Friday, July 15, 2016

Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Guillain-Barre syndrome is another one of those rare disorders where your immune system is under fire again.  This condition happens because your own body begins to attack its own nerves.  Your nerves become damaged in this condition and the damage in turn prevents your nerves from transmitting the correct signals to your brain.  So, if you have ever experienced this weakness and tingling in your extremities are usually the first symptoms you probably felt.  These feelings of weakness and tingling can quickly spread and could eventually even paralyze your whole body…Guillain-Barre syndrome is one not to be taken lightly.  In its most severe form it can rapidly become a medical emergency, for example it could paralyze the muscles used for breathing and become a life-threatening situation.

What causes Guillain-Barre syndrome is not clearly known at this point and there is no known cure either.  Most cases are often preceded by an infectious illness such as a respiratory infection.  As far as treatment goes, there are several options that will be available to you with the goals of helping to ease your symptoms and decrease how long the illness lasts.  The good news is that a majority of individuals with Guillain-Barre syndrome recover, however some others may continue to feel residual effects from it such as weakness, numbness or fatigue. 

Keep in mind that Guillain-Barre syndrome can affect all age groups, but you’re slightly at a greater risk if you are a male and if you’re an older adult.  Let’s discuss what signs and symptoms you should expect now if you experience Guillain-Barre syndrome.  This condition often begins with tingling and weakness that starts in your feet and legs and spreads to your upper body and arms.  Other signs and symptoms may include the following:

·      A sensation of “pins and needles” in your fingers and toes.
·      Unsteady when walking or inability to walk or climb stairs.
·      Difficulty with eye or facial movements including speaking, chewing, or swallowing.
·      Severe pain that may be worse at night.
·      Difficulty with bladder and bowel function.
·      Rapid heart rate.
·      Changes in blood pressure; either high or low.
·      Difficulty breathing.

Individuals diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome experience their most prominent bout of weakness within approximately two to four weeks after symptoms begin.  It would be a good idea to seek medical attention immediately if you ever experience difficulty in breathing or weakness that is rapidly spreading so interventions can be carried out before the problem becomes life-threatening.  It’s always good to be better safe than sorry, and the quicker you seek treatment, the better the chance you’ll have of a positive outcome. 

Complications of this condition may turn out to be a big deal that requires strict medical treatment and continued follow-up treatment in order to maintain symptoms and/or prevent worsening.  Complications some individuals with Guillain-Barre syndrome may include: 

·      Breathing difficulties
·      Lingering numbness or other unwelcomed sensations
·      Problems with your heart and blood pressure
·      Pain
·      Trouble controlling bowel and bladder function
·      Blood clots
·      Pressure ulcers
·      Relapses of the condition

Upon determining your diagnosis, your provider will decide how Guillain-Barre syndrome has already taken its toll on you, and then your treatment plan will be developed.  Upon your return home it will then be the responsibility of us at Total Home Health to continue your professional medical treatment…which is definitely no problem at all.  Our teams of staff members will be ready each and every day to see that your symptoms are at ease and you can go about your daily tasks at the best of your ability.

Take comfort in knowing that there are people out there who understand your diagnosis and Total Home Health is the perfect example of this.  We have an outstanding program that will fit into your lifestyle without a doubt.  Our professionals seek to always provide you with the best care to maintain your health and safety in the comforts of your own home.  Our knowledgeable staff will come to know your needs and wants quickly, and will be attuned to any slightest inclination of changes in your condition that may possibly require changes to your treatment plan.  We strive to always remain at the top of your list as professionals that you can count on no matter what.  We listen, we answer, and most of all we will just be there!

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