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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is Guillain-Barr syndrome (GBS)?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Karyn Powell

    Physiotherapist

    Specialising in Parkinson's Disease,Vertigo/Dizziness, Stroke, Brain Injuries, Multiple Sclerosis, Amputees, Mobility and balance disorders, Adults and children with physical disability. Extensive experience in Neurological and … View Profile

    Guillain-Barr syndrome affects the myelin of the peripheral nerves and causes paralysis.  It may be caused by a viral infection, sting or inrelated surgery but its actual cause is inknown.
    The main features of GBS are:

    • muscle weakness and paralysis in the body, limbs and face
    • Aches and cramps
    • Abnormal sensations (eg numbness and tingling)
    • Shortness of breath
    Severity of symptoms varies but approximately 40% of people with GBS may require mechanical ventilation because of respiratory weakness in the acute stages.

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    Dr Ryan Hislop

    Chiropractor

    Dr Ryan Hislop, Chiropractor is situated in Mudgee with the team from Chiropractic Health and Wellness Centre. He has a special interest in sports chiropractic … View Profile

    Guillain-Barre syndrome is a serious disorder that occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks part of the nervous system. This leads to nerve inflammation that causes muscle weakness and other symptoms.

    It often follows a minor infection, such as a lung infection or gastrointestinal infection. Most of the time, signs of the original infection have disappeared before the symptoms of Guillain-Barre begin. It may also appear a few days or weeks after a surgery.
    Symptoms of Guillain-Barre can get worse very quickly. It may take only a few hours to reach the most severe symptoms, but weakness that increases over several days is also common.Muscle weakness or the loss of muscle function (paralysis) affects both sides of the body. In most cases, the muscle weakness starts in the legs and then spreads to the arms. This is called ascending paralysis.Patients may notice tingling, foot or hand pain, and clumsiness. If the inflammation affects the nerves to the diaphragm and chest and there is weakness in those muscles, the person may need breathing assistance.

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