Amyloidosis : Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
What is Amyloidosis
Amyloidosis is a disease that is related to the bone marrow. Though this is not one particular disease, this disease is a result of an excess production of a protein known as amyloid. Though quite a normal protein which your bone marrow produces, it can be life threatening if produced in excess. Now this disease Amyloidosis can be basically classified into two types. If the deposition of the protein is localized and it affects only one particular organ, then it is known as localized Amyloidosis. If this is generalized and it affects the whole body, then it is known as systemic Amyloidosis. Systemic Amyloidosis is generally dangerous and this can cause any part of your body to malfunction.
As stated earlier, this is not one particular disease that is going to give you problems, a whole set of complications may arise as a result of Amyloidosis. The parts of the body that are generally affected are the heart, the kidneys, the nervous system and the gastro intestinal system.
What causes Amyloidosis?
The cause of Amyloidosis is not exactly known. It has however been observed that the patients suffering from Amyloidosis are aged above forty. Some studies have related the cause of Amyloidosis to the diet consumed by the patients. Treatment hence is given to patients suffering from Amyloidosis by making a relative change in the diet. Amyloidosis has not limited itself to any particular sex or region, culture or creed of people.
What are the symptoms of Amyloidosis?
As Amyloidosis is not one particular problem, this has no specific symptoms. The symptoms that show up are the result of the organ that it affects. However, for the sake of study purposes, the symptoms have been generalized as showing up with swelling of the ankles and the legs (a result of, when your kidneys are not able to properly filter the blood and impure blood is pumped back into the body), loss of weight (again caused by the inability of the kidneys to filter the blood properly), shortness of breath (resulting from, if it affects the heart), swelling of the tongue, numbness, fatigue and diarrhea.
How is Amyloidosis diagnosed?
You doctor will be able to diagnose your affliction by carrying specific tests of your bone marrow, your blood and urine samples. He will first carry out a physical examination of your body to determine if you really need the specific tests.
As Amyloidosis is not a particular disease, there is no specific treatment for the same. What needs to be done is that, the production of the protein amyloid needs to be controlled; hence medication for the same can be prescribed, but there is no specific medication that has proved that it controls the production of amyloid by the bone marrow. Doctors also advise the patients to go in for a diet change, to see if this controls the production of the amyloid.
Can Amyloidosis be cured?
To put it bluntly, there is no cure for Amyloidosis.