Amyloidosis Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Types, Risk Factors, and Diagnosis

Each person has a substance in his organism called amyloid. When it starts building up, it results in the unique type of disease called Amyloidosis. In fact, any tissue or part of the body can store a certain amount of this protein.

Several various types of the disease exist based on the damaged part of the body or tissues. In most cases, doctors report the irregular work of the most critical organs. From one side, it is a heart, the center of our body. Second, nervous system also suffers, making the person rather emotional and irritated. Finally, those are our kidneys responsible for the water storage and many other important functions.

Thus, if you feel discomfort in your heart, nervous system, or kidneys, the main organs to be under the threat of growing amyloids, it is better to consult an expert. This rare disease is rather dangerous as it can cause heart failure and some other problems, risky for human life.

The worst thing is that health care professionals have no idea about the possible remedy for this illness. On the other hand, the existing therapies help in restricting the expansion of the abnormal protein. It is the best way to control the situation by preventing the disease from progress.

Listing Main Causes

There is a single primary factor which stimulates the appearance and progress of the illness. It is a rapid fluctuation in abnormal proteins that deposit in different parts of the body. As it was mentioned above, you should watch your heart and kidneys first of all. However, that deposit could be found in the liver as well. The storage of the irregular proteins are there between the cells. Any fluctuations in them take place in case of gene mutations.

Types of Amyloidosis

There are five basic types of the disease defined by the doctors today.

  1. Primary
  2. Familial
  3. Localized
  4. Dialysis amyloidosis
  5. Secondary

An immunoglobulin light chain (AL) takes place if the target cell starts producing more amounts of the abnormal proteins. A primary form of the disease attacks all organs mentioned in the beginning. Only through chemotherapy, it is possible to identify the source of the problem and get rid of the consequences.

AA type of the disease is a consequence of various chronic infections like tuberculosis. If the person experience rheumatoid arthritis or another inflammatory illness, the chances are also high. It is important to take care of the fundamental problem first.

Hereditary amyloidosis is also known as a familial one. Afro-Americans face this problem more frequently than other ethnic groups. The guilty protein, transthyretin, is deposited in the liver. If one of the parents has this illness, there a fifty percent chance of transferring it to a child. Once again, the patient should mind his nerves – it is important not to get very emotional. In the case of the hereditary form, the heart usually suffers most of all when it happens.

The next type of this disease is a beta-2 macroglobulin. This illness is usually associated with the kidney failure which takes for a while. Explore the joints or ask your specialist to diagnose this problem properly.

Finally, there is a localized amyloidosis – the outcome of the extensive proteins’ storage in the certain organs. The main source of the problem – a brain mental illness known as Alzheimer’s. As the years pass by, the large amounts of the abnormal protein affect tissue, causing a serious injury.

Risk Factors and Warning Signals Associated with Amyloidosis

So, what about the main symptoms of the amyloidosis? Because of the irregular work of the injured organs, people who suffer from amyloidosis experience a certain level of discomfort felt in the damaged areas. As it was mentioned above, a human heart, kidneys, liver, and nervous system suffer most of all.

The most popular symptoms of this disorder are the following:

  • Exhaustion
  • Breathlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Speedy loss of weight
  • Absence of appetite
  • Problems with hearing
  • Swelling
  • Diarrhea
  • Inflammation
  • Bruising

The most visible sign of the disease is the enlarged tongue. Also, the patient may feel uncomfortable sensations in the limbs. Usually, they experience a kind of swelling feeling. The results vary from heart failure to arthritis and peripheral neuropathy.

If we speak about the amyloidosis which impacts the kidneys, it features the serious loss of protein in the urine. The limbs then appear to have tumors.

In most cases, the greatest threats come from the family genes. If one of the parents has this issue, it will be most probably transferred to the baby. In case of their types of this disease, those could be previous inflammatory and chronic diseases.

It was noticed that most mature people face this problem. Thus, we can say that age of the person is another risk factor. Most often, the patients are more than sixty years old.

The last risk factor associated with this disease is gender. Approximately 70% of all patients diagnosed with amyloidosis are men.

Amyloidosis Diagnosis

To detect whether a person really suffers from this specific medical condition, the doctors who deal with the particular injured organs conduct blood examinations. They show the level of abnormal proteins in the blood. Those are the light chain proteins that cause the primary type of this disease.

A biopsy is another useful and time-tested method to detect the nasty amyloid protein by exploring the possibly damaged areas. Mind the entire zone inside the mouth and your throat. Complain about what exactly you feel with your heart. Describe why your kidneys and liver suffer. Perhaps, the rectum is the main problem. Anyway, it is better to check all these organs. Specialists apply the unique dye, known as Congo red stain, to detect the protein in the biopsy specimen.

For more details and further treatment, it is better to examine all injured organs separately. To do so, contact the following specialists:

  • Hematologists
  • Nephrologists
  • Cardiologists
  • Pathologists