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Doctor insights on: Guillain Barre Syndrome

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Dr. Linda Callaghan
113 Doctors shared insights

Guillain Barre Syndrome (Overview)

A disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. The first symptoms of this disorder include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs.


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How come I had guillain-barre syndrome, but nobody else in the family has ever had it?

How come I had guillain-barre syndrome, but nobody else in the family has ever had it?

Not familial: Gbs is a postinfectious, immune-mediated disease. Cellular and humoral immune mechanisms probably play a role in its development. Most patients report an infectious illness in the weeks prior to the onset of gbs. Epidemiological studies have failed to demonstrate a familial connection or predilection for the syndrome.

Dr. Linda Callaghan
113 Doctors shared insights

Guillain Barre Syndrome (Overview)

A disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. The first symptoms of this disorder include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs.


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Neuro docs, please someone read my guillain barre syndrome symptom description & please advise what your thoughts are on possible diagnosis-thank you!

Neuro docs, please someone read my guillain barre syndrome symptom description & please advise what your thoughts are on possible diagnosis-thank you!

Response: Not clear to me why you have "muscle weakness", and your information does not indicate why you wonder about Guillain-Barre. This is far better handled by reviewing your medical profile, which can be done via an INBOX consult or a Concierge virtual visit.

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What are the most common symptoms of guillain-barre syndrome?

GBS: Guillain-barre syndrome presents with progressive weakness starting at distal parts of limbs and moving upwards towards the torso. The extremity eventually may become limp. It can also affect the respiratory muscles and the patient my end up on a ventilator in an icu. Other unusual symptoms are changes in heart and blood pressure.

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I did a search for diagnosis of some of my symptoms and came up with guillain-barre syndrome. What do doctors look for to diagnose it?

I did a search for diagnosis of some of my symptoms and came up with guillain-barre syndrome. What do doctors look for to diagnose it?

Guillain-Barre syndr: Guillain-barre syndrome is a post-viral disease where antibodies attack the lining of the nerves. The longest nerves get affected first--i.e., the nerves to the hands and feet. You may feel some numbness, but the hallmark sign is weakness, ultimately inability to walk. Symptoms are progressive and ultimately if the diaphragm muscle gets weak you will have trouble breathing.

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Neuro drs-newly diagnosed guillain-barre syndrome, pos EBV bloodtest, never had mono, what's the correlation between the two?

Neuro drs-newly diagnosed guillain-barre syndrome, pos EBV bloodtest, never had mono, what's the correlation between the two?

Maybe none: If the correct blood test was done it is possible to fairly accurately time your ebv infection; less than a month ago, 1-3 months ago, more than 6 months ago. If the ebv was more than 3 months before the gbs it is unlikely that they are related.

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What are the tests for guillain-barre syndrome?

What are the tests for guillain-barre syndrome?

Guillain-Barre: Is a form of ascending paralysis which has several major forms and can result in long term persistent neurological deficits. There is a recent excellent review of this illness in the new england journal of medicine. Look online.

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Think I may have guillain barre syndrome again or what is going on?

Think I may have guillain barre syndrome again or what is going on?

Guillain-Barre: Is a form of ascending paralysis which has several major forms and can result in long term persistent neurological deficits. There is a recent excellent review of this illness in the new england journal of medicine. Look online.

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What causes guillain-barre syndrome (gbs)?

What causes guillain-barre syndrome (gbs)?

No one knows: Gbs occurs when the bodies immune system attacks the lining or myelin of the nerve cells in the peripheral nervous system. Although it can be associated with things like following surgery or after certain infections, for example it has been seen following campylobacter infection which causes diarrhea, the true cause is unknown.

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Good place to treat guillain-barre syndrome?

Good place to treat guillain-barre syndrome?

See below: Any large teaching or community hospital can treat a patient with gbs if they offer the following capabilities: neurologic consultation 7 days/week, a neurologic ICU or med ICU familiar with neurologic patients/complications, ICU pharmacy that can provide ivig 7 days a week and/or Albumin for plasmapheresis 7 days/week, experienced pt, ot, speech & respiratory therapists, and good rehab. That's all.

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Do I need to report guillain-barre syndrome as a long-term health condition, or does it go away after being treated?

Guillain-Barre: Some few people who recover may be left with slowly resolving neurologic deficits. This ascending polyneuropathy seldom if ever recurs once resolved.

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What is the treatment for guillain barre syndrome?

What is the treatment for guillain barre syndrome?

See below:: Treatment of guillain-barré syndrome may include plasma exchange (plasmapheresis) and high-dose immunoglobulin therapy. A respirator may be used if the patient requires assistance to breathe. Physical therapy can begin after the patient recovers limb control. The recovery period: a few weeks or as long as a few years. About 30% may suffer from residual weakness after 3 years.

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I'm just wondering, if you've already gotten the flu shot, are you still at risk for guillain-barre syndrome?

I'm just wondering, if you've already gotten the flu shot, are you still at risk for guillain-barre syndrome?

Yes.: There is a risk (though very small) of developing this complication with each season's flu shot. If you have gotten the flu shot in previous years without incident, your risk is probably smaller, but it will never be zero.

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Can physical and speech therapy help with guillain-barre syndrome?

Can physical and speech therapy help with guillain-barre syndrome?

Speech therapy & GBS: Speech therapy can be very helpful to improve speech and promote safe swallowing in patients who have significant weakness of the tongue, palate and throat, or who have had a tracheostomy. Physical therapy can also be very helpful to attempt to minimize physical function deficits and prevent muscle wasting and joint contractures.

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Can you die from guillain-barre syndrome?

Yes: This is a rapid onset paralysis of muscles starting in the legs and rapidly involving upper trunk and breathing in the worst cases. You could die from inability to breathe. If this is occurring, get to the er as fast as possible.

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What are signs of guillain barre syndrome?

Acute neuritis: An ascending rapidly progressive weakness then paralysis, starting typically bilaterally in legs, later arms and hands, and later yet issues with swallowing and breathing, often following influenza, but also seen with infectious mono, some GI infections, and could lead to respiratory collapse if not properly treated.

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Good place to treat guillain-barre syndrome?

See below: Any large teaching or community hospital can treat a patient with gbs if they offer the following capabilities: neurologic consultation 7 days/week, a neurologic ICU or med ICU familiar with neurologic patients/complications, ICU pharmacy that can provide ivig 7 days a week and/or Albumin for plasmapheresis 7 days/week, experienced pt, ot, speech & respiratory therapists, and good rehab. That's all.

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What are the tests for guillain-barre syndrome?

Guillain-Barre: Is a form of ascending paralysis which has several major forms and can result in long term persistent neurological deficits. There is a recent excellent review of this illness in the new england journal of medicine. Look online.

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What are the symptoms of guillain-barre syndrome?

Motor weakness: Guillian-barre is an inflammatory disease of the nerve roots that results in pain and progressive motor weakness. It can cause paralysis, breathing failure and problems with the cardiovascular system. If it is suspected, it should be evaluated and treated emergently. Proper treatment can be lifesaving and result in full or near full recovery.

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What's it like to live with guillain barre syndrome?

Usually acute: Gbs is an ascending weakness of first legs, later arms, and bilateral face, usually following an infection, which can cause difficulty breathing, but if treated in timely fashion with ivig or plasmapheresis, should stabilize, reverse and recover. If chronic cidp develops, will respond very well to ivig.