PANDAS & Vaccines
Were They a Cause and Can Continued Vaccines Make It Worse?
With more and more children being diagnosed every day, there is now an increased attention to and awareness of PANDAS – Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus. After diagnosis the next big question being asked is why? What is causing this? While we know that PANDAS is most commonly associated with a Strep infection, is there something else that can be linked to the cause? That is the question that we all are asking. I am not a doctor, nor even a healthcare professional. What I am is, a Dad of a boy diagnosed with PANDAS who took control of his child’s health. The best decision we ever made was making the leap of faith and using essential oils instated of continuing with failing medication. We now have our son back 100% recovered because we decided to take charge of our sons’ health and change our paradigm…giving this all natural approach a chance. By far this was the best decision we ever made! As parents we must think outside the box when it comes to our kid’s health. If traditional western medicine is not helping your child…move on…keep looking. We know firsthand that essential oils used properly for PANDAS caused our son’s complete recovery. They key is using the right ones, the right way, for the right amount of time. Our story of recovery is featured in another blog at our website, www.pandashopeforhealing.com
What is PANDAS?
Before I go into more detail, let me address the question what is PANDAS or PANS? PANDAS, is what happens when a child’s immune system does not respond appropriately to an infection… often a strep infection. It is basically a colossal failure of the immune system. It is important to note that the dominant infection connected to PANDAS is Streptococcus; however it is not always the triggering infection. Infections like Coxsackie A & B, Lyme disease and Mycoplasma can also be the trigger. There is currently a much greater understanding about how many different bacterial and viral infections can trigger the condition causing inflammation in the parts of the brain that are responsible for movement control, obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors, and the extreme emotional and behavioral ups and downs exhibited by children with PANDAS. Because it is now known that multiple infectious agents are involved in the clinical presentation of an autoimmune brain attack like PANDAS, it is no longer referred to as just “PANDAS.” Instead this group of neuro-immune disorders is now referred to as PANDAS, PITAND, or PANS. I often say they should change the S in PANDAS from Strep to SOMETHING, as it is more than just strep related. It has even been demonstrated that Staph infections are also able to cause PANDAS. In some cases, the effects of these bacterial infections can be so severe that the child’s brain swells, causing severe pain. Many children with Autism develop PANDAS. While it is important to note that PANDAS is NOT Autism… in children diagnosed with “autism” (especially those who are non-verbal), the extreme pain from brain swelling may lead to head-banging behavior. Unfortunately, the psychiatric and psychological professionals who have historically treated children on the autism spectrum view head-banging as “stimming,” Because the child “has autism,” they are not likely to do the lab tests necessary to determine if the child’s brain is inflamed due to a severe bacterial infection.
What Does “Autism” have to do with PANDAS?
Well, as you are probably aware by now, parents of children diagnosed with autism are the ones who have been saying for more than a decade that their children’s neuro-immune disorders are the result of vaccine-injury. Many parents of children diagnosed with “autism” have been through the same rejection and denial of their children’s medical illness as the parents of PANDAS children are experiencing. When a child is diagnosed with autism his or her medical problems are often chalked up to “just part of autism” by doctors who don’t know any better. This is exactly the same with PANDAS. How many of us know firsthand being ignored or having our child’s symptoms brushed off as something they will grow out of or misdiagnosed as Tourette Syndrome to being told PANDAS doesn’t exist? As a result of having to prove PANDAS is real; many of us have had to become the primary care providers for our children. We have had to become the researchers. We have been forced to because who else was going to advocate for our child’s condition. I say this, because if you encounter a parent whose child has “autism” and he or she starts telling you about Vaccines, my advice would be to listen very closely. In almost all cases, this parent will know more than your doctor. “Autism parents” can often give you the research you need to help educate you and your doctor. . “Autism parents,” especially those who have older children and who have been networking and sharing information for years, frequently have volumes of research in binders or stored in folders on their computers. They are almost always willing to share that information.
Many Autism parents are very knowledgeable about PANDAS. There is a reason why they are so knowledgeable about PANDAS. It’s the same reason “autism parents” are the ones who are most vocal about the dangers of vaccines. They understand immune system malfunction, and what caused it. They understand vaccine injury. The diagnosis rates of PANDAS are increasing. The statistics show that 1 in 200 children are now being diagnosed with PANDAS. The numbers of misdiagnosed children have to be even more staggering. It is interesting to note that the autoimmune attacks on the brain that are the hallmark of PANDAS, PITAND, and PANS are now known to be very common in vaccine-injured children.
While usually ineffective as a permanent cure and certainly not without risks, the fact that IVIG (Intra-Venous Immuno-Globulin) is being used as a treatment for PANDAS makes a point. IVIG is a treatment that is supposed to rebalance a compromised immune system. It does not tackle the bacterial infections per se, by trying to wipe out strep or staph which is why I believe it is ineffective. After all if you don’t eliminate the bacteria, the body will only respond the way it was created to respond…it will produce more antibodies. However, IVIG is thought to improve the child’s immune system. This suggests that the initial underlying cause of PANDAS is not the bacterial (or viral) infections themselves, but the increased susceptibility and an inappropriate immune response to these infectious agents, when the child is exposed to them. This really makes sense when you think about the fact that most people get strep, but not everyone gets PANDAS.
Why Do Some Kid’s Get PANDAS?
This brings us to the question, “What is it that causes certain children to be more vulnerable to having a damaged immune system?” The most likely answer to that for me is “Vaccines.” Maybe not a particular vaccine... maybe not a particular component of a particular vaccine... but more likely vaccines in general; especially when administered at the overwhelming rate dictated by the CDC’s Recommended Childhood Schedule. Historically, PANDAS has been known to affect younger children. They very frequently begin to exhibit symptoms after during pre-school or after entering kindergarten. Another peak onset for symptoms of PANDAS is after a child enters junior high. We need to ask ourselves, what do these kids have in common? The answer is “back-to-school shots.” Just as the onset of PANDAS symptoms have historically affected younger children (that’s why it’s a “pediatric” diagnosis), historically, “back-to-school shots” have also only been a factor in those school children entering pre-school, kindergarten and again when they advance to middle school.
We are now beginning to see increasing numbers of older adolescents (high school-aged kids) exhibiting symptoms consistent with PANDAS. We have also only recently begun vaccinating high school students on a routine basis with an ever-increasing vaccination schedule. Is this a coincidence? Or is it vaccine-injury? This is a question each of us must answer for ourselves.
Should I Continue to Vaccinate My Child Who Has PANDAS?
Vaccinations are an extremely controversial topic these days. The questions are abundant. Do we… or don’t we? Is it safe to…is it NOT safe to? What do we do? Whatever side of the aisle you are on with regard to your opinion about vaccination, one thing is for certain. The choice to vaccinate, not to vaccinate or even continue vaccinations is a decision that has the potential to greatly impact you and most importantly, the health of your children for the rest of their lives. As we work with children with PANDAS using essential oils, this is the question we are asked over and over again. Should I continue to vaccinate my child? This is a tough question for any parent to tackle. Many of us know the pressure that is put on us as new parents by the medical community to vaccinate our children. Many of us know the fear and confusion placed upon us by medical providers who are more than eager to inject those toxins into our healthy new born children. For most of us who vaccinated our kids when they were born…we did what we did because we didn’t know any better or because the doctor told us we had to. We often felt confused, pressured and even trapped. Now that we have gone through the gauntlet of PANDAS, we have learned some things. We now know that we have to take back our health decisions from the hands of others and make own educated decisions. Now that we know what we know…we can’t just take our pediatrician’s word that shots are perfectly safe, and will do no harm. The one thing we have all clearly learned from PANDAS is that it is possible for doctors to be wrong. After all, they are human. In reality, your doctor is simply parroting the standard line about vaccinations from the American Medical Association (AMA) playbook. If you think you are getting their honest assessment, you might want to think again. Did you know a recent study showed that prescription drugs taken as directed kill 100,000 Americans a year. That's one person every five minutes. This study looked only at deaths from known side effects. That is, those deaths didn’t happen because the doctor made a mistake and prescribed the wrong drug, or the pharmacist made a mistake in filling the prescription, or the patient accidentally took too much. Unfortunately, thousands of patients die from such mistakes too, but this study looked only at deaths where our present medical system wouldn’t fault anyone. Tens of thousands of people are dying every year from drugs they took just as the doctor directed. This shows you how dangerous “perfectly safe” medications can be. So the key here is education. You must do your own research, which is more than just asking your doctor if they are safe. You need to make an informed decision by investigating the facts with an open mind and knowing exactly what you are getting yourself into before you commit to do anything. This is also true when it comes to treating PANDAS. Will you continue with medicine even if it is not working for your child, or will you be willing to give a natural alternative a try? It always makes me sad to read posts by parents whose children are languishing for years with no relief from medication, when there are viable, safe all natural options that work. Many parents are frightened away from these alternatives because a doctor or a website said they might not be safe or they are not FDA approved, even though more people die every day from FDA approved safe medications. At some point we must ask ourselves the question…could there be a different reason why they don’t want us to try alternatives? I am not being negative towards doctors. They work within a very strict protocol and paradigm. You cannot expect them to think outside of what they have been trained in. There is an old saying that says, if you ask a banana salesman what fruit to buy, you should expect to be told bananas. The medical community and the pharmaceutical companies work within the same western medical paradigm and so we should expect medicine as the only approach even if it doesn’t work… or even worse makes you more ill.
Just a simple search for essential oils on pubmed.com will show you that there are countless studies demonstrating the effectiveness of essential oils at combating and eradicating infections, both bacterial and viral. Many studies show their effectiveness at boosting the immune system and their benefits for autoimmune conditions, and for reducing inflammation. All of which is exactly needed to bring recovery in PANDAS. Many countries in the world like France use essential oils regularly as a preferred method of treatment. However in this county, all natural essential oils cannot be patented, and without a patented product in the market place… there is not the chance to make millions from them. Do you think that the Pharmacutical companies who pay for the studies that are given to the FDA are going to spend money to study something they cannot profit from? However for our family essential oils have been a miracle. They were the answer to prayer. We weren’t against medical treatment. We tried medicine for almost two years with little no improvement and our son only got worse. We tried essential oils and our son recovered from PANDAS. It’s just that simple. What we learned is…the body was created to heal itself given the right tools…and that’s what happened to our son.
So Here are my reasons why I would never continue to vaccinate my child, nor if I have another child would I have them vaccinated at all. Again, these are my reasons.
Most doctors who understand PANDAS do not recommend continued vaccines. Why…because vaccines are toxic. With PANDAS, children already have a weakened immune system, so introducing more toxins, and pathogens into a body that cannot fight then off is a recipe for disaster. They also may have a weakened blood brain barrier and when a vaccine recruits T-cells, there is inflammation that can further breach the blood brain barrier. The vaccine acts like a mini version of the illness (bacterial or viral). While the immune system kills off the weakened bacteria or virus in the vaccine, the body still has an immune response and still produces localized inflammation allowing antibodies or B-cells to cross the blood-brain barrier which can make the condition worsen or flare up. In many cases the PANDAS flare up after a vaccine is far worse than the initial symptoms and often more difficult to treat. ALL vaccines are loaded with toxins, chemicals and other poisons. Here is a list of some of the damaging ingredients in the vaccines on the market today: MSG, antifreeze, phenol (used as a disinfectant), formaldehyde (cancer causing and used to embalm), aluminum (associated with Alzheimer’s disease and seizures), glycerin (toxic to the kidneys, liver, can cause lung damage, gastrointestinal damage and death), lead, cadmium, sulfates, yeast proteins, antibiotics, acetone (used in nail polish remover), neomycin and streptomycin. And the ingredient making all the press is Thimerosol (more toxic than mercury, a preservative still used in many vaccines including the flu shot, it is not easily eliminated, it can cause severe neurological damage as well as other autoimmune diseases). If this was not bad enough, these vaccines are grown and strained through animal or human tissue, like monkey and dog kidney tissue, chick embryo, calf serum, human diploid cells (the dissected organs of aborted fetuses), pig blood, horse blood and rabbit brain. Can you imagine injecting this stuff directly into your child’s blood? At least if you ate these ingredients, your body would have a chance to detoxify and filter and eliminate them before any permanent damage could be done. But, to inject them right into the bloodstream can only be the most damaging and lethal approach imaginable. Think about this…If eating a red dye #40 colored tic tac by a Child with PANDAS could cause that child’s motor tics to significantly flare then, how could we possibly think injection of such a toxic cocktail of poison could in any way be beneficial to help preserve and enhance that child’s health?
The studies are out there…they be buried, but they are there.
One recent study shows Vaccinated children to be more chronically ill than unvaccinated children with higher rates for autoimmune conditions, autism, ear infections, ADHD, asthma and allergies as much as 30% higher than unvaccinated children. - See research link: (http://www.naturalnews.com/037229_vaccinations_children_research.html)
Other Countries Are Now Waking Up to the Dangers of Vaccines
In 1975, Japan raised its minimum vaccination age to 2 years old. Japan’s infant mortality subsequently plummeted to such low levels that Japan now enjoys one of the lowest level in the Western world (#3 at last look). In comparison, the United States’ infant mortality rate is #33. In Australia, the flu vaccine was recently suspended (April 2010) for children under 5 because an alarming number of children were showing up in the emergency rooms with febrile convulsions, seizures or other vaccine reactions within hours of getting this shot. Need I say more?
A Number of Vaccines Have Already Had Problems/Been Removed from the Market.
Here is a brief list of some of the vaccines that have caused serious injury in recent years. Please comment with others that you know of if they are not on this list:- In Feb 2002, GlaxoSmithKline removed the Lyme Disease vaccine from the market citing poor sales when in fact a number of folks who received the vaccine reported symptoms worse than the disease itself such as incurable arthritis or neurological impairment. The Rotavirus vaccine (Rotashield) was removed from the market in 1999 due to an association between the vaccine and life threatening bowel obstruction or twisting of the bowl. A warning was issued concerning the second Rotavirus vaccine (Rotateq) in 2007 as it caused the same twisting of the bowel problem in 28 infants (16 of which required intestinal surgery). This second vaccine has not yet been removed from the market as far as I know.
-Another vaccine that has had a lot of problems but is not yet withdrawn is the Gardasil vaccine for adolescent girls. Fainting, paralysis, slurred speech are just a few of the reactions reported and yet this vaccine continues to stay on the market. At least 1600 adverse events have been reported since its approval in 2006, yet doctors are continuing to recommend this shot to their patients. Why this vaccine hasn’t already been removed from the market is astonishing. If the vaccines above have had such serious problems…than the others probably do as well. After all, vaccine manufacturers follow the same basic formula when coming up with each and every new shot.
The truth is... vaccines are a toxic soup. With an autoimmune condition like PANDAS our children’s bodies cannot handle even the slightest toxin. The bottom line is you can always get vaccinated, but you can never undo a vaccination.
When it comes to PANDAS it’s just simple mathematics: Toxins + infection = chronic illness. Vaccines are the perfect recipe for PANDAS/PANS or diseases of any kind.
So my answer to the question of whether to continue vaccines is simple…for me, my wife and my child… it is a resounding NO. Should YOU continue your child’s vaccinations? My answer to you…YOU have to make this crucial decision. A little advice though….If you still don’t know what to do, then don’t do anything!
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