Dallas Cowboys fans were devastated to learn that offensive lineman, Travis Frederick may not return to the field for the start of the NFL season after he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome. See 5 facts about the autoimmune disease.
Guillain-Barré syndrome has delayed Travis Frederick‘s start to the NFL season. The Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman, 27, revealed his diagnosis on Wednesday, August 22, in a lengthy and optimistic statement about his condition. While it remains a mystery as to when he will return to the field, here’s five fast facts about the autoimmune disease Frederick has been diagnosed with.
1. What is Guillain-Barré syndrome? — Also called GBS is an extremely rare condition in which the immune system attacks the nerves. When someone has GBS, the immune system begins attacking toe body’s nerve cells, which then weakens their ability to send signals to to the brain. As a result, the muscles then cannot respond to nerve signals, and the brain gets fewer messages to the body.
2. What are the symptoms? — The first symptoms are usually weakness and tingling in the body’s extremities. Other symptoms include numbness and reflex loss. GBS can lead to paralysis, however, it is usually temporary. Symptoms can occur within hours or a few weeks. Other symptoms of GBS include (via Mayo Clinic): prickling, pins and needles sensations in your fingers, toes, ankles or wrists; weakness in your legs that spreads to your upper body; unsteady walking or inability to walk or climb stairs; difficulty with eye or facial movements, including speaking, chewing or swallowing; severe pain that may feel achy or cramp-like and may be worse at night; difficulty with bladder control or bowel function; rapid heart rate; low or high blood pressure; difficulty breathing;
3. What causes Guillain-Barré syndrome? — The exact cause of GBS is unknown. But, it’s cause has been linked to infectious illnesses such as a respiratory infection or the stomach flu. It’s unclear if it is a virus or bacteria that causes GBS. Men and adults are at greater risk of getting GBS.
4. Is there a cure? — There is no cure for GBS. However, even those with the most severe cases recover, despite potential lingering effects from it, such as weakness, fatigue, or numbness. There are several treatments for the GBS, including physical therapy. A spinal tap may be done, as well as other tests.
5. Frederick has released a statement in wake of the news of his diagnosis. — Frederick said doctors have told him there is no timetable for his return to the field. However, he could possibly miss multiple weeks of the season, multiple sources said (via ESPN).
Frederick’s statement read: “After a very extensive examination and discovery process over the past few weeks, I have been diagnosed with having Guillain Syndrome which is an autoimmune disease. In the last 48 hours, I have received two treatments that address my condition, and I am feeling much better from an overall strength perspective. I will continue these treatments over the next few days. I am very optimistic about my condition and the immediate future, as I have been told that the illness was detected at a fairly early stage. My doctors have told me this it is not possible to determine a time table for a return to the field right now, but I am hopeful that I will be able to play as soon as possible.”
“I am deeply grateful for all of the people who have expressed concern for me throughout the past four weeks, and my teammates and the Cowboys organization have provided me and my family with tremendous support.”
An update on what’s going on with me: pic.twitter.com/KSkMUvyCWk
— Travis Frederick (@tfrederick72) August 22, 2018
Frederick has not missed a game in the first five years of his career. He was named to the Pro Bowl the past four seasons.