What is Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)?
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a disorder in which a person’s own immune system attacks their nerve cells. GBS often begins with muscle weakness and tingling in the lower extremities then spreading to the upper extremities. In some people the symptoms begin in the arms or face. These symptoms will then spread and can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis.
Signs and Symptoms of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)
People with GBS usually first experience weakness or tingling sensations in both legs. Many times, this spreads to the arms and upper body. Symptoms may increase until some muscles cannot be used at all and, in severe cases, the person can become paralyzed. Symptoms can progress over hours, days, or weeks, and weakness typically peaks within the first two weeks after symptoms appear. Recovery may take as little as a few weeks or as long as a few years. Other signs and symptoms include:
- Tingling in legs or arms
- Muscle paralysis (limited, temporary or permanent)
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Pins and needles feeling in your extremities
- Problems breathing
- Trouble walking or keeping your balance
- Weakness in your legs that spreads upwards