Amyloidosis is a serious condition that can affect the heart, kidneys, intestines, joints, and other major organs. While there are different types of amyloidosis, the most common is amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis. It’s estimated that 4,000 people develop this condition annually in the U.S. It can be difficult to track the prevalence of amyloidosis, because the diagnosis is often delayed or never discovered. That’s why it’s important to search online and learn what symptoms to look out for.
There are different types of amyloidosis that impact certain parts of the body more often than others. You can learn more about amyloidosis by searching online.
Here’s what you should know about amyloidosis.
What is Amyloidosis?
Amyloidosis is a rare disease and represents the build-up of an abnormal protein, amyloid, in tissues and organs. This abnormal protein can negatively affect their shape and function, which can be potentially life-threatening.
There are different types of amyloidosis.
- AL Amyloidosis (also called primary amyloidosis) — the most common type, which has no known cause, and typically affects the heart, kidneys, liver, and nerves.
- Amyloid A (AA) Amyloidosis (also called secondary amyloidosis) — this condition is usually the result of chronic infection or inflammatory disease, such as osteomyelitis or rheumatoid arthritis, and mostly affects the kidneys.
- Dialysis-Related Amyloidosis (DRA) — this condition can occur in those on dialysis (usually > 5 years duration) and is caused by deposits of beta-2 microglobulin building up in the blood; it most commonly affects the bones, joints, and tendons.
- Familial or Hereditary Amyloidosis — this is a rare form of the disease that’s passed down through families and often affects the liver, nerves, heart, and kidneys.
- Wild-Type Amyloidosis (also known as senile systemic amyloidosis) — this condition mostly affects the hearts of older men (≥ 70 years of age) and can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.