Guillain-Barre syndrome is an uncommon disorder in which your body's immune system attacks your nerves. Weakness and numbness in your extremities are usually the first symptoms. These sensations can quickly spread, eventually paralyzing your whole body.
The exact cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is unknown, but it is often preceded by an infectious illness such as a respiratory infection or the stomach flu. Luckily, Guillain-Barre syndrome is relatively rare, affecting only 1 or 2 people per 100,000.
In its most severe form, Guillain-Barre syndrome is a medical emergency requiring hospitalization. There's no known cure for Guillain-Barre syndrome, but several treatments can ease symptoms and reduce the duration of the illness. And most people do recover completely.