This is a rare condition that is characterized by the destruction of nerve cells throughout a person’s body. The destruction and damage to the nerve cells are caused by the person’s immune system and this damage prevents the nerves from properly communicating with the brain. There are three main types of the condition:
The exact cause of GBS is unclear but it is usually linked to being a complication of a respiratory or digestive tract infection. Anyone who suffers these types of infections can be at risk for it but it is more likely to appear in older people and those with depleted immune systems. It is commonly seen as a complication with infections related to Campylobacter, Hepatitis A, Zika, influenza, and HIV/AIDS.
It is a difficult condition to diagnose because many of the symptoms can resemble other neurological conditions. It is also difficult because the symptoms can vary from person to person. A recent respiratory or digestive tract infection is something that will give doctors a good clue as to the diagnosis. They will also send the person to have further testing done in order to confirm it. The doctor may request such tests as:
GBS can last, anywhere from 14-30 days, depending on the severity and how long the person waited to get treatment. There are a host of different symptoms that GBS can bring about in a person. They are all related to damaged nerves throughout a person’s body. The symptoms include:
Due to the various symptoms, there is also a list of side effects that can occur as a result of the person being unable to walk or move around. These complications can include:
This condition can result in death if it is severe enough to affect the person’s heart (causing a heart attack) or ability to breathe.
This condition requires immediate medical attention and hospitalization. It is the type of condition that can spread quickly and time is of the essence in order to mitigate the effects. The faster that treatment can commence, the better the prognosis will be. There is no prescribed cure but there are treatments that can reduce the effects and allow a person to begin to recover.
A majority of people who contract Guillain-Barre Syndrome are able to recover fully. Although GBS is a temporary condition, there is a chance that there may be some lasting effects from the damage that was done to the nerves of the body. There is a chance of some lasting pain or tingling in the extremities. It could take up to a year to finally be recovered from the ordeal.