Heart failure?

    • Anonymous
      November 17, 2008 at 3:48 pm

      A friend of a friends mom was just diagnosed with GBS. They are watching closely for heart failure. Is this common w/ GBS?

    • Anonymous
      November 17, 2008 at 7:28 pm

      Hi Carolyn!

      I’m sure my take on things sounds really simplistic. While very peaked in engineering I am a blithering idiot when it comes to things biological so doctors have to get down on their knees to talk at my level.:o
      As I understand it, the brain gets really confused when you are at the bottom. When it ceases to get info back form the nerves it’s telling to fire, it thinks, “Well, I must not be sending enough oxygen so I’ll send more”. So the heart rate goes way up. It still doesn’t get any feedback so it thinks, “Oh, the body must be asleep so I’ll back way off”. And it does.
      I know when I was at the bottom, my heart rate went up to about 180 and followed very quickly with a trip down to around 20 bpm. I know because I was awake (nobody could tell, of course) and counting the beeps.
      Anyway, after a while it just goes, “Whatever….” and starts skipping. I was listening to that too. Not very comforting.
      So that could be one reason they are concerned and we also don’t know if the person has a weak heart to begin with so it’s hard to tell.
      Hope this helps.
      Johnny Mac

    • Anonymous
      November 17, 2008 at 11:37 pm

      It is possible! Just depends where youe friend got attacked the most! Hope your friend gets well again soon! Hugs
      Linda H

    • Anonymous
      November 18, 2008 at 6:12 pm


      GBS can affect your autonomic nervous system (part of the peripheral nervous system, which GBS attacks) – which involuntarily controls many organs and muscles.

      It sounds like they are monitoring your friend for the typical GBS issues, to make sure nothing goes wrong. That’s a good thing.

      When I had GBS/MFS, my blood pressure and heart rate was mostly extremely low. (My heart even paused for 3 seconds one night when I was sleeping.) Occasionally my bp and heart rate would spike when I was just sitting in a chair. They know all this, because my heart was monitored 24 x 7. About a month after getting out of the hospital, they put a halter monitor on me for 24 hours to make sure my heart was OK. Luckily it had returned to normal.

      Just because they are monitoring your friend for common symptoms, doesn’t mean s/he will get the symptoms. In my case, they tested my breathing every 4 hours to make sure GBS didn’t attack my breathing. In my case, my breathing was not impacted, but they monitored it anyway to make sure.

      I hope your friend’s mom gets good treatment, and recovers well. I will keep her in my prayers.


    • Anonymous
      November 19, 2008 at 9:45 am

      Thank you so much everyone!

    • Anonymous
      November 26, 2008 at 10:20 pm

      I had quite the adventure with my heart myself. While I was still in the ICU, they’d come in to take an EKG and suddenly race me down to fluoroscopy to have my heart checked because the EKG read that I was about to have a heart attack. Fluoroscopy said my heart was somewhat enlarged, but otherwise was fine and couldn’t possibly be in the state the EKG suggested. The third time they sent me down, the attendant in fluoroscopy sent me right back.
      I had a pretty elevated blood pressure and due to the EKG reports plus the blood pressure measurements, was refered to a cardiologist about a month after I returned home from the hospital. He had me do a stress test, which suggested I had major blockage in all my major arteries/veins. Because he knew I had GBS, the cardiologist said he didn’t believe the results of the stress test, but that he couldn’t in good conscience let me walk out without further investigation based only on his hunch. I went in and had a heart cataterization (with the ink showing the condition of the veins, etc.). The procedure took about five minutes, as my heart was totally clear of blockages and looked fine.
      Prior to GBS I ran a pretty consistant 115/75 blood pressure. Now, four years later, I’m still running around 135/90. That’s much better than the 215/135 I had in the ICU, but still not great.

    • Anonymous
      November 30, 2008 at 11:44 pm

      I had heart problems during the initial part of my ordeal with GBS. Prior to GBS I had scarlet fever which caused some minor heart damage. When I had GBS a week later my heart was pumping over 200 beats per minute for almost three days. I was in very good shape at the time so they didn’t do anything other than monitor the situation. Well, I don’t know that they didn’t do anything. Who knows what goes in the IV unless you ask them. They did talk about some intervention such as a pacemaker if things got worse. At least that is my understanding. In the end, the scarlet fever did much more long term damage than the GBS ever did.