Guillain Barre Syndrome
Problems may happen over hours, days, or weeks. It will get worse over time. Problems may be:
- Weakness and tingling in the legs, arms, and face
- Pain in the legs or back
- Problems walking or climbing stairs
- Problems breathing
- Eyesight problems
- Problems swallowing, speaking, or chewing
- Problems urinating
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis. These tests may be done to support it:
- Lumbar puncture to test the fluid that protects the brain and spinal cord
- Nerve conduction and electromyography studies
- Lung function tests
The goal is to manage symptoms and help speed healing. Hospital care will be needed to watch for things like breathing and heart problems. Most people get better, but others may have lasting problems.
Treatment choices are:
IV Immunoglobulin Therapy (IVIG)
Immunoglobulins are proteins in the blood that fight infections. IVIG uses an IV to give a person proteins donated from a healthy person.
Plasmapheresis removes blood from the body and passes it through a machine that separates blood cells. The cells are then returned to the body with new plasma. This may help a person get better more quickly.
Physical and occupational therapy may be needed. It can help a person with strength and motion. It can also help a person learn how to do daily tasks again.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy; Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy; Acute Idiopathic Polyneuritis; Acute Inflammatory Polyneuropathy; Acute Autoimmune Neuropathy; Idiopathic Polyneuritis; AIDP)
Guillain-Barré Syndrome Foundation International http://www.gbs-cidp.org
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov
Canadian Institute for Health Information http://www.cihi.ca
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
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Guillain-Barre syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/guillain-barre-syndrome . Updated August 2, 2019. Accessed April 13, 2020.
Guillain-Barre syndrome fact sheet. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Guillain-Barr%C3%A9-Syndrome-Information-Page. Updated March 27, 2019. Accessed April 13, 2020.