Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Guillain-Barre Syndrome Treatment in South Carolina

Guillain-Barre Syndrome Doctors in Spartanburg, Duncan, and Greenville, SC

Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a rare condition in which a person’s immune system attacks their peripheral nervous system or the part of your nervous system outside of the spinal cord. The onset of Guillain-Barre Syndrome or GBS can be sudden and come on with little or no warning and requires immediate medical attention.

What is Guillain-Barre Syndrome?

Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a rare syndrome also known as acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP) and occurs when a person’s immune system attacks their peripheral nervous system. Onset of Guillain-Barre Syndrome can be sudden and begin with little warning and can effect men and women alike, with an estimated 3,000 cases a year. 

Guillain-Barre Syndrome Symptoms

While it may be different for each patient, the most common symptoms of the onset of Guillain-Barre Syndrome is:

  • Weakness and tingling in the legs
  • Weakness and tingling in the legs that spreads to the upper body
  • Trouble breathing
  • Difficulty walking and climbing stairs
  • Sudden difficulty chewing and swallowing
  • Choking on saliva
  • Inability to move your eyes or double vision
  • Severe pain that may feel like a deep ache in the legs
  • High or low blood pressure

      What Causes Guillain-Barre Syndrome?

      There’s no definitive cause for Guillain-Barre syndrome but GBS often develops in a patient after a viral respiratory or gastrointestinal infection. This causes the immune system to attack the peripheral nervous system. A healthy immune system only attacks foreign bodies such as viruses and bacterial infections, but during the onset of Guillain-Barre Syndrome the immune system attacks and destroys the myelin sheaths surrounding the nerve clusters, causing nerve damage and preventing signals being sent to and from the brain. This nerve damage can result in the inability to feel heat, cold, or even pain.

      The three main types of Guillain-Barre Syndrome are:

      • Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP). AIDP commonly presents as muscle weakness starting in the lower part of your body and then spreads upward.
      • Acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) and acute motor-sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN) is defined clumsy movements and trouble controlling your body.
      • Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS) presents as an unsteady gait and paralysis of the eye muscles. 

        Guillain-Barre Syndrome Treatment

        Treatment for Guillain-Barre Syndrome focuses on symptom relief and preventing respiratory or breathing problems. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a serious medical condition and requires immediate medical attention. Treating GBS requires hospitalization. There is no cure for GBS but some treatments include:

        • Pain control
        • Physical and hormonal therapy to regain strength and flexibility. 
        • Intravenous immunoglobulin or IVIG, a treatment that helps regulate your immune system
        • Plasma exchange or plasmapheresis, a treatment that includes filtering your blood to remove the harmful antibodies

          How to Prevent Guillain-Barre Syndrome

          There is no way to prevent Guillain-Barre syndrome, as medical research has yet to pinpoint exactly what triggers the immune system response. As most cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome follow a serious viral or bacterial infection, experts recommend practicing good hygiene and washing your hands often.

                Guillain-Barre Syndrome Diagnosis:

                A CONA Neurologist will carefully listen to your symptoms and obtain a medical history. It’s important to tell your provider if you’ve been very ill recently. They’ll ask about the length of your symptoms, and if they’re increasing in severity. They’ll perform a physical examination, testing your ability to feel applied pressure or sensation to the affected areas. They may order outpatient tests such as a spinal tap or lumbar puncture, electromyography, or other nerve conduction studies to assess the severity of the nerve damage.

                Guillain-Barre Syndrome Treatment in South Carolina

                Our specialists here at CONA are here to help you regain your quality of life from Guillain-Barre Syndrome. If you’ve been suffering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, request an appointment at any of our locations convenient to you.


                  You do not have to struggle with the continuing effects or relapses of Guillain-Barre syndrome. To make an appointment with our CONA Neurology Department, consult your primary care physician or family doctor for a referral to one of our Neurology Specialists. 

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