Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a condition related to the nervous system. It can cause various symptoms like numbness, weakness, and reflex loss. If the condition becomes worse it can lead to paralysis, although this is a temporary condition you’d experience. Fun Fact: 85% of GBS sufferers experience a total recovery within one year. It’s important to know factors like the condition’s symptoms, causes, and treatments like GBS recovery diet. Some more good news is if you recover from this condition the likelihood of GBS returning is quite small. The main problem with this condition is the person’s immune system starts attacking their nerve cells, so it must be addressed
There are various types of treatment for GBS. One of the most common treatments is a spinal tap although there are others. When recovering from this condition you can also follow a recovery diet. There are certain GBS-friendly nutrients you should boost when treating the condition. They include Vitamin B12, calcium, and potassium. These nutrients are critical since they can help to improve your nervous system’s function. When recovering from such conditions it’s important to boost your nervous system’s overall health to help prevent future conditions including a return of GBS.
What is Guillain-Barre Syndrome?
GBS is a rare condition that results in nerve damage that affects your sense of touch and movement nerves. The symptoms of this condition can be either minor like muscle weakness, or major ones like paralysis. The symptoms can last for a couple weeks and the majority of GBS patients are able to recover 100%. However, in some cases people experience nerve damage that’s long-term
The key is to start treatment immediately if you’ve been diagnosed with GBS. There are different treatments the doctor might order including “cleaning” your blood then returning it to the GBS patient. There are other treatments including “antibodies” that uses an IV to provide them to the patient. This helps to reduce the immune system attacking healthy cells.
There’s even a chance you’ll need to be hospitalized for a couple days or even weeks. The key for these multiple-day stays to get back control of the body. During this period, you also might need to exercise your arms/legs. This is important to speed up the recovery process.
Scientists aren’t entirely sure about what causes GBS. However, around two-thirds of GBS patients have symptoms for many days/weeks after they’ve had breathing illnesses or LBM.
One of the main risk factors is an infection of a particular type of bacteria. It’s also possible to develop GBS after having infections like the flu. It’s even possible to develop GBS after a vaccination although it’s quite rare.
Any person can get GBS. However, it’s more frequent among seniors. In fact, GBS rates increase with older ages. Those who are 50+ years old are at the highest risk of suffering from GBS.
There are various GBS treatments available. They include:
- Blood thinners
- Heart medicine
- Pain medicine
Your doctor will prescribe certain treatments based on the particular symptoms you’re experiencing. This highlights the importance of getting regular checkups to determine your particular situation.
GBS Recovery Diet
Green leafy veggies
These foods like spinach, kale, turnip greens, collards, etc. are chock-full of brain-friendly nutrients. They include Vitamin E/K, calcium, folate, and iron.
These nutrients not only benefit the central nervous system (CNS) but also the body. They’re low-calorie foods rich in fiber and other nutrients.
While there are several B Vitamins this is one of the most important for improving CNS health. That’s because Vitamin B12 boosts the protection and function of nerves. This is critical to improving the function of the brain and spinal cord.
DASH or Mediterranean diet
These are some of the best options for boosting your brain health. It can help to protect your brain from the effects of conditions like GBS.
DASH was designed for preventing/controlling high blood pressure. This is certainly important in terms of the proper function of your brain/nervous system.
Meanwhile, the Mediterranean Diet is high in nutrients like healthy fats, whole grains, fresh fruits/veggies, cheese/yogurt, and even wine. Spain and Italy are among the world’s top 10 countries in terms of average life expectancy.
So, if you want to improve the health of your central nervous system this is one of the best diets to consider. For example, studies show the omega-3 fatty acids in fish can boost brain health.
Foods like fatty fish, avocados, nuts, yogurt, and olive oil all contain “good” fat. This is helpful for improving healthier CNS and thus improving GBS recovery. In recent decades diets have pivoted from simply low-carb to also high-fat. These diets provide lots of benefits including improved brain function.
Potassium and Calcium
These minerals are both important for improving your brain health. You can get potassium from foods like bananas and potatoes. High-calcium foods include dairy, green leafy veggies, and seeds. These minerals are also helpful for other functions of the body or brain.
Common Treatments for GBS
There’s no cure yet for GBS. However, attacks can be treated by a few effective treatments. One is filtering out bad antibodies from the patient’s blood. Another method is to use an intravenous (IV) treatment to make the antibodies neutral.
The first treatment is known as “plasma exchange.” In this procedure, the blood’s liquid part (not blood cells) are first removed then replaced with an antibody-free plasma.
The process is typically done 3-5 times with one full day between each session. This gives the body time to adjust again to new plasma added. There are some risks involved including some blood problems.
The second procedure is known as IVIg. Studies show it reduces the time required for a person to recover after experiencing GBS. However, it’s not known why the treatment is effective. It has a similar risk as plasma exchange. However, instead of blood issues, IVIg might cause different complications like allergic reactions, kidney problems, or hepatitis.
Studies show that plasma exchange and IVIg are both effective in treating GBS. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that doing both treatments instead of one provides benefits. However, it’s still a method that some doctors take.
While the GBS patients are hospitalized the medical staff watches the patients carefully. This makes sure that their weakness doesn’t affect key functions like breathing and swallowing safely. If GBS symptoms get worse then the patient might have to breathe through mechanical methods.
The majority of people end up recovering from GBS but the situation differs on a case-by-case basis. Some forms of GBS need more time for recovery.
More recovery time is required for more serious cases. A key reason is nerves grow back a few millimeters per day.
Therapy is often needed for patients to recover 100%. Sometimes recovery takes up to one year and can be improved with GBS recovery diet