Patient Comments: Guillain-Barre Syndrome - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with Guillain-Barre syndrome?

Comment from: paulina, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I contracted Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) about 6 years ago. It started with the most severe pain in the center of my back. I was rushed to the doctors daily. They were totally baffled. No pain medications worked. My blood pressure shot up to 175/135, I got Bells palsy on the right side of my face. Still they could not figure anything out. The pain intensified, my legs gave way and I went daily to emergency room and doctors with still no answers. Finally my legs went numb and blood pressure raised even higher. I was finally admitted to the hospital as they feared a severe heart attack was about to happen. I was put on pain medications which didn't work. After 2 weeks in hospital they did a spinal tap and found out it was GBS. It was a difficult road to recovery. I used a wheel chair, walker and cane but only came within a hair of being put on a respirator. I have been back at work full time for 3 years, life is difficult but doable. I am still very weak and tired and still have some back pain.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Denise, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 16

My symptoms began in September 2004. I had a severe sore throat for 2 days, then a pins and needles feeling in my fingertips. Then I had weakness in my legs. I was misdiagnosed 3 times by a doctor in my town. He kept saying I had rheumatoid arthritis. I was finally seen by a neurologist who knew what I had. I was admitted into hospital right away. Lumbar puncture confirmed it. Within a week I was paralyzed from the neck down, I could only turn my head. Then after 2 weeks I crashed, I had a feeding tube and tracheostomy put in. I was on the ventilator for 7 months and was told I would never get off. I did after seven months. I am still paralyzed. I was in 4 different hospitals for a total of a year and a half, then did 6 months of therapy before I could walk again. It is very hard on my family. Not enough is known about this horrible disease! I still have weakness and exhaustion issues. You learn to live with a new kind of normal.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Miro, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 05

I am 43 and just experienced GBS (Guillain-Barre syndrome) on 1/12/2013. It started in my toes and raced all over my body except the right side of my face. After 6 visits to my general physician telling me to toughen up, it's only a pinched nerve in my back, my wife raced me to hospital emergency room. I was admitted instantly and was looked after. I had all the tests and a lumber puncture and then had an Intragram blood infusion for five days. After 4 days more in hospital I went home. I am having physiotherapy at home at the moment and my strength is getting better day by day. I plan go back to work as soon as I can walk a good distance without getting tired. I still have numbness in my legs, feet, arms, back, mouth and hands.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: #Khoasen, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 14

I was diagnosed with GBS (Guillain-Barre syndrome) in April 2012 which was very severe. It started with severe diarrhea, running stomach continuously for three days. I was feeling very weak in my body and was hospitalized for stroke and transferred to a private hospital where a very efficient specialist detected that my nervous system was breaking down due to GBS. He immediately took out a spinal test and took me into the ICU for emergency treatment. My whole body was paralyzed and I could not move. I was hospitalized nearly for two months doing some physiotherapy.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: stuart, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 18

I'm certain my GBS (Guillain-Barre syndrome) was triggered by the flu vaccine. I'm rarely ill and was in fine health when I decided to go for my first ever flu vaccine in October 2012. Within a few weeks I was experiencing back pain and tingling down legs and it was getting harder to put one foot in front of the other, I kept falling down as MY legs couldn't seem to hold my weight. I visited the general physician and Accident & Emergency repeatedly but kept getting sent home with the offer of physiotherapy. I eventually went to the hospital in January 2013 and was there till end of March. I lost use of my legs totally and couldn't grip anything with my hands and fingers. I had a lumbar puncture which confirmed what it was. It is a horrible thing to go through, you feel so helpless and frustrated. I had physiotherapy daily and hydrotherapy weekly which helped immensely. I am walking with a stick now but there is still not much feeling in my hands or feet. I keep walking out of my slippers without knowing I've done it. The other half keeps finding them separated in different rooms of house you've got to laugh sometimes.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Patty, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 15

My husband had Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) 2 times, once in 1995 and then in 1997. He has recovered, with the residual fatigue, tingly legs, and no strength in hands and feet. I have noticed memory issues in the past year or so, possibly related to GBS.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Guillain-Barre Syndrome - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment did you or a relative receive for Guillain-Barre syndrome?

Patient Comments are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on MedicineNet. The opinions expressed in the comments section are of the author and the author alone. MedicineNet does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Alert If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors