Guillain-Barré Syndrome

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Causes of Numb Toes

Numbness of the toes is often associated with tingling. This is referred to as paresthesia of the toes.

Numbness to the leg and foot also can be caused by irritation of nerves in the low back with:

  • Radiculopathy and herniated disk
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Frostbit
  • Stroke
  • Diabetic neuropathy...

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Guillain-Barré facts

*Guillain-Barré facts Medically Edited by: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

  • Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) occurs when the immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system.
  • Weakness or tingling in the legs or arms and upper body are characteristic symptoms of GBS.
  • Severe cases of Guillain-Barré cause paralysis and are life-threatening.
  • GBS is a very rare condition that afflicts about 1 out of every 100,000 people.
  • Guillain Barre syndrome can occur after a respiratory or gastrointestinal viral infection. Guillain-Barré syndrome also can appear after surgery or vaccines.
  • The autoimmune reaction in Guillain-Barré syndrome is directed against the myelin sheaths (surrounding tissue) of the peripheral nerves or the nerves themselves.
  • The signs and symptoms of Guillain-Barré can vary, so it can be hard to diagnose in the early stages.
  • A physical exam as well as an examination of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) obtained from a spinal tap may help with diagnosis.
  • Treatment of Guillain-Barré syndrome may include plasma exchange (plasmapheresis) and high-dose immunoglobulin therapy.
  • There is no cure for Guillain-Barre, but most people recover fully.
  • The recovery period after a bout of Guillain-Barré syndrome may be as little as a few weeks or as long as a few years.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/16/2016

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