...and now time to obsess about guillain barre syndrome

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...and now time to obsess about guillain barre syndrome

Postby tlotoxl on March 22nd, 2004, 12:37 pm

I had food poisoning over the weekend, bad enough that I ended up going to the hospital on Saturday night because nothing seemed to help break my fever or lessen my headache. I got some medication and was feeling quite a bit better on Sunday, so I figured I'd read up on food poisoning. Since I was already feeling a fair bit better, I never anticipated stumbling across anything disturbing... but I read that the most common type of food poisoning (caused by the campylobacter bacteria found in chickens) is associated with GBS, a sudden neurodegenerative syndrome that results in sudden paralysis (which may be followed by full or partial recovery). Apparently one out of 1000 reported cases of campylobacter food poisoning leads to GBS hitting within the two weeks following infection. Now I figure most cases of food poisoning are probably unreported or undiagnosed -- in my case I was given drugs without a blood or stool test and, if I don't get sicker, no one will know exactly what I had -- so I figure the incidence of GBS is much less than 1/1000... but *beep*, it's scary anyway. And apparently the first signs of it are tingling or pins and needles in the feet. Ack! I get all the time to begin with!

Anyway, it's going to be a nervous two weeks for me. Back in the old habbits, long discarded, of checking the strength in my toes and feet. In the meantime, I can't help but wonder if BFS might not have a similar etiology? Did I eat some bad chicken four years ago and end up with some chronic minor nerve damage as a result that has partially healed over time?

Well, there's a ramble for you. Moral of the story: don't eat chicken sashimi.
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Postby Jenn311 on March 22nd, 2004, 2:35 pm

Alexis,

you should know better than to eat raw chicken....eeeewww! That said, from what I have read Guillian Barre syndrome can be linked to many viral illnesses (though I could be wrong there, this is going off pure memory). And even so, you don't know what kind of bacteria made you sick or even if it wasn't some kind of stomach flu rather than actual food poisoning. (though with the fact that you live in Japan and you ate raw chicken I am leaning more toward the food poisoning myself...) If you sit around worrying about these slight "what-ifs" all the time you are going to miss out on some good living. If something seriously wrong develops, you'll know it and will be able to deal with it when it arrives.

But that is an interesting point you made about the BFS connection and some kind of post viral syndrome. Maybe one day someone will take that into consideration as their main focus of research and we'll have some answers.

Hope you are better soon,
Jen
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Postby tlotoxl on April 2nd, 2004, 6:42 am

by the way, it's been ten days and i haven't been paralyzed by GBS. nor did i really worry about it much, though mostly because my digestion was hassle enough to keep me busy already.

i guess there's a moral to the story in addition to the 'listen to the WHO' one.
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