A rare condition, Guillain-Barre syndrome leads to muscle weakening. In this disorder, the immune system of the body attacks healthy nerve cells. This serious autoimmune disorder leads to tingling, weakness, numbness and eventually paralysis. This is one of the rarest autoimmune disorders that affect 1 in 100,000 Americans and till date, no cure has been found. However, there are several treatments that can help reduce the severity of the symptoms and decrease the illness duration.
The precise cause of this autoimmune disorder is still not known. However, according to CDC (Centers for disease control and prevention) a majority of people suffer from this disease as soon as they have been sick with a respiratory infection or diarrhea. The Guillain-Barre infection has also been associated with Campylobacter jejuni, which is one of the most common causes of diarrhea. This bacterium is found in uncooked food, more common in poultry.
Other infections associated with this autoimmune disorder include:
Symptoms associated with Guillain-Barre
In this disease, the peripheral nervous system is attacked by the immune system. The muscles from the brain are unable to respond to the signals if they are damaged, therefore the first symptom usually seen or felt is the tingling sensation in legs, toes or feet. The sensation spread fast to the arms and fingers and the symptoms progress rapidly.
Some of the most commonly seen symptoms are:
How to diagnose the symptoms
It is difficult to diagnose this neurological disorder at the first place; however, the doctor can still make the diagnosis by asking the patient some specific questions and by reading the medical history of the patient.
Here are some tests that are generally followed by the doctors to confirm the diagnosis:
When to see a doctor
People often feel, it’s ok to experience a little tingling in the fingers and toes. However, if you feel that the tingling sensation is spreading throughout your body and is getting worse with time, it is the right time to seek medical help. Some other symptoms that sign toward calling a doctor include:
Guillain-Barre can affect a person belonging to any age group, but if you are a grown up man, you have a slightly greater risk. The symptoms of this neurological disease may be triggered by:
Treatments and Drugs
The symptoms of Guillain-Barre, if not treated on time, can worsen. Therefore to avoid this situation, the patient should be admitted to the hospital as soon as possible. The goal of the treatment offered by the doctors is to decrease the severity of the symptoms. The treatment includes: