Get to know GBS (Guillain Barre Syndrome) – Symptoms to Treatment

 Guillain Barre Syndrome or GBS is a disorder in which the immune system attacks the nerves. This GBS disease affects one in 40 thousand people each year. GBS is a disease that can affect all ages ranging from children to adults, rarely found in the elderly. GBS is a disease more commonly found in men.
Panyakit GBS is not a hereditary disease. This disease cannot be transmitted by birth, infected or infected by other people who have GBS. However, GBS is a disease that occurs a week or two after infection with the intestine or throat.

Symptoms of GBS

Symptoms of the initial GBS disease include:
  1. Feel like being pricked at the tip of a toe or hand, or even numbness in that part of the body.
  2. Feet feel heavy and stiff or hardened
  3. Arms feel weak
  4. The palms cannot hold tightly or rotate things properly (for example, unlocking, opening cans, etc.).
These initial symptoms can disappear within a few weeks. Patients usually do not feel the need for treatment or it is difficult to explain to the team of doctors to request further treatment because the symptoms of GBS disease will disappear when examined.
Symptoms of GBS in the next stage when there are significant difficulties arise, for example:
  • Feet difficult to move
  • Arms become sick and weak
  • Loss of arm reflex nerve function

Causes of GBS

The cause of GBS or  Guillain Barre Syndrome due to swelling of the peripheral nerves, resulting in the absence of a message from the brain to make movements that can be received by the affected muscle. Because many of the nerves that are attacked, including the nervous system, the immune system gets messed up. If not ordered, the immune system will expel the immune system fluids in places that are not desirable.
If immediate treatment is done, the immune system will stop attacking the nerves and work properly. Therefore, the right diagnosis of GBS disease is needed to prevent the fatal effects of GBS disease.

Diagnosis of GBS Disease

Diagnosis of GBS is obtained from the history and results of medical tests both physically and laboratory tests, from a history of illness, drugs commonly used, alcoholics, infections that have been suffered, tick bites, the doctor will conclude whether the patient is on the patient list people with GBS.
Do not forget also the history of diseases that have been suffered by patients and families of patients such as diabetes mellitus, diet done, all will be examined carefully until the doctor can make a verdict whether you have GBS or other diseases.
Patients suspected of having GBS are required to take the test:
  • Complete blood
  • Lumbar Puncture
  • EMG (electromvogram)
According to the order, the first test will be carried out then the second test if the first test is not detected by GBS disease, and so on.

What will happen after the test is done?

Signs of weakening of the nerve will appear to worsen within 4 to 6 weeks, some patients weaken in a relatively short time to a total paralysis point in a matter of days, but this situation is very rare. The patient then enters a helpless stage within a few days. During this period, patients are usually recommended to have a complete rest in the hospital.
Even though the condition is weak, it is highly recommended that the patient always move the affected body parts to avoid muscle stiffness.
Physiotherapists will usually be needed to train patients with special therapies and will provide guidance to family and friends of patients by training patients with GBS.

Does GBS disease hurt?

Patients usually experience acute pain when suffering from GBS. Especially in the area of ​​the spine and arms and legs, but there are also patients who do not complain of significant pain even though they experience severe paralysis.
Pain arises from swelling of the affected nerve, from muscles that temporarily lose energy supply, when sitting and sleeping in patients who have difficulty moving or turning their bodies to a comfortable position.
To fight pain the doctor will give painkillers and the nurse will provide therapies to relocate affected parts of the body with special therapies. Pain can come and go and that is very normal for people with GBS.

How is patient care?

Patients will usually weaken within a few weeks, so intensive care is needed in the stages where GBS disease is detected. In accordance with the stage and level of paralysis of the patient, the doctor will determine whether the patient needs treatment in the ICU or not. Treatment of GBS is adjusted to the patient’s condition. About 25% of patients with GBS will experience difficulties:
  • Breathe
  • Ability to swallow
  • Difficulty coughing
Like the conditions mentioned above, patients will usually be given a ventilator to help with breathing.

How long can patients with GBS be cured?

After some time, the numbness condition will gradually improve. Patients must remain vigilant because only 80% of patients can recover completely, depending on the severity. Patients can walk within weeks or years.
But statistics prove that the average patient will improve within 3 to 6 months. Patients in severe conditions will leave a defect in the most severely affected part, need therapy that is long enough to restore the wilted muscle functions due to GBS disease. It can take up to 4 years.

Is there a treatment for GBS to cure this disease?

There is only one treatment for GBS, namely the GAMAMUNE drug (Immuno globuline), which costs Rp. 4 million – Rp. 4.5 million per bottle. Usually this drug is infused in patients with the amount calculated from body weight. Case in point, a patient with GBS with a body weight of 58 kg, who had consumed GAMAMUNE medicine as many as 20 bottles (5 bottles / day).
For more details, you can consult with your doctor to get the right dose for the treatment of GBS.
Finally, you also have to remember, if someone asks if GBS can relapse again, the answer is “can”. However, the case of whether GBS can recur is very rare.
Usually, even when relapse returns, GBS disease will also show symptoms that are milder than before. Treatment of GBS and proper treatment is very helpful for healing this disease.

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