The 12 Symptoms of Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Symptoms of Guillain-Barré Syndrome  that we should not ignore. Additionally, Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a rare but serious autoimmune disorder where your immune system attacks healthy nerve cells in your peripheral nervous system. This leads to weakness, numbness and tingling. It can eventually cause paralysis. The cause of this condition is unknown, but it is usually triggered by an infectious disease, such as the stomach flu or a lung infection.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome is rare, affecting only about 1 in 100,000 Americans, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. There is no cure for GBS, but treatment can reduce the severity of your symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness.

Causes of Guillain-Barré Syndrome:  The precise cause  of Guillain-Barré Syndrome is unknown. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about two-thirds of people with Guillain-Barré Syndrome develop it shortly after experiencing diarrhea or a respiratory infection. This suggests that the disorder may be triggered by an inappropriate immune response to the previous illness.

Campylobacter jejuni infection has been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome . Campylobacter is one of the most common bacterial causes of diarrhea in Brazil. It is also the most common risk factor for Guillain-Barré Syndrome . Campylobacter is often found in undercooked foods, especially poultry. The following infections have also been associated with Guillain-Barré Syndrome :

  • The flu
  • Cytomegalovirus, which is a strain of the herpes virus
  • Epstein-Barr virus infection or mononucleosis
  • Mycoplasma pneumonia, which is an atypical pneumonia caused by bacteria-like organisms
  • HIV or AIDS

Anyone can get  Guillain-Barré Syndrome , but older adults and men are more likely to get it. In extremely rare cases, people can develop the disorder days or weeks after vaccination. The CDC and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have systems in place to monitor the safety of vaccines, detect early warning signs of side effects, and record any cases of Guillain-Barré Syndrome that develop after a vaccination.

Symptoms of Guillain-Barré Syndrome:  Guillain-Barré Syndrome attacks the peripheral nervous system. The nerves in your peripheral nervous system connect your brain to the rest of your body and transmit signals to your muscles.

Muscles will not be able to respond to the signals they receive from your brain if these nerves are damaged.

The first symptom is usually a tingling sensation in the toes, feet, and legs. The tingling spreads to your arms and fingers. Symptoms can progress very quickly. In some people, the illness can become serious within hours. Symptoms of Guillain-Barré Syndrome include:

  • Tingling or prickly sensations in the fingers and toes
  • Muscle weakness in your legs that travels to your upper body and gets worse over time
  • Difficulty walking steadily
  • Unsafe walking or inability to walk or climb stairs
  • Difficulty controlling bladder or bowel function
  • Difficulty moving the eyes or face, speaking, chewing, or swallowing
  • severe low back pain
  • loss of bladder control
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing
  • fast heart rate
  • Paralysis

Diagnosing Guillain-Barré Syndrome:  Guillain-Barré Syndrome isdifficult to diagnose at first. This is because the symptoms are very similar to those of other neurological disorders or conditions that affect the nervous system, such as botulism, heavy metal poisoning, or meningitis. Your doctor will ask questions about specific symptoms and your medical history. Be sure to let your doctor know about any unusual symptoms you’re experiencing and if you’ve had any recent or past illness or infection.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome Treatments:  Everyone with Guillain-Barré Syndrome should be admitted to a hospital for close observation. Symptoms can quickly worsen and can be fatal if left untreated. In severe cases, people with Guillain-Barré Syndrome can develop full-body paralysis.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome can be fatal because the paralysis affects the diaphragm or chest muscles, preventing proper breathing. Guillain-Barré Syndrome can not be cured. The goal of treatment is to lessen the severity of your symptoms and keep your body functioning while your nervous system recovers. Treatment may include:

Plasmapheresis (Plasma Exchange):  The immune system produces proteins called antibodies that normally attack harmful foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. Guillain-Barré Syndrome occurs when your immune system falsely makes antibodies that attack the healthy nerves in your nervous system.

Plasmapheresis is intended to remove the antibodies that attack the nerves from your blood. During this procedure, blood is removed from your body by a machine. This machine removes antibodies from your blood and then returns the blood to your body.

Intravenous Immunoglobulin:  High doses of immunoglobulin can also help block the antibodies that cause Guillain-Barré Syndrome . Immunoglobulin contains normal, healthy antibodies from the donors. Plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulin are equally effective. It is up to you and your doctor to decide which treatment is best for you.

You may be given medication to relieve pain and prevent blood clots while you are immobile. You can also benefit from physical therapy. While you are recovering, caregivers can manually move your arms and legs to keep you flexible. Once you recover, you will work on strengthening your muscles again.

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