Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is a form of polyneuropathy characterized by an acute course, increasing muscle weakness, and caused by autoimmune reactions in the body. It is diagnosed mainly in adults and elderly people, and in men, it is 1.7 times more frequent than in women.
The disease can be treated well, but if it is not, it can become chronic or lead to other serious complications. Therefore, it is important to see your doctor at the first signs and follow his instructions exactly.
The syndrome is characterized by an acute onset and gradual progression. The first signs in most patients appear between 5 days and 3 weeks after exposure of the body to an adverse factor, such as an infection.
In the early stage, the disease is accompanied by symmetrical weakness, which appears in the legs and then spreads upward. Less frequently, the symptom is observed in the arms and head and then spreads downward through the body.
Muscle weakness gradually builds up to 8 weeks. Signs of GBS may also be present:
• loss of sensitivity in the affected area;
• tingling sensation;
• vegetative disorders – due to a disorder of the innervation of internal organs there may be arrhythmia, urinary incontinence, constipation, blood pressure fluctuations, etc.
On objective examination of the patient, reflexes are absent or severely impaired.
If left untreated, the process ascends and affects the bulbar nerves (swallowing disorders occur) as well as the respiratory muscles, making it necessary to use artificial respiration.