Can functional medicine cure Guillain-Barrésyndrome?

Joe Nadworth

Functional Medicine Clinic London,

Functional medicine is an approach to healthcare that focuses on identifying and addressing the root causes of diseases or health conditions, considering the individual as a whole. While functional medicine may play a role in supporting overall health and well-being, it’s important to note that there is currently no cure for Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), regardless of the medical approach.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome is primarily treated through supportive care, which may include interventions such as physical therapy, respiratory support, and sometimes treatments like plasmapheresis or intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). These treatments aim to manage symptoms, speed up recovery, and reduce the severity of the condition.

It’s crucial for individuals diagnosed with GBS to work closely with healthcare professionals who specialize in neurological disorders. Functional medicine practitioners may be part of a comprehensive healthcare team, providing additional support for overall health, but they should not be considered a substitute for evidence-based medical treatments.

If you or someone you know is dealing with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, consult with a neurologist or other healthcare specialists for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to the specific needs of the individual. Early and appropriate medical intervention is essential for managing the condition and promoting recovery.


1. What is Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)?

  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a rare neurological disorder where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the peripheral nerves, leading to weakness, tingling, and sometimes paralysis.

2. What causes Guillain-Barré Syndrome?

  • The exact cause is not known, but it often occurs after a viral or bacterial infection, such as respiratory or gastrointestinal infections. In some cases, it may also be triggered by vaccinations.

3. What are the symptoms of GBS?

  • GBS typically starts with weakness and tingling in the legs and can progress to weakness or paralysis in other parts of the body. Loss of reflexes, pain, and sensory disturbances are common.

4. How quickly does GBS progress?

  • The onset is usually rapid, with symptoms peaking within a few weeks. The weakness often follows an ascending pattern, starting in the legs and moving towards the upper body.

5. Can GBS be cured?

  • There is no cure for GBS, but many individuals recover with supportive care. Physical therapy, plasmapheresis, and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy are common treatments to manage symptoms.

6. Is GBS life-threatening?

  • While GBS can be serious and may lead to respiratory failure in severe cases, with prompt medical intervention, the majority of individuals survive and recover.

7. How long does recovery take?

  • The recovery period varies, and it may take weeks to months. Some individuals recover fully, while others may have residual weakness or other complications.

8. Can GBS recur?

  • Recurrence is rare, but it can happen. Most people who have had GBS do not experience a recurrence.

9. How is GBS diagnosed?

  • Diagnosis involves a clinical evaluation, nerve conduction studies, and sometimes lumbar puncture to examine cerebrospinal fluid. Medical history and recent illnesses are crucial for diagnosis.

10. Can GBS be prevented?

  • There is no specific prevention for GBS. However, practicing good hygiene to avoid infections and addressing infections promptly may reduce the risk.

11. Are there long-term effects of GBS?

  • While many people recover fully, some may experience lingering weakness, fatigue, or other neurological symptoms.

12. Is GBS contagious?

  • No, Guillain-Barré Syndrome itself is not contagious. It is not directly spread from person to person.

It’s important to consult with healthcare professionals for accurate diagnosis, treatment, and management of Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Early medical attention can significantly impact the outcome and recovery process.

Updated: 15 April 2024 at 22:49