GBS Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Prevention & Treatments

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GBS Syndrome is a rare condition that occurs due to the damage was done to the peripheral nervous system by the immune system and it results in severe weakness of the muscles. The immune system for some unknown reasons attack the healthy nerves of the body and lead to this condition. In most cases, people notice general weakness and numbness in the affected area. However, in extreme cases, it can even lead to paralysis. The sad thing is that there is no cure for this condition and it is also not clear as to what causes this condition. But it is possible to control the symptoms in many cases and many patients show significant improvement after getting the treatment at the right time.

Types of GBS Syndrome

–  The AIDP type usually begins affecting the lower regions of the body and gradually spreads to the other regions and leads to complete paralysis.

–  The MFS type begins affecting the eyes and it causes paralysis of this region.

–  The AMAN and the AMSAN type also affect other regions of the body and they need medical treatment at the right time to control the symptoms.

Symptoms of GBS Syndrome

–  The most obvious symptom of this condition is the tingling sensation that can be felt in the legs and this usually starts spreading to the upper regions in quick time. You should be watchful about such symptoms and immediately seek medical treatment.

–  In other cases, it can even affect the face and arms region and later spread to other nearby regions.

–  It causes general weakness in the affected region and this can slowly develop into paralysis at a later stage.

–  People suffering from such condition will have difficulty in moving the affected regions whether it is hands, legs or face.

–  The pain caused by such symptoms will also be as severe as the muscles of the affected region can develop cramps.

–  When the lower region of the body gets affected, people lose control over the bowel function and it can also become difficult to control the bladder in a natural way.

–  Apart from that, most people suffering from this condition also complain about breathing difficulty and it can also lead to changes in blood pressure and increased heart rate.

–  Most people develop weakness at the early stage itself and this can be noticed within a few weeks after this condition starts affecting the body. The problem with this condition is that it can spread at a quick pace and you need to be very careful when you notice any symptoms of this condition.

–  Remember that the success rate of treatment depends on how early you approach your doctor during this condition and this needs emergency medical treatment in most cases.

Causes of GBS Syndrome

–  It is not yet established as to what causes this condition. However, most people experience symptoms of GBS syndrome after they have had an infection of the digestive tract. It can usually take a few days or weeks to show symptoms after such infection.

–  In the same manner, even infection of the respiratory system can lead to this condition in many individuals.

–  This condition usually affects male adults even though it can affect anyone. You need to be careful about the initial symptoms as this can progress very quickly and lead to paralysis.

–  You should be extra careful if you recently had an attack of Zika virus or Hepatitis virus. Even other forms of virus attacks can trigger this condition in many people.

–  In rare cases, the after-effects of some surgery and even some vaccinations can trigger GBS syndrome.


–  Your doctor needs some experience to identify this condition in the early stages as the symptoms are not specific to this condition. In most cases, you will notice that these are common symptoms of neurological disorders and many people can get confused with the symptoms. In other cases, people may not visit the doctors in the early stages as they confuse the numbness and tingling sensation for general weakness and this can further lead to spreading of the symptoms to other regions of the body.

–  When you first visit your doctor with the symptoms, you will have to undergo a physical examination and this will help the doctors to get some clarity about the condition. After this, several tests will be done to check the intensity of the condition in your body.

–  The first step begins with collecting the fluids from the spinal column. This is done from the lower back region and it will help the doctors to determine the GBS syndrome condition in the body. People suffering from this condition will show significant changes in the fluid composition from this region and this can clearly indicate the condition.

–  Apart from this, the electromyography method may also be used to study the activity of the nerves in the affected region. In this method, the electrodes are inserted through thin needles into the affected muscles and this will give complete information about the nervous activity in this region. When any abnormal activity is reported, it can be concluded that the nervous system in that region is damaged due to some conditions and further treatment can be started to reduce the symptoms.

–  In other cases, it may not be possible to insert the electrodes into the muscles and external shock is given to the skin surface to notice the response of nerves in that region. Whenever shock is given to the skin surface, the nerves in that region respond in the appropriate manner and pass signals to the brain. When there is any delay or lack of response in this situation, it indicates that the nerves in that region are damaged and it needs further treatment. There is no need to worry about the shock as it will be very mild and it will not hurt the patients in any manner.

Prevention of GBS Syndrome

As the exact cause for this condition is not known, it becomes difficult to prevent this condition. However, it is usually noticed that this results soon after a viral attack and this has got some connection with various infections. Even though these infections may not cause GBS syndrome, they may trigger this condition due to unknown reasons. The best thing you can do in this situation is to maintain your overall health condition in proper order and try to avoid any form of viral infection. If you are already suffering from any form of viral infection, be very careful about the symptoms of this condition as they can spread quickly once they start affecting the nervous system. You should also be aware of the fact that treating this condition becomes easy when you begin them in the early stages and this increases the chances of recovery in quick time. You will also be able to reduce the severity of symptoms by beginning early treatment.

Treatment for GBS Syndrome

–  There is no specific treatment for this condition and you can only prevent the symptoms from progressing further. Apart from that, timely treatment can also reduce the intensity of the problem and make it easy for the person to lead a normal life.

–  During plasmapheresis treatment, the plasma cells are separated from the blood and then injected into the body. This can boost the immunity and avoid further complications. In certain cases, when the antibodies are overreacting to some condition and causing GBS syndrome, removing plasma of such antibodies will reduce the symptoms to a large extent.

–  When healthy antibodies from the blood donated by a healthy person are injected in large doses to the affected person, it can reduce the symptoms and slow down the antibodies that are causing this damage to the nervous system.

–  Apart from that, treatment is also given to reduce other symptoms like pain that can be very severe in this condition. However, the use of painkillers is restricted to a small duration as this can have some long-term side effects.

–  In the same manner, when the condition has caused paralysis, treatment may be required to avoid blood clots that can cause complications at a later stage.

–  Physiotherapy and other recovery therapy may be used to improve the muscle strength and this will also help the person to have some movement during paralysis.

–  Such therapies can drastically improve muscle strength and it will help in speedy recovery during paralysis.

–  Note that this condition takes time to slow down even after giving proper treatment and many patients see positive results only after a few months. In rare cases, the person affected with this condition may need treatment for several years before achieving complete recovery.

–  Even after complete recovery, there are chances that it can relapse at a later stage and you need to be very careful about the symptoms after recovery. If you notice any symptoms that are not normal, make sure to reach out to your doctor and get a thorough diagnosis to rule out further complications.


–  There are several complications of this condition and it can even relapse in many cases. Most people complain about weakness or numbness in the affected area even after recovery.

–  If the condition has already led to paralysis, it can show some effects even at a later stage after treatment is given and it can cause muscle weakness in the affected region.

–  People suffering from this condition experience difficulty in breathing and this can affect the overall health condition of the person.

–  When it has affected the lower region of the body, the bladder and bowel function can get affected and this can continue even after recovery for many days.

–  It can even lead to heart problems in the future due to the improper functioning of the nervous system. It can cause irregular heartbeats and it can also affect the blood pressure in the body.

–  This condition also causes severe pain in the affected region and this needs to be treated with temporary medication to ease the symptoms.

–  In case of this condition causing paralysis, people also suffer from blood clots due to a lack of movement of the affected body parts. Treatment is needed to counter this problem as this can further lead to other complications in the long run.


– It does not spread

Many people think that this condition only affects certain regions of the body. However, it is not true and it only begins in certain regions and gradually spreads to other parts of the body. When proper treatment is not given in a timely manner, it can lead to paralysis and even cause other complications in the long run.

– Complete recovery is not possible

It is possible to recover completely from this condition even though there is no specific cure for this condition. Many people notice a significant improvement when symptoms are reduced and they will gradually recover within a few months after getting good treatment. In rare cases, it may relapse and even then, it can be handled with further treatment.

– It can be fatal

It does not result in fatal consequences in most cases and you can get complete relief when timely treatment is provided to reduce the symptoms. Only when treatment is not given and the condition is not properly diagnosed, it can lead to paralysis and other complications. In rare cases, it leads to complete paralysis and this also may not lead to fatal consequences.


This condition can be handled effectively when you notice the symptoms in the early stages. You need to be very careful about the symptoms of this condition especially after you have suffered a viral infection as this can trigger the condition in several individuals. As soon as you notice any tingling sensation or general weakness and numbness that starts spreading to other regions, you should be alarmed and visit your doctor. Your doctor will conduct a thorough diagnosis and ascertain the condition in your body. With proper treatment, recovery is possible and you need some patience in this regard as it can take a few months in most cases.


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