Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a neurological disorder and autoimmune disease. It is characterized by weakness and tingling in the hands and feet, which can progress to muscle weakness and, in severe cases, paralysis. The exact cause of GBS is currently unknown, but it is often preceded by an infection, such as COVID-19, respiratory or gastrointestinal infections, or the Zika virus.
The symptoms of GBS typically start with tingling and weakness in the feet and legs, which can spread to the upper body and arms. Some individuals may initially experience symptoms in the arms or face. As the syndrome progresses, muscle weakness can lead to paralysis. Other symptoms may include a pins and needles sensation, difficulty with walking or climbing stairs, facial movement difficulties, double vision, severe pain, bladder or bowel function problems, rapid heart rate, low or high blood pressure, and difficulty breathing.
There is currently no cure for GBS, but treatments can help manage the symptoms and reduce the severity and duration of the illness. Most patients take at least two to three weeks to recover, although some may experience a longer recovery period. Some individuals may also be left with permanent nerve damage, leading to chronic weakness, numbness, or fatigue.