How amyloidosis can affect your health?
Amyloid fibrils are protein polymers (homopolymers) containing the same monomeric units. Functional amyloid plays a beneficial role in various physiological processes (e.g., long-term memory formation, gradual release of preserved peptide hormones). Amyloidosis results from the accumulation of pathogenic amyloid in multiple tissues. Most of these are misfolded protein aggregates.
You may not experience any signs or symptoms of amyloidosis until the condition progresses. If signs or symptoms are apparent, it depends on which of your organs is affected.
Signs and symptoms of amyloidosis include:
- Swelling of ankles and feet
- Severe fatigue and weakness
- Shortness of breath with minimal effort
- shortness of breath
- Numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands and feet, especially wrist pain (carpal tunnel syndrome)
- Diarrhea, probably blood or constipation
- Unintentional weight loss over 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms)
- An enlarged tongue that sometimes appears to undulate on the edges
- Skin changes such as thickening and bruising, purplish spots around the eyes
- Irregular heartbeat
There is no cure for amyloidosis. However, treatment helps control symptoms and signs and limit further production of amyloid proteins. If amyloidosis is caused by another condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or tuberculosis, treating the underlying disease may help.
- Chemical treatment. Many of the same types of drugs used to treat certain types of cancer are used in AL amyloidosis to stop the growth of abnormal cells that produce proteins that lead to amyloid formation.
- Heart medicine. If your heart is affected, your doctor may recommend anticoagulants to reduce the risk of blood clots and medications to control your heart rate. You may also need to take drugs that limit your salt intake and increase your urination. This will reduce the strain on your heart and kidneys.
Surgery and other procedures
- Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. This procedure collects your stem cells from the blood via veins and stores them for a short time while receiving high doses of chemotherapy. The stem cells are then sent back to your body via veins. This treatment is best for people who have not progressed and have less impact on the heart.
- If your kidneys are damaged by amyloidosis, you may need to start dialysis. This procedure uses a machine to filter blood for waste, salt, and water periodically.
Patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) have a higher risk of developing amyloidosis, which is associated with an increased risk for end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) and dialysis use, according to study results published in Rheumatology. Read more about it on rheumatologyadvisor.com
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