Keep Your Focus On The Cause... Not On The Symptoms
By William Cook
Before I address my main point of this article regarding symptoms verses the cause, I think it is important to make a clear distinction between medication and Essential Oils. We must recognize that medications are synthetic chemical toxins; that in effect “toxify” our bodies, while Essential oils are the immune system of a plant and actually detoxify our bodies. Drugs often confuse the body and mask symptoms allowing you to “feel” better, at least temporarily, but most times the root cause of the condition remains intact and is actually silently getting worse. Understand, “feeling better” doesn’t always mean you are better. Drugs don’t heal our body…the body heals itself. Drugs don’t make you healthy…if they did those that took the most medications would be the healthiest. Your body is a self-healing organism if given the right resources. So in short, by bypassing the body’s natural self-repair process and handing all your power over to toxic chemicals that trick the body into thinking its ok, you might actually be masking the very thing that is making you sick.
So what is PANDAS/PANS? The hallmark trait for PANDAS is sudden acute and debilitating onset of symptoms that can range from intense anxiety and mood changes which are sometimes accompanied by Obsessive Compulsive-like issues to motor and verbal Tics like head shaking, eye rolling and or noisy outbursts. In most cases this is always in association with a streptococcal-A (GABHS) infection that has occurred immediately prior to the symptoms. However we now know that many other pathogens can be the trigger such as Coxsackie A or B, Lyme disease, Flu, H1N1, and others. In most cases, the onset will be somewhere between 4 to 6 months after the infection because the medication did not fully eradicate the bacteria or virus.
We are often asked… in helping your son recover from PANDAS… what is the one thing you have learned … and what has been the most successful thing for you in beating this disorder? I always think what a big question that is because the answer really should be…what haven’t we learned? I feel like we have learned far more than we ever thought about something… that we would have rather never learned about. Being a parent of a child that gets sick makes you an expert fast. You truly do become an unwitting “graduate of the University of Hard Knocks!”
However when it comes to beating PANDAS/PANS with essential oils there is something that we have learned, that does stand out. Something that I think is crucial to beating, and eradicating a disorder that is affecting way too many of our children. What we have learned is to keep your focus on the cause, and not on the symptoms. Never take your eyes off what is causing the condition. When the cause is gone…the condition is gone.
PANDAS/PANS is a complex autoimmune disorder with symptoms that are often very diverse. They come and they go, however as diverse as they are, the symptoms of PANDAS/PANS are almost always intense, very visual and extremely hard to ignore…especially for loving and concerned parents, who find it unbearable to watch their children exhibit them. I know for myself it was very hard for me to even look at my son when his head was shaking uncontrollably. I just couldn’t handle it. It was hard for me to look past the symptom and remember it was only a temporary symptom not the problem. I think of PANDAS as a chain reaction. One thing leads to another …that leads to another until our child’s body is in the perfect storm. However a key to PANDAS recovery is calming the storm.
Before we get into details… the crux of this article can be summed up in one statement... Essential Oils effectively address the root cause of Pandas/PANS that can contain any number of symptoms, whereas generally western medicine is symptomatic based. In other words, our goal is to eradicate the cause rather than suppress the symptoms. This is an important distinction to have in mind when you are considering using Essential Oils for PANDAS/PANS because if your focus is on the symptoms alone, you may not necessarily be eradicating the cause which will lead to future flare ups, and problems even years later.
Most of us have a Modern Western Medicine mentality…it’s the paradigm we grew up with, which is all about chasing symptoms, and rarely addressing causes. Because of this, it is very common when people are new to using Essential Oils that they focus completely on specific symptoms. They often initially judge the success and effectiveness of the Essential oils in eradicating PANDAS/PANS by the presence or increase in symptoms. However, again with essential oils we must first focus on the cause. Many times parent’s will give up before recovery simply because they are not seeing enough reduction in the outward symptoms, all the while significant changes are taking place in their child. This is always disheartening because we truly believe the moment you are ready to quit is usually right before your break through is going to happen. So when dealing with essential oils and PANDAS you cannot allow fleeting symptoms to turn you around or get you off course. Remember they are only signals of the problem and until the problem is fully eradicated they will appear and disappear. When the problem is gone…the symptoms will be gone.
The human body is very much like a car. It gives us signals, little warnings that something isn’t right. It seems like most people do a better job of responding to the signals their car gives them than their body. In the case of PANDAS/PANS Symptoms like OCD, ODD, emotional labiality, motor and verbal tics are nothing more than signals letting us know that something isn’t functioning right. It’s our job to address what is causing those symptoms, not just turn off the signal. Remember a symptomatic flare up is only a temporary distraction if your goal is to eradicate the problem.
Recovery Must Start With the Basics…it’s A.B.C.
A. With PANDAS/PANS you must start with the gut. Some studies have shown that Pandas children have GI tract inflammation and dysfunction in both upper and lower GI tract. There has also been some reported data that shows that PANDAS children have decreased enzyme and amino acid activity. Enzyme support is essential to recovery, and crucial in repairing leaky gut and restoring a healthy GI Tract. With a child with PANDAS it is important to make sure their digestive and elimination systems are functioning properly, because the inflammation is not just in the brain but also in the gut? Too often we skip over these fundamental concerns and wonder why we aren’t seeing better results.
B. You must address intracellular bacteria or viral pathogens causing the autoimmune response. When the doctors prescribe antibiotics or viral medication it is because they are trying to kill the pathogen. The biggest problem with PANDAS/PANS is that the pathogen is hiding. It is hiding in the cells, and it almost always hiding in biofilm. Part of the problem with all antibiotic resistant bacterial infections is the formation of biofilm, a sticky shield which the bacteria and fungi make to hide from our immune system thereby increasing antibiotic resistance. In 2006, an article reported that the failure of antibiotics against Streptococcus pyogenes could be because of biofilm formation. Antibiotics cannot penetrate biofilm to get to the bacteria. This makes them ineffective. What can dissolve Biofim? Studies show Essential oils do… and do it very effectively. Essential oils dissolve biofilm and kill microbes. This is crucial with PANDAS because this microbial shelter can grow throughout the body, as this occurs, inflammation levels rise leading to chronic and acute autoimmune disease states such as PANDAS. Essential oils inhibit and are very effective at breaking down biofilm, leaving the bacteria, viruses and even Lyme spirochetes more exposed to eradication.
C. Dealing with cellular Inflammation and also inflammation of the Basal Ganglia is another important step. We must also address the inflammation in the body through anti-inflammatory oils. Oxidative stress along with the infection in our children is causing cellular inflammation. Anti-oxidants help to stop the harmful destruction of oxidative stress. Many Essential Oils have properties that are high in D-Limonene — a powerful antioxidant and marker for bio-activity that detoxes the liver and blood, aids digestion and calms the nervous system. It is important to note that science has now discovered that intra-cellular bacteria (bacteria that hides out in the cells to avoid eradication) is often the cause of many autoimmune disorders such as PANDAS/PANS. Because essential oils are so small in molecular size (even one drop can contain 40 million, trillion molecules,) they can pass through the skin, directly penetrating the cell walls, and affect every cell in the body with their key properties, within 20 minutes. They also have the unique ability to cross the blood brain barrier, which is key to recovery. Studies have shown that essential oils destroy all tested bacteria and viruses, while simultaneously restoring balance and wellness to the body.
I understand firsthand what it is like to ride the emotional roller coaster when it comes to symptoms. However there came a time where I began to understand that the healing process is exactly that…a healing process! There is not one magic formula that is going to stop everything right away, at least not if the goal is more than suppressing symptom’s. When I came to this realization I was able to calm down and allow the oils to change my son. I want to encourage you that PANDAS is beatable if you will stay the course and be consistent. Do not deviate from the essential oils protocol that we put together and be persistent daily. There is Hope For Healing with PANDAS…it may not be as easy on our emotions as suppressing misleading symptoms…but it will bring an end to them once and for all.
Remember recovery from PANDAS with essential oils is different…it’s more like peeling an onion; it’s one thin layer at a time.