Know the basics

What is amyloidosis?

This is a rare disease that can affect many of your organs and result in deadly organ failure.

There are many types of amyloidosis.

  • Immunoglobulin light chain (AL) amyloidosis is the most common type of amyloidosis, also known as primary amyloidosis. It is the result of abnormal antibodies produced by your bone marrow. This condition can affect your liver, kidneys, heart, skin and nerves.
  • AA amyloidosis is referred to as secondary amyloidosis. It mostly affects kidneys, often occurring along with other chronic infectious or inflammatory diseases.
  • Hereditary (familial) amyloidosis is inherited, which often affects the liver, nerves, heart and kidneys . It is more common in African-Americans than in Caucasians.
  • Dialysis-related amyloidosis occurs when amyloid deposits in joints and tendons, resulting in stiffness and fluid in the joints. This type generally affects people on long-term dialysis

It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of amyloidosis?

Usually, amyloidosis does not show any sign until later stages. Depending on the organ in which amyloid deposits, you may experience different symptoms. Possible symptoms include:

  • Complexion changes;
  • Clay-color bowel movement;
  • Joint paint;
  • Fatigue;
  • Weakness;
  • Shorten breath;
  • Weight loss;
  • Swollen tongue;
  • Irregular heart rate.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Know the causes

What causes amyloidosis?

Amyloid is an abnormal protein produced in your bone marrow. It can be deposited in other organs, causing a disease called amyloidosis. The specific cause of your condition depends on the type of amyloidosis you have.

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for amyloidosis?

There are many risk factors for health condition, such as:

  • Family history;
  • Kidney dialysis;
  • Age. People with AL amyloidosis are usually age 50 or older;
  • Gender. Men are easy to get AL amyloidosis than women;
  • Other diseases. A chronic infectious or inflammatory disease increases your risk of AA amyloidosis.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is amyloidosis diagnosed?

If you have been exhibiting one or more symptoms above, you should visit your doctor for a full diagnosis. Amyloidosis can be detected through lab tests (blood and urine), the biopsy (tissue analysis) and imaging tests.

How is amyloidosis treated?

There has not been any cure for amyloidosis. However, treatment can help manage its symptoms as well as prevent further damage. Chemotherapy is often recommended to stop amyloidosis production. Another option is peripheral blood stem cell transplant. In this treatment, your stem cells will be extracted from your blood and stored while your body going through chemotherapy.

Then, those stem cells will be transplanted back into your body through a vein. Other medications may be prescribed to ease the pain, control the blood condition and heart rate and to treat fluid retention.

Lifestyle changes & Home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage amyloidosis?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with health condition:

  • You should avoid some strenuous activities;
  • Try to maintain a balanced diet to provide energy for your health.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: September 14, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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