Chronic inflammatory demyelinating
polyneuropathy (CIDP) is
an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system
attacks its own nerve tissue resulting in
inflammation of nerve roots and the peripheral
nerves and destruction of the fatty protective
covering (myelin sheath) over the nerves.
This destruction affects how the nerve
impulses are transmitted. Nerves are like an
electrical wire with a protective coating. If that
protective coating disintegrates, the wire will short
circuit. The symptoms of CIPD are due to the nerves
This causes weakness, paralysis
and/or impairment in motor function if a motor nerve
is affected, especially of the arms and legs (limbs).
Sensory disturbance may also be present. This will
cause the symptoms of pain, numbness, tingling, etc.
Signs and symptoms
CIDP typically starts insidiously and
evolves slowly, it can slowly progress and can
relapse, and there will be partial or complete
recovery during relapse. This can lasts week or
Medical doctors will consider the
necessary duration of symptoms to be greater than 8
weeks for the diagnosis of CIDP to be made.
The symptoms include tingling or
numbness (beginning in the toes and fingers), weakness
of the arms and legs, loss of deep tendon reflexes,
fatigue, and abnormal sensations.
The motor and sensory impairments
usually affect both sides of the body (symmetrical),
and the degree of severity and the course of disease
will vary. Some affected individuals may follow a slow
steady pattern of symptoms while others may have
symptoms that stabilize and relapse.
The disorder is sometimes called
chronic relapsing polyneuropathy
CIDP is sometimes thought of as the
chronic form of acute inflammatory demyelinating
polyneuropathy (AIDP), the most common form of AIDP Is
Guillain Barré syndrome (GBS) in the United States
and Europe. In contrast to GBS, most patients with
CIDP cannot identify a preceding viral or infectious
illness. GBS progresses over 3-4 weeks, then stops and
usually improves over months and does not recur. CIDP,
by definition has ongoing symptoms for over 8 weeks
and usually does not improve unless treatment is
When treatment is started early it
will protect the myelin sheath, so it is important to
get an early diagnosis. It is also the immune system
that is creating the problem and support of the immune
system is vital.
What treatment will a medical doctor
Treatment for CIDP includes
corticosteroids such as prednisone, which may be
prescribed alone or in combination with
Plasmapheresis (plasma exchange) and
intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) therapy are
apparently effective. IVIg may be used even as a
first-line therapy. Physiotherapy may improve muscle
strength, function and mobility, and minimize the
shrinkage of muscles and tendons and distortions of
the joints. This shrinkage of muscle is due to the
lack of nerve impulses necessary to keep them active.
This is impeded by the destruction of the nerve.
What is the prognosis?
The course of CIDP varies widely among
individuals. Some may have a bout of CIDP followed by
spontaneous recovery, while others may have many bouts
with partial recovery in between relapses.
What can you do?
Going to the cause of any problem and
building health is always the best
Support of the immune system and
building a healthy immune system that doesn’t start
attacking the body.
Here is some information about the Autoimmune
The nervous system needs to be
supported. See Nerve
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