PANDAS are cute. But not when they trigger an eating disorder

Although a few years ago people would have looked at you as if you were a large Asian herbivore if you suggested it, it is increasingly accepted that some cases of anorexia nervosa are triggered by a strep infection: pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcus (PANDAS).

This is well-established in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but only recently has it been much discussed in eating disorder circles.

And although I have met parents who have pursued treatment based on this, none but the most savvy or lucky parents will be able to even get the kind of specific testing necessary to rule PANDAS out. One mother I know, married to a doctor and well-connected, talked her skeptical pediatrician into testing her daughter only after lots of pressure. The result was positive and antibiotic treatment successful. (No short cut through the difficult refeeding period, however. Starved bodies are starved bodies.)


  1. Thank you for bringing up that PANDAS also triggers anorexia. Most of the information out there talks of Tics and OCD, but not much on the eating disorder. My daughter is healthy now, a year later, and several weeks at the Eating Disorder Clinic at Children's Hospital. At 9 years old, it was hard to leave her with teenager girls (and 2 boys), but she was so sick. We (SHE) has been through a lot! But Praise God, she is healthy again and no anorexia symptoms anymore. I am worried about future strep throats, though. I rushed her to the ER one night at midnight when I realized she had white spots on her throat. Turns out it was strep and we started heavy doses of antibiotics immediately. I'm not sure if she is more susceptible now, but I'm not taking any chances.
    Thanks for your post, I'm sure there are others out there who are also looking for more information on this type of PANDAS.

  2. We just determined last night that our PANDAS daughter has anorexia. We are seeking help tomorrow. Thank you for believing this exists.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts