Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a rare but serious variant of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) that requires prompt treatment to reduce the risk of long-term and potentially fatal complications. Learn how to identify the symptoms of CIDP so you can seek treatment as soon as possible.

Linked to the vaccinations for tetanus and influenza, CIDP is a rare autoimmune disorder that can have widespread effects throughout the body. While the disorder itself involves the immune system attacking the myelin sheath that protects the nerve cells in the peripheral nervous system, the effects of CIDP also can extend into the muscular, vascular and respiratory systems.

Diagnosing the Symptoms of CIDP

The symptoms of CIDP are largely similar to those of acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP), acute panautonomic neuropathy and other demyelinating variants of GBS. However, there are some differences, and individuals concerned about CIDP should ask questions to make sure that their physicians can distinguish between the variants of GBS. Patients diagnosed with CIDP will typically experience the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty walking or climbing stairs
  • Double vision
  • Fatigue
  • Incoordination
  • Loss of deep tendon reflexes (areflexia)
  • Loss of muscle mass (atrophy)
  • Pain in the arms, legs, hips and shoulders
  • Sensory abnormalities
  • Tingling, prickling or numbness that begins in the toes and fingers
  • Weakness in the arms, legs, hips and shoulders

Unlike other vaccine-related illnesses and injuries, the symptoms of CIDP are generally symmetric, meaning that they present on both sides of the patient’s body. CIDP also affects both the proximal and distal muscles (those closer to body’s center and toward the extremities), causing difficulty with a wide range of motions and routine tasks.

CIDP Symptom Onset and Duration

For most individuals, the first signs of CIDP are pain, weakness, tingling or numbness, and other sensory abnormalities. With vaccine-related CIDP, these symptoms typically onset shortly after the vaccination, and then progress slowly over a period of weeks or months. Additional symptoms, such as fatigue, difficulty swallowing and double vision may follow, potentially signaling the need for additional treatment.

Complications from Symptoms of CIDP

The symptoms of CIDP can lead to a number of potentially dangerous complications, one being the risk of respiratory failure resulting from effects on the inspiratory and expiratory muscles (the muscles that are responsible for inducing breathing). The first signs of respiratory failure include difficulty breathing, loss of skin color, increased heart rate and confusion or loss of consciousness. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek emergency medical care.

Contact GBS Vaccine Lawyer to Learn More about Vaccine-Related CIDP

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with CIDP following a flu or tetanus vaccination, GBS Vaccine Lawyer may be able to help you secure financial compensation through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP provides no-fault compensation to individuals diagnosed with CIDP and other vaccine-related illnesses, and GBS Vaccine Lawyer can handle your claim at little or no financial cost to you. To learn more about your rights in a free and confidential consultation, please call (202) 775-9200 or contact us online today.

Contact Us