Guillain-Barre syndrome is a serious disorder that occurs when the body's defense (immune) system mistakenly attacks part of the nervous system. This leads to nerve inflammation that causes muscle weakness.
Symptoms of Guillain-Barre can get worse very quickly. It may take only a few hours to reach the most severe symptoms, but weakness that increases over several days is also common.
Muscle weakness or the loss of muscle function (paralysis) affects both sides of the body. In most cases, the muscle weakness starts in the legs and then spreads to the arms. This is called ascending paralysis.
Patients may notice tingling, foot or hand pain, and clumsiness. If the inflammation affects the nerves to the diaphragm and chest and there is weakness in those muscles, the person may need breathing assistance.
Typical symptoms include :