Amyloidosis: Types, Causes & Symptoms

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Amyloidosis is not only rare but also very unique but unfortunately, it has no cure nor any definitive cause.

What is Amyloidosis?

Basically, someone suffering from amyloidosis is unable to properly produce and process proteins in the body.

Cause

The body accumulates incorrectly folded proteins, which means that the body can’t undo them, nor dissolve them in water, nor recombine them in an appropriate or functional way.

amyloidosis

Symptoms

As amyloidosis is a complex condition, there is no definite symptom package, as every part of the body treats the amyloids (inappropriately folded proteins) in different ways:

  • Non-specific symptoms: As the proteins are distributed throughout the body in an essentially useless form, the specific organ systems and tissues where they are deposited will manifest the symptoms or problems independently.
  • Areas affected: The most common places attacked by amyloidosis are the kidneys, heart, and nervous system, but they can also occur in the digestive tract, the skin, face, eyes, tongue, and a number of other locations in the body.
  • Impact of disease: These amyloids disrupt the normal function of those systems and organs, sometimes resulting in fatal complications or causing secondary conditions or illnesses due to their negative impact on the system.

Types

The place of deposition of the amyloids result in a range of types:

  • Light chain (AL) amyloidosis: This is the most common type. It results from amyloids build up in your heart, kidneys, liver, and skin.
  • Autoimmune (AA) amyloidosis: This is triggered by an infection or inflammatory disease. AA usually affects the kidneys, intestines, liver or heart.
  • Dialysis-related amyloidosis: Affecting people who have been on long-term dialysis, the amyloids get deposited in joints and tendons.
  • Hereditary (familial) amyloidosis: This is a rare genetic type that affects the nerves, heart, liver, and kidneys.
  • Senile amyloidosis: Older men are susceptible to this type that affects the heart.
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