Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Guillain-Barré Syndrome
Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare nerve disorder that occurs
when the body's own defenses (immune system) attack part of the peripheral
Symptoms usually start with numbness or tingling in the fingers and
toes, followed by muscle weakness in the legs, arms, and other muscles that
develops over a period of days to weeks and can progress to complete paralysis.
Difficulties in breathing and swallowing can also develop. The cause of this
disease is not known, but it often occurs after a viral or bacterial
Guillain-Barré syndrome is treated with immunotherapy, which boosts the
body's immune system and its ability to fight disease. Although this syndrome can be
life-threatening, most people recover with few lasting problems.
Current as of:
February 20, 2015
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.