Amyloidosis is a grave condition that can target the heart, kidneys, intestines, joints, and various vital organs. In the U.S., it’s believed that around 4,000 individuals are diagnosed with this condition each year. Pinpointing the exact number of amyloidosis cases can be challenging due to delayed or missed diagnoses. Hence, recognizing the symptoms, which are detailed below, is crucial.
There are multiple forms of amyloidosis that predominantly affect specific body parts. For a deeper understanding of amyloidosis, consider online research.
Different forms of amyloidosis include:
- AL Amyloidosis (Primary Amyloidosis): The most prevalent form, its cause remains unidentified. It mainly targets the heart, kidneys, liver, and nerves.
- Amyloid A (AA) Amyloidosis (Secondary Amyloidosis): Often a result of chronic infections or inflammatory diseases, it primarily affects the kidneys.
- Dialysis-Related Amyloidosis (DRA): Affects individuals undergoing dialysis for over five years, caused by beta-2 microglobulin accumulation. It majorly impacts bones, joints, and tendons.
- Familial or Hereditary Amyloidosis: A rare genetic variant, it commonly affects the liver, nerves, heart, and kidneys.
- Wild-Type Amyloidosis (Senile Systemic Amyloidosis): Predominantly affects the hearts of elderly men (70 years and above) and can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Recognizing the Symptoms The manifestations of amyloidosis depend on where the amyloid accumulates. Initial stages might be symptom-free, but over time, significant amyloid buildup can harm the body’s organs.
General symptoms encompass fatigue, breathlessness, joint discomfort, skin or eye bruising, an enlarged tongue, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Localized Symptoms Depending on the affected body part, specific symptoms may arise:
- Heart-Related Symptoms: Breathlessness, varied heart rhythms, chest discomfort, and potential lightheadedness due to low blood pressure.
- Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Nausea, alternating diarrhea and constipation, reduced appetite, weight loss, and early satiety.
- Neurological Symptoms: Discomfort, numbness, or tingling in extremities, postural dizziness, temperature insensitivity, and digestive issues.