Amyloidosis is a group of rare conditions that cause a build-up of amyloid, an abnormal protein, in the body. These conditions are severe, as the amyloid buildup affects the organs and tissues, making it difficult for them to function properly. The symptoms will depend on which organs and tissues are affected. However, there are several common symptoms patients report, such as swelling, weakness, fatigue, lightheadedness, loss of appetite, diarrhea, numbness in the fingers, and stiff muscles. Shortness of breath, heart arrhythmia, edema, heart failure, and kidney failure are also possible. The amyloids may buildup in the liver, spleen, digestive system, or nerves, which could cause damage to these areas, as well. If amyloidosis goes untreated, it can lead to organ failure.
Buildup Of Amyloid
There are a variety of potential causes of amyloidosis, but the main factor that leads to complications is the excessive buildup of the amyloid protein. When this occurs, the heart, skin, nerves, kidneys, and liver can be negatively impacted. Amyloid protein is produced in the bone marrow and can be redistributed to any tissue or organ in the body. Though its exact function is not known, it is thought to play a crucial role in exporting iron as well as regulating the formation of synapses between the nerves. However, when it does not distribute efficiently, the buildup of amyloid can cause painful swelling in the tissues and organs.