Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine!

Recently, I’ve seen quite a bit of research discussing the link between the Strep infection and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, most commonly known as OCD. According to investigators at the National Institute of Mental Health, studies done on childhood-onset OCD showed a striking connection between sudden, abrupt onset of OCD symptoms and various types of auto-immune diseases. The first cases were given the names PITANDS for Pediatric Infection Triggered Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders. These first cases were reported just after infections with the flu, chickenpox and the streptococcal bacteria. The NIH began to focus specifically on OCD symptoms that occurred after streptococcal infections, also known as the PANDA’S subgroup. The strep bacteria can survive in its human host by hiding from the immune system for as long as possible. Essentially it does this by putting molecules on its own cell wall that look identical to the heart, brain etc. this allows the bacteria to remain undetected in the immune system. Eventually, the strep is recognized by the immune system. However due to the mimicry that occurred, the child’s body reacts with antibodies that attack its own cells as well as the strep virus itself. This cross reactivity is the primary cause of the neuropsychiatric symptoms we see in PANDAS.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has developed a diet to address these issues in children and her theories of nutritional advice has been met with amazing success on the part of the brave parents who were willing to try it. Dr. McBride holds both a degree in Medicine and Postgraduate degrees in Neurology and Human Nutrition. She specializes in nutrition for children and adults with behavioral and learning disabilities and adults with digestive and immune system disorders. She developed the GAPS Diet or Gut and Psychology Diet which has pioneered the use of probiotics and played a definitive role in helping children and adults overcome their conditions. Her work was based on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet created by Dr. Sidney Haas and gained great popularity after a mother, Elaine Gottschall healed her own child and became an advocate for this way of eating. You can read more about Dr. McBride and the gaps diet at gaps diet.com/ and check out her amazing work, Gut and Psychology Syndrome.

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