THIS SELECTION OF GENERAL SUGGESTIONS ARE FROM PREVIOUS GBS/CIDP PATIENTS THAT HAVE FOUND THAT THESE SUGGESTIONS WORK FOR MOST PATIENTS OF GBS, ALTHOUGH EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT & CAN RESPOND DIFFERENTLY. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVISE, BUT JUST PRACTICAL ADVISE FROM PATIENTS WHO HAVE BEEN THROUGH IT ALL.
- Make sure the hospital gives you some comprehensive rehabilitation and physiotherapy. This is extremely important for your recovery.
- If you have left hospital, try to keep up physiotherapy treatments or alternatives below.
- Make sure you eat a very healthy diet to help build up your immune system.
- Do mild exercise. It is important to keep up an exercise routine, but you have to be very careful not to overdo it as it can set you back. (see suggestions on right)
- Get regular massages and perhaps acupuncture.
- Know your limitations as everything will be tiring.
- Don't be aftaid to ask for help from the support group, family or friends.
- Give yourself a goal and a time frame to achieve it, such as a holiday or something you've always wanted to do or somewhere you've always wanted to go. I think you deserve it, and it will motivate you to get well to enjoy it!
- Have photos & pictures of loved ones around you in hospital as well as your goal images or brochures. They will all inspire you and give hope.
- See a Natropath that specializes in autoimmune disorders, and they can make up a special mix specifically designed to help you heal more quickly.
- You may need to add medical accessories to your home such as rail handles or shower chairs for a certain amount of time.
- Keep your spirits up - even if you feel there's no hope, you will get well - it just takes time!
- Some people find it difficult to cope with their situation, so many patients have been prescribed anti-depressants which usually have the added benefit of nerve pain relief.
- Talk to a support person, it will make the world of difference to your spirits. You're not alone.
Think Good Thoughts
Being sick has a mental part,
So use your head to cure you.
Thinking good thoughts is the way to start,
And smiling works, I assure you.
Keep up your spirits to cheer yourself;
Don’t let the gloomies win.
A happy soul will get well fast,
And right now is the time to begin.
By Karl Fuchs
These are some of the more common questions we get asked:
1. How long does it take to recover? Unfortunately this is the most difficult question to answer, as it differs with every person. Even Doctors won't normally guess at a time when you will be back to normal. All we know is that it is a very long process. The nerve coatings grow back very slowly, so its a matter of how long your body takes to heal itself. It also depends on the severity of your condition. Some people take a few months to recover, while more severe cases may take many years. The good news is that the majority recover to 90-95% to their previous state.
2. Is GBS hereditary or contagious? No, this disorder is based on the individuals own immune system. It is not contagious.
3. Does GBS recur? GBS does not normally recur, although in a small number of cases it has. CIDP tends to be more repetitive in nature, and usually requires a more regular treatment.
4. Will I be on a ventilator? Not necessarily. Only about 30% of patients require mechanical ventilation. If the weakness progresses to a certain point, monitoring may have to happen in an intensive care unit, where mechanical ventilation can be started quickly if necessary. Additional measures can be taken to keep an eye on autonomic features, such as heart rate and rhythm.
All these are just suggestions from former patients. They are all gentle mild excercises, but they are very important to keep up. Remember NOT to overdo it, as it may have a detrimental effect, and set you back. We don't want that!
- Hydrotherapy sessions
- Walking or swimming in heated pool
- Passive movements wherever you are
- Squeezing a rubber ball to strengthen hands
- Regular massage
- Regular acupuncture
- Regular physiotherapy
- Light exercise like leg lifts and stretches