Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is one of common illnesses in neurology, generally it may be related to auto immuno inflammation in peripheral nerves, GBS usually also called Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP), occationally GBS also has chronic condition, called Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy(CIDP). Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology are very effective therapies in GBS acute stage and recovery stage.
Here are several case studies or patients’ testimonies.
Patient 1. Mr. J.A.A. 49 years old.
(He aggreed to publish this case study, and he said we could use his real name, but we still use his name’s initial here).
First visit (10/15/2005): Main complain are weakness and tingling in both legs 8 month. Patient had spleen removal surgery last year because he had continuous decreasing in white blood cells and platelet. In the early Janurary patient had left-sided facial weakness and apparent facial droop, as well as numbness and tingling in hands and feet. One month late, the facial palsy recovered, the numbness, tingling worse in hands and feet, since Feburary patient has obvious weakness in both legs, couldn’t walk normally. He was admitted in hospital and had five dose of IVIG treatment because of his acute neuropathy consistent with Guillain Barre syndrome. He felt the treatment improved his weakness about 5%.
When patient saw Dr. Fan, patient just could walk 50 feet with the help of his wife. He had difficulty to move in or out of his car, he had steppage gait. Both hands and feet numbness, tingling and tight. Taking pain killer to ease the multiple-site muscle pain. There were obvious muscle weakness at right upper back and four extremities. Sometime patient dropped the dishes or other stuff because the hand weakness and short of sensation (esp. right hand no. 3, 4 fingers and inner side of forearm). There was a muscle cramp at right leg almost everyday. Patient still took Vitmine B1, B2, B6 and shoot B12. PE: Tendon reflexion disappeared in four extremities; Muscle tone (++-); Sensation: pain-exist, touch-generally exist. Muscle force: both leg 4+. Hands 3+. Treatment: Acupuncture.
No.2 visit (10/18/2005): After initial acupuncture, patient felt the sensation at left hand and right foot seemed better. However, during next two days, the sensation still bed-numbness, tingling and pain. Right leg still cramp, esp.at waking up in the morning. There was a obvious purple marks at the front and sides of the the tongue surface, his pulse was string and slippery. Starting Chinese “herbal tea” (herbal decoction, the method of tonifying the Qi and dispelling the blood stagnant) with the electroacupuncture.
No.3 visit (10/25/2005): The weakness and numbness was “much less”. If the initial weakness as 100%, immediate after the no.3 acupuncture treatment, patient felt recovered 30%.
No.6 visit (11/02/2005): The sensation recoveral rate reached 40-60% (there was 20% fluctuation in different days). The recovery of right leg was a slight quicker than that of other extremities. Left hand still hard to hold the dish, often dropping dishes.
No.10 visit (11/15/2005): Patient felt he had more energy and could walk more longer distance ever. However, when he felt tired the weakness and nubness/tingling seemed worse than before. Continue the Chinese herbal tea and electroacupuncture.
No.12 visit (11/22/2005): Patient felt Dr.Fan’s treatment was very successful. Currently he could walk independently over one mile (at initial visit, he just could walk 50 feet with other’s help), could conduct almost every daily personal work, such as fastening the shoes’ tie. Could left 15 Lb (initial visit 2 Lb).
No.13 visit (11/27/2005): Currently, patient has one full-time job Monday to Friday, also has another part-time job in weekends. In weekdays evening, he also takes course in a college. These would be a big challege to him. Today after 8 hours working, patient felt very tire and felt glove sensation at hands and feet. Initially he just could work as part-time worker. But anyway, patient felt much better than before, he has more energy, could squat down and up freely (at initial visit, patient couldn’t do that). Patient quited all medications (such as vitmins and Licara which is for neuropathy). And patient’s sensation is more allert, now he could feel electrical sensation when acupuncture.
No.15 visit (12/03/2005): Patient danced into my clinic, which showed his improving in movement and balance, as well as in a good emotion. Continue electroacupuncture and Chinese herbal tea.
No.16 visit (12/06/2005): Patient evaluated his condition–has improved 65% (65% normal) since 10/15/2005.
No. 17 visit (12/10/2005): Patient danced into my office, he and his wife were very happy. His recovery rate reached 70% today. However, still had some numbness at fingers or/and toes. The tightness and tingling sensation at left foot bottom became occationally. Patient had more energy. Muscle force at both legs: 5. hands 5-. Muscle tone (++). Tondon reflex still poor(+-). The improvents were at: (1) Balance;Gait; (2) Muscle force; (3) Sensation; (4) Daily activities and fine work; (5) Working. (Note: Patient signed above evaluation and agreed to publish his case study.)
Patient 2. Ms. S. J. 43 years old.
First visit (11/24/2006): Main complain is Dyspnea, both legs weakness for two month. Patient had Guillain barre syndrome two month ago, initially she had dyspnea, heavy on chest, swollow difficulty and both legs couldn’t walk, tingling below the chest. Currently she could walk about one mile per day total half hour, but the gait abnormal, felt tired and short of energy. Hands shaking, couldn’t type the keyboard of computer, just could using three fingers. There was still heavy sensation in chest/breathing difficulty, couldn’t breath deeply. Basically patient’s muscle force: 4. Tendon Reflex (+-); Treatments: Acupuncture and Chinese herbal tea.
No.2 visit (11/28/2006): Felt better, could walk longer.
No.3 visit (12/02/2006): Big improvement, recovered 30% (baseline: initial visit as 100% weakness). Hands no shaking aleady 48 hours, both legs’ Touching sensation recovered, breathing almost normal,still had slight heavyness in chest.
No.4 visit (12/06/2006): Could walk 2.5 miles per time. Using fingers normally, esp. typing was normalized. The gait much better.
No.5 visit (12/09/2006): Hands no shaking, typing keyboard already normal. “Definit improved!” Patient said.
No.6 visit (12/12/2006): Much better. (1) whole condition, mainly the ability of movement: 70% recovered. If the score at first vist was 10, now 3. Could walking 3.5 miles in one hand half hour; (2) Sensation: arms sensation- recovered 80%, if at first visit it was 10, now 2. And from constant numbness/tingling to occationally, just in night; legs sensation- recovered 90%, score 10 dropped to 1. When acupuncture, patient could feel more sensative than before. (3) Chest heavy or breathing difficulty, recovered 80%, score 10 dropped to 2. (Note: Patient signed for above evaluation.)
No.10 visit (12/30/2006): Much better. Feel almost normal. But right leg is weeker than left.
No.12 visit (01/09/2007): Tendon reflex recovered good, currently: both elbows (+ to ++), knee (++), ankles (+- to +). Feels tired due to catching a cold. Sensation recovering is good, already amost normal.
Patient 3. Mr. W. W. 58 years old.
First vist (12/04/2006): Main complain is pain in both hands and feet, low energy for 3 years. Patient had GBS 3 years ago, at that time he couldn’t move and stayed in hospital for IVIG treatment 3 weeks, after that he also had 2 month treatments in a rehab center. Then his movement is recovered. But the pain, tingling and numbness in both hands/palms, and feet bottoms do not disappear. And the problem is even worse when he gets tired or short of sleeping. The pain, tingling and numbness would increase and spread up to elbows and knees. Also, when he gets tired, the movement also becomes poor. The issue is he is very easy to get tired and short of energy. The neurological examination generally is normal, included in both movement and sensation, except the tendon relexion(-) at extremities. Treaments: acupuncture and Chinese herbal tea.
No.2 visit (12/07/2006): much better.
No.3 visit (12/11/2006): almost hasn’t any pain, tingling and numbness in hands and feet bottoms. Seems have more energy.
No.4 visit (12/14/2006): no any symptom in hands, but there is numbness at feet bottom. “Due to some reason, today my energy is lower than the day before”. Tongue purplish, pulse thin. We modified the formula in Chinese herbal tea.
No.8 visit (01/02/2007): no any symptom and feels good, although slept late in new year patient didn’t feel low energy and tingling, nubmness and weekness on extremities. Patient decides terminate acupuncture and continue the Chinese herbal tea for stablizing his condition.