Amyloidosis is Rare But Very Dangerous if Diagnosed

Amyloidosis is a rare disease in which abnormal proteins build up in the body’s cells and tissues. It is considered to be a dreaded disease because it can cause serious complications and even death if left untreated. Although amyloidosis is not a common disorder, it can affect many different body parts, often leading to life-changing symptoms and requiring intensive medical treatment. However, with early diagnosis and effective treatment, many people can live a full life and remain active with the help of medication and lifestyle modification. This article provides a comprehensive guide about amyloidosis and useful information about its symptoms, causes, and treatment options. It aims to equip those over the age of 55, who may be at greater risk of amyloidosis, with the knowledge to detect the disease and support their decision-making around treatment options.

Signs of Amyloidosis

Amyloidosis is a difficult condition to diagnose as it can present with a wide range of symptoms. Common signs of amyloidosis can include:

  • Feeling very weak or tired. This can be one of the first signs of amyloidosis, but it can often be mistaken for a regular low in energy due to stress or lack of sleep. If you continue to feel exhausted despite healthy lifestyle choices, this could indicate a more serious problem.
  • Losing weight without trying. Unexplained weight loss can be a symptom of many different conditions, including amyloidosis. If you notice yourself losing weight without changes in diet or exercise, it’s important to see your doctor to rule out any underlying cause.
  • Swelling in the belly, legs, ankles, or feet. Amyloidosis can affect your body’s ability to absorb protein and push fluids around the body, leading to abnormal swelling in various parts of your body.

These signs and symptoms are often general in nature and can be attributed to other illnesses. So it’s important that if you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor if the symptoms persist.

Causes of Amyloidosis

The most common cause of amyloidosis is the production of abnormal proteins known as amyloid. These proteins accumulate in organs and tissues and interfere with how they function. In some cases, the cause of the abnormal protein buildup is unknown, but it can also be due to certain conditions.

For example, amyloid proteins can form as a result of bone marrow cancer, such as multiple myeloma. In these cases, the cancer cells produce an abnormal protein that is deposited in the organs and tissues instead of being processed appropriately. In addition, medical conditions such as chronic infections or autoimmune diseases may contribute to or even cause amyloidosis.

Genetic mutations have also been linked to amyloidosis, leading to a variety of forms of the disease. In most cases, this type of amyloidosis is inherited, although a mutation can be acquired through exposure to toxic substances. In some cases, a disease known as familial amyloidosis is inherited from a parent with the condition.

Treatment for Amyloidosis

One of the most common treatments for amyloidosis is immunomodulatory drugs, which work by reducing the production of amyloid proteins in the body and helping to control inflammation. These drugs are usually taken orally in pill form or as injections or infusions.

Other treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and blood transfusions. Surgery may be done to remove the area where amyloid proteins have built up, while chemotherapy and radiation can be used to target and eliminate cancer cells if they are involved as well. Blood transfusions may help with symptoms such as fatigue and anemia.

In some cases, a medical professional may recommend an organ transplant if the organ is affected by amyloid proteins. This treatment option can help to improve symptoms and overall quality of life.

If amyloid proteins build up as a result of chronic infections or autoimmune conditions, treating the underlying condition may help to reduce the amyloid proteins in the body. This could involve medications such as corticosteroids, which work to reduce inflammation, or immunosuppressive drugs, which help to reduce the activity of the immune system.


Amyloidosis is a rare yet serious condition that can lead to serious damage to tissues and organs if left untreated. As it is difficult to diagnose, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of the condition and seek medical advice if any persist. The good news is early diagnosis, and effective treatment can lead to better quality of life and improved long-term health.

Disclaimer: The articles on this website are not meant to encourage the self-management of any health or wellness issue. Nor are they meant to encourage any one type of medical treatment. Treatment or advice used by a reader may have varying results, as each individual is different. Any article reader with a health-related question, is encouraged to seek a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider. The articles on this website should not be used to disregard any medical or health-related advice, nor should they be the root cause for delay in seeing a doctor or a certified health provider.

The articles on this website should not be used to start the use of dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or other mentioned products prior to a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider.

Other Articles