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Probiotics and protection from strep exposure


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I just found this forum and am so glad. My son is 12 and was diagnosed with PANDAS by our pediatrician several weeks ago. He was diagnosed after an episode of extreme symptoms on day 3 of strep infection. He had an epsiode in Kindergarten (suddenly obsessive-compulsive about fear of throwing up, and developed vocal tic - I had just had strep and he was sick also but no strep test for him) and one 2 years ago (sudden intense separation anxiety), but this last one was much worse and downright scary.


We went to Dr. Baig (MD) and he said my son's glands were enlarged and he wrote on a form 'tonsils abnormal'. He prescribed amoxicyllin pot clavu and prednisone for 10 days, and he had blood drawn to measure strep antibodies before medication started. We will go back next week.


In the mean time, I have two questions and would appreciate any input you have based on your experience:


1. I see mentions of good quality probiotics in many posts, and wonder what they are. Do people use milk, yogurt or kefir products with probiotics, or are they not helpful? Or probiotic formulations, and how do I know which ones are good?


2. My son is currently on antibiotics but only for 10 days. When he stops taking the antibiotics, what can I do to reduce the risk of another strep infection? I know some kids take prophylactic antibiotics. Does anyone give antibiotics only when the child has been exposed to strep? Are there other things people do?





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1. Klaire probiotics is a good brand and popular among many here; there are other, less expensive brands that you can find at Whole Foods or the Vitamin Shoppe, also. The important thing would be to include some probiotic strains that are impervious to antibiotics, like lactobillus GG (found in Culturelle brand) or sach boulardi (found in Florastor or a Jarrow brand available at Vitamin Shoppe or Whole Foods). Acidolpholus, a common probiotic found in those "pearls" at the drug store, some kefirs and yogurts, etc. can be killed off by abx, so these would need to be consumed several hours apart from abx and supplemented by some of the strains that hold up better against abx overall.


2. Yes, many of us have used ongoing abx for both protection and other benefits, as well as using abx upon strep exposure (even if no medical signs of strep in the kid); some have benefitted from a short burst of steroids, as well. I know parents who have "donated" air cleaners to their child's classroom and similar things, but unless your kid is okay with living in a bubble, it's really tough to entirely guard them against illness or exposure. Not unlike rheumatic fever cases for which patients are given abx pretty much through puberty to protect them, some PANDAS/PANs practitioners have referred to this illness as "rheumatic fever of the brain" and addressed it similarly.


All the best!

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