Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a disorder which is considered very rare in the medical world. In this disorder, the body’s immune system starts attacking the patient’s nerves. Early signs of weakness and tingling can be seen in the extremities of the patient’s body. These are the first symptoms of this disease. GBS disease can easily spread through the body and eventually paralyze the body. This is a condition in which most patients need medical treatment at hospitals in order to recover.
This disease has been classified as a medical emergency, and patients should be taken to a doctor as soon as the first symptoms are noticed. If not treated on time, the condition worsens till there is complete paralysis in the patient’s body. Once that happens, recovering from it can be a very long and difficult road. The rate of mortality of this disease is also very low; it can be anywhere from 4% to 7%.
GBS symptoms begin with a sensation of tingling, followed by the feeling of weakness in the legs and feet. It usually begins in the lower half of the body and starts to spread to the upper half. In rare cases, some begin feeling symptoms in the face or in the arms at the start. As the patient’s condition progresses, the weakness can develop into paralysis.
Some key GBS syndrome symptoms include:
- The sensation of needles or pins poking in your wrist, fingers, ankle, and toes.
- Weakness felt in your legs leading to the patient being unable to walk.
- Double vision and the inability to see clearly.
- A sudden increase in heart rate.
- Sudden increase or decrease in your blood pressure.
- Being unable to breathe.
- Difficulty in swallowing, speaking, chewing.
GBS causes are currently unknown. The main trigger or cause for the condition is unknown to science and medicine. Some GBS syndrome causes have been linked to a digestive tract or respiratory infection. Many cases have been reported where the patient saw symptoms after they had an infection.
Another link was made with the Zika virus as well as a coronavirus infection. When a person is affected by the GBS syndrome, their immune system that is meant to attack invading organisms starts attacking their own nerves. This leads to weakness in certain parts of the body, especially the lower part. This is followed by the spread of the infection to the rest of the body. The damage caused to the nerves prevents them from sending signals to the rest of the body, which is why weakness is felt. This later develops into numbness as well as paralysis.
GBS syndrome currently has no cure. Patients who get it once have to take treatment to reduce it or keep it at bay. There are two Guillain-Barre syndrome treatments patients can opt for depending on the severity of their condition or what the doctor ordered.
● Immunoglobulin therapy
In this treatment, healthy antibodies from blood donors are given via the veins to the patient. High doses of immunoglobulin can easily block the antibodies that have been damaging the nerves.
● Plasma exchange
Plasma exchange is also known as plasmapheresis in which plasma from the patient’s body is removed and separated from your blood cells. Once the separation is complete, the blood cells are then put back into the body. Once the blood cells are back in the body, they replenish the lost plasma. The new plasma created can help reduce the damage done.
Both of these methods are good at helping patients recover faster and keep the disease at bay. Both procedures can help reduce pain and prevent blood clots. They can also help bring back movement in the patient’s legs and also helps keep the muscle active and mobile. They can also reduce the physical pain most patient’s suffering from GBS feel.