If you have Guillain Barre Syndrome, your doctor probably didn’t give you a good answer as to how you might have contracted this serious illness, but there are reasons why diseases occur. One of the causes that your doctor almost certainly didn’t tell you about is that the antibiotic he gave you for your last illness might have actually caused the Guillain-Barre.
Specifically, it would have been one of the Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics, such as Levaquin, Cipro, or Avelox. If you have not heard of the Fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics prior to this, please read our Introduction to Fluoroquinolones in order to learn more about how dangerous these antibiotics are. Not only are Fluoroquinolones Linked to Autoimmune Diseases, but they are also linked to other types of Neuropathies through mechanisms such as Mitochondrial Damage and the generation of oxidative stress.
What is Guillain Barre Syndrome?
Guillain-Barre syndrome, also called GBS, is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the myelin sheath of nerves, causing the sufferer to lose reflexes and even experience complete lower limb paralysis. While it’s an extremely frightening experience and those affected will require extensive care and help, the illness resolves on it’s own about 80% of the time and almost never reoccurs in the same person . GBS is known to be caused by different ‘triggers’, with some of the known triggers being:
- Certain vaccines
- Certain infections ,
- Several drugs such as certain antidepressant medications, and TNF Alpha Therapy
- Fluoroquinolone antibiotics ,
In China, there are even yearly ‘outbreaks’ of the illness related to an infection called Campylobacter jejuni . Interestingly, this infection is often treated with the Fluoroquinolone antibiotics, which should make researchers ask whether the illness was caused by the infection or the treatment. Unfortunately, there have been few studies looking into this question and it’s usually ‘assumed’ that the Guillain Barre Syndrome was caused by the infection despite the known risks of the antibiotics.
How Do Fluoroquinolones Cause Guillain Barre Syndrome?
The Fluoroquinolones have been responsible for triggering many different disease states, including Neuropathies from other causes, and be sure to read our page on how Fluoroquinolones Contribute to Autoimmune Disease to see how other diseases are often triggered by these antibiotics.
These dangerous drugs accomplish their damage through multiple methods of action, including causing Mitochondrial Damage, DNA Damage to cells, the binding of and excretion of certain nutrients, the creation of an inflammatory response, and damage to gut bacteria. In the case of Guillain-Barre and other autoimmune diseases, it’s likely to be a combination of these factors with the predominant problem being that of inflammation and damage to gut bacteria, along with the subsequent immune reaction that is ‘necessary’ to cause GBS and its subsequent autoimmmunity.
What is Autoimmune Disease
Most people have heard of (or even experienced) a yeast overgrowth infection from the Fluoroquinolone antibiotics and understand the logic behind the fact if you kill ‘good’ bacteria in the gut, then some ‘bad’ organisms can proliferate where the ‘good’ bacteria used to live and cause a yeast infection. At first glance, however, it doesn’t seem to make sense that the killing of gut bacteria can lead to an autoimmune disease, but it’s clear that this killing off of gut bacteria can, indeed, lead to serious illness and autoimmune diseases in particular. Let me explain.
To understand this phenomenon, you first need to understand what an autoimmune disease is. Autoimmunity occurs when the body’s own immune system begins to attack tissues and even organs in the body. Most of the time doctors don’t really answer anyone’s question of why they acquired an autoimmune disease. To them, it’s just ‘random’ and the only way to solve this problem is to ‘quiet’ the immune system.
“GBS is not like other autoimmune diseases, as it is typically
monophasic and does not respond to immunosuppressive
therapies such as corticosteroids. It also does not tend to
cluster with other autoimmune diseases.”
Guillain-Barré Syndrome Modern Theories of Etiology
That’s why you see all of those commercials for Rheumatoid arthritis saying, “Dangers of taking this drug are severe infections. Tell your doctor if you are exposed to meningitis or tuberculosis”… etc. That’s because these drugs to ‘fix’ these autoimmune diseases virtually destroy your own immune system, preventing it from fighting off other infections. Interestingly, Guillain Barre Syndrome is unique in that drugs used to suppress the immune system don’t work! And the autoimmune process simply stops on it’s own and never reoccurs, while most other autoimmune diseases are lifelong, or long time chronic health problems.
Few doctors care to ask WHY the body started attacking itself in the first place, however, and never have a good answer as to what the cause of the illness was. Fortunately, a few doctors HAVE done the research and figured this out. What they found out was shocking.
How Damaging Gut Bacteria Can Trigger Guillain Barre
It’s all about the gut. Gut bacteria perform a myriad of function in the human body, so much so that the research is still in its infancy and science learns about new functions of gut bacteria on a regular basis. In fact, when scientists finally decoded the entire human genome, they were shocked to find so little genetic information in such a complex organism. They soon hypothesized that many of the functions necessary to being human are actually done by symbiotic organisms that live on us and in us.
To make a long story shorter, when these gut bacteria are damaged, it sets up a whole cascade of problems that cause inflammation in the digestive tract, leading to small gaps in between cells of the small intestine that allow tiny, undigested food particles to pass into the bloodstream.
“When the finely tuned zonulin pathway is deregulated
in genetically susceptible individuals, both intestinal and
extraintestinal autoimmune, inflammatory,
and neoplastic disorders can occur.”
Zonulin and Its Regulation of Intestinal Barrier Function
The human immune system then sees these food particles and attacks them. As this process continues and food particles continue to leak into the bloodstream day after day, and week after week, the immune system becomes fatigued and confused, and begins to attack anything around them, including your own body. Why the immune system attacks certain PARTS of the body and not others is unclear, but is probably related to genetic weaknesses.
In the case of Guillain Barre Syndrome, it’s possible that, because the ‘trigger’ is rapid, such as an acute infection or the assault of a damaging drug, that the ‘leaking gut’ was only an acute inflammatory process and the leaks closed quickly. Because the leaking wasn’t a long-term chronic problem, the immune process quickly stops, allowing the autoimmune process to stop, and the patient to heal.
While we can’t yet predict which autoimmune disease will occur when the conditions are right, what we DO know is that this ‘leaky gut’ is required to exist, in almost all cases, before an autoimmune disease can occur. In other words, autoimmunity stems from a damaged gut in someone with susceptible genetics , and GBS is no exception.
If you do have Guillain-Barre, you might want to check your medical records to see if you did receive any of the Fluoroquinolone class of drugs some time prior to your diagnosis. You might be surprised to find out that you did. Admittedly, the incidence of Guillain Barre Syndrome from the Fluoroquinolones is low, however, the medical world seems to be ‘blind’ to the effects of the Fluoroquinolone drugs, and rarely look for them as being the cause of anything negative, despite the several black box warnings and known dangers of these drugs.
The Fluoroquinolones are extremely toxic drugs that can cause many different illnesses. Because Fluoroquinolone damage is so insidious, and doctors are simply not familiar with the damage these drugs can do, therefore, the vast majority of people who become ill from these drugs are simply not diagnosed as such and, in fact, many doctors will actively deny any relationship between the Fluoroquinolones and serious disabling illnesses such as Guillain Barre Syndrome; but now, you know better.
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, we suggest that you follow the protocol in the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution book. We highly recommend giving it a try. With a money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by the information you’ll learn.