What is Guillain-Barr Syndrome?
Though the exact cause of Guillain-Barr Syndrome is unclear, most people with the condition have already experienced a bacterial or viral infection. A common trigger for GBS is an infection caused by Campylobacter jejuni, a common cause of food poisoning. Other common causes of GBS include surgery, radiation therapy, and respiratory infections. The immune system responds to these infections by attacking the myelin sheath, which protects nerve cells from damage.
The onset of symptoms may be sudden, or it can develop gradually over weeks or months. The onset of symptoms varies greatly from patient to patient. Some people may experience a relapse several years after the initial attack. However, most people recover from this disease. Treatment may include medicines and plasma exchange. Although the condition is often fatal, it can be life-threatening. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you may be suffering from it.
The most serious form of Guillain-Barr Syndrome is extremely dangerous if left untreated.
Severe cases can cause full body paralysis and prevent proper breathing. Surgical treatments will help lessen the severity of the immune attack and help the patient to resume normal activities. You may also be given intravenous immunoglobulin or plasmapheresis, which help to reduce the risk of organ malfunction.
A person with GBS will generally reach the worst stage of the disease within two weeks. Approximately 90% of people will have reached the worst stage of the disorder by the third week. Symptoms will increase over hours, days, or even weeks, sometimes reaching total paralysis. During the worst cases, you may have trouble breathing and controlling your heart rate and blood pressure. It is important to know what to expect and how to cope.
Once diagnosed, most people with GBS will reach the most severe stage of the disease within two weeks. Afterward, symptoms may become more severe and may include a person’s ability to walk. Fortunately, most people recover completely, although some will have a few residual symptoms. Some people will need to continue using a wheelchair or a walker for several months or even years. Others will experience long-term weakness, and will need the use of ankle supports or other devices.
Genetics play a major role in the risk of developing the disease.
Certain genes can increase the risk of developing the syndrome. While this may seem to be an isolated factor, there are no known genetic factors that increase the risk. Researchers have found that normal variations of several genes can increase the risk of developing the condition. Interestingly, many of the genes that increase the risk of having the disease are involved in the immune system.
In most cases, a person with GBS will not develop permanent disability as a result of their disease. The majority will recover completely, but 10 to 15 percent will have some permanent disability. Rehabilitation will focus on improving mobility and preventing muscle contractures. Patients will also need to learn to manage their symptoms. They may feel fatigued and will be unable to do anything on their own. They may experience severe cramps, numbness, and pain.
The symptoms of Guillain-Barr Syndrome can range from temporary weakness to total paralysis.
Some people may experience respiratory problems or difficulty breathing. In severe cases, the symptoms may even lead to death. Depending on the severity of the condition, treatment can vary. Initially, pain medication and physical therapy are recommened. Occupational and physical therapy are usually need to treat the condition. A patient may require a ventilator for a while.
The point of greatest weakness will usually appear two to four weeks after the initial symptoms.
It will then stabilize for several days to weeks and can last for years. Recovery from the disease may be slow or complete. Some people may require ongoing walker or wheelchair assistance. Symptoms can also be debilitating. If untreated, they can prevent the patient from living a normal life. If the disease isn’t detect
early, it will progress rapidly.
The symptoms of this condition are typically a tingling or numb sensation. There is no known cause of the disease. Most cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome are triggered by a bacterial or viral illness. There is no cure for the condition, but it can be managed by medication. For the most severe cases, a respirator may be required to support the patient. In a severe case, a doctor will need to monitor the patient’s vital signs and monitor the patient.