PANS and Tick-Born Illness
Ticks are active all year long, which means we can get Lyme, Babesia, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichia, Bartonella, or any other tick-borne infection any time of the year. Of course, our odds go up when we spend more time outside in the warmer months. Tick-borne infections can trigger PANS or be a co-morbid diagnosis. So it is essential to understand how to prevent exposure, remove ticks, know the signs and symptoms of an infection, and how to treat if exposed.
Lyme disease, Borreliosis, is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. It is the fastest growing vector-borne illness in the United States. Lyme disease is transmitted by a bite from an infected Ixodes, blacked legged, tick. According to the CDC, more than 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year in the US. CDC Lyme Stats
Is your children’s typical behavior a little or a lot off? Have they complained about physical issues like neck pain, joint pain, fatigue, headaches, or flu-like symptoms? If yes, this could be an early sign of recent tick exposure and Lyme disease. These symptoms are easy to miss, plus many symptoms get chalked up to something else. Everyone gets headaches from time to time. Joint pain could be mistaken for growing pains. Flu in the summer? Sure it can happen. But don’t overlook and dismiss these symptoms, especially if they are prolonged or accompanied by behavioral changes. We suggest you write down possible symptoms as they crop up, so you establish a timeline if needed. Lyme Disease Symptom Overview
Has your child had behavioral changes such as new or worsening onset of OCD, anxiety, defiance, ADHD, or executive functioning skills? Are they no longer functioning and socializing at their normal level? Are they getting diagnosed with several different disorders? If yes, this could be a sign of tick-borne or other infection. Common Symptoms of PANS
Remember, not all patients will have a typical or any Lyme rash. Not all patients will ever see the tick attached; ticks can attach, transmit one or more diseases, and detach without ever going noticed. Do not assume you or your loved ones have never been bitten by a tick. See Dr. O’Hara’sLyme Disease & Tick Borne Infections Fundamentals.
Children with tick-borne infections, if diagnosed and treated promptly, usually do get better. However, if Lyme disease or other tick-borne infections go undiagnosed and therefore untreated, symptoms can worsen and can be harder to treat. Please see the resource section on testing. It is vital to find a Lyme literate doctor to treat.
ASPIRE will continue to post several new on Lyme Disease and Tick-Borne Illness. Check back here for updates.