Amyloidosis is a condition that causes an abnormal protein called amyloid to build up in your body. Amyloid deposits can eventually damage organs and cause them to fail. This condition is rare, but it can be serious.
Amyloid is not normally found in the body, but it can be formed from several different types of protein. Organs that may be affected include: Heart, Kidneys, Intestines, Skin, and Liver.
Sometimes, amyloid collects throughout your body. This is called systemic or body- wide amyloidosis.
Some varieties of amyloidosis occur in association with other diseases. These types may improve with treatment of the underlying disease. Some varieties of amyloidosis may lead to life-threatening organ failure.
There are many different types of amyloidosis. Some varieties are hereditary. Others are caused by outside factors, such as inflammatory diseases or long-term dialysis. Many types affect multiple organs, while others affect only one part of the body.
In its early stages, amyloidosis might not cause symptoms. When it becomes more severe, which symptoms you have depend on the organ or organs that are affected.
If your heart is affected, you may experience: shortness of breath; fast, slow, or irregular heart rate; chest pain; low blood pressure, which could cause lightheadedness.
If your kidneys are affected, you may experience swelling in your legs due to fluid buildup (edema) or foamy urine.
If your liver is affected, you may experience pain and swelling in the upper part of your abdomen.
If your gastrointestinal tract is affected, you may experience Nausea; diarrhea; constipation; appetite loss; weight loss, and feeling of fullness right after eating.
If your nerves are affected, you may experience: pain, numbness, and tingling in your hands, feet, and lower legs; dizziness when standing up; nausea; diarrhea; and inability to feel cold or heat.
Subdivisions of Amyloidosis:
AL amyloidosis: This is the most common It happens when abnormal amyloid proteins called light chains build up in organs like your heart, kidneys, liver, and skin. This type used to be called primary amyloidosis.
ATTR amyloidosis – ATTRm or ATTRwt
AA amyloidosis: You can get this type after an infection like tuberculosis, or a disease that causes inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel
Dialysis-related beta2-microglobulin amyloidosis (ABM2): This type affects people who are on dialysis for a long period of time as a result of kidney problems.
Hereditary (familial) amyloidosis: This rare type is caused by a mutation in a gene that runs in families. Hereditary amyloidosis can affect the nerves, heart, and/or
Amyloidosis is often overlooked because the signs and symptoms can mimic those of more-common diseases. Early diagnosis can help prevent further organ damage.
Precise diagnosis is important because treatment varies greatly, depending on your specific condition.
There’s no cure for amyloidosis. But treatment can help manage signs and symptoms and limit further production of amyloid protein. If the amyloidosis has been triggered by another condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or tuberculosis, treating the underlying condition can be helpful.
Chemotherapy: Many of the same types of medicines used to treat some forms of cancer are used in AL amyloidosis to stop the growth of abnormal cells that produce the protein leading to formation of
Heart medications: If your heart is affected, your doctor may suggest blood thinners to reduce the risk of clots and medications to control your heart
Targeted therapies: For certain types of amyloidosis, drugs such as patisiran (Onpattro) and inotersen (Tegsedi) can interfere with the commands sent by faulty genes that create amyloid.
Surgical and other procedures
Autologous blood stem cell transplant: This procedure involves collecting your own stem cells from your blood through a vein and storing them for a short time while you have high-dose
Dialysis: If your kidneys have been damaged by amyloidosis, you may need to start dialysis. This procedure uses a machine to filter wastes, salts and fluid from your blood on a regular
Organ transplant: Your doctor might suggest surgery to replace your heart or kidneys if amyloid deposits have severely damaged those