Private Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) Treatment

HCA provides multi-disciplinary treatment and full rehabilitation for people with Guillain-Barré syndrome
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Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare serious disorder where your body's immune system attacks your nerves. It starts in the feet, hands and limbs, and causes numbness, weakness and pain. The condition can usually be treated, but it does cause long-term problems for some people.

It occurs in all age groups, but older people are most affected.

Need to know

Symptoms start in the extremities - the hands and feet are first affected, then the legs.
The first symptoms are:

  • numbness
  • pins and needles
  • muscle weakness
  • pain
  • loss of balance and co-ordination

These symptoms may worsen over the next few days or weeks (usually peaking at four weeks). They may include:

  • difficulty walking
  • paralysis of the face, arms or legs
  • breathing difficulties
  • blurred vision
  • difficulty speaking
  • problems swallowing

If you have these symptoms, it's a medical emergency. Ring 999 and go straight to accident and emergency (A&E).

A consultant will discuss your symptoms with you and help to make a diagnosis. They will also check your muscle reflexes and check for numbness in your hands, feet or limbs.
If they think you may have Guillan-Barré syndrome, your consultant may order the following tests:

  • Electromyography (EMG). Here, needles are placed into your muscles. When nearby nerves are activated, electrical recordings show how your muscles react.
  • Lumbar puncture. fluid is taken from around the spinal cord in the lower back. The sample is checked for problems which cause similar symptoms to Guillain-Barré syndrome, such as an infection.
  • Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). This is where donated blood containing healthy antibodies is injected into a vein. The healthy antibodies stop the harmful antibodies being produced by your immune system from damaging your nerves. It's given once a day for around five days.
  • Plasma exchange. Blood is removed from your body via a machine. This filters out harmful antibodies and returns the blood to your body.

A full recovery programme in neuro rehab may be needed to treat long-term problems. This may include speech and language therapy, occupational health therapy, and physiotherapy.

Our Private Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) Treatment locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.