GBS and Stress

    • Anonymous
      April 4, 2007 at 10:14 pm

      [B]Does anyone know about specific information about stress as a factor in leaving one at risk to GBS?

      Fran Chalfant

    • Anonymous
      April 4, 2007 at 10:31 pm

      hi fran,

      i sorta doubt there have been any studies done in this area, but a time will come somewhere in the future when it is a given. stay cool! take care. be well.

      gene gbs 8-99
      in numbers there is strength

    • Anonymous
      April 4, 2007 at 11:35 pm

      If you find out about the stress, let us know. I absolutely believe that stress is 100% responsible for my GBS both times. I am very wholistic and did not get any vaccinations or have the flu or illness before I got.

      I really think that this website could narrow down the cause of GBS. Who better…? I think that we should come up with a detailed questionnaire and then look at the similarities. Sometimes the answer is right under your nose.

      Back in the days pregnant women in hospitals were dying of puerperal fever (childbirth fever). Dr. Semmelweiss, a new doctor, saw the pattern and said that doctors needed to wash their hands between examining patients. They laughed at him, but he was right! This happens alot in science and medicine. Sometimes the answer is simple.

    • Anonymous
      April 4, 2007 at 11:53 pm

      I agree about the stress factor also! I was not ill before my onset of GBS. My Doctors thought because of my history of sinus infections that I might of had one of those that was not bad enough to call the Doctor and it went away. Usually in October when we turn the furnace on I would get Broncitis and have terrible problems like a Sinus infection or allergies….for years I had not had the problem and 2005 before my onset was no different. I just can not remember being ill. BUT I had much stress for years. Friends that were younger than me that had died from Diabetes. Another friend died from a 3 year battle of Cancer leaving three children behind. Third friend was shot to death by her adopted Son of (2 years). Several very close relatives that had me very upset about their loss. Father In Law that died and left us to deal with the estate and family matters that were very very stressful. That was in 2003 had continued for a few years….we had just begun to get our lives back and the GBS happened. I am sure it had a big factor in my onset. Before those few years I did not have stress. Life was GOOD! Son had been pushed from the nest and was doing well on his own. Now I have been changing over to this different lifestyle. Lots of support from caregiver/spouse. Friends have moved on or moved away as their lifestyles have changed with retirements and warmer climates. Life has been interesting to say the least! StReSsEd? YEAH I would say so! But still remaining possitive and using my attitude to reshape my new lifestyle that is constantly changing for the better!

    • Anonymous
      April 5, 2007 at 1:12 pm

      Developing GBS- many ways

      Any vaccine
      Upper Respiratiry infection
      Urinary Tract infection
      Sinus infection
      A plain old cold or any kind of bacteria
      Dental work
      A cut anywhere on your body
      Some have had broken bones 1-2 days prior to onset.
      Campylobactor jejuni from under cooked chicken
      Sore throat
      Intestinal Virus
      Porphyria ( a rare disease of the red blood cells)
      Epstein-Barr Virus
      Some cancers

      The list could go on and on. But stress is not linked to the development of GBS or CIDP. It is organisms of some sort that enter the body somehow and cause the patients immune system to to go on an offensive attack againist the invaders. The problem is sometimes the immune system doesn’t know when to stop the attack and just keeps on going to destroy the myelin and axons.

    • April 5, 2007 at 1:33 pm

      I believe stress can irritate gbs,cidp or any ailment for that matter. However, I do not believe it causes gbs. Autoimmune dis. are genetic and once you have one autoimmune, allergies, diabetes, gbs etc., you are more prone to get another in the LONG list of autoimmune dis. From info I have read, these are the conclusions I have made. Google autoimmune dis. and check out the list, it is unbelievable how many ailments are classified as autoimmune. But who really knows, it would definitely be better if we were all stress free though! DAwn:)

    • Anonymous
      April 5, 2007 at 1:37 pm


      My name is Ty and I have GBS, acquired 11-6-05. 18 Months today!:eek: I found this place just recently and have longed to be able to share with others that are where I am and have been thru this. Just to hear someone validate the oddities involved with a nervous system “under construction.”

      I went from healthy to unable to swallow or cough–total paralysis in about 12 hours. Fear. Pain.

      I have rethought my life many times over these months and know that I was running at a breakneck pace, under severe stress in owning and running my own business, raising a family, and being a person that demanded more from myself than was probably possible. My stress levels were probably off the chart…and then I got that nasty cold bug. Sinus infection; worst I’d ever had…and it tipped me over into the world of GBS.

      I am getting better. Fatigue is my hardest battle…being dependable, when you don’t know if you will be too tired to get rolling is hard on a family. My wife needs dependability. And it has been hard on her…watching me sleep these months away…

      But, I am improving and feel like just this last week I have turned a big corner and my old life is within reach…or at least within view. But, I will not turn back to the stress monster I once was. I personally believe that stress demands an outlet; physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. And I chose to let my body take the shots over the years. It was a conscience decision. I knew that I was pushing too hard, but I leaned into life and let the stress release through me physically. I caught every cold…I was basically a host site for every little bug that needed a home because I wore myself down. Stress seems to have been my constant companion…I almost needed it at one point to feel like I was “getting something done.”

      But that was before. At any rate I wanted to say hello to you all and tell you that I am grateful you are here to listen to and read your stories and learn from your insight. I hope to become an active contributor here and only wish I had found you earlier!

      GBS: 11-6-05
      Husband, Father of Four

    • Anonymous
      April 5, 2007 at 1:38 pm


      I did have a flu vaccination a few weeks before my onset. BUT I also was under major stress – I had broken up with the love of my life and 6 months later this is what I got. I think stress did not cause GBS, but it sure left me open for all sorts of stuff. Stress, heartbreak, vaccination…

    • Anonymous
      April 5, 2007 at 2:21 pm

      [B]Hi Ty,

      Glad to see you made it in here. Welcome to the forums. Hope you stay with us to contribute your knowledge of GBS.

      Take care. 🙂 [/B]

    • Anonymous
      April 5, 2007 at 2:27 pm

      Ty> We share the same date we come down with GBS. 11-06-05. I also had a severe case that scared my family for the next few weeks! It sounds like you are doing well! I was in the hospital for 9 weeks and have been doing well with the rehab and recovery. I know what you mean about the frustration and the fatigue. I think that is the only things I complain about the most!

      I did have a teeth cleaning at the Dentists exactly one month from my onset. Other than that I had no other similar situations on the list. I don’t even remembering having the Sinus infection they said it could have been. STRESS was big the years and months before my onset. I am sure it did not do my body good!

      If you do a search on MSN for “Stress causes a depressed immune system” you get the follow results that do support some evidence. 😮


    • Anonymous
      April 5, 2007 at 3:01 pm

      I have always blamed stress as the major contributing factor for my onset of GBS. I also had a sore throat and minor bug a few weeks b4 onset. My job requirements and boss at the time were overbearing and needless to say extremely stressful. Thank God both the job and boss have long been replaced with better situations.

      My 2 cents.


    • Anonymous
      April 5, 2007 at 3:19 pm

      Good web site Cheryl, but so far I have not read of a link to GBS. I will continue to read the entire web site, as there is alot to read there.

      You also mentioned that you had your teeth cleaned prior to GBS, good source of bacteria in the mouth that could have gotten into your bloodstream.

    • Anonymous
      April 5, 2007 at 5:33 pm


      I have always believed that stress I had the year I contracted GBS somehow made me more susceptible and ‘open’ to the attack. It was a long, very stressful year at college, one of the most difficult in my life up to that point. This is often discussed when talking to other patients, and somehow they feel the same way. Stress, stress, stress followed by one of many things (and all the things listed by Brandy) that cause onset.

    • September 4, 2014 at 9:19 am

      I know this is a old post but hopefully there is bit more clarity as to stress relation to GBS.

      A few years back i was diagnosed with GBS but during the diagnosing process i was asked a few questions regarding my health in order to determine cause.
      Even though i was in perfect health at the time as i almost never get sick i was still diagnose with GBS but cause unknown.
      Back then i was asking the question can stress cause GBS but with no clear answer.
      The reason i suspected stress is due to the event 7 days prior to my complete paralyzed state.
      about 7 days before i was completely paralyzed i was walking home from a friend and i was feeling very good and fit as i was walking every day about 20 Km to get to my half day job as a decent work for a white male is rare to find in my country due to BEE policies. On my way home It was the moment where all my senses went on hyper mode when i saw a suspicious pickup truck stopping at a green light. So i decided to change route but the truck chased me down and the gangsters jumped in front of me with their knifes trying to provoke me to try to resist however i did what any one who is out numbered 5 to 1 should do so i ran as fast as i could that the speed i was running even scared me. I outran them and their truck until i found safety at a security guy. As i was running the only thing explaining me to run at a speed that scares me was a flood of adrenaline in my system.After this stressful incident i started to feel fatigue but i thought at first it was due to my over worked muscles due to the incident.during the next 7 days i started to grow weaker by the day until at day 7 i collapsed as i enter the hospital completely paralyzed. So I really think that stress of this incident triggered GBS in some way but maybe there is someone out there who has it more info regarding stress and GBS.

      I am now 35, and The reason i need to know for sure is because i work in a environment where people get drunk every day and likes to provoke people. Although i recovered from GBS i still have side effects of which is the following:
      When i get stressed or worked up i feel as if experience some weakness but later goes away
      When i get angry i shiver uncontrollably making my legs feel weak
      when i get over joyed or something i get nerve pains running through my hands.
      When i get romantic exited i shiver uncontrollably as if i cold.

      I don’t want to have a relapse if activities like stress or adrenaline spikes can trigger GBS

      Any light on this topic would be appreciated

      thanks Evert

    • GH
      September 5, 2014 at 1:23 am

      GBS is almost certainly triggered by an infecting agent. The disorder is an autoimmune response to the infection, but a particular infecting agent causes GBS in only a small percentage of persons infected. Generally the infecting agent is not known, although Campylobacter jejuni is known to be linked to GBS. Most cases are ideopathic (cause unknown). Neorologists ask patients about their recent history anyway because they are curious, not because the cause can be determined that way. When there is a cluster of cases with a shared history, and when an infecting agent can be identified after the onset of GBS symptoms, then a link can be shown. That is whi C. Jejuni is known to be linked.

      Being healthy and rarely getting sick has nothing to do with it because it is the immune system itself causing the problem, not the infecting agent.

      “Stress” doesn’t mean anything. It explains nothing.

    • JDB
      October 8, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      I’ve heard that stress weakens your immune system, so it could be a contributing factor. So much is unknown about GBS et all that I wouldn’t rule it out.

      • GH
        October 8, 2014 at 4:34 pm

        JDB, the problem with that line of analysis is that it is the immune system itself which is causing the problem in an autoimmune disorder. The immune system attacks the nerves as if they were a foreign substance. Treatment for autoimmune disorders can include drugs which are intended to weaken the immune system.

        The underlying cause of GBS is not known, but the disorder seems to be an immune response to an infecting agent. Unless you are a medical researcher working on the problem, that’s a good enough explanation. It is for me, anyway.

    • October 27, 2014 at 6:28 am

      What is the medicine in severe burning sensetation in all limbs after gbs attack &it’s treatment?

      Gbs attack for two time taken immuno globulin serum. Burning pain enhances in night while going to sleep.

GBS and stress

    • Anonymous
      July 21, 2006 at 12:42 am

      Hi im n newbie here and i dont know what took me so long to be part of this community, I guess its the frustration of having no one to relate to having GBS, I mean have you ever had the experience of someone asking you whats your illness and you answer GBS and all you get in return is a blank stare or a nod or a long “ahhhhh! so whats GBS?”. :p

      I know its rare but they can never relate to the symptoms right.

      Anyway, I was first diagnosed in 1999. within 2 months i was completely paralyzed, but my respiratory system was never affected, that was a good thing since we werent that financially stable, for the next 4 months i was under a huge medication of steroids. we couldnt afford the plasmapherises. after another 3 months i was already walking without assistance and do some of my normal routines.

      well now its been 5 years since my initial episode and i’ve had a relapsed. but its not as severe. that was a relief, because my life during my initial episode was a complete hell, body pains, pain sensations, the lack of sensations, only someone who suffered GBS can relate to the pain both physically and emotionally and also mentally. As Iam typing now my finger tips is still some what numb and weak, tingling sensations rack my feet and hands all the time but theres no pain so i couldnt really complain much, Oh and i can still walk and do stuff independently so again i couldnt complain much. 😀

      Guys Id like to ask you something, Do you think stress could trigger a relapse of GBS, all ive been reading is that its due to a viral infection, but some how I think stress could also be a factor. during both my episode, prior to the onset of GBS, I was under alot of stress.

      Also my hands sweat alot when i have GBS and they always feel warm.

      Thats it, waiting for your reply guys.

    • Anonymous
      July 21, 2006 at 7:51 am

      hi unnerved & welcome,

      i believe stress can cause a relapse as well as causing your residuals to flare up. take care. be well.

      gene gbs 8-99
      in numbers there is strength

    • Anonymous
      July 21, 2006 at 7:52 am

      Here is one statement that includes stress as a trigger for GBS.

      The exact mechanisms that cause the conditions aren’t clear, but about 60 per cent of those affected will have had a throat or intestinal infection, flu or major stress within the previous two weeks. This triggers the immune system, which then attacks the nerves.

      See the following link:

    • Anonymous
      July 21, 2006 at 4:47 pm

      Hello unnerved,

      Like gene, I really do believe that stress can either cause a relapse, or cause residuals to flare up badly. I have no doubt that it is because of stress that I am experiencing what I am, 20 years post gbs. Glad you found us.

    • Anonymous
      July 21, 2006 at 7:57 pm

      Dear Unnerved:

      There has never been a study which connected GBS and stress. This doesn’t necessarilly mean a connection doesn’t exist. I asked about stress and GBS at our local support meeting and our leader, who is a Regional Director of the GBSFI said there isn’t any evidence of a connection between stress and GBS and the evidence to support looking into the connection isn’t strong enough to support using resources to warrant a study.

      From my experience, stress is an extremely difficult thing to measure. Seemingly stressful situations will manifest little, if any stress in some individuals, and likewise, some individuals can show stress at almost nothing at all. It seems to me that it isn’t necessarily stress that is the problem, but one’s reaction to stress or one’s coping skills in dealing with stress.

      There is probably a better case to be made for the relationship between stress and an increase in residual effects of GBS. With GBS, you are always running a bit of an energy deficit. Anything which uses more of the body resources will further starve nerves of energy and increase residual effects. Stress raises heart rates, blood pressure, and mobilizes energy reserves. The depletion of these reserves may cause an increase in residuals. The trouble with this hypothesis is that stress can also increase body awareness. It seems to me that this added awareness may just bring salience to residuals that you have all the time. It could be that stress simply causes you to pay attention to the ordinary.

      Or I could be completely wrong…….


    • July 21, 2006 at 9:37 pm

      I am conviced stress is a factor. The week before I came down with GBS was HELL week. I even had someone send me a newspaper story about the idiots you work with can kill you. A story about stress – a week later I’m in the hospital on life support.
      Keep on keepin on.

    • Anonymous
      July 25, 2006 at 1:23 pm

      Stress can cause a relapse or residual pain. When I had a relapse back in January I was told by more than one doctor that it was likely because of overdoing it at home walking. Now think about the pressure put on your body from stress and then think about the pressure from overdoing it. They are about one in the same. I strongly believe there is a connection. Take care.


    • Anonymous
      July 28, 2006 at 10:44 pm

      Which comes first, the chicken or the egg … GBS or stress, is not as important as what we do once we have it or are aware of the stress and the impact it’s having. There are some wonderful drugs to reduce stress, as well as yoga, massage, and water therapy that benefited me. Best wishes.:p

    • Anonymous
      July 29, 2006 at 10:23 pm

      In July 2004 I had a second episode of GBS. I was doing perfectly fine, off all my pain meds from my severe attack in Nov 2002 and hardly any residuals. I ended up under ALOT of stress, many issues. I wasn’t sick nor had I been in the previous weeks. My neurologist told my husband and I that the stress was the likely trigger for the second attack since all other ideas were exhausted.

      Luckily it was caught quickly. I walked into the hospital and 8 days later I walked out. Unfortunately, an attack on already damaged nerves is not good. Pain management is difficult and now there is permanent damage in my lower legs.

      Stress can cause many reactions in the body and just like GBS the cause is uncertain.