Guillain Barre Syndrome is a rare and severe autoimmune diseases. It occurs usually after an acute infectious procedure. Basically it is caused by the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking the peripheral nerves and damaging their myelin insulation. Guillain Barre Syndrome initially affects the peripheral nervous system. Normally it is acute form of paralysis in lower body area that moves towards upper limb and face. Gradually patient loses all his reflexes and goes through a complete body paralysis. Guillain Barre Syndrome is a life threatening disorder and needs timely treatment and supportive care with intravenous immunoglobulins or plasmapheresis. Unfortunately many people lose their lives without proper and prompt medical treatment. Dysautonomia and pulmonary complications are the basic reason for death for those picking up GBS. But these complications are luckily rare and avoidable.
Symptoms and Signs
Although Guillain Barre Syndrome is a sometimes fatal and complicated disorder of peripheral nervous system, however there are many symptoms and signs that enable you to suspect the disease at beginning.
First symptoms are:
- muscle pain
These symptoms can be combined or alone. Aftere these initial symptoms the following things occure:
- weakness of legs and hands
Weakness of limbs gets worse over time. It can happen in a day but can happen gradually during the first two weeks. After this weakness reach maximum it will stop progressing. In certain cases muscle of neck and face will be affected too, which can lead to problems with swallowing and having facial expressions. After disease reached its plateau, state of the individual will start to slowly improve.
Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, migraines, low grade fevers and chills are quite apparent symptoms of GBS. The regular headaches and migraines are result of Central Nervous System Disorder. Constant exhaustion, tiredness and pain in the back of head are also early signs of Guillain Barre Syndrome. Normally the lower cranial nerves get damaged and lead to bulbar weakness. It affects the swallowing and breathing resulting in constant drooling. In acute cases of Guillain Barre Syndrome patients complains of temporary bladder dysfunction.
1/4 of people will have breathing muscles affected which leads to respiratory failure. This life-threatening scenario is complicated by other medical problems such as pneumonia, severe infections, blood clots in the lungs and bleeding in the digestive tract in 60% of those who require artificial ventilation.
Prompt medical procedure ensures fast recovery and fewer complications. However If you start the treatment at late or at complicated stage then chances of recovery are very low. Success of any Guillain Barre Syndrome diagnosis depend upon the medical reports and findings like fast growing muscle paralysis, absence of fever, a possible pro-active incident and areflexia. Normally CSF and ECD are most common treatments used to confirm and cure the disease. Sometime these treatments failed to detect early symptoms of Guillain Barre Syndrome. Generally after a week or two patients recognize the signs and then report the syndrome. At the moment there is no effective cure for Guillain Barre Syndrome. Though there are many possible medical procedures to diagnose, that may help in reducing the fatal aspect of this severe disease.
CSF is commonly used and quite successful for the findings and evidences of Guillain Barre Syndrome. Average CSF findings contain information and details of albumino-cytological dissociation. Compared to infectious symptoms, CSF is a high level protein 100 – 1000 mg/dL instead of the supplementary pleocytosis. Continuous usage of the pleocytosis may boost the immune system to resist the infections. Research has proven that high quantity of protein and pleocytosis in the CSF is essential for the diffusion of white blood cells in the myelin. In early stages of Guillain Barre Syndrome anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers combined to offer instant relief in severe pain. Often doctors suggest blood thinners to control and prevent blood clotting.