Read More >>
The symptoms of amyloidosis may only occur when the disease is in its severe stages. Moreover, the symptoms will depend on the organ being affected. If the disease affects your heart, it may lead to shortness in breath, a low pressure that could make you feel lightheaded, and chest pains.
You may experience foamy urine or swelling in your legs if it affects your kidneys.
Some general symptoms of amyloidosis include:
• Severe fatigue
• Joint pains
• Swelling of the tongue
• General body weakness
• Weight loss
• Abnormal heart rhythm
• Numbness in the legs and feet
• Low count of red blood cells
• Weak hand grip
Various types of proteins can lead to amyloid deposits. How the disease affects you will depend on the protein and the location it collects. Some different forms of amyloidosis include:
• Light chain amyloidosis (AL)
It was initially known as primary amyloidosis. It is the most likely type and can occur in your heart, skin, kidney, and liver. It does not have a known cause. However, it results when your bone marrow creates antibodies that it cannot break down.
The condition is generally associated with a blood cancer called myeloma.
• Autoimmune amyloidosis (AA)
It was first known as secondary amyloidosis. It occurs because of the development of an inflammatory disease or chronic infection. A good example is when you have Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, or ulcerative colitis.
It mainly attacks the kidney but can also affect the heart, liver, and intestines.
• Dialysis-related amyloidosis (DRA)
It affects people suffering from kidney problems or those that are often on dialysis. It is especially common in older adults. Deposits of beta-2 microglobulin build up in the blood, causing the disease. It mainly affects the joints, tendons, and bones.
• Age-related systemic amyloidosis
It occurs when protein deposits of transthyretin accumulate in the heart and other tissues. It is prevalent in older adults.
• Organ-specific amyloidosis
It occurs when the amyloid proteins deposit in specific organs or even the skin.
Since the symptoms of amyloidosis mimic other illnesses, it is easy for a misdiagnosis to occur. To make it even worse, it is a rare disease. Therefore, doctors need sufficient time to make a correct diagnosis so they can recommend the right treatment.
A doctor conducts tissue and bone marrow biopsies to determine if there are signs of amyloid deposits in the body. They also do a blood and urine test to find out if there is any kidney damage or heart problem.
Amyloidosis does not have a cure. The treatment given helps to curtail the symptoms and improve your quality of life. Several treatment options are applicable depending on the severity of the disease.
Some treatment options involve chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, controlling the underlying disease, and providing supportive treatment.
The treatment can slow down the development of the proteins and stop the disease from progressing. Some medicines may also help calm the symptoms only.
If you suffer from amyloidosis, it may be helpful to speak to a support group that can help you deal with the problem.
Read Less <<