Symptoms of Guillain-Barré Syndrome
Guillain-Barré syndrome initially causes weakness and “pins and needles” sensations that begin in the legs. These symptoms can progress up the body and become more severe, leading to paralysis of the arms and legs. There may be weakness of the face muscles, of the muscles that enable a person to swallow, or of the muscles in charge of moving the eyes. Breathing muscles may be involved, and 10-30% of patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome will need a ventilator to breathe. Blood pressure or heart rate can vary from high to low, often unexpectedly, and the patient may not be able to empty their bladder or may be constipated. Pain in the back, arms, or legs is common.