Guillain-Barré Syndrome – Symptoms and Triggers


Guillain-Barre syndrome is a quite rare disorder which causes the body’s immune system to attack the nervous system. The disorder starts from weakness and tingling in the hands and feet and can result in complete paralysis if not treated accordingly. Guillain-Barré syndrome is a medical emergency and affected people need to be hospitalized immediately.


Guillain-Barré syndrome usually begins with tingling sensations and weakness in the hand and feet, as mentioned above, which starts spreading to the arms and the upper body. In some people, the symptoms can start directly in the arms and/or face. Muscle weakness can develop into paralysis as the disorder progresses. Here are the common symptoms of the syndrome:
  • Pin and needle-prick like sensations in the fingers, wrists, toes and ankles.
  • Weakness in the legs that spreads to the upper body
  • Unsteadiness in walking and difficulty or inability climbing stairs
  • Difficulty in eye and facial movements, as well as in speaking, chewing and swallowing
  • Severe cramping pain that is worse at night
  • Difficulty in bladder control and function
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Difficulty in breathing


There are certain triggers (usually infectious illnesses) that often precede Guillain-Barré syndrome. These include:
  • Campylobacter, a bacteria found in undercooked poultry, is often a common trigger
  • Influenza virus
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Zika Virus
  • Hepatitis A, B, C and E
  • HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
  • Mycoplasma Pneumonia
  • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Guillain-Barrésyndrome is treatable by a neurologist, and might require neurosurgery. Because it is a rare disease in India, neuro specialists that treat it are relatively less. You can find such neurologists in Gurgaon and Delhi NCR. 

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