Amyloidosis – Causes and Symptoms of Amyloidosis

Amyloidosis is a group of disorders that occurs when certain proteins called amyloid proteins start building in any of your organ. Amyloid protein is usually produced by cells in the bone marrow and gets deposited in any tissue or organ. This is a very rare condition that can affect different people as it frequently affects the heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, nervous system and gastrointestinal tract. The most common symptoms depend upon the organs affected.

Causes of Amyloidosis
The causes of amyloidosis are classified into three major forms of amyloidosis. They include:

Primary amyloidosis

  • The exact cause of primary amyloidosis is unknown.
  • The disease begins in the bone marrow which makes antibodies.
  • The antibodies protects the body against disease and infection.
  • After antibodies serve their function, the breakdown of antibodies takes place and then it is recycled.
  • Amyloidosis happens when the antibodies produced by bone marrow cannot be broken down.

Secondary Amyloidosis

  • This is caused due to chronic infectious diseases like tuberculosis, osteomyelitis or bone infection.
  • This type affects the kidney, liver, spleen and lymph nodes.


  • This form of amyloidosis is inherited and affects the nerves, liver, kidneys and heart.

Other causes include
Any one can develop amyloidosis, but certain factors include:

  • Age: People who develop this disorder are older than 40 years of age.
  • Family history: Few cases of this disease are inherited.
  • Kidney dialysis: If you have kidney disease that needs dialysis, you have a high risk of dialysis related amyloidosis.

The signs and symptoms may include:

  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Severe fatigue
  • Skin changes like thickening or easy bruising
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Protein in the urine
  • Purplish patches around the eye
  • Swelling of the ankles and legs
  • Weight loss
  • Numbness or tingling in your feet and hands
  • Feeling full quickly after a meal
  • An enlarged tongue
  • Difficulty in swallowing

When to consult your doctor?

If you experience these symptoms from a long time, see your doctor so that the underlying cause can be determined.

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