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Guillain-Barre Syndrome Overview
Guillain-Barre syndrome is a nerve disorder. It is an acute and rapidly progressive inflammation of nerves that causes loss of sensation and muscle weakness. It is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. This syndrome causes the destruction, removal, or loss of the myelin sheath of a nerve. Myelin is the substance of the cell membrane that coils to form the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath serves as an electrical insulator to nerve fibers.
The first symptoms of this disorder include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs. In many instances the weakness and abnormal sensations spread to the arms and upper body. These symptoms can increase in intensity until certain muscles cannot be used at all and, when severe, the patient is almost totally paralyzed. In these cases the disorder is life threatening - potentially interfering with breathing and, at times, with blood pressure or heart rate - and is considered a medical emergency. Such a patient is often put on a respirator to assist with breathing and is watched closely for problems such as an abnormal heartbeat, infections, blood clots, and high or low blood pressure. Most patients, however, recover from even the most severe cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, although some continue to have a certain degree of weakness.
Guillain-Barré syndrome can affect anybody. It can strike at any age and both sexes are equally prone to the disorder It is also known as a polyneuropathy, which is a disease that involves several nerves.
What causes Guillain-Barré syndrome? Top
No one exactly knows why Guillain-Barré - which is not contagious - strikes some people and not others. Nor does anyone know exactly what sets the disease in motion. What scientists do know is that the body's immune system begins to attack the body itself, causing what is known as an autoimmune disease. Usually the cells of the immune system attack only foreign material and invading organisms. In Guillain-Barré syndrome, however, the immune system starts to destroy the myelin sheath that surrounds the axons of many peripheral nerves, or even the axons themselves (axons are long, thin extensions of the nerve cells; they carry nerve signals). The myelin sheath surrounding the axon speeds up the transmission of nerve signals and allows the transmission of signals over long distances.
In many cases it is preceded by viral infection (herpes, cytomegalovirus or Epstein-bar virus), immunization or surgery. When Guillain-Barré is preceded by a viral or bacterial infection, it is possible that the virus has changed the nature of cells in the nervous system so that the immune system treats them as foreign cells. It is also possible that the virus makes the immune system itself less discriminating about what cells it recognizes as its own, allowing some of the immune cells, such as certain kinds of lymphocytes and macrophages, to attack the myelin.
Guillain-Barre Syndrome Symptoms: Top
  • Weakness on both sides of the body may develop with numbness that starts in the legs and progresses into the trunk and moves upward to the arms and neck.
  • Muscles that are controlled by nerves in the head may be involved. Muscle weakness near the involved nerves can be the most prominent sign.
  • Deep tendon reflexes are decreased or absent.
  • People can have weakness of facial muscles and some muscles in the throat.
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), sweating, facial flushing, and variable blood pressure are signs the nervous system is affected.
  • The severity of symptoms peaks by the second or third week.
  • In certain forms of Guillain-Barre syndrome, people have weakness of eye muscles or unsteady gait.
How is Guillain-Barre Syndrome diagnosed? Top
The diagnosis of GBS usually depends on findings such as rapid development of muscle paralysis, areflexia, absence of fever, and a likely inciting event. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis (through a lumbar spinal puncture) and electrodiagnostic tests of nerves and muscles (such as nerve conduction studies) are common tests ordered in the diagnosis of GBS.
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Electrodiagnostics
  • Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction study (NCS)
What is the role of Homoeopathy in Guillain-Barre Syndrome? Top
As described in the article above Guillain-Barre Syndrome has multifactor ail causes. Homoeopathy follows an individualistic approach towards patients suffering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome we believe that every individual is different and thus a full in-depth case study is the first step. The usual conventional treatment provides only palliation. On the other hand our deep acting constitutional medicine help by controlling the disease.
A broad criterion of how the homoeopathic medicines act in cases of is Guillain-Barre Syndrome mentioned below. The response to treatment can differ from one individual to another patients are advised to consult so that the mode of treatment can be discussed pertaining to their particular case
Relieving Symptoms: Homoeopathic treatment helps in relieving symptoms like.
  • Weakness of the body
  • Numbness
  • Weakness of facial muscles and some muscles in the throat.
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), sweating, facial flushing, and variable blood pressure
  • Unsteady gait.
Controlling the underlying disease process: Guillain-Barre Syndrome as described in the article above is an autoimmune disease; Homoeopathy with its deep acting constitutional medicines act on the altered immune system thus helps by controlling the disease process and preventing any further loss to the nerves.
  • If homoeopathic treatment is sought early it helps in preventing the progress of disease and preventing any complications
  • We at DRSS provide our patients with diet charts, exercise schedules and guide them how to modify their lifestyle so that better results can be achieved.
  • Our medicines can be started with conventional treatment depending upon the disease state and case.
  • Homoeopathic medicines if taken under proper guidance from a well-qualified professional are extremely safe and have no side effects.
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