Instead I decided to give an 8-week detox of the steroids she had been given, alongside two remedies: Lachesis and Pyrogen. My reasons for the steroid detox was that very often when someone has been on a long course of these drugs then they won’t respond appropriately to homeopathic remedies.
The results surprised both her mum & myself! At the beginning we had an increase in spitting. The saliva was ‘putrid and thick’. Her clothes also smelled ‘putrid’. This continued for the first few weeks, but mum was already seeing improvements in other areas, here’s a list:
- Her bowels normalised. She now goes daily and the stools are much less offensive
- The bloating and abdominal pain is much reduced
- She no longer holds her head in pain which she frequently did
- She was no longer constantly tired and lethargic and woke refreshed in the morning, no longer agitated
- Her tonsils have returned to normal size and she no longer snores at night
- No more waking in the night, insomnia had been a problem for several years
- Her breath was much better, the ‘tonsillitis smell’ that had been there for years has gone
- She has become more sociable with other family members (not just her mother)
- The spitting has reduced by ’65-70%’
Of course many symptoms still remain, but I think this is a great start on her journey with homeopathy. It seems clear that much of her PANDAS/PANS symptoms were the result of chronic inflammation (which her mother had correctly identified), and that’s why the Pyrogen performed so beautifully.
If you know of children with similar symptoms, please forward their parents this blog post. So often these kids are given years of antibiotics, steroids or psych meds with poor results.
Why did Pyrogen help in this case? As you may know, homeopathy is based on the principle of ‘like cures like’. The symptoms that Pyrogen can help with are connected to inflammation, especially if caused by sepsis (harmful bacteria or their toxins present in the body) – It is made from putrid beef remember. The symptoms that pointed to this remedy were:
- Discharges foul, with foul odour of body
- Chronic complaints that date back to septic conditions
- Sensitive, anxious, confused mind
- Violent throbbing headache
- Photophobia (extreme sensitivity to light)
- Horribly foetid mouth, offensive breath
- Offensive faeces with impacted or obstructed bowels
- Sleepless from brain activity
These symptoms were taken from Phatak’s Materia medica of Homoeopathic Medicines.