A rare condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) causes your body’s immune system to attack your nerves. Typically, your hands and feet will feel weak and tingly first.
These symptoms can spread rapidly and ultimately paralyze your entire body. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a medical emergency in its most severe form. The majority of patients with the illness require hospitalization for treatment.
There is no known etiology for Guillain-Barre syndrome. However, in the six weeks prior, two-thirds of patients report having infection-related symptoms. A COVID-19 infection, a respiratory or gastrointestinal infection, or the Zika virus are a few of these. GBS is neither contagious nor hereditary. GBS symptoms can differ significantly from person to person and can continue for weeks to years.
Guillain-Barre syndrome has no known cure, but a number of therapies can lessen symptoms and shorten the illness’s course. Guillain-Barre syndrome usually results in full recovery, however some extreme instances might be deadly. Even though recovery could take years, most people can walk again six months after their symptoms first appeared. It may leave some patients with long-lasting side symptoms like numbness, weakness, or weariness.
There may be tingling and weakness in your feet and legs before it spreads to your upper torso and arms in the early stages of Guillain-Barre syndrome. Some people first notice symptoms in their faces or arms. Muscle weakness can proceed to paralysis in Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Guillain-Barre syndrome signs and symptoms can include:
Within two weeks of the onset of symptoms, people with Guillain-Barre syndrome typically experience their most notable weakness.
The principal types of Guillain-Barre syndrome are:
If you experience slight tingling in your fingers or toes that doesn’t seem to be spreading or growing worse, contact your doctor or other healthcare professional. If you have any of these serious symptoms, call for emergency assistance right away:
Guillain-Barre syndrome is a serious condition that requires immediate hospitalization because it can worsen rapidly. The sooner appropriate treatment is started, the better the chance of a good outcome.
It is unknown what causes Guillain-Barre syndrome specifically. Typically, the disorder develops days or weeks after a respiratory or gastrointestinal infection. Guillain-Barre syndrome can sporadically be brought on by recent surgery or vaccination. There have been cases that have been documented after contracting the Zika virus. After contracting the COVID-19 virus, Guillain-Barre syndrome could develop. Additionally, it is an uncommon side effect in people who receive the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca.
When you have Guillain-Barre syndrome, your immune system, which ordinarily solely targets foreign invaders, starts targeting your nerves. Myelin sheath, the neurons’ protective covering, is harmed in AIDP. Because of the injury, your nerves are unable to communicate with your brain, which can result in weakness, numbness, or paralysis.
All age groups are susceptible to Guillain-Barre syndrome, although as you become older, your risk increases. Additionally, it affects men a little more frequently than women.
Possible causes of Guillain-Barre syndrome include:
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