Guillain-Barre’ syndrome is a disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves. The exact cause of this syndrome is unknown, but it is however often preceded by an infectious illness such as a respiratory infection or the stomach flu. Luckily Guillain-Barre’ syndrome is uncommon, only affecting 1 or 2 people per 100,000. Guillain-Barre’ syndrome often begins with tingling and weakness starting in your feet and legs and spreading to upper body and arms. In some people however, symptoms begin in the arms or even face.
As the disorder progresses, muscle weakness can evolve into paralysis. Signs and symptom may include: * Prickling, “pins and needle” sensations in fingers, toes or both * Weakness or tingling in legs that spreads to upper body * Unsteady walking or inability to walk * Difficulty in eye movement, facial movement, speaking, chewing or swallowing * Severe low back pain * Difficult in bladder/intestinal control functions * Rapid heart rate * Low or high blood pressure * Difficulty in breathing Most people with this experience their most significant weakness within 4 weeks after symptoms begin.
In some cases, signs and symptoms may progress very rapidly, within a few hours. Guillain-Barre can affect all age groups. May be triggered by: most commonly an infection with Campylobacter, a type of bacteria found often in undercooked food, especially poultry. Mycoplasma pneumonia, surgery, Epstein-Barr virus, influenza, Hodgkin’s disease, mono, HIV, and rarely rabies or influenza immunizations. This syndrome affects your nerves and may prompt a domino-like effect in other systems in your body. Some complications may include: breathing difficulties.
Residual numbness/tingling, full recovery may be slow often taking a year or longer, however between 20 and 30 % of patients have an incomplete recovery. Cardiovascular problems. Pain. Blood clots. Pressure sores. Guillain-Barre can be difficult to diagnose in it’s early stages. The first step is a careful review of your medical history. Then a spinal tap, and nerve tests. The most common treatment is plasmapheresis- which is also known as plasma exchange. Intravenous immunoglobulin. And as recovery begind physical therapy usually is needed to help regain strength and proper movement.
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