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Allergens weaken the immune system?


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So.. as I've posted before... my daughters pans/pandas flares up EVERY spring like clock work. Only in the spring. Her pediatrican couldn't give me an answer but I was thinking...

Do allergens lower her immune system and therefore make her more susceptible to a pandas episode?

 

Maybe she is allergic to something in the spring that just tanks her system...... I am wondering how I could prevent it, if that's the case?

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They absolutely play a role in PANDAS for mine. My dd is allergic to everything outside and spring makes things terrible for her. This year we are really being aggressive about making sure it doesn't turn into an infection. She takes Singular and a double dose of nasal spray along with augmentin. As long as it doesn't go into an infection she seems okay. As soon as she starts coughing we give her mucinex to clear it. So far she is doing okay, but it is still early in the season. God willing she will continue to be alright because for the past 6 years every spring leads to infection and major flare. Generally hits at the end of April for her. Time will tell.....

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I woke up this morning wondering the same thing! The pollen has started here this week from the pine trees and I am itching like crazy and my eyes are swelling up. A the same time, my DDs chronic cough has flared up this week. It started last April, same time but then subsided towards the end of the summer. We assumed it was a tic, as tics are her main PANS symptoms. But now I'm wondering if allergies can cause flares even before any kind of infection is present? Also, does anyone know if allergy blood tests are accurate? She had one done last year and nothing showed up.

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I'll put it this way, on the blood test my daughter only showed mildly allergic to cats and significantly allergic to dust. Nothing else. When she had the back test done, she was HIGHLY allergic to just about every environmental factor out there. I wouldn't go by just the blood test particularly if you are noticing signs of allergies. Also, allergies can change. One year they may not have them and then later they will show up.

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I don't so much see allergens "weakening" the immune system as contributing to its level of imbalance. I mean, an allergic response is an immunological response . . . it's an over-reaction, a heightening of the response.

 

This time of year, we are big on quercitin, Pepcid and, at its height (allergy season, that is), adding Flonase, benedryl and/or zyrtec as necessary. My DS is allergic to most pollens (tree being the worst), mold and cats, and the extra histamine release in his body can stir up his OCD response. So we basically stop at nothing to diminish the histamine production!

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We too are big on quercetin to manage symptoms, along with zyrtec. We are also doing sublingual allergy drops (allergy shots were too traumatic). One thing that has really helped is buying mattress encasements for the mattress and box spring and pillow encasements. These have made a huge difference in DDs symptoms over the winter. I'm hopeful it will also reduce her allergen load this spring (tho obviously it's only one component). Keep the windows to bedrooms closed and if you open windows in the rest of the house, keep the bedroom door closed. The goal is to create a safety room in the bedroom. You can also use motrin more regularly to keep inflammation reduced.

 

When we did them, a year of allergy shots helped enormously. The following spring, DD hardly had any issues or symptoms. Unfortunately, DD developed huge needle phobia. So we're starting over with drops. You need to do shots or drops for many years but it's so worth it in our house.

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We too are big on quercetin to manage symptoms, along with zyrtec. We are also doing sublingual allergy drops (allergy shots were too traumatic). One thing that has really helped is buying mattress encasements for the mattress and box spring and pillow encasements. These have made a huge difference in DDs symptoms over the winter. I'm hopeful it will also reduce her allergen load this spring (tho obviously it's only one component). Keep the windows to bedrooms closed and if you open windows in the rest of the house, keep the bedroom door closed. The goal is to create a safety room in the bedroom. You can also use motrin more regularly to keep inflammation reduced.

 

When we did them, a year of allergy shots helped enormously. The following spring, DD hardly had any issues or symptoms. Unfortunately, DD developed huge needle phobia. So we're starting over with drops. You need to do shots or drops for many years but it's so worth it in our house.

 

I was wondering what symptoms you are referring to when you mention the helpfulness of allergy shots for your daughter? Are you treating a histamine reaction and noticing changes in her PANS reactions, or are you treating the PANS reactions as allergies?

 

DD11 has always had allergic-type shiners, but never a histamine response to anything other than bactrim. No seasonal or food reactions. Our LLMD insists that an allergy is involved. Environmental medicine is one of her specialties, and she does a lot of allergy testing as well as low dose antigen therapy (both sublinguil and shots). We did $350.00 worth of testing last Friday and came away with antigens for neurotransmitters - dopamine, acetylcholine and histamine. I have yet to start giving them. I don't understand any of this really and can't afford the extra $400 per month on top of the $1000 we are already spending on the doctor and supplements, not to mention the new naturopath we go to see tomorrow. The LLMD wants to eventually test for mold/food/pollen as well.

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From my past experiences with ds allergies do bring on tics or OCD. He has all outdoor allergies and mold. I never open his bedroom window and have an air purifier in upstairs hallway. With no sickness and just allergies brings on some pandas symptoms definetly. Limiting his food sensitivity and allergy intake with food helps with him not being congested with then helps with less missery and everything else hitting. I think it does take a toll on the immunity and makes things worst even when there is no link to an actual infection. I try to make him take quick shower every night just to rinse off pollen before he goes to bed. Yes he would always tic in the spring and fall when he was young before I new any of this and always wondered at that time why it happened in those seasons. The blood test we had was a food sensitivity one that helped a lot. Ds is not on any allergy meds in years bc he does not get that congested bc of food limits. Yes we get the shimmers with both ds and dd. but I feel whichever way works for anyone to make sure the congestion doesn't start is the best. That's when he was the worst. Once that congestion hits and if hits the sinuses its tough!!! Hs has been doing good with our protocol and it limits the outbursts and overall pandas response or j guess allergy response of feeling miserable.

Mar

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Rowingmom - DD is my Pans-maybe kid. She doesn't get true OCD. She gets the intrusive thoughts/obsessively stuck on a worry but doesn't have a compulsion/ritual to alleviate the anxiety. So for her, the moods that come with allergy season are just basic b**chiness and PMS moods that come from feeling miserable. If we have a few low pollen days, she calms down. So for her, it's a result of high histamine, not something I'd call a PANS response. The symptom improvements I saw from shots were that her allergy symptoms went from a 1- (can't leave the house, eyes literally swollen shut from swelling, can't breathe, itchy) to barely any sign of allergy. As a consequence, there were no mood issues either. But when I used the word "symptoms" I was referring to allergy symptoms.

 

As for the money for therapy - yikes! The sublingual drops we're getting from the ENT (yeah, ENT - who knew?) are $67/mo. When we did shots, the serum was $600 and lasted about 6 months and the shots were $100/mo because Dr B was the ordering allergist and we weren't about to drive 2 hrs ea. way ea. week to get a shot. So we had to pay a VNA nurse to administer. But $400/mo? That's a big chunk of change to come up with.

 

I think I have what's probably a controversial view of food and allergy testing. I personally could never fathom going GFCF (in awe of those who can). But I tend to think that if you test positive on a zillion things it may be more that you have a leaky gut and your body is producing all sorts of antigens to things it would normally be able to tolerate if those foods stayed encased in the gut where they should be. That maybe it's only when those food enzymes cross the gut barrier and seep into the blood stream unprocessed that the body sees those things as invaders and produces antibodies against them. Close the leaky gut and you might not be "allergic" to those foods anymore. So I see some of it as temporary food intolerance more than true food allergy (tho I totally believe in true food allergies - I just question what's really going on when you seem to be allergic to everything on one of those tests).

Edited by LLM
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My son also gets allergic shiners but not the usual histamine response. He tested positive for dogs, dust, mice, and mosquitoes on a skin test. He's terrified of shots and singulair is a no go for OCD and anxiety. I don't see much response from allegra. We're going to try Zyrtec whenever he's around dogs (everyone we know has them). We also have mattress/pillow dust cases and an airpurifier which helps a lot.

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just a quick reaction to something LLM said: it's easy to go GF CF. first step may not be that easy but you can get used to it quite quickly. We make our own bread, cook all of our meals, and so on. If you think your kids might be helped with that diet, I encourage you to do it. I can help with any culinary advice you might need. Remember that Middle Eastern, Indian (with some modifications), Chinese (with some modifications), Japanese, as well as some South American cooking is GFCF.

We did see a tramendous change when we went GFDF -- our dd9 RLS has almost desiappeared, our dd5 has longer time btw exacerbation and ex don't last as long nor are as disturbing to him and us.

GFCF is not a solution but it is a part of a solution for us.

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