Bachelorette star diagnosed with rare autoimmune disorder

Ashley Hebert and husband J.P. Rosenbaum (Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images).

Former US Bachelorette star J.P. Rosenbaum has revealed he’s been diagnosed with a debilitating disorder that’s making him too weak to complete even the simplest of tasks.

Rosenbaum, who married Bachelorette Ashley Hebert in 2012 after becoming engaged on season 7 of the reality franchise, addressed his followers in a video message, saying he is suffering from Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) - a rare autoimmune disorder that causes nerve damage and muscle weakness.

“Very surreal and humbling... things you do every day, like picking up this phone, or buttoning buttons, tying shoe laces, putting on deodorant - just can’t do it,” the 42-year-old said. 

“Picking up my kids - can’t do it. Wiping your own a—, maybe TMI, but might have Ashley assist on the next one. [I] can’t really believe it.”

Image via Instagram/AshleyLynnRosenbaum.

Also taking to Instagram, Herbert wrote, “J.P was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome yesterday.”

“He is in treatment and doing well. It may be a long road to full recovery, but we are so grateful to everyone that has helped us to get a speedy diagnosis and treatment.”

Despite the diagnosis, Rosenbaum revealed he is hopeful that his symptoms have plateaued, and no further nerve damage or muscle weakness, but require “lots of physical therapy.”

“Hopefully I’m on the road to recovery,” he said. “I’ve heard from a lot of people and I know that things can get a lot, lot worse. Knock wood, hopefully that is not the case for me. Hopefully I’m fortunate enough that we caught it early enough to start treatment early enough where we can now start recovery.”

He went on to thank friends, family and followers who have reached out, and shared their stories of recovery.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart. [I’ve] come this far, I will certainly keep everybody posted on my progression. Hopefully I wake up tomorrow and the symptoms are again no worse, hopefully better or at the very least the same.”

J.P. Rosenbaum and Ashley Hebert (Photo by Adam Taylor/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images).

What is Guillain-Barré syndrome?

Although GBS typically follows an infection or virus, experts are still unsure of what causes this rare disorder which affects approximately 1 or 2 people every 100,000.

GBS causes the immune system to attack the covering (myelin sheath) of certain nerves in the brain and spinal cord that can cause permanent damage.

Symptoms include numbness or tingling in the hands and feet or around the mouth and lips, muscle weakness, trouble speaking, chewing and swallowing, back pain, and inability to move your eyes.

According to Health Link B.C., those with GBS tend to improve after four weeks, however it can be fatal if the weakness spreads to muscles that control breathing, heart rate and blood pressure.

Recovery typically requires between three and six months, however, many people will experience long-term effects such as numbness in the toes and fingers.

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