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The Better Behavior Show with Dr. Nicole Beurkens

Oct 16, 2019

My guest this week is Dr. Elisa Song, MD is a holistic pediatrician, pediatric functional medicine expert, and mama. In her integrative pediatric practice, Whole Family Wellness, she’s helped 1000s of kids get to the root causes of their health concerns and helped their parents understand how to help their children thrive – body, mind, and spirit – by integrating conventional pediatrics with functional medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and essential oils. 

Dr. Song has lectured around the world on integrative pediatrics topics for multiple podcasts and summits, Fx Medicine Australia, Bioceuticals Australia, Integrative Medicine for Mental Health, The Center for Education and Development of Clinical Homeopathy, Academy for Pain Research, Center for Advanced Acupuncture Pediatrics, Institute for Functional Medicine, and Holistic Pediatric Association. Dr. Song created Healthy Kids Happy Kids as an online holistic pediatric resource to help practitioners and parents bridge the gap between conventional and integrative pediatrics with an evidence-based, pediatrician-backed approach. 

In this episode, Dr. Song and I discuss how parents can recognize, assess and act on the common symptoms of the growing illness PANS/PANDAS. Dr. Song defines PANS/PANDAS and shares the common realities that families dealing with this illness face. She breaks down her 6-step treatment approach for the audience and provides incredible insight, tips, and resources for families. Children suffering from PANS/PANDAS experience brain inflammation commonly referred to as “brain fire” and resulting in neuropsychiatric symptoms. To learn more about Dr. Elisa Song click here.


Episode Highlights


  • PANS, Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome
    • An umbrella term for a set of conditions that causes an acute-onset of tics, OCD, behavioral issues, and cognitive processing problems
    • There are infectious triggers for PANS and non-infectious triggers for PANS
      • When the infectious trigger is strep we call it PANDAS
      • There are various infections that implicate PANS, such as influenza, herpes 1, 2, and 6 (roseola virus), HFM virus, Epstein-barr (mono virus), and Lyme disease and its co-infections
      • Non-infectious triggers such as environmental toxins, molds, heavy metals, and even metabolic disorders
  • The underlying commonality between all of these is ‘autoimmune encephalitis’
    • itis - means inflammation
    • Encephalitis - means brain inflammation


Common Symptoms

  • Anxiety, ticks, food restrictions or phobias around food, urinary frequency and urge with little urine production, motor problems (handwriting declining) and processing problems



  • It is important to note that PANS/PANDAS is a clinical diagnosis
  • However, there are clues to help assess and determine this diagnosis
    • Testing their reaction and results to anti-inflammatory medication
    • Using the anti-DNase B strep antibody marker and the Cunningham panel which looks at autoimmune antibodies


Dr. Song’s Treatment Approach 

  • For practitioners, refer to the PANDAS Physicians Network for consensus diagnostic criteria and treatment guidelines
  • First step is to use  health and medical history to be the guide in finding the underlying cause in what exactly needs to be treated
  • Address that “brain fire” by treating the inflammation with natural methods before turning to and relying on long-term NSAIDs or using antibiotics
    • Omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin or turmeric, eating clean whole foods and cutting out processed foods and sugars 
  • Working with an integrative functional medicine practitioner to help guide you through the proper steps to identify and treat underlying imbalances such as gut dysfunction, nutritional insufficiencies, food sensitivities, leaky gut, detoxification issues, methylation and mitochondrial problems
  • Work with the schools to ensure they are equipped to meet the needs of the child 
  • Use homeopathy tools, essentials oils, acupuncture, acupressure, and cranial osteopathy


Where to learn more about Dr. Elisa Song...


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