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Amyloidosis (Amyloid deposition): Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

24 November, 2020 Richa Sharma

Amyloid Deposition is a medical condition in which amyloid proteins build-up in the important organs of the body. Explore its causes, symptoms and treatment.

Protein is the back bone of our body and reflects our healthy diet. Sometimes abnormal protein referred to as Amyloid (also referred to as waxy protein which is insoluble in nature) gets build up in the tissue as well as organs of the body. The deposition causes the organ to enlarge and impair the organ working mechanism. This Amyloid permeates the fibers or cells of a tissue which gets deposited in the connective tissue as well as capillary walls and causes degeneration of the organ. This condition is referred to as Amyloidosis. Amyloidosis occurs majorly in spleen, kidneys and liver and they become enlarged.

Causes:

The syndrome is sometimes caused due to leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease (malignant lymphoma), and very rarely due to cancer or sarcoma. The Amyloid deposition may occur at a particular location or sometimes occur throughout the body. Different types of protein deposition causes Amyloidosis, like:

1. Light Chain Amyloidosis - Caused when bone marrow makes abnormal antibodies that can’t be broken down by the body. It usually affects kidney, heart, liver, intestines as well as nerves.
2. Amyloid type A(AA) protein Amyloidosis - This leads to rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis. Usually affects kidney and sometimes digestive tract, liver or heart.
3. Dialysis related Amyloidosis – Caused by the deposition of beta-2 microglobulin produced in blood and gets deposited in tissues affecting bones, joints and tendons.
4. Hereditary or age related Amyloidosis - The Amyloidosis can be passed on from generation to generation or happen as people age.

Symptoms:

The deposition happens gradually hence the symptoms are usually subtle. The symptoms depend on the organ where the deposition of protein occurs. Some common symptoms observed are - Joint pain, severe fatigue, anemia, swelling or inflammation, tingling or numbness in limbs, sudden weakness or sudden weight loss.

The diagnosis is done through blood or urine test to detect the abnormal protein content. Sometimes biopsy is also advised by the doctors to determine the kind of protein deposition. Imaging test helps in determining the extent of damage to the organ.

Treatment:

The motive of treatment is to slow the development of the Amyloid protein and manage the damage caused by the protein deposition. It is important to improve the blood supply to the affected organ as it will help the organ to heal faster.

Specific treatment recommended by the doctors:

1. Chemotherapy with stem cell transplant
2. Liver Transplant
3. Medication like diuretic medicine (control water retention), thickeners to prevent choking while swallowing, anti-inflammatory medicine etc. These medicines can be order through doctor’s prescription online from best online pharmacy.
4. Changes in diet as well as nutrient intake. Regular exercise is also beneficial.

As this disease is life threatening but once diagnosed on early stage can be treated and patient can be saved.

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