Amyloidosis is a condition in which abnormal protein called amyloid, begins to form tissues and organs. Once that happens, it affects their shape and how they function.

The disease is a serious health problem that can lead to organ failure, which can threaten the life of the patient.

AmyloidosisThe causes of amyloidosis

Many different proteins can result in the formation of amyloid deposits, but only a few have been associated with significant health problems. A type of protein as well as are where in the body there’s an excess of, allows to determine the type of amyloidosis. Amyloid deposits may, in fact, accumulate throughout the body or only parts thereof.

There are many types of amyloidosis, and there may be mentioned among them:

  • Primary amyloidosis – is the most common form of amyloidosis, and it affects the whole body. Most often affected are in its case, kidneys, heart, liver, intestines and some nerves.
  • The secondary amyloidosis is, in turn, the result of other chronic inflammatory diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, inflammatory bowel disease and certain cancers. It most commonly affects the lymph nodes, kidney, liver and adrenal glands.
  • Amyloidosis associated with dialysis, usually concerns, the elderly and people who are dialyzed for more than five years. This is a form of amyloidosis caused by deposits of beta-2 microglobulin that accumulate in the blood. Deposits may occur here in different tissues, but most commonly affects bones, joints, and tendons.
  • Hereditary amyloidosis is a highly rare form of the disease, which is caused by abnormal amyloid protein, transthyretin, which are produced in the liver.
  • Senile systemic amyloidosis is caused by the accumulation of proteins in the heart or other tissues, and it refers mainly older men.
  • Amyloidosis concerning organs, causing amyloid deposition in individual organs, including the skin.

The symptoms of amyloidosis

Symptoms of the disease can be very often subtle, but can significantly intensify along with the accumulation of amyloid in the body. The most common are:Abdominal pain

  • changes in skin color,
  • fatigue,
  • a feeling of fullness,
  • arthralgia,
  • anemia,
  • shortness of breath,
  • swelling,
  • tingling and numbness in the legs and feet,
  • a weak grip,
  • weakness,
  • grated weight,
  • weak heart – amyloid deposits can cause the myocardial wall begin to stiffen.

When amyloidosis begins to affect the heart may appear additional symptoms like shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, heart failure symptoms, fatigue, nausea and others.

The disease interfering in kidney function makes the filter as waste and toxins incorrectly, whereby they start to damage the body. In the case of the accumulation of amyloid in the gastrointestinal tract, in turn, slows down contractions of the muscles responsible for carrying out the food through the intestines, resulting in distortion of digestion. May then appear diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, weight loss, decreased appetite.

Amyloid neuropathy which occurs when it affects the peripheral nerves can lead to numerous problems associated with the difficulties of transferring information between the brain and the spinal cord, and the rest of the body. The symptoms may appear the problems with controlling the bladder and bowel, sweating, tingling and weakness, and dizziness. Amyloidosis can also involve other organs, including the lung, skin, and spleen.

Diagnosis and treatment of amyloidosis

As the disease has many forms, are needed detailed research and thorough analysis of the history of the disease. For a full diagnosis is required individual laboratory tests, biopsy, genetic testing or general blood, urine, etc.sala_przyjec

Treatment is not easy, not yet been able to develop a cure. A plurality of procedures are carried out, allowing to stop the development of amyloid and amyloidosis in the case of connections with another disease, the treatment is also directed to the other.

The procedure for different types of amyloidosis is different. It may be a chemotherapy with stem cell transplant. They are also used, depending on the kind of disease, anti-inflammatory drugs, transplants of liver, kidney, and heart.

Other treatments may include the use of diuretics, thickening body fluids (for example in patients with edema language), the use of compression stockings on the legs and feet, modification of diet, etc.

The disease can be fatal, especially if it affects the heart or kidneys. Its early diagnosis and treatment are crucial because it is from it, may depend on the patient’s life.

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